First Look at Captain America: Civil War

CivilWar
The first look at the third Captain America film based on the Marvel Comics story Civil War is here and it’s a doozy. It appears that Tony Stark will be donning a new suit of armor (in addition to new duds for the star spangled Avenger).

This is sure to mark a major turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

CapCivilWar
IronMan_CivilWar
Images Via HailHydra

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Captain America: Civil War has a May 6, 2016 release date.

More as it comes.

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Iron Man Robert Downey Jr pays a special visit

We live in a unique time when superheroes are ruling pop culture in film, TV and occasionally the comic shop. Comic Cons attract trillions of avid attendees throughout the year (I may be exaggerating but it gets really crowded is all I know). It’s cool that I can get my son a nice Iron Man helmet that lights up but couldn’t something be done with these iconic characters? Why not take the power that these heroes have and make some real magic happen?

This is exactly what happens below when Robert Downey Jr. hand-delivers a 3-D printed prosthetic arm (designed by Albert Manero and Limbitless Solutions) to a little boy. It’s very touching and cool but it also hammers home the message that we are capable of so much and superheroes don’t just exist on the screen or page, they’re also in the real world.

The Collective Project_Manero

“[…] this video is the work of The Collective Project, and while the addition of Hollywood talent in the arm’s presentation gives a ton of PR value, the work being done by Albert Manero and Limbitless Solutions is just as interesting. The group is making affordable, 3D-printed prosthetics for children … and then giving away the plans so others can do the same.

“Here’s a quick bit of background from the Microsoft blog:

Limbitless’ first arm – for an active boy named Alex – cost less than $350 in materials, much cheaper than the $40,000 price tag of some prosthetics. But the team’s volunteers donated the arm for free, after pooling together their “coffee money.”

“We were all bound to the belief that no one should profit from a child in need of an arm,” says Manero.

(Via Polygon)

Iron Man 3 updated trailer

The third and biggest Iron Man film will take the armored avenger to new heights. Facing a for greater than any he has faced, Stark raises an Iron Legion of armor against the Mandarin in order to save not just himself but those he holds dear.

Directed by Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Shane Black, Iron Man 3 co-stars Sir Ben Kingsley as the evil Mandarin (a villain hinted at in the first Iron Man film), Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, and Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, inventor of the Extremis viral technologythat allows Stark to interact with his armor remotely. Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Paul Bettany (voice of JARVIS), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot) and Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan) will also return.

Rumored to be the final Iron Man solo film, this one looks like it is going to pull out all the stops.

IronMan_3

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Tony Stark's Iron Legion

Tony Stark’s Iron Legion

Robert Downey, Jr. suits up as Tony Stark once again in “Iron Man 3”! Get your first look at Tony, Pepper, the Mandarin and more in the first trailer for the film, hitting theaters May 3, 2013!

Iron-Man: Rise of Technovore Animated Movie

IronMan_TechnovoreThe follow-up to the Mad House Iron Man anime series is a direct to DVD film, Rise of Technovore. The movie will not only feature the return of Tony Stark, but fans will see James Rhodes as War Machine, the Black Widow, Nick Fury, Hawkeye and the Punisher all playing a part in the drama.

The script looks to be heavily influenced by the Matt Fraction monthly series but takes those ideas in a new direction.

Via Wired: Sony just announced plans to release Iron Man: Rise of Technovore on Blu-ray and DVD. Produced by Madhouse, the all-new anime film will be released on April 16, 2013. According to the studio, Iron Man will not be flying solo in this one. War Machine, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and The Punisher will all make appearances in the feature-length film.

The plot involves a terrorist attack, which sends Iron Man running from S.H.I.E.L.D. and in search of a super-villain. That would be Ezekiel Stane, who has invented the deadly new tech known as Technovore.

Both the Blu-ray and DVD will come packing two behind-the-scenes featurettes and the UltraViolet Digital Copy. “Tale of Technovore” will cover the animation and story, with “S.H.I.E.L.D.: Protecting the Marvel Universe” offering a history of the organization in the comics and on film. The Blu-ray will also have an exclusive interactive art gallery.

Iron-Man: Rise of Technovore has a street date of April 16th

Iron Man 3 Superbowl ad (with extended look)

Tony Stark is a brilliant industrialist and weapons manufacturer. Living in a world of super powered beings, aliens and mutants, Stark stands out as a futurist who can physically adapt to the capabilities of his technology. Using the same intelligence that developed munitions, he created his own suit of armor capable of astounding acts, making him a one-man army that answers to no one.

The third Iron Man film from Marvel Studios takes their most successful big screen superhero to new challenges and heightened tension as he faces off against the Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley). Possessing rings that harness an other-worldly power and leading an army of followers, the Mandarin has established himself as the most dangerous of Iron Man’s villains in the comics. How will he appear in the film?

Here’s the Super Bowl trailer that gives a short glimpse of Kingsley, lots of action and drama and an extended look from star Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron-Man-3-Superbowl_810x1181

Via Joblo

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Director: Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

In theaters: May 3rd, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Marvel Studios

Iron Man #4 Marvel Now!

