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Iron Man: The Gauntlet Hardcover – October 25, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Readers familiar with the Marvel Universe know all about Tony Stark and his campaign to redeem the destructive legacy of Stark Industries, more often than not with the use of the Iron Man suit. While under his father's leadership, Stark Industries designed the most creative and destructive weapons in the world, and his dad was rather cynical about the use of technology. In this novel, written by the author of the "Artemis Fowl" books, these themes are never far from the forefront. Saoirse Tory, a young computer genius, tricks Tony, hoping to force him to save her sister, who she believes is being held captive. Unfortunately, one of Iron Man's many nemeses, the Mandarin, is waiting in the wings. Middle school readers, especially those who are fans of the superhero genre, will enjoy the action and changes of fortune as Tony fights to thwart the Mandarin's plans. The characters are well-developed; even the bad guys have interesting personalities. In the end, readers see how Tony has turned his father's cynicism on its head with a more hopeful application of Stark technology. VERDICT A solid addition to larger collections where Marvel fans abound.—Matthew Forster, Big Words, Clarkston, MI
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There's no shortage of danger, action, snark, or trouble for that matter, in this book. What fans love about Marvel's Iron Man, spring to life within the pages of this book. It is incredibly easy to mentally picture everything that is going on, while reading the book. It's like reading an Iron Man movie in book form.
I really enjoyed the over all story arc for this book. Readers will see Tony Stark's struggle to be accepted by his father as a young boy, to the man he becomes, what drove me to become Iron Man, to seeing him fix the errors of his thinking, and his creations. I've always been a fan of Iron Man, (though I may like Captain America a little bit more in the movies), and I really loved the Iron Man I got to know in this book.
While this book is about the fan favorite Iron Man character, this story is a whole new story for young Marvel fans to enjoy! This is a fantastic book for Marvel fans of ALL ages to enjoy. I don't think anyone could have written this book better than Eoin Colfer. I'm hoping we'll get more Iron Man books from Colfer! This one is definitely worth picking up!
So what's the problem? Colfer is writing for 8-12 year olds when really it would be wiser to take aim at a YA audience. The writing is also far too in-jokey with too many references and winks and nods. Half of the novel is even set in the fictional prison on Little Saltee, the main setting of Airman, which was itself later connected to the universe of WARP. So, are we supposed to believe that the Marvel Universe is shared with Airman and WARP? This is too much. Colfer should have expanded this story beyond his native Ireland. He also needed to dial back his irreverence a little bit as I found myself getting quite disinterested towards the end of this rather short novel.
Colfer obviously works best when he's running off his own feisty imagination. When he's working for a paycheck, as Iron Man: The Gauntlet most certainly feels, you can't help but shake the notion that he's just tagging a superfluous punchline on the end of someone else's joke.