New Armor!

Invincible Iron Man #25

I am very excited about Invincible Iron Man #25 hitting the shelves in New York City today. In today’s issue, Tony unveils a new Iron Man armor. This is sort of like… well, imagine that Christmas fell on February 29th. That’s what it’s like for an Iron Man fan.

Of course, a new armor design ain’t as much of a big deal as it used to be. Over the years the suit has gotten much more cluttered than it used to be in the classic red-and-gold days. Which means that most artists don’t bother to draw it the same way. Add to that the fact that Marvel is liberally molding the Iron Man continuity to more closely coincide with the movie universe, and what you get is a slew of hybrid armors that look like something between the previous Marvel Universe iteration and the movie armor. So, since it’s become normal for the armor configuration to change from artist to artist and from one storyline to another, a major redesign seems much less like a sea change.

Ahhhh… the veil is drawing over my eyes and I am once again transported back to June of 1988. Now that was a dramatic armor redesign. John Romita Jr. on pencils, Bob Layton on inks, a sleek new set of red and gold hypertech long johns, and Iron Man kicking the crap out of Firepower. Heaven.

Not that other “NEW ARMOR!” issues were slouches by any stretch. Marvel tended to really bring its A-game to those stories because they knew that they would be jumping-on points for new readers. In issue 200 Tony completed his recovery from alcoholism, finished the armor that fans would later dub the “Silver Centurion”, and kicked Obadiah Stane’s ass with it. In issue 282 we first got to see the War Machine armor in action. Eight months later we saw a fundamental paradigm shift as Tony’s physical deterioration prompted the advent of the Telepresence Armor, and ten months after that Tony was back in a very sexy and athletic-looking suit. There are more such advent issues, but those are the ones I remember the best.

So today is a big day. I love the current team of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca: Fraction seems to get Tony’s inner landscape, and Larroca’s gorgeous renderings of the armor make me pee a little. So I expect this to be a banner issue. I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated a walk up to Chameleon Comics like I am now.

Which is exactly the point. I need my little rituals right now more than ever. And for each ritual that involves food, I need to throw my weight (ha) into the part that doesn’t. So today, when I walk up to the comic shop, I’m going to delight in the stroll, and the getting of the issue into my hot little hands, and the smell of the newly-printed comic pages. I may even be able to bring myself to relish the anticipation as I save the initial read-through for the train ride home. Or not.

But in any event, I am not going to Caruso’s to read issue 25 over pizza. Instead, I will savor an image that’s more delicious: I’m sitting at Caruso’s six months from now, reading issue 31 over pizza, without my belly bulging so discomfitingly into the side of the table.

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One Response to “New Armor!”

  1. Fulfilling a promise to myself « The one I feed. Says:

    […] On April 28 I said that, in six months, I’d come back to Caruso’s. The plan was for me to read issue 31 of Invincible Iron Man #31 over pizza on the day when it hit the shelves, and that my belly wouldn’t bulge against the side of the table so much on that day. Well, I’m very happy to say that I’ve fulfilled the important part of that bargain. […]

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