Iron Man #4

ironman4Written by KIERON GILLEN
Pencils & Cover by GREG LAND and JAY LEISTEN

I like Iron Man. The characters is appealing to me and I enjoy the high tech mecha-element of the series that makes it relatively unique. A billionaire playboy industrialist who dates super models and designs bleeding edge armor to tackle problems that would stagger the global peacekeeping forces, he has a lot going for him. New series writer Kieron Gillen is a fan favorite and with good reason. His work on X-Men and Thor is phenomenal so I was pleased to hear that he had landed the (admittedly unusual) job of writing Iron Man.

Then Greg Land arrived, the sultan of the light table. The man is notorious for using two to three of the same photographs for every single character he draws and copying that image ad nausuem in the same issue. It makes Tony Stark look like his corpse-like smile is the result of a stroke rather than a sign of smooth debonair coolness. But given that much of the series will revolve around guys in armored suits duking it out, that may not be such a big problem, right?

The newly redesigned Iron Man armor is a step sideways into the ‘modular’ idea giving Land some room to have fun with various new designs each issue custom-built to tackle the situation at hand. The previous couple of issues introduced a light stealth armor so this issue sees the bulking ‘war machine’- like suit make its debut. Hunting down enhanced beings using the Extremis formula that made it onto the black market, Stark is on a kind of Armor Wars 2013. His latest trip takes him to the catacombs of Paris where thirteen enhanciles are in waiting.

When he gets there, Tony finds himself face to face with some weird demonic cult using Extremis to create the ideal host for a dark God. Appearing to be sexy nubile succibi, the enhanciles have him at a disadvantage until he finds the one remaining scientist who can give him all the info he needs. The sigils drawn into the walls seem to hold them back, so Tony adapts to the situation and builds a symbolic shield from which he can decapitate the creatures one by one (using the suit’s built-in targeting while he himself closes his eyes). In the end, he discovers the thirteenth subject is quite docile so he refuses to kill her and instead brings her back to NYC… kinda like King Kong only sexy (and pregnant with a demon seed).

The issue is an interesting step in a different direction that I am not at all familiar with in Iron Man who normally deals with technological threats (I know that the Mandarin believes that his rings contain alien spirits, but to my knowledge he is the exception). The one major drawback is the artwork which is unusually horrible in this issue.

Notice Pepper Potts remarking that all women look alike to Tony (a self aware statement that Land cannot draw them any other way?) then brushes her long locks with what appears to be a mutant monkey hand.

IronMan_MonkeyHand

…. shiver. It appears that Land forgot to to draw a hand, arm, chest or background here so inker Jay Leisten decided to wing it and give it a go with disastrous results. It’s a wonder Tony didn’t run away screaming, but then again she is facing away from him asking what she looks like so maybe this is a sly hing at next Summer’s event comic, invasion of the monkey men!

Someone do something about Land’s artwork! This is a $4 a month book and it’s written very well. It deserves a good art team as well, not the half-assed tracing that Land is throwing at the page.

Iron Man, out with the old, in with the new

Iron Man #1

By Kieron Gillen and Greg Land
You may recall my glowing praise for the last issue of Iron Man by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca.

Dynamic, exciting and full of humor and drama…

Sadly all of that is thrown to the gutter with the ‘Marvel Now!’ version of Iron Man introduced this week. It’s a shame since Gillen’s script is at least serviceable (if not up to par with his X-Men or Journey into Mystery work) but is hampered by the trace-art-work of Greg Land, a man so lacking in talent that one has to wonder why he still gets hired for any comic book, let alone a high-profile issue such as this.

The artwork that involves Stark in the Iron Man armor is fine, but any time a human face is featured it falls apart.

What’s even more bizarre is that the previous Iron Man series ended with Stark heading to the stars to get his head together, no doubt resulting in his inclusion for the new Guardians of the Galaxy series. So imagine my surprise when Stark is seen grinning like a corpse talking about his well-earned reprieve. Maybe it’s a simulacrum and not Stark at all, that may explain his non-stop lunatic grin. The action is definitely trying to break out from the staid and awkwardly stiff line-work of Land’s tracing table.

I also have to wonder why Emma Frost is having a drink with Tony Stark as it appears to be her in the sample below. Nope, it’s just one of three women that Land chooses to draw in every project he works on.

Look at what I can do with my tracing table!

I hate to be so negative about anything but given the importance of this new series and the launch of Marvel Now! along with the normally high quality of Gillen’s writing… I have to voice my disappointment along with my dropping this monthly comic from my pull list for the first time in about six years. Gillen has it in him to take up the mantle from Fraction, but he needs a solid artist to support him and make this series great again.

Iron Man: The End of an Era

There are few creative teams who have had as much impact on a monthly book as Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca have.

As a kid, I was always attracted by the design and look of Iron Man, but the book itself left me cold. I tried to get into the series several times as teams came and left but nothing really stuck.

When Daniel and Charles Knauf took over after Warren Ellis revamped the character for the 21st Century all of that changed. Suddenly, Iron Man was an interesting character and his adventures were complex and intense. With the inclusion of the Extremis virus, Stark became bonded to the technology that he had designed and finally stepped into a new era, one that would catapult him into the next six years in print.

