By Ben Morse
Last weekend, millions of people went, saw and loved every minute of the cinematic experience called "Iron Man"
—and if you haven't done the same, do it now
But not just fans of film and fun turned out for the opening of "Iron Man," so did some of your favorite Marvel creators, so we reached out and asked what they thought of the Armored Avenger's big screen debut.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
MARK WAID (upcoming writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
Perfect. Note-perfect. The best Marvel movie yet. Robert Downey, Jr. is the single best-cast super hero since Christopher Reeve as Superman, and the humor and humanity he brings to the role of the cool exec with the heart of steel is just remarkable. And on top of all that, the screenplay has one of the best last lines ever.
REGGIE HUDLIN (writer of BLACK PANTHER):
I have to see it again. I actually wanted to see it again right after seeing it, but to properly rank it, I need to see it again. To say it is one of the two best films based on a super hero comic book is a safe designation. Best acting ensemble ever in a super hero film. Robert Downey Jr., of course, but Jeff Bridges, who is always great, is so wonderful here. Gwyneth Paltrow is perfectly cast, and of course my man Terence Howard—I can't wait to see him with the armor on!
An amazing debut for Marvel Studios, a triumph for Jon Favreau and the writers, the effects team, and for Hollywood. The sequel can't come soon enough.
GERRY CONWAY (former writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
In my mind, there have been only a handful of really successful super hero movie adaptations. The rest fall into the categories of either "nice try" or "what were you thinking?" But even the best movies have left me with the feeling that they were, well, patched together. By that I mean, there's usually a clear transition from traditional movie making—building character, structuring a story, designing a dramatic arc—to comic book movie making—introducing the super-powers, introducing the costume, introducing the "first night" of action, introducing the super bad guy, etc.
"Iron Man," on the other hand, feels like the first super hero movie I've seen where the transition from traditional movie to super hero movie is so seamless it is, for all practical purposes, invisible. "Iron Man" works as a movie, period. Sure, it's about a guy who builds a red and gold metal suit and fights another guy in a bigger metal suit, but that's like saying "The Maltese Falcon" is about a detective who unravels the mystery of a missing onyx bird. Okay, "Iron Man" may be good, but I admit it's not in [the same league as] "The Maltese Falcon," but you get my point. It's a genre film that somehow lifts itself out of the genre and is a genuine, legitimate story, first and foremost.
What can I say, I liked it. [For more from Gerry, check out his official blog]
ROBERT KIRKMAN (upcoming writer of DESTROYER):
"Iron Man" is nearly flawless. It has none of the little bits you have to excuse in most superhero movies. Pepper doesn't get abducted, Tony's helmet doesn't fall off in every scene, there aren't multiple villains who "team-up," it's simply a marvelous
movie. With Marvel Studios in charge of the movie, you get a sense that the lunatics are running
—and it makes for better movies. "Iron Man" is the comic book movie people have been waiting for a long, long
time. It's finally here and it's awesome. I'm not even going to mention the spectacular job everyone from Downey Jr. all the way down to Stan Lee did on screen—we've heard about that enough. The writing and directing were outstanding too, but that too has been discussed non-stop. This movie has S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents...'Nuff said! Now, bring on "The Incredible Hulk"!!
JOE KELLY (upcoming writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
I loved it. "Iron Man" has renewed my faith in Hollywood's ability to shepherd our characters to the big screen. Favreau's directing chops are unquestionable, and his genius in casting Downey Jr. shows in every scene. This is the new gold standard.
ANDY SCHMIDT (upcoming writer of X-MEN: DIVIDED WE STAND):
Great movie. No qualifiers. No comparison to other "comic book" or "super hero" movies, no "if you're a comic book fan," just a great movie. Entertaining from the opening to the end, well-structured, well-plotted, and extraordinarily well-acted. Downey Jr. and Jeff Bridges elevate this movie from "fun action blockbuster" to great drama and comedy as well. I've recommended it to everyone I know, comic fan or not.
DAVID MICHELINIE (former writer of IRON MAN):
I thought Downey sold Tony Stark, and that in turn sold the movie. You believed him, so you believed all the fantastic stuff that was going on around him. The onscreen development and implementation of believable technology was also a major factor. I liked it a lot, and actually plan to spend theater bucks to see it again.
GREG HORN (cover artist of MS. MARVEL):
Well first, I thought Robert Downey Jr. was just perfection as Tony Stark. In this role he seemed unnaturally...natural. There were a lot of nay-sayers when he was first cast, but once again we see that you can't complain about a movie until you actually go to the theater and watch it.
Overall, I loved the modern look of this movie. It was fresh and I didn't feel so much like I was watching a remake of something else. Congratulations to Marvel! Your first movie is a smash!!!
JUAN DOE (cover artist of SECRET INVASION: FRONT LINE):
I thought "Iron Man" had all the ingredients for a successful movie and it didn't disappoint. For all the cool gadgets and
special effects the movie provided, the bottom line was that this was a story about a man dealing with a change of heart—pun intended—under a life and death situation. The true circumstances of how heroes are born and made. Robert Downey Jr. is now and forever will be Tony Stark.
BRIAN REED (writer of MS. MARVEL):
"Iron Man" is a heck of a solid comic book film. There's a willing suspension of disbelief that the audience needs to be convinced to agree with in any action/sci-fi/fantasy film from "Die Hard" to "Star Wars," and like the best of them, "Iron Man" says "and then this happens" and you find yourself just agreeing and going along with it. Of course
he builds a glowing electromagnet thing using only spare parts. I believe Tony has robots and a home A.I. that are intelligent enough to understand Tony, and crack wise on occasion. All of the super heroics just flow because the movie makes you believe that even the craziest things are possible.
For the Marvel Zombies out there, holy crap, the sheer number of references that were dropped to other bits of the Marvel Universe—it was staggering. I need to see the film again just to ignore what's happening in the foreground and watch the background.
Oh yeah…almost forgot. Stay till the end of the credits.
BOB LAYTON (former writer/artist of IRON MAN):
I think [Robert Downey Jr.] totally nailed the role [of Tony Stark]. I will admit that I had some reservations about him when he was first announced as the actor who would portray Tony Stark but after seeing the movie, I think he was absolutely brilliant!
I know that they changed [the] background [of Jim Rhodes] in the movie from what David [Michelinie] and I originally came up with, but Tony and Jim had the same dynamic onscreen that we gave them in the comics. Jon Favreau stayed true to the spirit of their relationship. I would have liked to find out how they became such great buddies, but I guess that's coming in the next one, eh?
[Overall] I thought it was one of the better comics-to-film adaptations. It'll be a huge boost for my boy Shellhead and his legacy. It's going to help move the character into the consciousness of the general public and not just the comic fans who have respected the character over the decades. Make room for the Armored Avenger!