By: Zachary Mandell
Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, has a rich history that is a big part of the Marvel comic book universe. Since his introduction in 1963, he has appeared in several comic book series, cartoons, and movies in his distinctive armor. Like all superheroes, he has an origin story that has made him a legend.
Marvel introduced the character in an ongoing comic book series called "Tales of Suspense" in issue number thirty-nine. It was the culmination of a lot of work by creator Stan Lee, who came up with the back story for the character. He then asked illustrators Stan Heck and Jack Kirby to help him figure out what the character would look like with and without the armor. Lee initially wanted to use the character as a way to tell tales of the Cold War.
After the successful introduction of the character over several issues of "Tales of Suspense," Iron Man was given a coveted spot as one of the founding Avengers in the comic book series "The Avengers." He then headlined his own single-issue comic book called "Iron Man and Sub-Mariner," which was released in 1968. Later that same year, he finally got his own series called "The Invincible Iron Man." This series has run for over 500 issues through the present day, although it was temporarily stopped in the mid-90s. Even as this solo title was selling like hot cakes, Marvel still used the character in several one-shot comic books and short, limited-edition series throughout the years.
As Iron Man's popularity was steadily increasing among comic book fans, the character took a leap off the comic pages and onto the small screen for a semi-animated series called "Marvel Superheroes," which only lasted for five episodes. After that, he wasn't in a television show again until 1981 in "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends," where he appeared only as Tony Stark and not as Iron Man. The 1990s brought a partnership with the Fantastic Four in "Marvel Action Hour" for several episodes and a guest stint on "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes." Currently, the life of Tony Stark before he became Iron Man is being explored in a new cartoon called "Iron Man: Armored Adventures." The series focuses on Stark as a teenager before he inherited his father's company and became the billionaire playboy featured in the comic books and films.
During the 80s and 90s, Iron Man became a mainstay in many video game titles as the popularity of these games skyrocketed. He appeared in many games, including "Marvel Super Heroes," "Captain America and the Avengers," and a series of "Marvel vs. Capcom" titles. He wasn't always a featured player in all of the games in which he appeared. In a few titles, such as " X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse," he was only available after the player reached a certain level and unlocked the character for play.
In 2008, Marvel released "Iron Man," the first of several films where actor Robert Downey, Jr. played both Tony Stark and Iron Man. It was a huge success with critics and moviegoers alike, generating over half a billion dollars worldwide in ticket sales. A second film was quickly commissioned in 2010, titled simply "Iron Man 2." The character then transitioned into the superhero showcase known as "The Avengers" in 2012 before the upcoming 2013 release of a third film titled "Iron Man 3."
"Iron Man 3" marks the start of what Marvel calls "Phase Two" (Win the Entire Phase One Collection in MRR's May Giveaway) of their wildly successful film franchises, which will also include "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and "The Avengers 2" among other movies. Although Captain America is largely thought to be the leader of the Avengers, Iron Man has arguably surpassed all other Avengers in terms of popularity, due in no small part to the charismatic performance of Downey. Downey has not said whether he will sign on for "The Avengers 2" or any further Iron Man films, so the future of the character in cinema is a big question mark.
Both Tony Stark and Iron Man have changed quite a bit over the years in comic books and other media. From the bulky gray armor of the first issues of "Tales of Suspense" to the multicolored, multifunctional suits of the latest films, Iron Man has changed looks through the decades. What hasn't changed is his desire to help others, even if he does it with a smart quip or one-liner.About the Author: As a long time fan of Hollywood I was able to carve out the perfect career in the entertainment industry by writing initially for celebrity news sites and am now the owner of MovieRoomReviews.com!
By: Zachary Mandell
"Iron Man 3" is a 2013 superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's the third film in the "Iron Man" series and the seventh film in this franchise. Jon Favreau directed the first two "Iron Man" films but decided not to direct the third installment. Favreau said that he wanted to concentrate on reprising his role of Happy Hogan, whom he also played in the first two films.
Shane Black was hired to direct "Iron Man 3" in 2011, and he also rewrote the script along with Drew Pearce. The film is based on the Extremis story arc, which comprises six issues in the "Iron Man" comic book series. This story reprises the character of Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle), who appeared in the first two films. "Iron Man 3" also introduces three new characters: Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), and the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).
