Trading Views: Iron Man - Demon In A Bottle
I love comics from the late 70's/early 80's. The traditional within-the-panel style is easily abandoned by artists who don't know how to tell a story. Also, the political concerns of the time seem so far away from us now that it's like a history lesson. But more than anything... I love the fashion! The flared collars, cuffs & trousers along with the big hair! I just really love it!
I've never been a big Iron Man fan, but I do love the old alcoholic story. Mind you, it's easier to poke fun at it than take it seriously. But it's still a landmark in Iron Man's life.
I liked the Romita Jr. was better there!
I mean I don't like Romita's art now... for some reason it bugs me a lot!
If you wouldn't have told me that was Romita's art I wouldn't have noticed... So I know Tony said Buy it and Babs said Bury it, but can somebody let me borrow it?
Not really fair calling it cliche.
I mean you can't really call Superman cliche because he was one of the first, and while this isn't a 1940's comic it was still in the beginning of the silver age, and comics like this helped defined the silver age.
"Chinese Gorilla"?? Aren't gorillas primarily from Africa? I think Namor would probably need money. What would he pay with, clams? I'm not sure what the exchange rate is with the Atlantian currency.
There is a lot of comparisons made with modern comics.
Though, I do think Babs needs to copyright that term, "Fashion Recycles".
I feel sorry for people who can't appreciate the styles of the earlier artists. It's like saying "Michelangelo was an okay painter", just because he was decades before Warhol . You really have to know the history of any medium to understand it completely and make appropriate judgments. I know that it took me awhile to appreciate the artists before my generation (Kirby, Kane, Eisner, etc.). Nowadays I find it sad that some modern artists lean so heavily on photoshop techniques. I think those artists are really missing the point of what "comic art" really is. Layton and Romita Jr's art on this run, was actually some of the better art being produced this time. Along with Miller, Byrne, Perez, etc., they were the top of the heap of their time, not just the 'average artist'.
I do have to commend both reviewers for honestly expressing their feelings about this trade. It seemed like Babs knew her statement was going to be somewhat unpopular, but had the guts to say it anyways. (if you read this, try checking out some original art of early artists some time...the Jack Kirby Collector is a pretty good magazine to start with)
Oh, and as sora_thekey noted...the art doesn't look much like Romita Jr's. There a couple of reasons for this; Romita Jr was somewhat new at this time and still developing his style. Also Bob Layton inked most of these stories and was very heavy handed, obliterating the pencils he inked over to create the look he wanted for the comic.
How do you bury a story that is, essentially, the blue print for the Iron Man film franchise? The Micheline/Romita Jr./Layton run on Iron Man is, arguably, the most relevant story told with the character since his introduction in Tales of Suspense. I disagree that the art looks less dynamic than the work seen in modern comics. Even at that early a stage in his career, Romita Jr. was a strong storyteller who maintained a consistent level in his work & could also meet a monthly deadline..... something virtually all of today's "hot" artists are incapable of doing. This story was a high point in the evolution of the character, & is constantly referenced by everyone who's worked on Iron Man since.
I knew most/all of you would disagree with me, but I really felt that while the concept for establishing Iron Man as an imperfect character was awesome, the book is truly dated and was (at least for me) a hard read. I really think that I didn't learn anything I did not already know about the character in this book, and I would rather spend my time reading a different graphic novel. Anyway, hope no one if offended, it is after all an opinion. Thanks for watching the review!
Was the writing cheesy? By today's standards sure but again it's not fair to view out of the context. This is pre Alan Moore, Howard Chaykin, Neil Gaiman , Frank Miller and all the other alt comic writers of the 80s that redefined quality writing and themes in comic books. Let's be fair the only writer pre 1980 that was really good was Denny O'Neil.
I think it is fair to criticise books that come after say Watchman, etc for cheesy writing but everything before 1980 really has to be read in context.
What I do completely disagree with the review is the art John Romita Jr. I have always felt that he took the style of his father's generation but did it better. The level of detail and clean lines in his work is incredible. I think the amazing thing about him as an artist as he always been created amazing art even as his style has changed radically. I honestly don't think he has ever been given the proper due.
I think someone has some issues if they took any great offense to you stating your opinion.
I'm unsure if it is all a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It just strikes me as a bit of overstating the obvious to call the book "dated". A lot of comics couldn't compare when stacking them up to a modern equivalent.
This book has something rather unique about it. This showed the decent of a hero to a chemical dependency issue. In the past, this issue always fell the to sidekick. This was showing the hero falling and how it effected those around him. If this had gone over poorly. It could of killed the book.
