Never got to posting or even reading the much of the Post-Fraction Kieron Gillen work or the Post-Axis Superior Iron Man and here we upon yet another volume reset for Iron Man. If it wasn’t clear that Marvel was desperate to refresh its characters to meet their cinematic successes then this Secret Wars reboot of their universe should wake everyone up. I am pleased as punch that someone like Bendis is being the job to forge this new Iron Man but let us be clear this is not the old Iron Man or his continuity. That has been broken like faith.
Marvel.com: One of the things that’s happened over your tenure with Marvel is that Iron Man went from a character that a lot of us who read comics love to being a character that everyone in the world, whether they’ve picked up a comic or not, knows. Everyone knows who Iron Man is. He’s not just a flagship Marvel hero; he’s a flagship pop culture hero.
Brian Michael Bendis: He’s probably the most well-known super hero in the world alongside Batman. That is an interesting thing. It’s the way it was presented to me. “This is our most well-known character. What is missing from the comics that is keeping it from where it belongs in the comic book field?” Nothing’s missing from the character of Tony, but what’s missing from around Tony is a deep rogues gallery. He’s got some kick-ass villains, but only a couple. Where Spider-Man and all these others—you could do a top 50. With Tony, you’d be hard pressed to come up with five. And go ahead and yell at me underneath this article, but Mandarin, Madam Masque, Whiplash, crickets. And yes, I love Blackout as much as the next person, but you know. This became interesting to me. Also, his supporting cast outside of the Avengers and Pepper and Happy…what else is there? His world hasn’t opened up in the last few years. That became interesting to me. I can really take this extremely well-known, extremely liked character, and build a world around him that speaks to the future of the character and what the character wants. Here’s a character that can now reach out and attempt to build the life that he’s hoping for. That just got very exciting to me. So I went to David Marquez and I said, “we’re going to create a bunch of brand new villains. Pull out your sketchbook and show me all the cool villain things you know what to do with.”
It took me a long time, but I found out that every single artist has a sketchbook full of villains that they don’t show anybody. They just sketch, “here’s a monster I thought of,” and then they put it away. And you look at it and you go, “Done.” I did it with [Mike] Deodato, and I said, “show me what’s in the book,” and lo and behold, boom. David did the same thing. He pulled out four or five things that I really liked. You’re not going to see them all right away, he hints at them in the first issue. Over the course of our run, you’re going to be introduced to our stuff. Hopefully they’ll stick to the wall. You never know. The idea of building a whole world around him without losing anything that’s unique about him, that’s very exciting.
Marvel.com: One of the things that makes Tony unique is I feel like it’s not taboo for him to be…I don’t want to say the bad guy, but he’s not afraid to play not the hero. He doesn’t need everybody in the room to like him.
Brian Michael Bendis: He’s not running for office.
Brian Michael Bendis: He’s not like Jay Leno. He’s more like David Letterman. He’ll tell you to go [expletive] yourself if he thinks that’s what needs to be said. I think I like that about him. I think that’s what most people like about him. Also, I think having all the money in the world doesn’t make you happy. Doesn’t make your problems any less problems. I think the audience would like to know, since we’re living vicariously through him, that if I did have enough money, I wouldn’t lose my edge. And Tony never lost his edge. He is in recovery and he’s trying to be a better person and he’s trying to answer the problems of our future before they happen. It’s near impossible when you’re surrounded by characters who break the laws of physics and time and space [Laughs]. But damn it, he’s going to try. And that’s a profoundly heroic journey, and one that is for sure a losing battle, but not for lack of trying. With one giant win, he can really save the world, and that’s the thing he’s trying to achieve.
Marvel.com: So specifically, Brian Michael Bendis’ Iron Man, when you pick this up following Secret Wars, what is your book about?
Brian Michael Bendis: It’s eight months after Secret Wars and a lot has happened. Tony isn’t as cash rich as he always is. He’s not able to fund the Avengers right now. He finds out that his armor has been duplicated by a 15-year-old at MIT, which has pointed out to him how lazy he is in this area, in inventing new armor. He’s supposed to be 10 steps ahead of everybody. So that is on his agenda. We create a brand-new armor. He’s met a new woman who is his peer on every level, if not, maybe, his superior intellectually. She immediately reveals herself on the first date to be somebody worth growing the hell up for. She’s not going to put up with any of his nonsense. She’s not impressed with any of the stuff that would usually impress somebody. That’s the challenge, which is just intoxicating for someone like Tony. So we have new armor, maybe new girlfriend, new powers in the armor, and a whopper of a last page of the first issue—which is not going to be revealed here. On top of all of this, the lovely Kieron Gillen announced in his run, Tony was adopted, but we don’t know who his biological parents are. That is a huge piece, and what a gift. I wish I could be able to give Kieron Gillen a bigger birthday present in his life than he gave me, which is “who are Tony’s biological parents?” And of course, we will reveal in the second issue that they are Thomas and Martha Wayne.
More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/news/comics/24704/brian_bendis_forges_an_invincible_iron_man#ixzz3dKLn5k1u
No more Pepper Potts is the coolest gal ever? I am in.
Okay let’s get some reading done.