Iron Man Noir #3! IIIEEEEEEEEE!

There is no other comic book ‘m buying regularly that I look forward to so much as this little beauty! Once again, that Iron bastard has knocked me for six with an issue that kicks seven shades of ass! From the delicious cover by Mike Fyles (who I think must be new to the comic world, since so far as I can tell, this is the first series he has worked on) to the opening page recap, to the smack down robot fight, to the climatic reveal on the last page, its 32 pages of giddy comic nuggets of fun. Take note writers, this is exactly, EXACTLY the sort of story comic books are invented for. Now I’m sure your all very pleased with your Watchmen, and your Dark Knight Returns, but fuck me if they ain’t a bit heavy going. What we all secretly want to see is a man in a suit of armour fly around and blow up Nazi castles. And this is exactly what we get!

After the nail-bitter of an ending last issue, we get to see how Stark, Rhodey and Namor escape from the exploding Lady Dorma. Naturally, ‘coz this is the best comic book series of all time, we learn that the Lady Dorma is actually just a shell, covering up the real Dorma vessel, a very League-of-Extraordinary-Gentlemen-esque mini submarine! (Bang, its captained by Namor, the submariner! Christ, I’ve only just worked that little reference out…this book just keeps on giving!) So off they float, keeping tabs on the bad guys who are now in possession of both the Trident of Orichalcum, but also the beautiful Miss Pepper Potts! Crivens!

They trace the naughty villains back to a castle on the coast, and after a bit of chatter with Rhodey and Stark, they fill Starks heart with electricity, and wack him in the suit to go and bash some heads together. Problem is, he only has enough electricity to power the suit for 4 hours, and after that time he’s gonna drop down dead. Uh-oh!  But no fear! Rhodey isn’t going to abandon Tony in his hour of need, and so, he joins his brother-in-arms in his own version of the Iron Man suit! Hot diggedy dog! Its Iron Man and War Machine! HOOOOOOO!

Then there is some exciting lady whipping action, and a load of explosions and quips and dying Nazi stormtroopers (By law, all germans have to shout “Gott in Himmel! IIIIIEEEEEEEE!” when they die) and then Bang! Another classic final page plot twist! Not only that, but we get a nice little flash back to the young Tony chatting with his dad, but also a little bit of a reveal of the Noir universe’s Thor! And War Machine has a Vickers machine gun mounted on his shoulder. Good lord Manuel Garcia can draw the hell out of a robot fist fight. His artwork has a little bit of a manga-style in some ways which usually puts me off, but I think it works really well here. The muted colours also get the pulpy-adventure vibe going too, so its easy to get caught up in the story. And there is one page with the two suited heros leaping out of the zeppelin air base, and its about the most vibrant, popping little panel you can imagine, it feels like these chaps are literally falling out of the page. And the War Machine armour just looks insane! He is a bit more streamlined and narrow from the Iron Man suit, but his helmet looks like a black skull so he looks the business.

I seriously cant say this enough, it’s easily the best series I’ve read in years. I hope to goodness that enough people are buying this little fellow to warrant a second series, because I’d love to read more adventures by this creative team with these characters. Reading this issue was like reading a comic for the first time, simply because it made me feel all young and over-excitable again. I very nearly tried to high-five the chap next to me on the train since I was loving it so much, but instead I had a big swig of Tesco own brand lager (yum yum yum) and giggled. My only problem with this series is that next month sees the final issue, and without knowing I’ve got a little treat like this waiting for me in my comic book box each week, It’s going to be a very hard to get all keyed up and giddy about another book for quite some time.

Kick your Ass! Kick your Face! Kick your Balls into Outer Space!

Published in: on June 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ambassador, with your Comics you are really Spoiling us!

Iron Man: Bashing Nazis since 1939

For the last year or so Marvel have been putting out 4-issue mini-series of their most popular characters in 20’s and 30’s Film Noir situations, under the inspired title of Marvel Noir. After the X-men, Spider-man and Daredevil Noir series comes Iron Man’s turn! But for this series we get something a little different. Rather than aiming for a dark and gritty 30’s melodrama full of pinstripe suits and cigarettes in silhouette, Iron Man Noir is a fantastic pulp adventure. It’s exactly what Indiana Jones would be up to if he had a battery-powered heart and a suit of armour.

The issue, written by Scott Snyder with art by Manuel Garcia, kicks off with Tony Stark and his gang of explorers looking for a mythical gemstone mask which reportedly gives the wearer a second chance at life. Much like the beginning of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, no sooner does Tony get the mask he is betrayed by a member of his team, and then the Nazis show up to claim the goods! One swift exciting escape later, Stark is back in New York and discovers a secret Nazi operation to discover Atlantis! This is the sort of comic where every sentence! Ends! In an exclamation! Mark!

This is exactly the sort of daft adventure that I read comics for. We get giant snakes, jungle adventures, nazis (who are always the best bad-guys)  , explosions, and huge robotic suits. The suit in particular is nicely inspired by the Rocketeer, crossed with an armoured train. It’s only briefly seen this issue, but I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do. We also get a nice insight into Tony Stark, a man with a terrible disability which is killing him, which pushes him onto these crazy adventures (The Search For The bloodstone Gem!) in the vague hope of finding a cure. This is one of the more lighthearted additions to the Noir-universe, and so far looks to be the best.

The art by Garcia is also a real treat, he captures the iconic look of the 30’s adventure-hero, with a nice filmic eye for close-ups, action and dynamic chases. He is obviously cutting loose and having some fun with the project, getting to draw giant anacondas, huge Inca temples and marauding monocled villains. His slightly cartoony style also nicely reflects the light-hearted nature of the book as compared to the grim and gritty scratchy style of the other Noir series.

This is comics done right; a fun, cheerful read with some jolly chase scenes and a nice bit of mystical mystery thrown in for good measure. It’s a shame this is just going to be 4 issues, since I’d collect this series for years.

Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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