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Iron Man Epic Collection: Stark Wars Paperback – February 10, 2015
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- Grade Level : 4 and up
- Item Weight : 1.58 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 0785192905
- Product Dimensions : 6.63 x 0.88 x 10.13 inches
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0785192909
- Publisher : Marvel (February 10, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 8 - 12 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #738,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Yes, words can barely describe how much I'm enjoying this- this storyline is one that I mainly skipped as a kid for financial reasons, yet decades later it's become one of my all-time favorites. Obviously not everyone will like this as enthusiastically as me. I enjoy this every bit as much as other famous, single-character, Marvel titles in the 80's, like Walt Simonson's Thor , Michelinie & McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man (88-90), and even John Byrne's brief stint on The Incredible Hulk .
-Contents- this full color epic paperback combines 2 previous tpb's: Armor Wars Prologue , and Armor Wars . We also get the additional inclusion of Iron Man Annual 9, which features the female hero Stratosfire, and which wasn't included in either previous tpb's. I'm so glad they included this annual here, as it features the same creative team, and further details the Stark Enterprises vs. Roxxon story line. Extras are few- a Marvel Age article, an Armor War house add, some pin-ups & schematics.
-Story- It's Iron Man in the 80's, California style! This mainly features his silver & red armor, yet we get to see a little of his gold & red too. After Tony Stark's previous company, Stark International, was effectively destroyed, Stark rebuilds his life on the west coast with a brand new company: Stark Enterprises. Jim Rhodes is ever by his side, helping him to rebuild his life in the Golden State. We get sun, sand, and super heroics. At one point, Tony even gets a perm! :) I love everything about this new direction. Here, Iron Man is a millionaire playboy, inventor, business executive, and superhero, who has a strong moral center, yet has sometimes questionable situation ethics. Tony wants to help the world to be a better place, but his methods & reasoning at times brings him into conflict even with friends, like the west coast Avengers. As Tony lives a high-pressure life as a businessman, he also lives a high-pressure life as a superhero, and it's easy to see why he may someday snap. This brings us to the Armor Wars story, where Tony finds out some enemies may be using his technology for immoral purposes, and even costing people their lives. He sets out to reclaim or negate all technology within super-armored suits that may be somehow connected to him, from friends & enemies alike, and this brings him international attention. Is Tony right in his personal "Armor War"? Will he succeed in this questionable endeavor, or will this destroy his new life & business? We find out here!
-Highlights- Introducing Ghost! Iron Man meets a new character in issues 219-221. Powered by technology, Ghost can become either invisible or intangible, just not both at the same time. He's an interesting & deadly new enemy. Iron Man also briefly takes on Flex(!), a health crazy, muscle guy attacking a Burger King. In issue 223 Tony gets a perm & a bad guy named Force tries to become good by turning himself in at Stark Enterprises. He feels he needs to live a better life, but Beetle, Blizzard & Blacklash have something to say about it. They break him out of prison, and a fight ensues in a town built like the old west. Issues 225-231 features the Stark Wars story, and I love the explosive power on display in the desert in issues 230 & 231. It's Iron Man vs. Firepower! A fitting end to a great paperback.
-Creative team- Michelinie, Bright & Layton make an excellent team. I absolutely love everything about the artwork: pencils, inks & colors. This is 100% pure 80's greatness on display here. Michelinie & Layton had previous success on this title with John Romita Jr. a few years earlier , and now Mark Gruenwald has succeeded in bringing them back with Bright as penciler. Michelinie can't be overlooked as a creative force, since he followed up this story with an amazingly popular run as writer on Amazing Spider-Man with Todd McFarlane. Yes, Michelinie is known for more than just 1 great story line. And Layton? Certainly one of Iron Man's all-time best inkers, since Layton actually also contributes to the plotting! This is rare for an inker to do. His inks are beautifully tight & detailed, and this is especially evident in his rendering of technology. In a few issues here, he even does pencils *and* inks.
