Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tony Stark/Iron Man's atonement (Origins of Siege)

In today's Origins of Siege, there is a series of one-page origins of the key players, including Iron Man. Fred van Lente and Salvador Larroca do a fine job recapping Tony's story, and one phrase stuck out to me: after he disavows weapons production following his time in the Middle East, "Tony still felt he had much to atone for."

As it happens, one of the chapters in my upcoming edited book, Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality (Wiley), is titled "Can Iron Man Atone for Tony Stark's Wrongs?", written by Christopher Robichaud. It begins:
As a genius superhero, a wealthy industrialist, a high-ranking government official—and, lest we forget, a man of considerable talent in having a good time—Tony Stark is seen as a paragon of American achievement and excellence. But there’s a private side to him, too, and it betrays a haunted man. On closer examination, Stark’s party-boy lifestyle reveals dispositions that border dangerously on self-destruction. His techno-geek savvy finds him much better at, and much more interested in, building gadgets than personal relationships—just ask Pepper Potts (among others). And his career in and out of his high-tech armor is a checkered one, at best. Whether it’s following the trail of shady arms deals done by Stark Industries, controlling the damage caused when Iron Man technology falls into the hands of villains, or confronting the national crisis of Captain America being assassinated under his watch, Tony Stark often finds himself trying to right the wrongs that he, inadvertently or not, helped bring about. Indeed, his ongoing campaign to address both the circumstances and the guilt stemming from his perceived failings is arguably the main motivation behind Stark’s exploits as the invincible Iron Man. No doubt, this is what makes him such a fascinating character in the Marvel Universe. So, are personal atonement and public redress achievable? Or are they outside the grasp of the invincible Iron Man?
Robichaud focuses on moral responsibility, blame, and forgiveness in this chapter, one of the best in a book that turned out even better than I'd dreamed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Terrific anaysis of Rucka and Williams III's Batwoman

I highly recommend this fantastic breakdown/analysis by Kelly Thompson of Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's Batwoman run in Detective Comics, written from both a general and feminist perspective - very enlightening and thorough.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New focus on Green Arrow and Red Arr--I mean, Arsenal

New this morning from DC's The Source - big shake-ups regarding Green Arrow and Roy Harper, who will apparently go back to the codename Arsenal after adopting the name Red Arrow in Brad Meltzer's JLA relaunch (and in deference to Kingdom Come).

I always liked Roy (theTiger Woods of the DCU - help me out, Google!), and I thought his "grown-up" identity of Arsenal was great (even though I agree with the internet poster who objected to the word "arse" being part of any superhero's name). I hope he recovers from his recent flesh wound in Justice League: Cry for Justice, and I'm looking forward to the renewed emphasis of him. (Check out Devin Grayson's Arsenal mini from 1998 for an earlier treatment.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Was "he" supposed to be in Iron Man #20?

I don't want to give anything away, but was Iron Man #20 (out today) the first appearance of a certain person of interest outside of his own venue?

SPOILERS BELOW in invisi-text (though context will probably give it away anyway):

The person of interest, of course, is Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, who shows up, with little fanfare, to help Pepper, Rhodey, Maria Hill, Black Widow, Bucky, and Thor revive Tony.

This reminds me of when Hal Jordan started showing up in various DC books, such as the Countdown to Infinite Crisis one-shot (and, IIRC, an issue of Blue Beetle featuring the Justice League) before Green Lantern: Rebirth was finished. (Barry Allen's a little different, since he officially came back during Final Crisis and only then had his very own Rebirth mini-series.)

So Jessica Jones is not Josie Maran after all?

I've loved the cover of New Avengers Annual #3 that has been online for months (and which appears here), since Jessica Jones (back in costume) distinctly (to my eyes, at least) has the face of model Josie Maran.

But when I picked up my copy today, the face had been changed to a much plainer one. (Apologies to whomever that image may have been based on.)

Might Moran's people have caught wind of this? Like my comic book guy said when I pointed it out this morning, "Is Tommy Lee Jones next?"

Bruce Wayne is back!

We knew it was coming, but finally here's the official announcement of The Return of Bruce Wayne (courtesy of USA Today and DC's The Source). It's a fantastic interview, and it sounds like Grant is going to do right by the Batman legend.