Like I have mentioned in other posts, anyone who knows me, knows that I think the Ultimate universe of Marvel Comics is a sad, pathetic attempt to modernize the stories. That being said, there are a few exceptions to that rule. Ultimate Iron Man: Ultimate Collection is written by science fiction master Orson Scott Card and drawn by Andy Kubert and Pasqual Ferry.
Prior to the events of the Ultimates, these two volumes tell a very different story about Tony Stark. When he is born, he is infected with a deadly virus strain that increases his skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, but also turns his entire muscle mass into one brain, making him incredibly smart and giving him healing abilities. He is raised on the run by his father, shortly after his mother passes away in childbirth. It shows how he met James “Rhodey” Rhodes and how he became mortal enemies with Obadiah Stane, a rival intellectual mind.
The artwork is spot on and while the Ultimate Armor is a bit bizarre, the rest of the story flows with a science fiction feel to it that is more fitting to this version of the character.
If you are an Iron Man “purist,” you will not enjoy Orson Scott Card’s retooling of the comic book hero. That being said, it is a bold new take on the character. He offers him a more emotional origin and one that highlights how Tony Stark became who he is and why he became Iron Man. It is one of the few things about the Ultimates that I liked and I was pulled into Card’s clever writing. It is a shame it was retconned, but comparatively, it is superior to the NEW new origin of Ultimate Iron Man.
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and while you are at it, check out my review of Ultimate Captain America. Don’t forget to subscribe for more reviews like this one.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.
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