Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Iron Man: Extremis

Iron Man: Extremis is a "motion comic" based on Warren Ellis's Iron Man comic #1-6. A motion comic is like a hybrid between a cartoon and a comic book. The original pictures from the comic book are used and they are, for the most part, static except for small digital movements that are added. The camera is frequently in motion to enhance the feeling of movement. Voice acting and a soundtrack are also added so the viewer doesn't have to read sound effects or speech bubbles.
The art of Adi Granov is very capable, almost photo-realistic. The end result is a cartoon that in some aspects looks much richer than your average Saturday morning cartoon. But in some regards, motion comics are still in their infancy. Movements sometimes feel very two-dimensional, like an arm swinging where only the forearm pivots on one point. Talking is the worst, however, because the mouths never seem to move correctly.

The plot to this motion comic follows the comic book series almost identically. Essentially, it is a new origin story for Iron Man, reinventing him for the new millennium. The story isn't your typical superhero smash up. It focused a great amount of time on the philosophical underpinnings of Iron Man. Tony is confronted with the fact that his weapons have killed innocent children and asked to rectify that with his Iron Man heroics. Tony sets off on a personal quest to prove that he's more than just an arms dealer. He tries to do so by creating a faster and more advanced Iron Man. This makes me says, "huh?" Ultimately, I think the story fails to deliver on the high-minded tenets it establishes itself on. In the end, Stark is still a man in a suit of technological armor fighting bad guys.

These motion comics are definitely not for kids! The action sequences are graphic and full of blood. I did take issue with the revisionist history, claiming that Iron Man had to have killed at least 50 guys during his initial Iron Man outing. It used to be, "Avengers don't kill," but now every hero has to as bloodthirst as Wolverine, I suppose.

Overall, the motion comic is enjoyable. For what it is, it is well done.

1LR Review - 14 out of 20 - It's a Hit!

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