As AXIS looms and threatens to destabilize the Marvel Universe as we know it, we’re granted a glimpse of the aftermath as Tony Stark becomes SUPERIOR IRON MAN!
What adventures lie in store for Shellhead when he embarks to San Francisco? We had the chance to chat with writer Tom Taylor and artist Yildiray Cinar about their plans for everyone’s favorite Armored Avenger!
Marvel.com: This is the first book either of you have done for Marvel. What’s it like to be contributing your ideas to the fabled House of Ideas?
Tom Taylor: It’s great to take my first step into this universe but, to be handed a character like Iron Man, one of the most prominent heroes in the world right now, the step is more like a giant leap off of a building.
It’s daunting but as soon as Marvel contacted me and asked if I wanted to take on Tony Stark, I knew I couldn’t say no. I immediately went out and bought some repulsors and strapped them onto my typing hands. Just to clarify: My typing hands are the same as my regular hands. I haven’t stolen anyone else’s hands and forced them to type.
This is why we write comics. To step into the lives of the characters we love and to help shape them for a while.
Yildiray Cinar: I drew some Marvel cards years ago but drawing a book is something else. I am so excited and happy as I love Marvel characters and [have been a] huge fan for years.
Marvel.com: Iron Man has always been such a dynamic character in terms of costume design. I would say it’s safe to assume that with a new book he’ll be getting a new suit, so can you tell us anything about what we can expect to see?
Yildiray Cinar: First, I have to say that it is a privilege for me to design a new Iron Man armor. I was really excited to be working on it [and] really had fun. The new costume is more simple but flashy. We tried to catch a more sumptuous look [compared] to his other costumes. Oh, and there are some blues and it is all shiny!
Marvel.com: I hear you’re bringing back a cockier Tony Stark. Tony, even at his most subdued, has never been lacking for confidence. What caused the shift back to pre-humility attitude?
Tom Taylor: There is a big shift coming for Tony. I can’t say too much because it’s tied to AXIS, a great series that I’ve been fortunate enough to be reading as Rick Remender crafts it, but the old Tony is back. Arrogant. Cunning. Witty. Superficial. Completely self-obsessed. Superior.
After all the hits he’s taken recently, he’s building something new and golden in San Francisco. He’s taking Extremis to the citizens and he’s building a Utopia for the people and for a new Stark Industries.
Marvel.com: And speaking of men who are full of themselves, it looks like with Tony moving to San Francisco he may come into conflict with their newest resident super hero Daredevil! How do you handle writing the interaction between two supremely confident but ultimately distinct characters?
Tom Taylor: Yes. Tony Stark’s idea of Utopia isn’t everyone’s idea of perfection, and even a blind man can see the cracks in Tony’s Brave New World.
Matt Murdock and Tony are both strong-willed and so very sure of themselves. So, when you put a conflict this big between them, you don’t really write them. You just put them together on the page and see what happens. It’s…tense.
And I think what happens between them really will shock people. Everyone who knows what’s coming at the end of our second issue has certainly been shocked so far.
Marvel.com: Yildiray, coming over from DC Comics, where a lot of the cities are fictional, what’s it like to be drawing super heroes in a real world setting like San Francisco?
Yildiray Cinar: More challenging in a positive way. This means I will be using more reference. Fun times!
Marvel.com: Do you research the tech side of things when writing a book like SUPERIOR IRON MAN, or do you just have fun and let your mind go crazy without regards to real-world possibility, or somewhere in between?
Tom Taylor: Somewhere in-between. I do like to research and there are new tech elements that I’ve certainly researched for this but I’m not the most scientifically-minded guy. I was always the kid in science class who forgot if you put a hot test-tube under cold water it exploded. Either that or I was the kid in science class who liked seeing test-tubes explode.
The new suit is something we’ve not seen before though. It’s a bit of hybrid-tech. What it’s a mix of is a secret for now though. Pepper is far from pleased when she learns the truth.
Marvel.com: What’s your approach to drawing tech, especially in terms of tech that so far beyond what our own world has its approaches that realm of being akin to magic?
Yildiray Cinar: I will be trying to catch a little bit different tech for this story that relates to Tony's behavior. The visuals in my mind [are] like more organic/futuristic structures. In the end, I am trying more simple and organic look but is still hi-tech.
Marvel.com: Tony is a genius. As a writer, how do you handle characters that are ostensibly smarter than both you and the reader?
Tom Taylor: I’ve had to do this a fair amount in my career. The trick, I think, is for them to know the plot. Super-intelligences know the ending way before the reader and often before the writer. Tony Stark knows the ending of arcs I haven’t even plotted yet.
One of the best parts about the Iron Man I’m writing is that the humility is gone. He can show off again, and enjoy it.
Marvel.com: How does the long history of a character like Iron Man affect your plans to move him forward in the future?
Tom Taylor: I feel like Iron Man is a bit unique in comicdom, in that he’s a guy who isn’t so defined by what’s come in the past. There have been so many earth-shattering events, so many lost friends, battles with the bottle, battles with monsters of his own creation, and constantly fluctuating power and responsibility and he’s always looked forward. Tony is a futurist. It’s always what comes next that defines him.
Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite Iron Man design from the past?
Yildiray Cinar: I always liked the classic costume from George Tuska/Don Heck era. But every Iron Man design [is] exceptional and have their own goals design-wise. In general, they are all fun to draw.
Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite Iron Man story from the past?
Tom Taylor: It’s been great rereading Iron Man stories for this gig. I have to say I loved so much of Matt Fraction’s run. The humor, the humanity, the scale, the stakes. Re-reading Extremis was pretty amazing too. It’s not the biggest story but Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s story has shaped so much of Iron Man in comics and films today.
Marvel.com: In the movies we’ve seen Tony do both the chic suit and tie look, but also the jeans and a t-shirt. What kind of style are you giving him outside the suit?
Yildiray Cinar: I think Tony looks cool in jeans and t-shirt but we will see what he will come up with in this story later. This one is a different take.
Marvel.com: Mustache or full goatee?
Yildiray Cinar: Mustache.
Marvel.com: How has it been working with such an amazing artist as Yildiray? Did you know he was working on the book when you started scripting?
Tom Taylor: I did know that Yildiray would be on the book very early on, which has been great as he and I, and our editor, Mark Paniccia, were able to come together and shape the new suit even before I was scripting. I had Yildiray’s first pass as my desktop wallpaper to inspire me and even embedded it in the script. He really nailed it. He was born to draw this Iron Man.
Marvel.com: If Tony offered you Extremis, would you take it?
Tom Taylor: Damn. That’s a good question.
But I can see the appeal. Extremis in our story is all about perfection. Being offered that is pretty seductive. However, doing what I do, writing comics and film and television, I have to say I’m a very lucky guy. There are very few things I’d change, and Extremis can’t give me more time playing with my kids.
Although if I could be happy with less sleep; then I could see myself asking Tony to hook me up.
Yildiray Cinar: Sure. I would work faster with that. That sounds useful.
Visit our Avengers NOW! hub for the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and get set for SUPERIOR IRON MAN this October!