Rhodey is Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) best friend and liaison between the U.S. Air Force and Stark Industries. He also operates the War Machine armor, which has been upgraded significantly since "Iron Man 2" and has a color scheme based on the American flag. Executive producer Kevin Feige stated in an interview that the red, white, and blue colors of this suit were intended to make a bold statement. He added that the character of Rhodey is a stable foil to the eccentric Tony.
The friendship and trust between these two characters is reminiscent of the relationship between the lead characters in a buddy-cop film. Feige has also said that the president will order Rhodey to become the government's superhero after the events in "The Avengers," a previous film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The president will assign the moniker "Iron Patriot" to Rhodey when he is wearing the suit.
Aldrich Killian is the founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics and the inventor of the Extremis virus, which becomes a worldwide threat in "Iron Man 3." Killian has several disabilities, which he has never been able to accept. He attempts to overcome these limitations with sheer determination. Many people find Killian to be irritating and obnoxious due to his single-minded tenacity. He is also highly intelligent, which provides him with the capacity for change.
Pearce stated that he took the role because he was interested in experimental roles and did not want to play a superhero. He added that filming "The Time Machine" was an extremely grueling experience for him because he was the star of that film. Pearce also said that small roles such as Aldrich Killian are a challenge because the actor playing them is not living with the character every day.
Dr. Maya Hansen is a botanist who also helped develop the Extremis virus. Hall stated that she took this role because it was a strong female character who was beyond her realm of experience. She added that "Iron Man 3" was her first major feature film and that the making of this film was new to her because it involved long periods of inactivity followed by frantic action. Hall contrasted this style of filmmaking with her previous experiences in independent films and small studio films, in which actors perform almost continuously.
Trevor Cassidy is a British actor recruited by Killian in "Iron Man 3" to play the Mandarin, an international terrorist who is the leader of The Ten Rings. The Mandarin is the most well-known villain in the "Iron Man" comics, primarily because he is the oldest. The Mandarin doesn't have a definitive story line in these comics, so the producers needed an original idea to introduce this character to the "Iron Man" films. Feige reported that they originally planned for the Mandarin to appear in the first film but later decided this story line would require too much time. Mandarin is Chinese in the comics but will be Caucasian in the film to avoid a stereotypical Asian villain, according to Black.
Mandarin will be a character obsessed with Sun Tzu, a warrior in ancient China who is renowned for his philosophy of warfare. Mandarin will also wear a cloak covered with symbols of Chinese culture, especially dragons. Colonel Kurtz from the 1979 war epic "Apocalypse Now" was also a strong influence on the character of Mandarin, according to Black. Kingsley said that he was cast for the role while he was filming "Ender's Game," a science-fiction film scheduled for release in 2013. Kingsley added that he was looking forward to joining the other crew members and discussing the direction in which to take Mandarin.About the Author: As a long time fan of Hollywood I was able to carve out the perfect career in the entertainment industry by writing initially for celebrity news sites and am now the owner of MovieRoomReviews.com!
Comic Images, the manufacturer of Marvel, Star Wars and Moshi Monsters plush, announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Vamplet, LLC to produce a full line of designer plush characters from The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania.
The line will feature a horribly adorable cast of fashionable un-human babies and their pets including a Vampire, Zombie, Werewolf and Yeti, all wearing stylish diapers and trendy hair accessories.
The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania
“The Vamplets’ Nightmare Nursery is darkly humorous and different than anything we’ve seen in the market,” said Alan Gordon, President of Comic Images. “Each of these seemingly innocent babies is equipped with a special power that will cause chaos to their unsuspecting human owners."
“We are thrilled to have Comic Images producing The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania designer plush line,” said Carlin West of CWA, licensing agency for Vamplet, LLC. “Comic Images is a high quality plush manufacturer that will provide fans with the attention to detail they have come to expect from Vamplets.”
About Vamplet, LLC- Vamplet, LLC is the licensor of a line of un-human babies and pets from The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania, as imagined by conceptual artist and product designer Gayle Middleton. For the most up-to-date information from Gloomvania visit the Vamplets Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Vamplet
About Comic Images- Comic Images, established in 1984, is a leading manufacturer of uniquely designed Plush products with distribution to a range of mass and specialty outlets.
The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania babies and pets will debut in July at San Diego Comicon. Visit http://www.shop.vamplets.com
to meet them up close.