It's the beginning of a new era for Iron Man! Renowned scribe Warren Ellis joins forces with acclaimed illustrator Adi Granov to redefine the armored avenger's world for the 21st century - a landscape of terrifying new technologies that threaten to overwhelm fragile mankind! What is Extremis, who has unleashed it, and what does its emergence portend for the world? Collects Iron Man (2005) #1-6.
Ever since I started reading comics, Iron Man has been my favorite Marvel character. Unfortunately, since the 1980s, good Iron Man stories have been few and far between. Joe Quesada's Iron Man: The Mask in the Iron Man tale was the last Iron Man storyline that I really enjoyed, and that one is already several years gone.
Enter Warren Ellis, Adi Granov, and Extremis - the volume you're checking out right now. Extremis is the best Iron Man story to come along in ages. Essentially, this story was as close to a big budget Iron Man movie as I ever thought we'd see (before the excellent Iron Man (Single-Disc Edition) movie with Robert Downey Jr. of course). It's absolutely breathtaking.
Warren Ellis, whose work on Stormwatch, the Authority, and Planetary I credit with changing the way I look at comic books, delivers the perfect Iron Man story. Marvel continuity has not been kind to Iron Man, so Ellis takes this opportunity to reintroduce the character and start almost from scratch. We're introduced to a Tony Stark who is haunted by the harm his military inventions have caused and is trying to make amends in the only way he knows how - by donning the Iron Man suit. There's a nice recap of his origin, adapted slightly to modernize the character, an interesting look at Tony's fellow "mad scientists", and confrontation with an extremely powerful villain who forces Tony to make a drastic decision. I won't give it away here, but it had major implications for the character in future storylines. Ellis was firing on all cylinders here. The plot, characters, dialogue, and pacing are all flawless. This is what the Ultimate Iron Man Volume 1 TPB story should have been.
Adi Granov's painted artwork is nothing short of phenomenal. It is stylized while at the same time extremely realistic. He captures an incredible amount of emotion on each character's face, and his action scenes almost (but not quite) match Bryan Hitch's for sheer cinematic quality. And if he didn't intentionally use Tom Cruise as the model for Tony Stark, the coincidence is just too eerie. Granov's painted work is the perfect complement to Ellis's story, and helps make Extremis that much more effective. It's no surprise that Granov was selected to provide armor design for the Iron Man film.
The end result is a near perfect Iron Man story, and one that should rank alongside Iron Man: Armor Wars and Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle (Marvel Premiere Classic) as one of the best Iron Man tales ever. I highly recommend this volume, especially in Marvel's high quality hardcover format, which is perfect for a story of this caliber.
Edition Notes: Iron Man: Extremis has been out for a few years now, but is being reissued to coincide with the release of the Iron Man 2 movie. If you missed it in hardcover the first time around, this is a great time to remedy that.
|Book:||Iron Man: Extremis|
|Number of Pages:||184|
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