- 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 (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ultimate Iron Man, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Hardcover – February 24, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Andy Kubert's artwork is as always, quite good, and in this case is the book's only saving grace. It would have been nice if he had managed to finish the entire series, but Mark Bagley does a decent job on the book's closing chapter.
I suppose I was going to be disappointed with an Ultimate Marvel book eventually, I just wish it wasn't Ultimate Iron Man.
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)
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".