If you like 80's comics, I highly recommend checking this out. In my opinion, this is one of Shell-head's greatest, most defining story lines ever.
I love that they are complete and all in color, including, at the end of the book, some of the writer/artist comments from some of the issues, and some concept art.
Something else that I love about this is, unlike some collections, this one includes ALL of the cover art from each issue just before reading the issue.
I REALLY hope they release the Epic Collection which first introduces Silver Centurion (Iron Man issue #200) as this collection starts with issue #215. When they release it you can be certain that I will add it to my collection.
This all sets up one of the greatest Iron Man stories ever: “Stark Wars” or as it’s better known, “The Armor Wars.” When Tony discovers that his secret armor technology has been stolen and used by numerous armored villains, he feels responsible and immediately goes about taking care of them, legal channels be damned. A noble crusade but it gets out of hand as aside from villains, he also clashes with SHIELD, Nick Fury, Stingray and even Captain America who think he’s going too far destroying every vestige of the technology to ensure this doesn’t happen again. It’s an amazing story as we see Tony put through a winger big-time, his reputation both as Tony Stark and Iron Man marred as he goes on, so sure he’s doing the right thing no matter what but rocked by its consequences. A powerful bit is him calling Force in the middle of the night to demand “how many did you kill?” feeling guilty afterward but it just fuels his drive. The story gets rougher as Tony’s battles raise the stakes from breaking into the Vault to staging a one-man invasion of Russia to bad results.
It leads to a brutal battle against the foe Firepower and the debut of a fantastic new suit of armor as Tony realizes that, no matter what, Iron Man is needed. Thankfully it’s not too heavy as Michelinie keeps things light with some good humor from Tony and he and Layton do a fun job showing Tony enjoying his playboy life but still willing to do the right thing. The story also shows the bond of Tony and Rhodey, who’s there for his boss no matter what. It’s old-school ‘80’s storytelling (plenty of issues with in-story recapping of events) but it works well. Layton provides crisp clear pencils that sell the settings (everything from outer space to snowy Russia to lavish L.A.) and conflicts (few have ever drawn Iron Man flying in battle better than he has) along with some great detail to the armors and the various guest stars, the story thus refreshingly clean to follow. The final issue by Barry Windsor-Smith provides a nightmarish epilogue to the story of Tony dealing with the aftereffects of his War. In one big go, this volume is the epitome of how Iron Man should be written and why it’s the man inside, flaws and all, who remains one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.
Top reviews from other countries
It is one of the few books that I have managed to read in just a couple of long sessions, the stories are so expertly woven that I hated putting the book down.
Most of the tales revolve around Justin Hammer a competitor to the newly launched Stark Enterprises, there's action by the bucketful as Hammer attacks Stark behind the scenes whilst AIM, Spymaster and The Ghost attack in person. The Ghost in particular has Stark fearing for his safety. Although the early part of the volume is superb the later part known as Armour Wars is even better as Stark discovers that parts of his technology have been sold by Hammer to help power an array of armoured felons leading Iron Man to go on the warpath across the globe to remove any trace of Stark's technology, starting with Stilt Man, The Controller and the Raiders as well as traditional foes like Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, The Beetle however along the way he also confronts Government agents like Stingray, SHIELD, and in a reverse of the more recent Civil War scenario Captain America, only this time the Captain is fighting for the Government and Iron Man is working outside the system. At the height of the Armour Wars story The Avengers also appear to confront Iron Man.
The final story is a one off with Stark confronting his inner demons.
As with most of these collections there are a few extras at the back an article from Marvel Age magazine a few pin ups and a few brief articles written by the Editor at that time Mark Gruenwald.
I hope the Epic Collection is allowed to run its course unlike The Essential series which came to a sudden stop after just 5 issues ending at 1976, although the Essential series did have the handicap of being printed in black & white and on poor quality paper. The Epic collection is a great and reasonably priced way to catch up on all the stories I missed with the bonus of them being in full colour and printed on decent paper.
