Iron Man. Tony Stark. Ten years ago these names weren’t nearly as well known as they are today. Marvel was always proud of their Iron Man comic franchise but as with most comic characters, only the readers had the whole scoop. And then came the movies. Now these are household names, the movies are cinematic blockbusters and you cannot help but see Robert Downey, Jr. as the face of old Shell Head. The films did more for the name than the four decades of comics prior, I enjoy them and think they cast Tony perfectly. To celebrate this trilogy of action packed films, Marvel and Insight Editions produced this Iron Man Manual. A beautifully bound book with so much going for it that it’s sure to be a hit!
That said, I am profoundly disappointed that no one saw fit to include anything from the comics. I’m not kidding. Not a single piece from any Iron Man comic is in this. There is a comic cover shown at the beginning of the book, but it’s a Captain America cover! Seriously? This should have more fittingly been called the Iron Man Movie Manual, because that’s what it is. Every single page, every insert, every thought is based on the films. What a huge let down this was for me. Comic fans will open this up and feel the same shock I did, of this I have no doubt. But now that I have that off my chest, let me review what is actually in there, okay? I’ve vented and feel a little better.
Back in 2010, Lucasfilm put out a wonderful release called The Jedi Path: A Manual For Students Of The Force. The notion was to make a book that would have been used by Jedi Masters and Padawans as a reference manual – a book contained within an electronic vault that would open at the push of a button “in a wash of light and Star Wars sound effects.” For those of you who have a predilection for the Dark Side though, you’re in luck: the Sith version is now coming.
Entitled Book Of Sith: Secrets Of The Dark Side, which was released today, is similar in nature to the previous Jedi version. It is a book, but contained within a Sith Holocron-shaped vault. When you press the button to open, it does so, also with lights and sound effects. Along with the manual are some other goodies, including a Sith lightsaber crystal, Sith artifacts, and more.