STUDIO: Shout! Factory

MSRP: $14.98


60 Minutes


  • A conversation with Adi Granov
  • Behind the Scenes
  • What The – ? Starring Iron Man
  • Visual History
  • Music Video
  • Trailers

The Pitch

Iron Man has met his match in the form of a genetically modified domestic terrorist. If you can’t beat them, join them…

Yep, Iron Man gets a biological upgrade.

The Humans

Director: Mike Halsey. Joel Gibbs

Based on the Comic By: Warren Ellis & Adi Granov

I wonder if the new EyeToy will catch on.


Iron Man: Extremis is one of the better Iron Man comics in recent
memory. It was, in fact one of the very last stories I collected before
sticking a fork permanently in the hobby after almost thirty years at
it. It was vicious. It was weird. It had a lot of the elements that made
Tony Stark and his creation so interesting and it featured the art of
Adi Granov, which at the time was a very nice and interesting
alternative to what was being done.

When the movie (My DVD review) came and took the character to the forefront, I
considered revisiting Extremis but never got around to it. Now, using
the motion comic format, Marvel and friends have made it a lot easier to
experience the popular story and I jumped in with both feet.

“Talk to the hand, Too Old To Fuck.”

I’ve never seen a motion comic before. I’d peeked a little when Renn was
doing his review for The Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, but wasn’t sure exactly what to
expect. The codger in me expected it to resemble the old Marvel shows of
the 70’s (which I love), but the result was actually quite effective
and in some ways better than a film or an animation. Part of the reason
surely had to be the seamlessness between Granov’s style and the motion
comic format (his work has a digitally modeled feel to it already) but
there’s also something intangible that balances the many entertainment
mediums that’s rather exquisite.

“What, you’ve never seen Charles Grodin poop before?”

Extremis refers to a different, more arcane approach to the Super
Soldier Serum idea that led to so much gold for Marvel comics with guys
like Captain America. A body and mind enhancing process created in a
lab that seriously modifies its subject, Extremis makes the old formula
look like Gatorade. At the outset of the story a shamed scientist blows
his brains out after having tested the dangerous process on a very
looney American terrorist and compromised his life’s work. Worse yet,
the formula works like a charm and after nearly killing the dangerous
redneck (think Timothy McVeigh), he awakens with a
vast array of abilities that can ruin someone’s day. The dude even runs
around breathing fire onto people, which is conduct unbecoming of a gentleman.

I’m so glad Marvel nixed Jack Kirby’s original Mr. My Metal Ass Burns.

At the same time Tony Stark is doing his best to not be an arms dealer.
Though his breakthoughs were in that field, he’s in a much different
place here. Younger, earlier along in his own arc. Interestingly, the newly tweaked backstory served as inspiration for the feature film, and revisiting this serves a nice parallel to the films. This actually would have made for possibly a better sequel than the one we got.

When Tony Stark is contacted by a lady from his past, a scientist involved in Extremis after their subject goes nuts he goes to deal with him and is dealt a hearty ass kicking. Dying, Stark is forced to modify the Extremis formula for himself and in turn takes the Iron Man concept to a new level. It’s a really interesting story, which is no surprise from Warren Ellis, a guy who is great when he’s on point (The Authority). There are some really strong elements here having to do with Stark’s entire paradigm but also a really interesting tangent where Stark and his friend meet up with an aging hippie scientist. This is higher brown and more aggressive stuff for an Iron Man book, and it works.

I’m torn. Tit. Swastika. Flag. Tit. So many strong reactions!

Executed in this style, it truly is an effective way to tell a story. If only this process weren’t so labor intensive, it’d be a terrific bridge between mediums. As it stands, this treatment given to some of the superior works in the comic book worlds is a bonus. It’s a great way to bring the pages alive in a manner which doesn’t cheapen or betray the source but rather celebrate it.

Next step: better voice actors.



“Where is that Dumas asshole?”

There are a couple of nice little features devoted to the project that showcase the different groups of people required to make something like this come to life. I’m intrigued by the nuts and bolts of taking 2-D images and making them become alive and effective, and there’s not much of that here. This is a showcase for the various firms in the tech and audio/visual world as well as the creators of the source material (no Ellis, just Granov) but not a look behind the curtain of the process.

Still, for a motion comic I was impressed with the effort put forth in providing special features at all.

Good stuff.

out of 10

First she got to touch his front triangle, and then he got to touch hers…