Fanart Friday returns, armed with superior tech. Last week, we started April's color theme with characters that embody the color red, but this week we're taking a break to celebrate the release of Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, the latest Marvel/Madhouse anime production! Of course, that means we'll be checking out fanart of the friends and enemies of genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, otherwise known as Shellhead the Invincible Iron Man!
As one of the Avengers' "Big Three," Tony's always been a cornerstone Marvel character, but ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe was kickstarted with 2008's Iron Man, he's become one of the most popular comic book characters around the world. Pour yourself a drink--just like Tony would--and let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
One thing that surprises me about the recent movies is how they've basically built up Pepper Potts as Tony's steady girlfriend. That was so far back in terms of the comics (she was mainly involved with Happy Hogan, the bodyguard/driver played by Jon Favreau in the movies) that it's basically ancient history to me.
As one of the key villains of Iron Man 2, Whiplash is also very different from his comics counterpart. Originally named Blacklash, Mark Scarlotti was a mob enforcer who was regularly commissioned to kill Iron Man. He, uh... died horribly during a really stupid story arc where Tony's armor came to life. In the movies (and now in the comics), Whiplash is a Russian tech genius who creates his own armor, with the goal of killing Iron Man to avenge his father.
by Adam Withers
Even with all the crap he has to regularly deal with, Tony is first and foremost an Avenger. As one of the founding members of the team, it's rare to find an Avengers roster that doesn't have Iron Man among its ranks.
Tony's best friend is former Marine Lieutenant James "Rhodey" Rhodes (why is it that in movies, everybody's in the Air Force?), who's proven his superhero chops time and time again as the heavily-armed War Machine. Iron Man is nice--he'll just blast you with energy weaponry. Rhodey will fill your ass full of lead.
One Marvel villain that probably won't make it to the movies is the gargantuan dragon Fin Fang Foom, a Godzilla-sized threat that normally can't be beaten by conventional means. Foom isn't exactly an Iron Man-specific villain, but he was given plenty of focus in the '90s Iron Man cartoon that ran alongside The Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four.
Iron Man-specific villains can get kinda lame, though... much as I love M.O.D.O.K.--the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing--he's just a giant face with weapons attached. Then you have dorks like the Grey Gargoyle and the aforementioned Blacklash, and you wonder why they send these losers against a super-genius in a flying suit of armor that gives gods a hard time in fights. All that aside, you should still read M.O.D.O.K.'s 11--it's really good!
"But what's Morrigan doing here," you ask? Well, in the opening of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Morrigan gets to face off against Iron Man, which led to a lot of fanart featuring both of them. You know Tony was all into that life-stealing succubus-ness.
Because for real, Tony loves the ladies. He's hit on everybody from Mary Jane Watson-Parker to Emma freakin' Frost (okay, that last one didn't happen quite that way) and everybody just waves it off as "Tony being Tony." Honestly, y'know who Tony Stark reminds me of sometimes? Chibodee Crockett from Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
Seriously, can you stay mad at this guy? Robert Downey, Jr. plays Tony Stark so perfectly that while he's infuriating and arrogant and horrendously irresponsible (what other superhero would get drunk and fly around in his power armor?), you still like Iron Man at the end of the day. I'm gonna be kinda sad when RDJ retires from the suit.
He wasn't always a charming hero in hot-rod red and gleaming gold, though. The original Mark I armor was a terrifying killing machine specifically built to keep Tony's heart running and break free from the terrorists holding him captive.
Things just went downhill after that, as Tony developed a severe drinking problem. Demon in a Bottle is one of the best Marvel story arcs ever in my opinion, and I'm surprised they haven't even hinted at Tony's alcoholism in any of the movies... at least not yet.
Not gonna lie--this isn't exactly fanart, but you can forgive me the occasional pro piece. It was the cover for Wizard #183, and I miss that comics magazine so much. Back on-topic, though, Tony's problems faded away for a while--he joined AA, went sober, and weathered all kinds of craziness including Professor Xavier going sorta-evil and the Avengers being disbanded. But somewhere in all of that, he turned into kind of a jerk, and was one of the major instigators of Marvel's Civil War event, where he spearheaded the Superhuman Registration Act. Yeah, that didn't really win him any friends.
Civil War made everything kind of crazy in the Marvel Universe, with Spider-Man siding with Tony on the Registration Act, and getting his own StarkTech "Iron Spider" armor. At least to me, it feels kinda wrong having the normally "street-level" Spider-Man, who survives more on his wits and creativity than his powers, armed to the teeth with a crazy Stark suit. Thankfully, Marvel writers and editors also felt the same way.
Out of all the fights I'm hoping to see on the big screen, I really, really want to see Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor put through its paces against the Green Goliath. If trailers are any indication, we're getting our first look at the movie version of the Hulkbuster armor in Iron Man 3!
But the real attraction of Iron Man 3--at least to me--is the Mandarin, Iron Man's archenemy who was only hinted at in the first movie. The Mandarin has been depicted as a decrepit old man and as a Chinese Tony Stark (i.e. genius billionaire playboy philanthropist), but one thing is always consistent: the Ten Rings of Power that he wields, each one granting him different energy projection abilities. Crazy how a guy with magical bling can kick the crap out of a dude in power armor, huh?
Then again, it's kind of hard to argue with how handy Tony's Repulsors are. You'd have to be pretty hardy to even stay conscious after taking a direct hit with one, and they make for a cool and stylish signature attack.
And then if worse comes to worst, Tony will just bring his friends along. When a genius in a lethal suit of armor, the greatest think-on-your-feet tactical mind on Earth, and a superpowered god with several lifetimes' worth of combat training tell villains to back down, I wonder why the hell anybody dares to cross the line.
Kinda nice seeing the Avengers relaxing instead of going through hell. Who'da thought that Tony would be the Hulk's little teddy bear?
And that's all for this week! Do you think Iron Man: Rise of Technovore will help revive Marvel anime? Who here is waiting with baited breath for Iron Man 3? Or are there other Marvel movies you're anticipating more? (For the record, I'm waiting for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) True Believers, which characters from Iron Man's long history are the most memorable?
Fanart Friday returns next week to its regularly-scheduled programming and our COLORS theme, with next week's installment focusing on the color BLUE! Which characters do you think best embody the color that covers 75% of our planet? Don't forget, we always welcome your art, regardless of your skill level or experience, so just PM me a link to your work if you want to be included in a future installment!
Thanks again for checking out Fanart Friday! Have a great weekend, and we hope you drop by next time!