Good day kind Sirs and Madams, and welcome to another addition of the Comic Asylum. This addition is brought to you by yours truly, the god damn dirty ape that is Peter Barrington. You can find me on twitter at @Pete_the_Red or us as a whole at @Comic_Asylum which is ran by myself (not really) and Sean Favager (he does all the work). On a side note, we have started a little bit of fun called ‘Cosplay of the day’ on our twitter feed and are requesting that any followers send them our way and of course will be credited with the find. We may even start a collection and showcase them all. It’s basically just an excuse for Sean to see pretty ladies dressed up as his heroes and I for one applaud him. But if anyone does find a quality Silk Spectre cosplayer for me then a prize may be awarded! Just saying!
Anyway, on to serious matters at hand (ha! Like I can be serious), this addition will focus on a film that is not so far away at all and a preview blog from myself was inevitable. This characters foundations lie in alcoholism, womanising and basically showing off but despite those ‘flaws’, he somehow manages to be one of the most loved and revered characters that have ever stepped off the page and has found a new home and a new audience on the big screen, he is…of course..Ol’ Tinhead…….Iron Man! (Cue the music)
I AM IRON MAN…DA…NA…NA…NA…NA…NA
Now the movie I am gonna concentrate on is obviously Iron Man 3 and I will get in to the meat of that sandwich shortly, but I just want to touch on what this character has done for the big screen and for comic book movies in general. Sure we have had Marvel comic book movies before this series and there has been varying degrees of success, some being good and some not so good. For every X-Men (2000), there is Daredevil (2003) and for every Spiderman 2 (2004), there is a Spiderman 3 (2007)! And there is no doubt that Bryan Singers X-Men started a new trend for Hollywood and movie producers in general. However, there is definitely an argument that without the success of Iron Man in 2008, we would never have seen an Avengers movie or even all the movies leading up to that epic, Thor, Captain America et al. Now that success, in my opinion lays solely at the feet of 2 men, the driving force of Jon Favreau and of course Robert Downey Jr. Before Iron Man hit our screens, Favreau had only been responsible for directing 2 movies, Elf in 2003 and Zathura in 2005, so to say that he wasn’t exactly a banker for global success is an understatement, so of course that was a risk for Marvel studios and talking of risk, let’s have a brief look at RDJ not so distant past. Only 5 years previous to this film’s release, he was escaping rehab to score drugs and for all intents and purposes was on Hollywood’s ‘Black List’. But emerging clean and sober at the end of 2003, he began making a new name for himself again as an actor in films like Gothika, A Scanner Darkly and Good Night, and Good Luck. To put this franchise on his and Favreaus shoulders was a risk that has obviously paid off, not just for Marvel but for RDJ and fans of Ol’ Tinhead. The proof that this film ignited a new wave of films can be seen solely in the Box Office gross of its opening weekend, taking over $98 Million in its first 3 days, compare that to the other Marvel openings before this film and you have X-Men at $54 Million, Spiderman 2 at $88m and of course who can forget Howard the Duck, opening at $5m in 1986. Ok, that last one was a joke but the impact is clear to see.
Now moving on to Iron Man 3, due out in a mere 6 weeks on April 26th.
The anticipation for this film is huge right now and the set pics and trailers have only heightened this feeling. The plot is as always, closely guarded but what have we learnt from what we’ve seen and heard so far?
Let’s break the trailer down a bit. Stark is coming off the back of his stint teaming with the Avengers and is maybe struggling with his place in things; the trailer has shown us that he is in some trouble mentally as well as physically. The first shot is of a battered Iron Man and his first line in the trailer (albeit as a voiceover) is ‘Nothing has been the same since New York, I’ve experienced things, and then there over. I can’t sleep, and when I do, I have nightmares’. We have never heard Tony Stark talk like this before, in all of the other films he has been in, he has been confident, sometimes arrogant and always come out on top. These words do not come from a confident or arrogant place. He is scared and trying to find a way to deal with his emotions, his next line sums this up ‘Honestly, there’s a 100 people that want to kill me; I hope I can protect the one thing I can’t live without’. This line is clearly directed towards love interest, the ever-present Pepper Potts and it’s obvious that he feels that he needs to protect her from something, what they may be comes later in the trailer when we see his home destroyed with Pepper and Tony inside. Although not obvious in the trailer and what could be a clever bit of distraction by the movie makers, the sinister voiceover that accompanies the destruction is from Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin. Now this does not mean that he is the destroyer of homes but the implication is there. Don’t forget ‘there’s a 100 people’ trying to kill Tony and this could be from any one of them. The rest of the trailer is a fast paced motion of scenes, too quick to try and make any guesses what they mean as we see people falling from a plane, we see Tony being put to sleep in what appears to be a hospital and in one of the most prominent scenes, we see Tony and Pepper fast asleep in bed when they are ‘attacked’ by Iron Man. Obvious question to come from this is who is in the suit, but when we think about this more closely then we can might be able to see some answers.
