By Kevin Mahadeo
The dark and gritty world of Marvel Noir gets a pulpy dose of iron this April with the launch the all-new four-issue limited series IRON MAN NOIR by writer Scott Snyder and artist Manuel Garcia.
"It's hard to imagine Tony Stark in armor in a noir setting," admits Snyder. "People have been kidding with me about if he's going to be in a fedora and an iron pin-stripe suit. So, one of the things that I thought would be fun is to take a slightly different tack and think a little bit more about pulp and 30's adventure stories than strict noir and hardboiled fiction, although, he certainly has his dark notes between his alcoholism and father issues."
The writer describes this version of Stark as more of a Doc Savage or Allan Quartermain adventurer type. A bit of an explorer's club playboy, Tony spends much of his time travelling the world partaking in various exploits. However, Snyder reveals a hidden motivation to the hero's high-octane lifestyle.
"He's desperate to find some way to save his own life in this story," reveals the writer. "His adventures that have taken him all over the world to all these exotic and dangerous locations essentially are fueled by his desire to cure this degenerative heart condition that he has. So, there is a sense of pathos and selfishness to the character, at least at first."
Snyder also notes that Tony finds himself struggling with his status as a public figure. As the star of a series of adventure stories in the true-life men's magazines of the time, Stark finds himself constantly in limelight; a big part of the story falls on Tony attempting to come to terms with his personal life and his public one.
"He has his own secret reason for going on these missions and reconciling what the public wants him to be and what he really is and, in the end, what he should be given the legacy of this father," he explains. "He really has
As for Iron Man's signature suit of armor, Snyder assures that artist Garcia worked long and hard to retain its refined look despite the time period of the series. The creative duo wanted to make sure they hammered in innovation without eliminating realism.
"We went back and forth with a lot of military tech that was available a couple years after when the story takes place, as Stark Industries is always on the cutting edge," recounts Snyder. "We looked at a lot of fighter jets and a lot of artillery from the start of World War II and what we tried to do was create a suit that would be reminiscent of the really sleek airplanes that were being designed during that time of the golden age of aviation. It has some surprises to it, too."
Synder hints at the appearance of a few classic Iron Man enemies, including Baron Zemo and Count Nefaria. He also points to Nefaria's daughter, Madame Masque, a former flame of Stark in regular continuity. However, he tells readers to also keep their eyes peeled for a few smaller cameos, many of which he hopes to turn to full-fledged tales one day:
"One of my favorite pages in the whole comic is a full page of [Iron Man's] wall of adventure stories covers. It's going to have things like, 'Tony Stark and the Adventure of Fin Fang Foom.' If I could take Tony on 100 more adventures, I'd love to do that."
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