Iron Man Demon in a Bottle TP NM Movie Storyline David Michelinie Bob Layton John Romita Jr.


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Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle TP by David Michelinie (Author), Bob Layton (Illustrator), John Romita Jr. (Illustrator), Carmine Infantino (Illustrator). Iron Man faces his most untouchable foe in criminal industrialist Justin Hammer and his literal army of super-villains! But can the Armored Avenger overcome an even more implacable personal demon, invulnerable to technology or wealth? Guest-starring Ant-Man and the Sub-Mariner! Collects Iron Man #120-128. By the time these issues were originally published, Iron Man had been around for nearly 15 years, but for all his popularity– sharing a book with Captain America in the 1960s, moving to his own title, and playing a major role in the Marvel title The Avengers– he’d never quite made a mark as a character the way other heroes of the Marvel-verse had. Simply put, he felt more like a concept– take a James Bond-like playboy named Tony Stark and merge him with the idea of the Knight in Shining Armor– than a fully-fleshed out idea. It’s a neat concept, but one that a long string of very talented writers and artists failed to develop. Even literally giving Iron Man a new heart– to replace the shrapnel-damaged ticker that had spurred the invention of his life-giving armor in the first place– failed to pump new blood into the character. He seemed destined to remain a second-tier figure, fun and visually striking, but lacking the pathos of such landmark heroes as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. In 1978, that all changed. Writer/co-plotter David Michelinie and Artist/co-plotter Bob Layton have stated in numerous interviews that they see themselves as craftsmen at the service of the characters, and that they want readers to become absorbed in the storylines, rather than thinking about the creators behind the scenes. Fine, but their own landmark work on this title belies that modesty. Simply put, what was needed was not a new heart, or new armor, or a big-time supervillain, but two artists alert to the possibilities buried within the title, and especially the title character. For all intents and purposes, they re-invented Tony Stark/Iron Man, and gave Marvel a whole new hero to play with. M&L’s solution to the riddle that had bedeviled even Stan Lee was remarkably simple: what if we really took this guy seriously, and tried to tell some realistic stories about him? What if we made him a real character– funny, fleshed-out, full of strengths and ego and very deep flaws– and tested his grace under pressure? What if we surrounded him with a top-notch supporting cast? What if we gave him a real girlfriend, instead of the Harlequin robots that had populated the book in the past? What if we really explored what it meant to be a Cold Warrior, to think about the ethics and unforseen consequences of your actions and inventions? In other words, what if we emphasized the “man” in the title, rather than the “iron”?

Collects Iron Man #120-128. Near mint condition.