Bare-Chested Tony Stark Wrestling a Bear
February 25, 2013
Review by From the Booth‘s own KEN
A few years back, Marvel created noir miniseries for their most popular characters. At the time, I picked up Wolverine and Punisher both of which were not that great. Having not had a great experience, I forgot all about the noir stuff until I was perusing the aisles of Captain Blue Hen when Scott Snyder’s name popped out at me from the cover of this title.
Scott Snyder has had recent success writing a little book called “Batman” for DC and since I like his work, I decided to give the noir universe one last try. Manuel Garcia is a prolific artist but I think the best thing he ever did was probably the Mystique series that was written by Brian K. Vaughan.
In this incarnation, Tony Stark is a playboy adventurer and the subject of a men’s adventure magazine that’s in the vein of real (and crazy) old-timey men’s magazines like Real Men and Stag. Stark travels the globe in search of mythological treasures like the Fountain of Youth and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. His latest adventure takes him in search of the Orchalin Trident of Atlantis which he believes could cure him of a fatal disease which requires his heart to be charged with electricity periodically.
It’s not long before Stark’s adventure-seeking entourage is confronted by Baron Zemo and his Nazi forces which want the trident for their own purposes. Fortunately, Stark’s father had built some mechanized Nazi-fighting armor and steam punk shenanigans ensue.
The book doesn’t actually have any noir elements and is much more influenced by the pulp adventure comics that preceded superhero ones. That’s not to say that it was a disappointment. Snyder does a great job of taking fun story elements and combining them with slightly different takes on familiar characters. Tony Stark also seems superfluous as a stand in for Indiana Jones. So other than the fact that the book isn’t noir and not really Iron Man centric (so therefore, hilariously mis-titled) it’s a really fun read.