The Art of Iron Man (10th anniversary edition) Review

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Titan Books has launched another amazing Marvel book, and this time it’s all about our favorite playboy billionaire philanthropist, Iron Man. This new book, The Art of Iron Man 10th Anniversary takes a glimpse into the development and production behind the hit 2008 film, Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr. Not to mention it’s the first time we see Phil Coulson in action, who has honestly become a huge part of Marvel itself.

As you would imagine this entire book is based on the original Iron Man movie that kicked off the MCU in such a powerful way. Tony Stark brought rock ‘n roll, ACDC, Black Sabbath and all those other amazing and exciting bands into his world and through ours, making the Iron Man movies a spectacle that we sought for during premiere weekends. We truly must thank the original Iron Man for making the MCU as powerful as it is today, because without the humor and snarky Stark, we wouldn’t be seeing Captain Marvel very soon.

Within the Book

Anyways, this book is chock full of Iron Man knowledge and memorabilia. There are design sketches and throwbacks to the original Iron Man comic book series, drawn up by Don Heck and Jack Kirby. as an example, we have a look at the comic book sequence from Tales of Suspense #39, that debuted during March 1963.

Art by Don Heck & Jack Kirby, from Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)

“Conceived by Stan Lee and his stable mates of Silver Age innovation at the height of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union, Iron Man is still going strong in today’s marketplace – stronger than ever, in fact. And after 45 years of continuous publication, one of the favorite sons of comics fandom has finally earned the adoration of the masses he so richly deserves”

Making the Movie

Final Mark I Armor (Stan Winston Studio)

One of the intricate points of Iron Man is when he busts out and makes the Mark I suit out of scraps in the cave he was kidnapped in. Stan Winston Studios created the suit, that was to be used on set. Ryan Meinerding of Marvel Studios has the perfect explanation for the Mark I suit:

“The Mark I armor is the culmination of Tony Stark’s dogged refusal to give up under the duress of captivity and with his heart tied to a car battery. The design idea was to go for simplicity. It was all based on the reality of having to build it in the Cave, using the Stark technology being stockpiled by the terrorists. Bits and pieces of his weapons were to be visible in the design” – Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding

Obadiah Stane

For those of who who haven’t seen the Iron Man film, the below spoiler box is about Obadiah Stane and heavy spoilers. Also it’s 2018 and it’s been 10 years; go watch the film.

Obadiah Stane

The villain in the original Iron Man movie is Tony’s business partner and his deceased father’s friend, Obadiah Stane. This beautiful sketch by Meinerding shows the thought for Obadiah and the giant suit, Iron Monger, and then we see Jeff Bridges who portrayed the character getting into his own suit for filming.

“At this point, we had Iron Monger designed but we didn’t know who was going to be inside of it. Throughout the design process, it was still possible it was going to be the Mandarin inside. I did this illustration to give to Jeff Bridges, the suggestion being, ‘You can get away with being inside the suit, and still look heroic and cool.'” – Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding

Tony’s suit was another huge development for Marvel, because how would he get physically in and out of it. Phil Saunders developed extensive storyboards for how Tony’s robots would aid in getting the suit off him.

“The big mandate here was to try and do as much as possible without actually having to have the actor involved. Robert Downey, Jr. had moved on to another film and to bring him back was going to be very difficult. A lot of this sequence was based on creating shots that hid his face so we could use a stunt double, or working in a lot of detailed insert shots to focus on smaller events.” – Phil Saunders, Concept Artist

Arc Reactor Movie Still

Lastly for our review we take a look at the arc reactor that shot off the whole film. This beauty is what inspired Tony to create his power source, and what made Obadiah so greedy. In this photo we have what the actors saw, without all the pretty swirling lights and giant explosion in the end. Movie magic.

Bonus Art Print

Bonus Art Print Signed by Ryan Meinerding

Included with this gorgeous 10th anniversary edition is an art print signed by the vision behind the Iron Man creativity, Ryan Meinerding. This was a huge surprise because the description doesn’t stay art print included, but it’s still gorgeous!

My Thoughts

I very much enjoyed learning more extensively about the creativity that went behind the movie production of Iron Man. Going off of a comic book can be very stressful because not only did they have to make this movie magic with special effects and work with numerous actors who have their own schedules, but picking specific incidences from an entire comic series gives many options. I think the art in this book, and the information on how they came to their decisions is perfect for any fan of Iron Man or Marvel. I myself look back upon the original Iron Man movie as stepping stone into the Marvel universe though I did not read comic books growing up. For me, the movies are what I live for.

You can grab your own official copy of The Art of Iron Man 10th Anniversary Edition directly from Titan Books, that points you towards a local distributor.

Good

  • Great Detail on Sketching and Sequencing
  • Background Images on Filming and Production
  • Bonus Surprise Signed Art-Print

Bad

  • Would Have Loved Actor Section for Thoughts on Filming
9.3

Amazing

Sequencing/Sketching Detail - 10
Background Information - 9.2
Connection to Movie (10 Years Later) - 10
Flow of Book/Length - 8.1
An avid gamer, journalist, literary reviewer, and lover of all things Marvel; wrapped in a colorful hair-do.
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