Esta magnífica edición recopila los números del título Iron Man 215 - 232 y el Anual 9. (Enero 1987 a Julio 1988)
Esta colección nos presenta la armadura roja y plateada, fue un gran avance tecnológico para Tony Stark y en cierta forma creada para restablecer su salud que la armadura rojo-amarillo estaba degradando (Referencia al MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE: IRON MAN 2). Nos presenta el previo del porque Stark decide realizar la Guerra contra superhéroes/supervillanos que de alguna manera pudieron robar partes de la tecnología de la armadura, la razón del porque es momento de que este vengador empieza a vengar al sentirse responsable por los crímenes y muertes que indirectamente había generado. Muy buenas batallas contra enemigos clásicos y la decisión de Tony de despedir a ¿Iron Man? Dentro de la Guerra de Armaduras podemos ver algo de lo que en ese momento pasaba en el título del Capitán América (Publicado por Novedades en las páginas del Asombroso Hombre Araña a mediados de los 90`s), y el porque Steve termina discutiendo con Tony, me hubiera gustado mucho que en este tomo se hubiera incluido el "Captain America 340" para saber como terminó la situación de la Boveda. También entendemos el porque lo dejamos de ver en los "Vengadores de la Costa Oeste". Para finalizar, la última gran batalla de Iron Man con la armadura rojo-plateada y el fin del vengador futurista y el regreso de las cenicas, increible la manera en que Bob Layton-David Michelinie / Mark D. Bright y la manera en que cierra el tomo con una historia de Barry-Windosr Smith, es ver una versión de Wolverine. Un tomo bastante recomendable, lo único que no me gusto, es viendo a Stark entrando a un salón de belleza a hacerse un permanente.
The stories are nearly all co-written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, and they are safe hands for ol' Shellhead to be in. They manage to balance every aspect of Tony Stark's life - the avenging superhero, the playboy dilettante, and the driven businessman. What's better, they make those aspects mesh believably and in ways that ramp in the excitement in each. The art likewise is nearly all the work of Mark D. Bright and Layton, and they have a clean, classic style that works for epic aerial dogfights as well as tense meetings in gleaming skyscrapers.
So, to the stories themselves; as the collection opens, Tony Stark is working his way back to the top, rebuilding his company and enjoying his flashy new red-and-silver suit. The first half of the book sees him facing the evil scientist collective AIM, intangible saboteur the Ghost and mysterious new heroine Stratosfire, before attempting to protect villain-turned-witness Force from Beetle, Blacklash and Blizzard. These are all exciting tales that still find time to flesh out Tony and his supporting cast, especially best friend and ex-Iron Man stand-in Rhodey.
After these short stories, though, the titular story arc (more commonly known as Armour Wars among the fandom) begins, and it is simply brilliant. When Tony discovers that his technology has been incorporated into the armour of several supervillains, he holds himself responsible for every death caused by their hands, and vows to destroy the technology - no matter the cost.
As well as seeing Iron Man thrillingly tackle bad guys such as Stilt Man, the Controller, Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man, the arc also forces the golden avenger into conflict with his friends, including Steve Rogers, as he also struggles to destroy the technology used by SHIELD and supervillain prison the Vault. We follow every internal torment of Stark as he risks friendships, his livelihood and his reputation in order to achieve his goals. It's a classic storyline.
As an epilogue to the storyline, legendary writer-artist Barry Windsor-Smith provides a typically intense issue that goes inside Tony's mind, portraying his inner turmoil is visceral, graphic style. It's the perfect end to a wonderful collection.
Extras include a preview page and full interview from Marvel Age, pinups from Marvel Fanfare, letters page commentary from Mark Gruenwald, a house ad, and the original cover art and introduction from the Armour Wars trade. It's a complete package, and one that thoroughly deserves a place on your shelf.