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Ultimate Iron Man, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Hardcover – February 24, 2006

2.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (February 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078512151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785121510
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,645,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Marvel's Ultimate line, and Iron Man is one of my all-time favorite characters, so when I heard about the Ultimate Iron Man limited series I was more than a little excited. After seeing how well Tony Stark's character was handled in the Ultimates, I was looking forward to seeing him in the spotlight here.

Marvel pulled off quite the coup in getting bestselling sci-fi author Orson Scott Card to write this series. Unfortunately it doesn't really pay off. I'm not familiar with Card's previous work, but he seems ill-suited to this particular task. I'll try not to give too much away here, but some of the plot points are just not right for Iron Man. Everyone can accept Tony Stark the boy genius. But Tony Stark the blue-skinned science mutant with weird powers? That is not what Iron Man is all about. A big part of Iron Man's appeal is that he had no superpowers. He used his intellect to create the Iron Man armor and hold his own among gods, mutants, and other super-heroes.

The story had some good points. The Stark/Stane corporate rivalry was handled well, and the secret government school for science prodigies (the same one from Ultimate Fantastic Four I assume) was a good setting for the young Tony Stark. I just wish it was explored a bit more. The dialogue between characters is awkward, and the supporting cast never seems to gel, especially compared to the other Ultimate books.

I'm sure Card is a good writer, but I think his talents would have been better utilized elsewhere (perhaps in the regular Marvel Universe). There is a certain standard in the Ultimate line established by writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, and Warren Ellis, and Orson Scott Card just doesn't live up to that standard.
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Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I found reading this book to be a bit of a chore. The first volume of "Ultimate Iron Man" didn't win me over, but I was willing to follow up and see where the story went, and now I think I'm done.

UIM is probably the weakest book so far in Marvel's "Ultimate" universe -- the big differences between this an the regular Iron Man are that this Tony Stark is a kid (maybe 20 years old), that he personally has a super healing factor (ala Wolverine, but not as fast) and is semi-unkillable as a result and that the book just isn't that interesting. This volume's subplot -- of inventor Tony Stark being manipulated by a mysterious, menacing government agency into using his super-tech in their gruesome fight against Middle Eastern terrorism -- was tiresome and repetitive. Iron Man fans have been there, done that, and seen it done much better about a bazillion times before. Mostly, this book just never hits a good rhythm -- the pacing seems clunky and awkward and the dialog and plot are fairly mediocre. Can't say as I'm all that impressed with Orson Scott Card, the sci-fi author who was brought in as a celebrity scriptwriter for this series...

One particularly glaring point came when Card posited that the bad guy's design for a nuclear weapon would not work because the half-life of plutonium would render the device inert within a month. Since the actual half-life of plutonium-239 is 24,100 years, it's hard to see why this would be the case. (Plutonium-240 is much more volatile, but is not used for weapons production for this reason.) Anyway, the book's science seems to be as weak as its overall presentation; can't say as I was impressed. (Axton)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[...] I really looked forward to this storyline, hoping that it would have the same kind of emotional pull and realism (as real as comics can be anyway) of other Ultimate lines such as The Ultimates and Ultimate Spider-Man. While I'm not disappointed in the Iron Man storyline, I'm not exactly thrilled either. I agree - the story moves WAY too fast. That's my biggest gripe - granted its a comic book, but exposition and character development does count for something. Spend a page or two developing these characters more - it can't hurt. I learned more about Iron Man and Tony Stark by reading the one page dossier at the end of the book than I did by reading the comics!

What I did like about the book was the explanation behind the development of the armor in the first place. I can only imagine how tough the premise has to be - why would a billionaire playboy develop a suit of killer armor? I'm ok with the explanation and rationale here. Its a little freaky, but it works. I also like the fact that Rhodey is introduced so early and that he's not just a gung-ho, "T.C." type of character, a la the original Iron Man series. He's a smart kid with a lot of potential but seems to have a bit of a temper problem. That's a good mix! But again, more development would be nice.

Overall, not bad - but not the best either. I'm sure things will develop nicely as time goes by, so I'm not too worried about IM. I'm just glad the armor ends up looking like it does with the Ulitimates and not at the end of this book. Looks too much like the "Iron Giant".

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Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong, Orson Scott Card is an exceptional writer -- in addition to the Ender series, his book "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy" is incredible. But I think he was ill-suited to write this particular piece. He seemed to make all the same mistakes Ang Lee made on the Hulk movie -- turning the Story of Tony Stark into a kind of S-F greek tragedy. Now, admittedly, Iron Man has never been one of my favorite characters (and my opinion of him has dropped even further since this Civil War debacle), and his sixties origin is a product of its time; but in today's political climate, I think something comparable could be worked out if a writer wanted to update it (I understand an Iron Man movie is soon due out which also abandons his traditional Viet-Nam origin). The bottom line is, I felt this book just missed the point. The Iron Man armor in an action situation doesn't show up until the last few pages and then, worst of all, the story ends right in the middle. I am unsure a continuation is forthcoming. Nor am I sure Iron Man fans would care if it was.
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