After so many years of our hero being treated as a second class citizen, as opposed to one of the founding members of the Avengers, I was delighted to see that there will be an Iron Man movie in 2008.
I'm sure that it all goes downhill from here.
We'vve been through so much. A quick read over the Essential Iron man collections tells the sordid tale of Tony Stark, the millionaire industrialist who is busy having to fight through Don Heck doing a poor job drawing metal and through the most half-hearted attempt to portray the "reds" as credible villians. Issue after issue has Iron Man getting his ass kicked, even into the beautiful looking Gene Colan era of Tales of Suspense, crawling on the floor, barely able to stand.
This continues in the regular Iron Man series, after the shame of having the numbering of Tales of Suspense moved over to Captain America instead of his book. Issue after issue getting his butt kicked again and again. one pundit once commented that there were no fans like the sadistic iron man fans who had to deal with their hero being blasted into a grave by Firebrand, armor melted off by the Melter, made to trip by the Black lama in his threatening fur cap (in a cool jim Starlin cover) and even attacked by a guy with a polka-dotted jumpsuite with twin antennea that end in lobster claws. Seriously.
And yet, over in the Avengers, Iron Man would kick ass, this armor taking names and taking down bad guys all over the place, since the Avengers book simply didn't have the panel space to devote to IM's transistors running out of power. Again.
Then things got better. Starlin came in and did an issue or two (#55 and #56) and Iron Man played a prominent part in the defeat of Thanos. George Tuska got better inkers, Bill Mantlo started to really write, and David Michelinie, John Romita Jr. and Bob Layton decided to come on board. And I haven't even brought up the Jack of Hearts.
I'm sure that I'll be disappointed by the movie, as I doubt that it will live up to my expectations, but you know, there will be a moment in the film where they give us the money shot of the red and gold armor glinting in the sunlight, standing proud in the service of defeating the Mandarin, and my little boy's heart will jump into my throat and I'll think, "this is what I always imagined."
I'm delighted to see that Granov is involved in the design of the film as well, his art is solid, and I like his design sense. At least someone who really cares for the hero is involved.
By teh way, does anyone know what happened to Bill Mantlo when he came out of his coma?