Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ironman: I am Iron Man by Various

Tony Stark is a supergenius billionaire weapons contractor. In Afghanistan to promote his latest weapon, known as Jericho, his convoy is attacked and he is taken hostage by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings.

Injured, with shrapnel in his chest heading for his heart, Tony is saved by a man called Yinseng, who installs an electromagnet in his chest to eventually draw out the shrapnel. But Tony is threatened by the leader of the Ten Rings in the area, telling him that if Tony will build Jericho rockets for the terrorists, they will get him the medical care he needs to save his life.

But Tony knows better than to believe them- once he gives them what they want, they will leave him to die, and so, with the help of Yinsen, he makes plans to get out of there- building a massive armored suit powered by a fusion reactor in his chest. The terrorist, assuming that Tony is building him the rockets he wants, gives him the raw ingredients and tools he needs for his suit. The suit is completed barely in time, and just as the Warlord and his man demand the rockets. Tony puts on the suit and breaks out of the camp, killing the terrorists. Unfortunately, Yinsen is killed giving Tony time to put on the full armor, and Tony escapes rocket-blasting off in the armor, but on landing, the armor is destroyed.

Tony manages to make it home, but he's had a change of heart while imprisoned, and decides he and the company will no longer be making weapons, which drives the stocks into the ground. But Tony's second-in command, Obadiah Stane, is selling weapons to the terrorists behind Tony's back, and he has plans for the armor that Tony left behind.

Meanwhile, when Tony finds out that his munitions are still being used, he's furious, and spends his time making himself a new set of armor to forcibly de-arm his former company's weapons. Enabling it to fly with repulsor technology, he also builds repulsors into the gloves of the armor, and flies off to Afghanistan to deal with them. But when he is shown that it's Obadiah who is double-dealing him, he asks Pepper Potts, his secretary, to find the proof that it's Obadiah. But her mission may imperil her along with Tony, because Stane is building his own version of the armor, known as the Iron Monger, and it's much larger and stronger than The Iron Man armor. Can Tony fight him off to keep his vision for the company alive?

"Security Measures" focusses on what Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are doing during the events of the story, using the character of agent Phil Coulson, who is close to Nick Fury. And finally, the last story of the book shows the original comics fight between Iron Man and Obadiah Stane in Iron Man #200, where Stane is his business competitor.

This comic is entirely based on the original Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey, Jr., and with the second story, sets up the second movie and a possible future Avengers film. I noticed a lot of interesting things from the first movie that I didn't pick up on in the movie. One being the wording on the "present" Pepper Potts gives Tony when he tells her to dispose of his old chest unit, and she gives it back to him, mounted in lucite, with the words, "Proof Tony Stark has a heart". The second was the name of the terrorist group, the Ten Rings, which evokes a longtime Iron Man foe, Mandarin, who wears ten rings of alien construction, one on each finger.

And if that shows up in the film(s), will Fin Fang Foom, the last of the Draconoid race who built the spaceship from which Mandarin obtained the rings? So many linked Marvel movies or Franchises are alluded to in this movie- Captain America's shield on Tony's desk (the alloy of which is what he builds the Iron Man armor out of), and Tony himself showed up in the second Hulk movie. It seems a Thor movie and a Captain America movie are forthcoming, and then, The Avengers, which will combine all those characters, along with others, like Hawkeye.

So, this is an important comic to read, even if you have seen the movie, or are planning to see the second one. So much interesting ideas and plot points are laid in these pages, and you can see what can possibly be coming down the pike. I liked seeing more of what was going on behind the scenes with Nick Fury, and it was also interesting to see the contrast between the movie and the original story of Obadiah Stane, and its end, which again, is very different from the movie. This was an excellent book and more than worth it. Highly recommended.

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