The Iron Man 3 Prelude is a very meagre, disappointing release from Marvel. Im as excited for the upcoming film as anyone but this book is just a cynical cash-grab by Marvel whove put out a poor quality paperback filled with dreary material that doesnt really look to have anything to do with Iron Man 3.
The first two issues of the book are for some reason a recap of Iron Man 2. I have no idea who the audience is for these two issues as if youre reading this book then you're an Iron Man fan who's undoubtedly seen IM2 and probably own several versions of it already - a compressed comic book version of it with rushed art should be, and is, of little interest to anyone. Then the actual IM3 prelude begins but its only 2 issues and barely features Iron Man! Its got scenes that take place before, during, and after the events of The Avengers movie and focuses on Jim Rhodes aka War Machine. So we see Stark Tower being built, then the focus is on War Machine as he heads off to Asia to hunt down a terrorist organisation called the Ten Rings (which is why Rhodey didnt take part in the Battle of New York at the end of The Avengers movie) though he doesn't find out much. In fact, we as an audience already know more than he does - the Ten Rings leader is the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) so coyly hiding the villain in this comic is pointless. There isnt much revealed about IM3 that most people dont know already from all the promos - Tony and Pepper are living together, Mandarin is the villain of the story, and Tony has decided to build numerous Iron Men to increase his effectiveness. Oh and War Machine gets new armour that looks just like the old armour. Steve Kurth draws these issues and I really liked his work on Warren Ellis Ultimate Armor Wars but boy, is it messy in this book. It looks like he drew it all in a couple of days in a rush so he could move on to other, more meaningful projects. The book closes with the first issue of Extremis, the Warren Ellis/Adi Granov masterpiece from 2005. It looks like an indication of what to expect from IM3 - Tony controlling the armour psychically is partly what happens in Extremis and in the trailers - as well as giving readers a taste of what a good Iron Man book reads like. But it also feels like filler so Marvel could reach the 5 issue quota for a book. And thats the Iron Man 3 Prelude - 2 issues featuring War Machine and a pointless plot that wont affect the movie, and 3 other issues that feel tacked on. This is a terrible, cheaply put-together cash-grab of a book thats not even remotely entertaining! I wouldnt bother with this forgettable nonsense - just watch the movie instead. Marvels Iron Man 3 Prelude by Christos Gage, Will Corona Pilgrim, Steve Kurth and Ramon Rosanas is out now in paperback at your local comics shop and online at Comixology and Marvel Unlimited
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