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Pulp Corner: Iron Man Noir

A few years ago, Marvel introduced a line of noir stories taking place outside of current Marvel continuity. Most of these were dark gritty 1940’s reimaginings of popular characters like Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Punisher and even the X-Men. Iron Man Noir decided to take a different approach and lean more heavily on pulp aesthetic rather than noir and honestly, it’s a much better book because of it.

Iron Man Noir cover

Released in 2010 as a 4 issue miniseries it contains some of the first comic book work of famed Batman scribe, Scott Snyder. Tony Stark is transformed into a Doc Savage/Indiana Jones type adventurer searching for mystical artifacts all over the world that could possibly cure his ailing heart condition. Able to finance these quests because of his vast wealth, Tony has them chronicled for a men’s adventure magazine which has made him into an international celebrity.

When our story begins, Tony and his crew consisting of James Rhodes, girlfriend and personal assistant Galetta Nefaria and Virgil Munsey, Stark’s traveling author and chronicler are deep in the jungles of Honduras in search of the Caverns of the After Life where it was believed the jade mask resides. Legend has it that everyone passing by was allowed to put the mask on and it would grant a certain few a chance to live again. After the crew faces a series of obstacles to get there only to have the rug pulled out from under them by the Nazi party and Dr. Von Strucker and Baron Zemo. The whole thing feels very much like a homage to Indiana Jones and it’s done in the best way, with loving adoration.

Iron Man Noir2

Barely escaping with their lives they return home to New York with some serious reservations about continuing the life style they’ve chosen. All that is soon only an afterthought though as something comes to Tony’s attention that would bring them on their greatest adventure to uncover Atlantis and a special object therein…

I’ve only really scratched the surface here; it’s in my best interest to not tell you anymore so that you could experience the twist and turns yourself. Rest assured being that this is Iron Man and robot armor is involved, looking very much like an updated version of the old school silver one from the 1960’s comics. With this being a reimagined past there are many interesting twists on Iron Man from the regular Marvel Universe.

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Manuel Garcia is the featured artist on these four issues and while I wasn’t familiar with his work prior to this but he nails the vibe this book is shooting for perfectly. I’m particularly intrigued by the author Scott Snyder who is mostly known for his darker work on Batman. This really opens up a side to him that I wouldn’t have associated with him and it fits suprisingly well.

Iron Man Noir is an excellent reimagining that works. I wish we could see more stories set in this universe. Filled with jungle temples, blood sacrifices, mystical artifacts, Nazis, castles and blimps it’s a real pulp lovers dream.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on September 10, 2013, in COMICS!, Features, Pulp Corner, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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