Kieron Gillen and Greg Land leave Uncanny X-Men for Iron Man when Marvel NOW! relaunches the Armored Avenger. The writer tells Marvel.com why he left Utopia and Asgard (Journey Into Mystery) for the high-tech, globe-trotting world of playboy genius Tony Stark.
“It just seemed like an interesting way to mix things up a bit. It wasn’t just the fact that [Tony Stark is] such a tech hero, because beneath some of the stuff I’m doing in UNCANNY X-MEN there is a modicum of science even though I often fire it through quite a few filters. This is actually the first solo hero I’ve ever written. The THOR run really doesn’t count because it was a bit strange; every book I’ve written has been a sort of team book. Loki, abstractly, is the lead [of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY] but in practice he isn’t and, on a larger scale, has gone 23 issues and hasn’t hit anybody. That’s not a traditional Marvel super hero. This is different, this is the iconic Avenger.”
When I started writing Wolverine in UNCANNY X-MEN, I called my mom once and told her what I do for a living and she said “Ohh, I fancy that Wolverine.” When you’re writing characters that members of your family fancy you’re in an interesting place and, in the case of Iron Man, that’s totally it.
When Marvel NOW! came around, I had reached a suitable place in UNCANNY X-MEN to move off of, and there were a variety of options with Iron Man [which sounded] really interesting. Of the major Marvel characters he’s the one most aligned to me philosophically, as in he’s a very straightforward person, and in terms of the heroes, there are none more forward than Tony; that’s what attracted me to [him].”
Gillen reveals his grand scale plans for Tony Stark involve the women of Tony’s complicated life.
“Oh hell yeah. It’s actually a key part of my second theme. I’m going to explore Tony and his relationship with women. I’m interested in Tony’s selection of women in everything, from his mom, to Pepper, to the random people he’s sleeping with and everything that relates to them. He’s a complicated guy and he does bad things occasionally without thinking. Well, not [without] thinking exactly but he’s not always thinking about the right thing. He’s not the distracted genius but he always has something else going on.
Matt Fraction did a brilliant take on the corporate figure and his run is a defining arc, so I’m staying away from it. Tony is still a scientist and will still be working on the armor but it’s all about him going out into the world and the whole grail-knight comparison. All the traditional corporate motifs are there but they’re not the primary drive of the book. Tony will be in the armor a lot, he’ll be going out into the world.
The first five issues will be single stories that will share [both] a defining motif and a plot but it will be Iron Man facing new instances of technology and each is basically a new villain. Each issue will illuminate something about Tony and they’re all very different. Issue two is a lot like the Bruce Lee Kung-Fu Island story; it’s like a joust, it’s all about the knight imagery, essentially going to a tournament. Issue three is like a ninja story, Tony Stark trying to be a full-on stealth master, issue four is a horror story and issue five is something a little more romantic and scientific but I’m going to keep that one under wraps.
I really want to mix it up with single issue stories because I think that quite a few people are feeling the same way.Single issues are an exciting place to go and anyone can jump on with any of the first five issues, not just issue #1. [In] each of those issues I introduce Iron Man; I say something meaningful about a character that you may know already and I want it to be accessible and to pop. That’s the thing with Greg Land: his photorealistic style really pops and it’s a glamorous book in that way.
Gillen revealed he will be using Extremis, the creation of Warren Ellis, early in his run on Iron Man. The Extremis storyline is part of the basis for Iron Man 3 currently in production.
The new Iron Man team debuts this November. Matt Fraction is ending his long run on Invincible Iron Man with Salvador Larroca to take on the Fantastic Four.
For the entire interview here’s the Marvel.com link. By Editor