The new characters to the film, as well as the Mandarin, who I will touch on shortly, include Adrian Killian and Maya Hansen, played by Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall respectively. Now for those who know of Iron Man folklore, will know these names very well. For those that don’t, here is a quick breakdown. They’re names are most synonymous with the 6 part ‘Extremis’ storyline which tells of a military nanotechnology serum which was created to try and replicate the ‘Super Soldier serum’ used to create Captain America. The serum interferes with the brain’s ‘repair centre’ and directs the body to rebuild itself from scratch, as if it were all wound tissue to be replaced. The design for the new body is programmable prior to injection and can involve superhuman abilities, giving it an (untested) military application. Maya had taken the military contract to develop it, despite her true intent to use its proceeds to fund and advance her anti-cancer research. Stark discovers that prior to Adrian Killians apparent suicide; he gave Extremis to a local domestic militia. So with such high profile characters in this movie, I think it is safe to assume that the Extremis arc storyline could be quite closely followed here. With the added menace of………
…..The Mandarin. The arch enemy of Iron Man was first hinted at back in Iron Man in 2008, as the terrorist group responsible for his kidnap were known as ‘The Ten Rings’. This name is connected with the ten rings that The Mandarin wears on each of his digits, I could go into what each ring does on each finger (Thank you Google) but I won’t, needless to say that each ring contains a different ‘power’ or weapon that he can use willingly at all times, whether it be emitting fire or ice, or enhancing a person’s own strengths. We know that the characters past is distinctly oriental as his father was a direct descendent of Genghis Khan while his late mother was an English Noblewoman. Now it’s quite clear that Sir Ben Kingsley is not Chinese, nor is the accent that appears in the trailer consisting of any Asian distinction so I think it’s safe to assume that the part of his history will not be explored much here. What I do expect though is for Tony to go to extreme lengths to defeat this villain, which could result in Tony experimenting with Extremis himself!
I feel I’ve talked a lot now and there isn’t really much else to discuss as the plot is very guarded as it should be. But I do just want to touch on one more issue. That being the director. The torch has been passed from Favreau to Shane Black, who is more known as a writer and for having all of his movies set at Christmas, his only directorial position before this was 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which interestedly was headlined by none other than Robert Downey Jr, and also contained a character called ‘Gay Perry’!!!? So it’s easy to assume that the actor had a major influence with the choice here after Favreau announced that he was leaving (Although he is still reprising his role as loyal Happy Hogan) and that can be looked at both a good and bad thing. The risk is significantly less than when they started this franchise but it also smells slightly of RDJ bringing on his friend for his last hurrah as Tony Stark. RDJ has said himself that he doesn’t know if this is the last time he will put on the mask and has also said he wouldn’t mind if he didn’t make another appearance as Iron Man after this movie, openly stating that his finest Tony Stark/Iron Man performance was in the first film. I mean why would he want to, he is back amongst the A-listers, he also reportedly got paid just $500,000 for the first Iron Man film and $50,000,000 for the Avengers so I don’t think his wallet needs it and he has always been an actor that tries to steer away from being typecast and after being Tony Stark in 5 films now(Yes I am counting the cameo in Incredible Hulk) he may look to get back to his pre rehab indie roots and look for a return to the type of films that have so far earned him 2 Academy Award nominations. I personally hope he doesn’t and I would pay good money to see a new Iron Man film every year as I think at of all the avengers and even out of every actor who currently does or has portrayed a comic character, no-one has been more of a perfect fit than Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the new suit or the change of suit for War Machine/Iron Patriot.
To be blunt, I am looking forward to this film but do have a slight worry that as the first film to come out after the Avengers containing one of the main characters then there will inevitably be comparisons and even though it has massive potential to be a huge film, if not the film of the year (although I hope Man of Steel takes that crown, what can I say, I’m a Superman guy) then there is a hint, it will get lost amongst other films that Marvel have planned for this Phase 2 of theirs.
I can understand why the film is out so close after the Avengers but if it was me I would of waited at least 2 years to carry on the story. Then again, I’m not Kevin Feige and its reasons like this that he is head of development for the quite possibly the most important and successful group of movies in my generation and why I am typing this while stuck in work on yet another 12 hour shift. We are basically both living the high life!!!!!!
Anyway, that’s all from me. I hope this has given you a slightly better insight as what we can expect in 6 weeks’ time when the movie drops and also my added thoughts on the whole Marvel movies general workings.
Thanks for reading and if you’ve made it this far then a winner is you!
Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page or find me on twitter @Pete_the_Red.
Also don’t forget to send @Comic_Asylum any cosplay pics that you find or take.
Jesus, this blog has got more endings than The Dark Knight Rises! Zing!
Posted on March 7th, 2013
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, PREVIEWS & UPCOMING RELEASES, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: avengers, Comic Asylum, Iron Man 3 Preview, Iron Patriot, Mandarin, marvel comics, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, Tony Stark, War Machine
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Art and Cover by GREG LAND
Marvel NOW! kicks off it’s first week with a relaunch for one of the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe, Iron Man. What’s interesting about this series is that we are not seeing the same old Tony Stark (though he is still very much the playboy type he always has been) but we are seeing a Tony that is beginning to question his role in this Universe.
We get a fantastic character study for half of this comic, and that makes for a very different Iron Man character. I’ve always been a big fan of the way Tony can utilize his technology in different ways (suitcase armor!) and it’s on full display here. The story is also very interesting as someone has gotten hold of the extremis technology and is selling it to various terrorist groups across the globe. This sets up enemies that are similar to Iron Man in terms of technological strength and prowess but its Tony’s intelligence that allows him to gain the upper hand. Kieron Gillen looks to be crafting a very deep and personal story for Tony, and this is a great start.
Greg Land is on art duties here, and while I did enjoy most of his work on Uncanny X-Men, I found the art to be very dull and stale. The art itself wasn’t very bad, but it didn’t add anything to the story and looked more like a portrait than a comic.
Kieron Gillen is laying the ground work to something great here; Tony Stark is going up against an enemy that has the same technology that he does so he is going to have to be at the top of his game which should make this a very interesting series.
4 out of 5
Posted on November 17th, 2012
Category: REVIEWS, THE BURRITO BANDITO
Tags: Burrito Bandito, Comic Reviews, Greg Land, iron man, Iron Man Vol. 5 #1 Review, Kieron Gillen, marvel comics, MarvelNOW!, Ruben Mendoza, Tony Stark