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Iron Man: Legacy - Iron in the Blood

Fred Van Lente prepares to launch Tony Stark into a new ongoing series

IRON MAN: LEGACY #1 cover by Francis Tsai
By Jim Beard

There's one heroic hunk of metal that won't rust in April's showers, and that's the Invincible Iron Man. More popular than ever and eagerly anticipating his new film-due out May 7-the Golden Avenger's also looking forward to his brand-new ongoing series, IRON MAN: LEGACY, arriving this April.

We called up the specs on writer Fred Van Lente and queried him about the character's long-running legacy: What does the Iron Man armor truly mean to Tony Stark?

"That's something we delve into quite a bit in IRON MAN LEGACY, and in the arc, 'War of the Iron Men,' specifically," notes Van Lente. "Tony spent a lot of years building weapons of war without ever having experienced war personally, himself. Then, when he was forced to confront the consequences of his actions, he created the Iron Man both as a weapon to end wars, and as a way to insert himself directly into conflicts, so he'd never making the mistake of being 'detached' from the pain he was causing again. Unfortunately, as we will see in 'War of the Iron Men,' not everyone is as scrupulous as Tony."

As an official chronicler of Tony's history, Van Lente possesses a few distinct thoughts on his favorite Iron Man armors, honed through experience playing in Shellhead's lab.

"I really feel Tony Stark should be like James Bond, with a different set of gadgets in each adventure-except Stark is better than Bond, because he invents the gadgets himself," the writer enthuses. "Between LEGACY and my first go-around with Tony in MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN, I've used pretty much every version of the suit, but I'm going to be selfish and say my current favorite is what LEGACY associate editor Alejandro Abrona

IRON MAN: LEGACY #1 Movie Variant cover
dubbed the 'Gigantor' armor, which debuts in IRON MAN: LEGACY #1. Our amazing artist Steve Kurth designed it and it looks freaking awesome-and do I even need to mention it kicks major ass?

"As I think I've made clear, Steve is knocking out of the park on this one. He's designing not just multiple Iron Man armors but a wide variety of our tech, killer drone robots, the all-new Melter Army, and [more]."

One of the most fascinating aspects of the character remains his steady stream of armor modifications and augmentations over the years, a situation that endears him to his fans rather than chasing them away. Van Lente offers an opinion as to this phenomenon.

"From a design perspective-as opposed to a story one-super heroes' costumes are what make them distinctive as characters and let the readers relate to them individually," he explains. "So it's no small thing to keep Iron Man changing outfits all the time. I'd have to say it's primarily because we're always aware of the man inside the suit; Tony Stark is more compelling as a person than Iron Man is as a super hero and I think that's what makes the [comic] work."

IRON MAN: LEGACY not only provides a continuation of armor audaciousness, but one startling last page in its first issue.

IRON MAN: LEGACY #2 cover by Brandon Peterson
"In this story line, so far, Tony wears a different armor in every issue, and I don't think that changes until around #5 or so," Van Lente says. "IRON MAN: LEGACY #2's Subterranean Armor may soon beat out Gigantor Armor as my favorite, I have to admit.

"And that last page in the first issue? It's a twist the reader won't see coming, and jet propels us through the rest of the arc."


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