‘Iron Man: Extremis’ puts the comics hero in motion

April 16, 2010 | 9:29 p.m.

“IRON MAN 2″ COUNTDOWN: 21 DAYS

Tony Stark breaks all the rules (even the one that says superheroes must keep a secret identity), and he always seems to comes out on top — that’s why we love him. But now comes “Iron Man 2,” a film about secret dangers, the sins of the father and the nasty price of modern celebrity. The movie lands May 7 in the U.S., and every day until then, we’ll have behind-the-scenes scoops on the summer’s most anticipated film and a look at all things Iron Man.

 

IMEXTREMIS_01

Iron Man 2” is still three weeks away, but if you want a different sort of adventure with the armored Avenger, check out “Iron Man: Extremis,” the newest motion-comic epic from Marvel Knights Animation.

The six-episode motion comic adapts the landmark work by writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov from the pages of the “Iron Man” comic books published in 2005 and 2006 that essentially reinvented the hero’s origin and hardwired some of the key concepts and images that followed the character to the silver screen. If you’re a fan of the first “Iron Man” film and curious about the comics heritage of Tony Stark, this is a great leaping-off point and an easy one to access.

The series will be available through iTunes, Zune and Xbox Live. The episodes are $1.99 each, or $9.99 if bought as a package. The first episode, which is 20 minutes long, went on sale this morning. The rest of the installments will be released biweekly through June.

Here is an exclusive first look at the trailer for the second episode…

This motion comic is the third from Marvel Knights, following “Spider-Woman” (Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev) and “Astonishing X-Men” (from Joss Whedon and John Cassaday). The still-nascent medium is halfway between still art and animation; the existing art from the page is given a kinetic essence with computer image manipulation, voice actors and sound effects.

The releases so far have been very faithful to the source material and, again, may be an intriguing access point for the casually curious who enjoy the Hollywood version of the Marvel universe and want to dig deeper.

– Geoff Boucher

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