Welcome to VOCIFERY, my attempt to re-watch every piece of media in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – every movie, every television series, every one-shot, every web series, and every tie-in comic book, using the Wikipedia entry on the MCU as a guide, before the release of Avengers 4 in May 2019. Join me as I write my thoughts about what I’m seeing, as I see it!
Also, spoilers follow – if you’re worried about that kind of thing, view before reading.
Marvel’s Iron Man 2 tie-in comic (2012)
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 Prelude tie-in comic (2013)
Again with the tie-in comic books …
Okay, so we’ve got two little series here, both of which are intended to lead in to Iron Man 3 – and both featuring a scant two issues in which to tell their respective stories.
Depending where you stand on comic book retellings of the films, Marvel’s Iron Man 2 comic either isn’t long enough or is two issues too long to retell the story of Iron Man 2, which is essentially all it does. The two books here are just a recap of everything that happened in the film, leaving out many of the funnier moments and focusing on the links to the wider universe.
There are two scenes that have been added. The first is about a page long and shows Tony teaching Rhodes how to fly War Machine, thus explaining why the movie Rhodes seems to be so adept at flying a robot he never flew before in his life; it takes place during the first act of the film, shortly after the senate hearing.
The second added scene takes place after Fury informs Stark that he isn’t needed in the Avengers Initiative yet, and follows a conversation between Fury and Romanoff that seems to imply that Rhodes was considered for the Avengers before Tony was. Rhodes, of course, joins the Avengers at the end of Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
These books lead straight into the next series, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 Prelude, which fills some of the time between Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, primarily from Rhodes’ point of view as he operates as War Machine – complete with the gift of a new suit designed by Stark and calibrated specifically for him – and encounters the Ten Rings, while Tony is distracted by building Stark Tower and, later, with the Battle Of New York from the conclusion of The Avengers.
Again, there isn’t a lot of new information here: the idea of Rhodes flying missions as War Machine is established in the film, even as this book follows him as he investigates a Ten Rings attack in Hong Kong, which is a cover for them to learn more about the technology in Stark’s suits so they can take him down later.
Why is this interesting? The book makes it clear that the Mandarin and Ten Rings has been planning to take down Stark for a while, using an encounter with Rhodes to figure out how to beat him.
By contrast, the film makes it seem like Stark picked a fight with the Mandarin of his own volition. I mean, with the benefit of hindsight (and with a ton of spoilers for Iron Man 3), and with this information made clear, we can see that Killian was getting close to Stark, and probably manipulated the attack that injured Happy and provoked Tony. But without the book, it is trickier to make the connection, given the way the film is structured.
It’s interesting that one could take a differing view of the events of Iron Man 3 depending on whether they had read the book.
Anyway, these books are fine – like most of the other tie-in comics, they are entertaining enough, but I don’t know that they really add anything to the wider universe that couldn’t have been included in the films.
Next: Iron Man 3!