By TJ Dietsch
This October, the four-issue ULTIMATE COMICS IRON MAN limited series sub-titled “Demon in the Armor” will not only delve deeper into the man behind the mask, but also introduce The Mandarin into the Ultimate Universe. Helming the project will be celebrated writer Nathan Edmondson, making his Marvel debut, alongside artist Matteo Buffagni.
“I try my best to be oblivious to the preconceptions and expectations surrounding a character, lest my creativity and originality be arrested,” Edmondson explains. “With The Mandarin, we've offered something fresh, and longtime readers will have that unique opportunity to be surprised by something they know well. Readers will discover that the villain in this story is a rather significant part of the Ultimate Universe, one Tony Stark can't easily punch and blast away.”
The Ultimate version of Tony Stark proved a big draw for the writer when it came to working on this story. He appreciates the more real world view of the billionaire genius super hero and how his decisions in past issues still come back to haunt him.
|Ultimate Comics Iron Man #1 cover|
“In the Ultimate Universe, Tony's flaws are more real, more prominent, and the character is based on action/consequence dynamics with permanent and lasting effects,” he says. “Crafting an Ultimate story, in other words, is like using live ammo.”
Keeping most of the story details close to the vest, Edmondson did say that Ultimate Comics fans will definitely see familiar faces as well as other new takes on familiar characters in addition to The Mandarin.
“While ‘Demon in the Armor’ will perhaps be a more stand-alone story than many Ultimates incarnations, it exists in the Ultimates timeline, definitely,” the writer assures. “A few familiar faces, a few new ones, and at least a couple of surprises will be in there.”
Buffagni's plate looks full thanks to Edmondson's ideas for new characters and tech, but the writer thinks his partner will nail those larger aspects as well as the more nuanced ones.
“We're in the early art stages now, with Matteo just sinking his teeth in, but fans of his work know the fluidity and strength of his art,” Edmondson says. “Matteo particularly shines in character emotion and behavior, and this is key for ‘Demon in the Armor.’ As is the case with any great comic, it's just a fine idea until a great artist makes it exciting and real.”
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