Avengers week continues! Here’s another member of the Avenger’s holy trinity: Iron Man. When it comes to the Avengers Captain America, Thor and Iron Man are the 3 big dogs. They’re not always all on the team at the same time but when they are that is when you know you have the real deal. Sometimes months pass where you have a team of say Iron man, Dr. Druid, Yellowjacket, Jacosta, Rage and Jack-of-Hearts and you’re just thinking why the hell am I reading about one cool character surrounded by this gang of losers? Not to say those losers can’t make for interesting characters but The Avengers book in the past has strayed a little too far from its roots as Marvel’s premiere super team a little too often. Once you’ve got the trinity together then you can pad the team with whatever other wankers you want and it’ll still make for a good read. A few years ago writer Brian Michael Bendis took a hard look at the Avengers and realized the team was comprised mostly of B-list characters who couldn’t support a title of their own so what place did they have on the Avengers. He noted that DC Comics has their Justice League which is comprised of all of their biggest and best known heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman etc. so why shouldn’t the Avengers be Marvel’s equivalent to that? He destroyed the team in a storyline called Avengers disassembled where many of the B-listers were killed including Hawkeye, Vision, Antman and Jack-of-Hearts (don’t worry, most of them are better now) Bendis then rebuilt the team from the ground up in a newly launched title called The New Avengers. This team included Capt and Iron Man and I’m sure would have included Thor had he been alive at the time. In an unorthodox move Bendis also added a couple of Marvel’s other signature characters who seemed to have no place on the Avengers, Wolverine and Spider-Man. This roster change resulted in the Avenger’s becoming Marvel’s top selling book for the first time in decades. This move worked in getting me to read the Avengers book on a regular basis which I had never done before. Bendis has remained on the book ever since and has expanded the line. I now buy a half dozen Avengers books every month, Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy and Avengers Assemble. Not to mention solo books for Cap, Iron man, Hulk, Spider-Man and a slew of other Avengers related books.
I honestly have lost track of what costume Iron Man is wearing in the books these days. When I was a kid the changing of armours was a big deal. The Silver Centurion was a personal fav of Doug and I as that was what he was wearing when we first started collecting comics. Nowadays he seems to change his armour as often as he changes his socks and they all look relatively the same to me. This figure is about a year old and is based on what he was wearing at the time. I really couldn’t tell you if this is what he still wears. He doesn’t even really wear the armour anymore in the comic books, it’s built into his body. Weird and wacky stuff. At the time when the Iron Man movie figures started coming out I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any movie related toys. I already had 4 “ figures of Iron Man in his classic armour, my favourite silver armour, the bulky Hulkbuster armour, the black stealth armour, and future armour. That seemed like plenty. Not to mention other armoured figures similar to Iron Man like War Machine, Iron Monger and Titanium Man. I really like the way Iron man looks in the movies but it wasn’t different enough for me to bother picking one up. I made my stand, no more Iron Man toys. And then this figure came out as part of the Marvel Universe line. Damn it. This figure was just to cool to pass up. It had his modern comic look which reflected the more detailed style of the movie look. It was painted bright comic book colors as opposed to the darker movie palette which I liked. All the little blue repulsor sensors placed all over his body broke up the red and gold color scheme nicely. They even painted blue sensors on his palms and on the bottoms of his feet which is a pretty nice attention to detail. I do love the more classic Iron Man looks but they do come across a little old fashioned these days. This look has the best of the new and the old and the result is perhaps the best Iron Man figure ever. 9 out of 10.