Title: Iron Man: Beneath the Armor
Author: Andy Mangels
Publisher: Del Rey
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HE LIVES! HE WALKS! HE CONQUERS!
In the age of high-tech warfare, he’s the ultimate smart weapon: man and machine combined for maximum impact. He’s Iron Man, AKA millionaire industrialist and visionary genius turned superhero Tony Stark–and he’s rocketing onto the big screen in the most eagerly anticipated new action movie of the year. Now discover everything you need to know about this sensational superhero, including
• the fascinating history of Iron Man, down through the decades, from 1960’s comic book character to twenty-first-century cinema star
• an inside-out overview of his armor’s design evolution through the years, including special powers and weapons capabilities
• a complete character breakdown of Tony Stark/Iron Man, and everyone in his universe, from Virginia “Pepper” Potts and James Rhodes/War Machine to such villains as Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Fin Fang Foom, and many more
Find out all there is to know about this classic character in the only reference that puts the pedal to the metal! – (Goodreads)
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I don’t read many nonfiction books, but when I saw this in the bargain area at the Barnes and Noble by me and with my current obsession with superheroes, especially Iron Man whom this book is about, I just had to have it. As you may know, I am relatively new to these types of comics having been almost strictly into the manga form for around ten years, so finding a book that was solely about my current favorite Marvel Hero, Tony Stark, was pretty much the happiest part of my day. I loved learning about the journey this character has taken; of the struggles and triumphs he made during his many years of publication. Now, this book only goes up to around the year 2009, so it only brushes upon the current movie line (which is the first Iron Man movie, yet to be released) and comics up to that point, but I still feel it was very informative.
It probably won’t offer anything new to those who have been following this character of the Marvel Universe for years and know all the artist, writers, and story lines; however, for people just entering (like myself, kind of) this book is a nice place to start to get some of that back history. It even goes over other characters who generally appear in the world of Iron Man or had played some sort of role in the character’s life like Pepper Potts and Kathy Dare. The book doesn’t focus so much on them (though I was decently satisfied with the info I received on them) as it does the different artist and writers who have worked on Iron Man, his villains, his armor, and his ever altering story. It was just really nice to see how Tony Stark (Iron Man) and everyone else who has worn the suit evolved and changed. As kind of a bonus, I suppose, there was a section about some of the armor mentioning when the particular suit first appeared and the logistics of it, which I must say was neat. (The Prometheum and Extremis armors were very intriguing.)
Since this book is kind of dated now, it has been a good number of years since it’s publication and many things have happened to the Iron Man character (that I know of) during the time between now and then, there is probably a more current and updated one out there. However, I do think if you are browsing a bookstore, online, a yard-sale, or wherever you may purchase your books and you come across Iron Man: Beneath the Armor and it’s not overly expensive, your interested in the rich history of this character, and your a newcomer to the mechanically superior world that Tony Stark lives in (or even if you just want a bit of a refresher), I think this is a good book to pick up and enjoy.
Rating: 4 out of 5