Iron Man: Extremis (The Motion Comic) – Warren Ellis

Iron Man Extremis - The Motion ComicWhat happens when someone seeks to out-technology Tony Stark using biology rather than metal? Is the Iron Man now obsolete?

Warren Ellis’ key strength is his originality, his thinking outside the box. If you give him 50 years of constraining baggage and an editor who likes to say “no” his razor wit gets tempered. This is a good story, both in terms of Iron Man and writing in general, but you can only take so many liberties.

There is a lot of dialogue. This is generally considered a weakness in comics. But a character like Tony Stark allows us to think about technology, the future and Mankind’s relationship to both. There are some good themes and you do see Tony in conflict with himself, display a wide range of emotions, and grow as a person. The antagonist also has a believable history and motivation and isn’t just filler.

It is said that this was the inspiration for the film Iron Man 3. It is the basis but not the blueprint. Some of the names are the same but the characters they are attached to are wildly different. You can see the similarities but each has their own identity.

The art is superb with Granov delivering a fully painted book. This distinctive look compliments the mature storytelling and gives it a realistic grounding. The motion comic takes this wonderful art and through micro-animation brings movement to the text. The speech bubbles are replaced by voice actors and sound effects. Characters lips and limbs move, albeit in a slightly Terry Gilliam style. And the Iron Man suit and a few other sequences are rendered in CGI.

This is a unique medium all of its own, taking the initial steps into its Harryhausen era. Not a digital comic and not a traditional animation. Many see it as a bastardisation of superior forms. But reading comics is a skill and one which fewer people practice these days. Anything that serves as an introduction to comics or reaches people who wouldn’t normally be targeted is certainly a good thing right?

For the content and the presentation this deserves a Thumbs Up!

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