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Iron Man’s Second Issue: Abandon All Logic Ye Reader!

Any girl who’d stand you up, darling, would have to be stark, raving ma-a-ad! – Marion

Journey Into Mystery – Part 86

Even Iron Man has to do the talk show rounds.

Even Iron Man has to do the talk show rounds.

Extremites, in Silver Age Marvel, reputation is everything. When the Fantastic Four were created they were thrust into fame. They had to navigate super villains and bank robbers but also fan mail and paparazzi. Iron Man, too, must navigate the dreary annoying world of public relations. Read the rest of this entry

Examining the Campy Propagandist Beginning of Iron Man

Journey Into Marvel – Part 78

There he is...

There he is…

Have you never seen an Iron Man before?! 

Extremites, with the loss of one hero, the Hulk, we gain another in Iron Man. Tony Stark is by no means the most important part of the Marvel Universe, nor is he even the most popular; he has been on the forefront of big changes at Marvel. His debut comes as the larger interconnected creative universe was designed. Iron Man, like all things comic, begins as propaganda.

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Extremis Looking For New Fan Writers

Come Join Us!

Come Join Us!

Hey, Extremites, you’ve probably noticed a drop off in posts recently.

There’s a few reasons for this. I have been busy with my non-blog life, doing some new contracts around Canada and I am gearing up for a big move to the UK, aside from some health difficulties in the last month.

Anyway, all this means that Extremis needs some new writers. If you are interested in joining our roster, note our mandate is write literate articles about fan related topics.

If interested in joining send me a 500 word article about what you’d like to write  for us and we’ll go from there.

Send it to, julianrmunds@gmail.com in word, PDF or pages format.

My best, Extremites,

Julian Munds – Editor-in-Chief for the Extremis Review.

 

Extremis Looking For New Fan Writers

Tony Get's It.

Tony gets it.

Hey, Extremites, thanks for sticking around and sharing your ideas.

We are  looking for guest bloggers, or contributors, on fan topics. Do you write or write about comics? Do you write about geek stuff? Star Warsian? Whovian? Tolkienist? Martinite? Lewisite? Potterite? Whatever else? Do you want your ideas to be seen by tons of people and discussed in an informed way? Do you want be one of the masters of Extremis?

Then pop in a writing sample to me at julianmunds@hotmail.com. We are looking for new fan writers who have a scholarly eye and a geeky tongue.

As always we want you to join in! Come be a writer here.

My best, Julian Munds.

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5 Reasons why Carol Danvers Deserves the next Super-Hero Movie

CAPELESSCRUSADER.ORG

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Recently Marvel studios head Kevin Feige said that he would like to see Carol Danvers get the next movie. And you know what? I agree. I agree so much that I had to compose a list of the top five reasons why she should get her own movie.

1. No other female character would work better

I mean let’s look at the options. Black Widow wouldn’t work because she works best in tandem with other characters like Nick Fury. Knowing Hollywood, she would end up the tail end of some man’s story, and we want a woman to have her own movie. Plus she doesn’t have any superpowers which might lead to her main skill set (namely seducing men and killing fools) to make the movie a little too R rated. Spider-Woman Jessica Drew might be cool, but I doubt that Marvel Studios wants to go to battle with…

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Marvel Has Animated Movies Coming Out As Well!

I’ve been away from proper blogging for awhile as my computer has been on the fritz. That being said, I will be returning to proper blogging shortly but first, here’s some news and a trailer for the upcoming Marvel Cartoons.

Where as Marvel has a stranglehold on the cinematic medium, when it comes to cartoons, DC blows old Lee’s work out of the water.

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Henchman-4-Hire

For some reason, Marvel continues to try and compete with DC at animated movies. I never watched that Iron Man/Hulk team-up, but I understand it was an abomination fit only for stupid children. Welp, Marvel is trying again with the laboriously named Marvel’s Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher.

It looks maybe OK. I like the anime idea, maybe. It’s hard to say at this point. The trailer doesn’t really show much. The story is that Punisher gets taken into SHIELD custody after he interferes in a mission. From there, Punisher and Black Widow get sent on a new mission to take down some bad guys named Leviathan. It sounds about as cheesy as that Iron Man/Hulk team-up. And clearly it’s not based on any existing comic book. So really…what the heck is Marvel thinking?

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Ben Kingsley’s Trevor and the Real Mandarin Will Be the Focus of Marvel’s “All Hail the King”. Stills from the Marvel One-Shot.

Killing Time

Trevor Slattery, Mandarin, All Hail the King, Ben Kingsley

Iron Man 3 had a lot of problems.  If you’d like to read my review click here, but the thing the film did that pushed me from frustrated to angry was the disrespect showed to the character of the Mandarin.  THE only good villain in Iron Man’s rogues gallery and you turn him into a drunk British actor?  That made me so mad that once that revelation came through, the rest of the movie was white noise to me.

Trevor Slattery, Mandarin, All Hail the King, Ben Kingsley

I don’t know if it is in response to blowback from people like me (I can’t imagine it is since the film was 2013’s highest-grossing movie), but there have long been rumblings that Ben Kingsley was working on another project with Marvel and that it would involve “the real Mandarin”.  Today we have confirmation and pictures from EW that the “All Hail the King” Marvel One-Shot on the Thor the…

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An Important Message From Extremis

blog-pic-1Happy Holidays from Extremis!

Those of you who normally follow this blog have probably noticed a decrease in posts within the last week.

There is a very good reason for this.

I thought that some of the articles we have been posting have become a tad lesser then our standards.

Rather then publish articles that are low quality just to maintain our pledge to you of posting daily I have decided, as Editor, that Extremis will only put out articles when they meet our standards.

