Fandom: Iron Man Noir
Pairing: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Categories: Romance, Angst, Drama, Post-Canon
Length: Long [~25 000]
Warnings: Comic Book Violence, some mentions of medical procedures that can be uncomfortable
Author on LJ: stray_heart/thyrza
Author Website: thyrza's AO3
Summary: Tony Stark disappeared without a word at the close of World War II, and hasn't been seen or heard from since. When Commander Steve Rogers, newly retired from the mantle of Captain America, arrives in Madripoor to investigate the presence of a Hydra cell, he is reunited with his former lover. But Tony is keeping secrets of his own ... and Steve soon finds out he isn't the only person interested in Tony Stark's missing years.
This is a Steve/Tony story written for the Cap/Iron Man Big Bang a couple of years ago and and even better for one of the more obscure canon versions of Tony Stark. It’s based on the Iron Man Noir mini-series from 2010 in which Tony Stark is not only a genius inventor, but also an Indiana Jones style adventurer with his own pulp magazine that fictionalizes his exploits. He has run-in’s with Nazi’s like Baron von Strucker and Baron Zemo and it’s implied at the end that he’ll join the war effort at the end of the comic.
This Big Bang story takes that as a given and jumps ahead in time to the post-war era and is told entirely from the perspective of Steve, who we learn was indeed Captain America during World War II and is now “retired”, but still works for SHIELD - not as Captain America, but as Steve Rogers. Tony Stark has vanished right after the war and his whereabouts and reasons for leaving remain a mystery to Steve until he’s sent on a new mission.
While the main story takes place in 1947, the set-up and most of the exposition, is done very deftly through the use of flashbacks, that give us the missing background for the romance and go into some details of their time together during the war, before the real action starts.
The story is very well written and has some of the most heart-breaking angsty Tony moments imaginable. It does go some dark places, before things get better, but nothing darker than the original mini-series (which was full of pulpy violence and noir themes). The author does a good job of using the cast and little details that the mini-series’ worldbuilding provided and add re-interpretations of other Marvel universe plots and characters to build upon it. It’s a very engaging read, a very emotional adventures and some of the moments of desperation and fear driving the main characters here were probably among the best I ever read.
It’s likely helpful to know the gist of the 4 issue mini-series, but there is so much original worldbuilding going on here that it can also be read without much canon knowledge.
the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world