Suggested Reading: Tony Stark and All Things Iron Man!

April 29, 2008

Suggested Reading: Tony Stark and All Things Iron Man!

Suggested Reading is a new column written by our comic book expert Roman Chavez providing suggestions for comics to read in relation to upcoming comic book based movies. We hope you find this is a worthwhile addition to our regular fare.

Hi guys, it's Roman, your comic book guide to the stars. Today's comic book lesson is Iron Man. I know what you're thinking: "I've seen the trailers, I've heard the buzz, just show me the damn movie!" I know it sucks to wait and maybe those Iron Man fires aren't burning as hot as they were six months ago, but bear with me and stay psyched cause its going burn this mother down.

If you feel like you can't wait another few days, I've got some recommended reading material that will excite and educate you in the Iron Man universe. What's that? You haven't read a comic book in ten years? Or, heaven forbid, you have never read a comic book at all? My heart breaks for you… Lets point you in the right direction.

The Ultimates: Vol. 1The Ultimates
Written by Mark Millar, Illustrated by Bryan Hitch
If you are new to comics or have never read one, The Ultimates: Vol. One is a great place to start. This series is a fresh revamp of the Avengers adapted for a modern world. (The Avengers are the team that Iron Man fights for in the Marvel Universe.) The Ultimates reads like a superhero political thriller with plenty of action. It's not a classic version of the character and I speculate that much of the Iron Man movie will have references to this version. Buy from

Ultimate Iron ManUltimate Iron Man
Written by Orson Scott Card, Illustrated by Andy Kubert
This five part mini-series gives us a look at how a young Tony Stark (Iron Man) struggles with family issues, unbearable pain and his father's near loss of Stark Industries. An ultimate version of Obadiah Stane (Iron Monger) makes an appearance along with his father, head of his own technological company, Zebediah Stane. Buy from

Iron Man: Viva Las VegasIron Man: Viva Las Vegas
Written by Jon Favreau, Illustrated by Adi Granov
I, personally, am looking forward to the upcoming first issue due out May 7th this year. This comic book is going to be a fun piece that takes a look at Tony Stark enjoying some rest and relaxation in sin city itself. What's a billionaire playboy to do? Oh, and did I mention that this comic book is written by the director of Iron Man himself, Jon Favreau. Man, that guy loves Las Vegas. Buy from

Iron Man: Demon in a BottleIron Man: Demon in a Bottle
Written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, Illustrated by John Romita, Jr.
One more courtesy of True, Jon Favreau's movie is more of a cheeky origin story, but it merely sets the foundation for what he's reportedly said will lend itself to a warts-and-all sequel. Enter Demon in a Bottle. Fifteen years after Iron Man's invention, Michelinie and Layton created this definitive portrait of the alcoholic hero. Tony Stark, the playboy industrialist under the armor, goes head-to-head against whiskey sours and amaretto and scotches — it's probably the only time you'll hear the battle cry, ”I should never have had that fourth martini!” Reminders that it's 1979 include disco fashions and Ed Koch. Buy from

If you are more of a classic comic book reader, you will have to refer to the Silver Age of comic books, which is the late 1950's to the 1970's. Iron Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 in March of 1963.

To clear things up a bit, there are two distinct "universes" in Marvel. One being the regular "Marvel Universe", where all of your favorite Marvel heroes came from. And an "Ultimate Universe", where all of your favorite Marvel heroes were revamped to attract a new generation of readers. Most of the characters are the same, but have been given new origins to fit a new age. For example: Peter Parker in the "Marvel Universe" is a photographer for the Daily Bugle. In the "Ultimate Universe," Peter Parker designs and maintains the website for the Daily Bugle. Sorry if this is confusing for first-time comic readers.

This is my first column, so I'm not going to overload you on what to read… yet. Check these books out at your local comic book store to get familiar with the character. Don't get jaded by what you have read or will read before the film's release. Remember, these movies are geared towards everyone, so a bit or a majority of it is changed when adapted to the silver screen. Enjoy the movie and come back next month for more comic book reading suggestions. So long from Roman's Land and I'll see you at the movies.

Find more posts: Comics, Hype, Suggested Reading



Great picks, they are all really good.

Stephen on Apr 29, 2008


Right on man, I will check them out!

Cameron on Apr 29, 2008


"haven't read a comic book in ten years?" present! gotta find some comic book to read, now!

miracle disease on Apr 29, 2008


Thank You There are so many reading options as far as the Iron Man universe is concerned it very helpful for someone to point out where to start and educate at the same time as well btw I'll be looking for your Hulk and Batman recommendations.

Andee23 on Apr 29, 2008


Thanks, but where i live, Israel, it's too hard to find a comic book. I have a few ones that i bought when i was in Argentina but that's all, if i had a better chance i would check them out.

Liran on Apr 29, 2008


I saw Iron Man last night and it was incredible! I urge everyone to go and see it. Great way to start the summer blockbuster season!

Keith on Apr 29, 2008


I just came from a screening. This movie has got to be one of the best comic book adaptations so far. You will not be disappointed.

Tyler on Apr 29, 2008


Well Miracle Disease (#3) you've made a great weekend to start. It's Free Comic Book Day this Saturday so I'd advise you to look for your nearest comic store and get down there and grab some. I live in the UK and there's at least 3 stores in London participating. My experience is that the US stores get better stock and most US stores give out other items as well.

Matt on Apr 30, 2008


I heart Roman Chavez....

Andy Adair on Apr 30, 2008


I'm a huge Iron Man fan, so all of these are good suggestions. Although I'm not sure I see the connection between the Ultimate universe and the movie. I think your readers would be much better off picking up "Extremis" by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov. It updates Iron Man's origin story to the Afghan War (instead of Vietnam) like in the movie and you're treated to GORGEOUS digital illustration by Granov - who was a consultant on the film and laid the groundwork for the armor design. You also see his artwork all over the promotional tie-in stuff. The book enhances Stark with a new power set that's not part of the movie. But it's an excellent read all the same!

Tom Brazelton on Apr 30, 2008


Um, I sorry, but 'Ultimate Iron Man' is a HORRIBLE way to introduce people to the character. It's some bizarre alternate universe version of Tony Stark whose entire nervous system is his brain. You should be recommending more of the Micheline/Layton era and where the heck is the entire Extremis arc which was a HUGE influence on Favreau???? To learn more about Iron Man including every enemy he's ever faced and every armor he's ever worn, check out . Vic

Advanced Iron - The Ultimate Iron Man Fansite on Apr 30, 2008


This is supposed to be required reading and those were not very informed suggestions at all.... One of them hasn't even seen print yet for Pete's sake (Viva Las Vegas isn't even out yet).

IMJ on May 2, 2008

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