Every week, we'll tap one creator to browse Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and pick some of their favorite work from the expansive catalog. This week: IRON MAN writers Charlie and Daniel Knauf.
"Although we're extremely proud of the entire IRON MAN run, if we had to name one issue, it would be [part two] of our Civil War tie-in, issue #14. A lot of things came together and worked, and technically, it was a tough piece that carried a lot of freight.
"First of all, the Civil War issues marked a turning point for us in how hard we could push the narrative within the medium. As many fans know, this was our first foray into writing comics, and our first six issues were like Driver's Ed. By the time we hit #14, we had the confidence to really open up the throttle and push the outside of the envelope, using a number of film devices like intercutting and voice-over, while refining our transitions. It was nice to push and push hard.
"Secondly, this was our only chance to let fans see Stark's side of the story. Because of the delays, Iron Man's title was M.I.A. for much of Civil War, and that absence created an imbalance. Stark was often painted as a tool in some of the [pro registration] books, and we really wanted to tip those scales back in his favor by emphasizing his Lincolnesque traits and illustrating the personal sacrifices he was making, as well as the sheer weight of the mantle he'd assumed.
"Third, we touched on the fact that Stark is still an addict, and if there was one time in his life to fall off the wagon, Civil War had to be it. And yet he doesn't, with some help from Sue Storm.
"Finally, we were very proud of the denouement, in which we see all our heroes, each trapped in his own dark place, as Stark says a quiet prayer, seeking help, wisdom and forgiveness from God. For a scientist like Stark, a man of logic and reason, a man who has every reason not to believe in God, to actually pray spoke deeply to his loneliness and despair. The fact that the editors at Marvel understood this and didn't shy away from what might have been construed by some readers as a frivolous or controversial use of the Lord's Prayer was very, very [gutsy]."
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