However, it was Fraction and Larroca who took the hard work pioneered by both Ellis and both Knaufs and made it something more. The Fraction/Larroca run repeatedly placed Stark against challenges that pushed him to the limit, threatening to demoralize him, shatter his identity and reduce his lifelong work to ash. Even his alcoholism returned which once destroyed his personal, professional and superheroic life.

Through it all, Stark persevered, showing that Iron Man may be invincible, but Tony Stark indomitable.

Under the watch of Fraction/Larroca, Iron Man became an invigorating and stylish series, finally bringing one of the founding fathers of the Marvel Universe into the forefront. Stark went from being director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to a wanted man, his tech reduced to the most basic version of the Iron Man suit as he eluded capture. In more recent issues he has attempted to reinvent himself as a next-gen businessman, offering up bleeding edge technological resources to everyone. It’s this continual modernization of the character that has kept the series on its toes.

The latest story line saw Stark at the end of his rope, reduced to a prisoner and slave to his most dreaded foe, the Mandarin. Mad with ambition, the Mandarin forced Stark to produce shells for the ten alien spirits that dwell inside his rings. Of course, the Mandarin is koo-koo for cocoa puffs, but that doesn’t stop him from achieving his goal. Once more against insurmountable odds, Stark adapts and uses a combination of his charisma to win over his fellow prisoners (formerly enemies of Iron Man’s) and a swarm of nanite repulsor technology.

Developed by Stan Lee on a dare, Iron Man is a concept that should have failed; a weapons manufacturer as the hero during a time when war was protested by his readers. But to his surprise, the comic was a hit. The startling action, sizzling romance and non-stop drama made Iron Man into a sensation back in the 1960’s. Today, he is even more popular than ever thanks to the Iron Man and Avengers feature films and cartoons. But it is the hard work of the monthly book that makes such success possible as it is in print where the hero is defined and developed and that is reflected in the past three years’ of Invincible Iron Man quite well.

For modern readers, in my opinion this is the best Iron Man we have ever had. Opinions will differ, of course (The Michelin/Layton run is still very popular for instance), but for me this series made Iron Man a favorite series and it quickly rose to the top of my read pile each month. The Iron Man monthly book has been a phenomenal read over the past six years, combining humor, action and brilliant ideas. But the past three years’ worth of Iron Man comics have left a high water mark for the character.

This week the final chapter of that run hits the stands, with Kieron Gillen and Greg Land to follow shortly. It’s a hard act to follow.

Recommended: 

Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1

Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 2

Official Iron Man 3 trailer premieres

Starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as ‘Pepper’ Potts, Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine and Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black (who previously worked with Downey Jr. on Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang). The film also stars Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, the scientist behind the Extremis formula that forever changes the Iron Man technology.

The premiere date of Iron Man 3 is the TBD April 2013.

Thanks, Terrance!

New Iron Man team takes over in November

In addition to his work on the Mighty Thor and Uncanny X-Men Matt Fraction has been a driving force behind Iron Man for the past several years. Taking over the mantle of this series is no small endeavor which is why the announcement of Kieron Gillen as the new writer comes as a pleasant surprise. Gillen has made major strides in Thor, Uncanny X-Men and of course Journey into Mystery so I am eager to see what he will bring to the Iron Man series.

Iron Man has been a knockout series for a long while now and I am confident that Marvel will continue down that path in the years to come. *

Last week, Marvel released teasers announcing the creative teams on a number of its titles slated to be relaunched in November, giving readers hints at what’s to come for Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Deadpool, the Fantastic Four/FF, Captain America and a possible X-Men title involving the word “Legacy.”

Today, we have confirmation that Kieron Gillen and Greg Land are taking over “Invincible Iron Man” when the series relaunches. In an interview with Marvel.com, Gillen provides a glimpse into his plans for the armored Avenger which involve exploring Tony Stark’s relationships with women, multiple-new suits of armor and a focus on the Extremis aspect of the hero in the new creative team’s initial five done-in-one issues.

“[H]e’s a morally complex guy,” Gillen told Marvel.com, describing the way Tony Stark has been portrayed over the last decade. “Just the fact that he found himself put in, inarguably, the position of the bad guy for a while, and that he defended it. He crushes it, actually, and there’s a lovely bit in “Avengers Vs. X-Men” where he goes to Cap, ‘You know, you’re actually arguing what I was arguing [in Civil War],’ which I loved.”

As for working once more with his “Uncanny X-Men” partner, artist Greg Land, Gillen assures fans he’s the right man for this gig. “[‘Invincible Iron Man’] really plays to many of Greg’s strengths actually. When people see the issue, they’ll say it makes a lot of sense that Greg is the one drawing this. I really want to play up the glamorous part though as well. Tony may be in the lab often but he’s also at glamorous parties and the Tony Stark-ness of it all.”

Stay tuned to CBR for more on Marvel NOW!

(*The announcement of Greg Land as regular artist has me less enthused, I should add)