A lower frequency in posts will mean a higher quality in articles.

So I hope you continue to follow us and engage with us as we go through this transition.

My Best and Excelsior!

Julian Munds, Editor of The Extremis Review

Inside the Villainy of Genius: Iron Man and Anton Vanko

Journey Into Marvel

By: Julian Munds

scan0037Many said after the end of World War II that there will never be another war, or more properly said, their should never be another war. Sadly, as that conflict ended, a much more threatening standoff began called the Cold War. Essentially, it was a nuclear standoff between the two major nuclear powers: the Soviet Union and the United States, and it would be behind most major conflicts for the next 45 years. As the two super powers staged an international pissing match, on the home front in both countries, a much more sinister evil was taking root. That evil was paranoia.

Nowadays, many will refer to it as ‘Red Paranoia’ as if this was a fear unique to Soviets individually or the fear of them internationally, but this is not accurate. It was shared by many Americans who often turned it inward. Unfortunately, this paranoia gave credence to the free persecution of intellectuals. If these intellectuals were Russian, then surely they were attempting to sublant the ruling government. If they were American, then they were brandished Soviet spies and therefore traitors. The Cold War is an extraordinarily absurd and convoluted moment in world history because its goals were unclear and I doubt anyone, who was involved in it, could explain its aims beyond topping the other guy. This period stirred a lot of critical thought and critical thought is dangerous to any government that wishes to remain infallible; as both the American and Soviet governments did.

Paranoia made its way into the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark and Anton Vanko are introduced in this issue as two of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. Tony, as we all know, is behind some of the greatest strides in science that Earth-616 (main Marvel continuity) sees. The invention of the first iron suit is its own little Kitty Hawk moment.

A fascinating aspect of Tony is while being such a prolific inventor he is also the head of the most important arms maker in the United States. This means he holds an extraordinary amount of power and clout. What he says, and does, would have far reaching impact in that country.

In the USSR, Anton Vanko is considered the greatest scientist behind the Iron Curtain. Nikita Krushchev calls him “the most brilliant mind,” but he also distrusts him.

Why is this?

Anton has developed a suit he calls The Crimson Dynamo, which controls electrical energy, in an effort to defeat Iron Man. He has created an important technological stride for the USSR, yet, Krushchev immediately calls into question his loyalty. Nikita claims that Vanko poses a threat to his rule. He hatches a plan to execute Vanko after he and his suit destroy the Iron Man. Krushchev has no reason to do this beyond the fact that Anton is clearly more intelligent and innovative then him.

It was an American stereotype that Soviets distrusted their populace. One, that probably stems from stories of the Stalinist secret police. If this was so or was not so is not a debate I wish to wade into, but what I will say is, this is a highly sensationalist aspect of the story. This fear of the masses was also present across the Pacific in the highest echelons of Washington.

When Vanko, as the Crimson Dynamo, arrives in the US, his mission is to use his electric manipulation to sabotage the work of Stark Industries. After the destruction of many plants across the nation, Washington begins to wonder why Stark Industries is the only target. They arrive at the conclusion that Tony must be a spy because he is the only person able to sabotage his own work. This doesn’t make any logical sense. Why would Stark, who has proven himself, thus far, an ultimate patriot, want to destroy his own work. By Occam’s Razor, it should make sense that Stark is the victim of sabotage, not the perpetrator of it. However, Stark is a brilliant man and one who is free to make his own decisions. This makes him a loose cannon and a threat to the Government. Therefore, paranoia takes hold, making him a villain in the eyes of the military.

The Defection of Anton Vanko

The Defection of Anton Vanko

Vanko and Stark are both enemies through nothing but their abilities and the orders their governments place on them. It makes sense that Stark, in the guise of Iron Man, unknowingly to Vanko recruits the Russian to work for him. When Vanko defects to the US, he is not really defecting to the state, he’s defecting to Stark. Both men are warriors. Neither is evil or good, they are just on two separate sides of the same conflict. The real villainy here is persecution of critical thought. Both men are made outlaws because they are intelligent and this is a threat to a government that thrives economically on the Cold War.

Could this be another brilliant piece of political commentary from the increasingly satirical mind of Stan Lee?

Is the Silver Age Marvel Universe an exercise in Cold War trolling?

I am beginning to think so. Much like in later X-Mens, this issue is not a conflict of two people, but two ideologies.

The Story I Read:The Crimson Dynamo” (Tales of Suspense #46 Oct. 1963)

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Pros: The political commentary, the final battle with Vanko, the demonstration of the Crimson Dynamo suit to Krushchev and finally, the realism.

Cons: The hasty and unexplained reasoning in how Stark finds out that Krushchev betrayed Vanko. The lack of explanation for the next actions of the US government.

Previous Review:The Coming of the Plantman” (Strange Tales #113 Oct. 1963)

Upcoming Review:Prisoners of the Pharaoh!” (Fantastic Four #19 Oct. 1963)

 

 

Saturday At The Movies – Iron Man 3

This was not a good adaptation because it abandoned all the source material. I think fans are sick of being told what they have devoted their lives too is somehow dumb by seeing adaptations that abandon the material they love because it “too nerdy,” as screen writer claimed This movie’s Mandarin had similarity in name only, Tony Stark was all over the place and this would not have been an issue had more comic been in this.

Biff Bam Pop!

iron man 3It started off with a bang – both Iron Man 3 and the 2013 summer movie season.  The third instalment in the Iron Man series hit the big time whether anyone thought it was good or not, but unlike a Black Friday line-up, it was worth the time and effort to fight the crowd to get in. Here’s a look back at what worked in the biggest movie of the year.

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