Friday, September 5, 2008

Invincible Iron Man

Issues 1-5
The story so far:
Ezekiel Stane hates Tony Stark and is trying to avenge the death of his father, Obadiah. Using stolen Stark tech he creates a bunch of suicide bombers who end up killing a bunch of innocents in various parts of the world, including some local superheroes in the Philippines.
Ezekiel has also used the stolen tech to turn himself in to a cyborg with as much if not more power than Iron Man himself. Tony whines a bit about how his greatest fear is that his tech will become obsolete when some one smarter than him makes it better, which is what Ezekiel does. Tony's only consolation is that Ezekiel isn't smart enough to make the tech himself, he has to use Stark's stuff and basically turn it up a notch.
Ezekiel, being the bad guy that he is, recruits some more suicide bombers and attacks Stark in a more direct manner by blowing up a new Stark skyscraper in Taiwan during an opening night party. Pepper Potts gets hurt, 200 guest get killed and Tony Stark gets pissed. Pepper lives but Tony did what was necessary to save her and installs the Iron Man life support tech in her chest. Pepper gets mad because she thinks that Tony turned her into a living bomb and he shows her that he didn't. There is the hint that she may end up in an Iron Man like role as he shows her that she can float using magnetism or something like that.
Finally, Stark figures out what Ezekiel is up to and deduces that he is going to try and destroy Tony as well as his company. Realizing that striking his four main facilities on four different continents at the same time would cripple the company Tony with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D, he is the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D as well, go on the hunt for Ezekiel.
After ordering a world wide evacuations of Stark facilities Iron Man confronts Ezekiel and gets his butt handed to him.

*** Spoiler Alert****
Issue 5 ends with Ezekiel blowing Iron Man's head off. Now I think it is pretty obvious that this was just one of the Iron Man suits that Stark can control remotely. How else would he search all four facilities if he didn't use the remote controlled suits? So I expect next issue will have Tony show up and after a city destroying fight, Iron Man will win.

Overall Opinion:
I quit reading Iron Man back in the 90's and eventually came to dislike the character that had once been a favorite. After the character's treatment in Civil War my dislike became full on disdain. What changed my mind? Well, since the Iron Man movie kicked butt and I am a sucker, I had to pick up the new series. I don't regret it one bit. The book is really good, much better than I expected, though I still don't like the fact he is also the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. How can the man have any free time to be a billionaire playboy? Over all I say this is one of the better books put out by Marvel right now and highly recommend giving it a try.

For the RPG Gamer:
This book mixes several genres, mech, espionage, and superheroes, succesfully. There is a great deal of material for your next campaign in the book if your group likes those types of games. Naturally it would require some tweaking as you wouldn't want just one PC to be the "star" while the other players end up being support. You could easily adapt the story to include a team of mech heroes or a party that mixes high tech spies and mechs.
I personally would avoid straying too far into the fantasy& magic arena and stick with the more sci-fi elements. But you could easily have a standard superhero or magic user in the game if that is what you want. Personally I think that would create a completely different feel but you know what your group likes better than I do and can adjust the story as you see fit.

The Systems:
I think this story would be great for Mutants and Masterminds or the Hero system. Which makes sense as they are tailor made for a range of supers campaigns. But it would also work quite well with Palladium/Rifts/Heroes Unlimited, or d20 Modern. Though with d20 Modern you would likely need some of the tech supplements or the future book as well. Since I am trying to get my group to play more Rifts I will likely use that system as it excels in the area of Mega Damage and my group likes Mega Damage.

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