This was quite the gamble for the era. This wasn't something that he just 'recovered' from. Alcoholism is something that looms over Tony's head to this very day. He even made mention of it as he sat before the body of Steve Rogers after Civil War.
I remember some of the critiques you've made about more modern comics include having heroes suffering from some tragic event that is resolved or just dropped altogether. Never to be mentioned again.
Yes, the clothes were rather silly, but they were the fashions of the time. I'm one of the people who still thinks Jubilee needs to lose the yellow slicker and neon colors. She looks like a late 80s mall rat.
agreed, alot of the older stuff is dated, but I can't really put my finger on what makes it "dated". It's just the art, but something about the style of narrative in the 60's and 70's.
I dunno, some of the stuff from the era IMO was great, Jim Starlin's Death of Captain Marvel trade is one of my favorite stories. And he's one of the only characters to stay dead largely. But I had a really hard time reading the first 10 issues of Amazing Spiderman.
I do agree with you 100%, though, regarding Romita, Jr. He's a great storyteller, who has consistently refined his illustrative skills into something rather unique, &, most importantly, he keeps a deadline. You never have to wait more than the requisite 30 days for the next installment of a Romita, Jr. drawn book. He always delivers on time. In this day & age of artists delaying books for months between every issue, that fact alone should be lauded.
" @Babs: agreed, alot of the older stuff is dated, but I can't really put my finger on what makes it "dated". It's just the art, but something about the style of narrative in the 60's and 70's. "I re-read Death of Superman not too long ago and I think what makes it somehow dated is that the characters / narration are constantly stating the most obvious stuff, or over-explaining things. It's always like "Oh, I'm gonna use my X-Ray vision to see through this wall and catch of glimpse of the thieves!". It doesn't make the books inferior or anything, it's just... different.
" @Babs: What? This was an amazing book and showed that even know we all have issues and might be functioning alcoholics lol like myself we can still serve a purpose. "You think it's an amazing book because look at your avatar.
Yeah sure its a good comic. I love the story, but its so out dated. Especially the art.
I would read it maybe once ever 12 years.
So i say buy it, bury it for 12 years, read it again, bury it for 12 years and then throw it away. LOL
It's so easy to write Iron Man off as a D-Bag, but as an alcoholic myself events in ones life often lead to booze becoming a crutch, and it is hard to stop using that crutch, Iron Man is probably the most human character in comics in the sense he has major faults, and very human problems, this was probably one of the best stories of the character, and it is a must read.
" @TylerLux said:hahaha" @Babs: What? This was an amazing book and showed that even know we all have issues and might be functioning alcoholics lol like myself we can still serve a purpose. "You think it's an amazing book because look at your avatar. "
I agree with Babs. The story has ton of potential, the repulsor misfire, Justin's plot, the SHIELD's take over, Jarvis' resignation, Stark's breakdown, fall and rise from alcoholism... but the whole thing get ruined with the cheesy dialogues, the "I'm telling what I'm doing" and the constant need for old comics to focus so much on the fight with the villains of the month instead of the things that made this story arc memorable in the first place.
Personally I hope one day Marvel will do a retelling of this story arc, like they did with Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin, the same plot, except better told and putting a bigger focus on the important, the memorable events in this book.
I think this is story is great, but didn't like that it came out in the pricey hardcover. I almost think this should be collected with Armor Wars, which came directly after Demon in a Bottle (if I recall correctly, at 3am... 3AM?!), because having just pulled himself out of the bottle made his battle in Armor Wars even more important (and one of Stane's final gestures even more uncool).
As is, I'd say "borrow it," if you just want to know how hard Tony really had to fight his alcoholism. If it was collected with Armor Wars (which it's currently not) I'd say definitely "buy it," but I'd say that about Armor Wars as is, so it's not really fair. I've put off buying this trade, because I read the original issues, so I can't fairly say "buy it," but I do think it should be read by Iron Man fans.
G-man says corny and cheesy about the nostalgia, but I love the books from that time frame. Like he says, it's from the time I started to read them... late 70's thru the 80's. It's a completely different style and art... but it really appeals to me. If I find this one somewhere, I'll pick it up.
BURRY BABS. jeezzzz
all she cares about is that namor looks bad in comic, like giant white chinese gorilla.
She's young and didn't read comicbooks from 70's or 80' so she can't understand the main thing about them, charm and a little bit of magic. It is completely different style but it doesnt mean that they're cheesy!! For example golden age comics or silver age are great. Its a piece of art and culture dammit.
And last thing... even Iron Man can have problems with alkohol, come on.. he's a human too.