Monday, November 11, 2013


Years before Robert Downey Jr. made Iron Man and Tony Stark household names, there was one definitive portrayal of the Golden Avenger which fans held as the "iron" standard. In the late seventies, writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton arrived at Marvel and were assigned the IRON MAN series, joining incoming penciler John Romita, Jr.. Michelinie scripted while Layton inked and sometimes penciled, but both were credited as co-plotters.

I personally have little experience with this era in Shellhead's career. I first read IRON MAN regularly when the series was shunted into the "Heroes Reborn" universe in 1996 (yes, for all the derision it receives, "Heroes Reborn" really did accomplish its goal of bringing in new readers). I stuck with the series for a few years afterward, through the excellent Kurt Busiek/Sean Chen era and eventually gave up during Frank Tieri's term as writer in 2002 or so.

Via trade paperbacks, I have read some of the Michelinie/Layton run -- the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline and the famous Dr. Doom/Camelot 2-parter -- but that's it. Fortunately, to coincide with the release of IRON MAN 3 this past summer, Marvel finally saw fit to collect the full original Michelinie/Layton run in its entirety in a handsome hardcover Omnibus volume.

I picked up the Omnibus when it was released, but it was shuffled down my reading list a bit as I caught up on some other things (many of which you've read about here). But now the time has finally come to crack the book open and read, for the first time in full, this classic status quo-setting run on the invincible armored Avenger. Thus, my very first long-term single-issue-at-a-time review project will begin Wednesday and continue every Monday and Wednesday for about the next three months.

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