I'm a 15 year old girl who would like to get into comics such as Iron Man (I'm a brand new reader of comics). I already saw Iron Man 1 but I want to understand his story in the comics because they have more depth. So what is a good Iron Man comic for a newer reader like me? *(please give Title, Volume and number).

(P.S. I most likely won't catch up on 40+ years of Iron Man comics)

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    “i most likely won't catch up on 40+ years of Iron Man comics” LIGHTWEIGHT – Paul D. Waite Apr 11 '13 at 8:46
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    @PaulD.Waite She says that because we haven't gotten her addicted yet. ;) – user1027 Apr 11 '13 at 16:57

Having done this myself a couple of years ago, here's my recommendation. Note that the films are a different continuity (or version) of Iron Man, so you won't see comics that tell an identical version of events as what the films show. In the comics, there are multiple universes with different versions of the Marvel universe as well, the two big ones are:

  1. The main line continuity which includes what I'm recommending below (AKA Earth-616)
  2. The Ultimate universe, which I don't include here. This was an initiative that Marvel started to have a new universe that didn't have the half-century of backstory that the main line continuity has. This would then be more welcoming to new readers.

The films borrow elements from both of these universes, while also making up their own stuff as well. So there are 2 separate comics universes, both with their own versions of Iron Man, and with their own stories. On top of this, you have the films which blend them while also inventing new elements.

I got interested in Iron Man due to the films, and I got some recommendations of where to start from off comic book forums:

  • Iron Man: Extremis (a motion comic version is also available on Netflix Streaming) - This is a sort of modern reboot for Iron Man. It's a self-contained tale that provides a good introduction to the modern Tony Stark et al. It also provides a good understanding of who and what Tony Stark is for later books, as he is no longer just a guy who builds suits of armor.
  • Invincible Iron Man (by Fraction/Larroca) - A modern ongoing Iron Man comic. The story develops a little slowly, but since you're reading collected editions instead of buying it once a month, it doesn't detract from the books. These have excellent art and writing, it's the only comic I was regularly reading last year. This series starts with the omnibus I linked, they released the second omnibus volume last year, but after that you'll have to switch over to normal collected editions. The omnibuses provide a ton of issues for a low per issue price. These issues are occasionally tied in to the Marvel crossovers. The early "World's Most Wanted" storyline, for example, springs out of the ending of Secret Invasion which had

Norman Osborn running a replacement for SHIELD. Tony previously ran SHIELD.

It's helpful to have some rough knowledge of these crossovers, but isn't required. Invincible Iron Man's run recently ended. Personally I'm looking for an Iron Man book to replace it, but you should be set for a while, there are a few dozen issues there that I've recommended.

  • +1 for exactly the summary I was about to write. I started by doing exactly this, it's the perfect jumping-on point. – Tynam Apr 11 '13 at 17:47
  • What about "Marvel NOW!"? isn't that also a clean reboot? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 11 '13 at 20:36
  • @DVK See the Personally link in the final paragraph. – user1027 Apr 11 '13 at 20:36
  • me again. @Keen Is there really any SPECIFIC order for the new ones? Also can i read the new reboot Extremis, then read the other new age comic reccommendations, THEN read the old Volume 1 comics and go from there once i already have a good feel for the rebooted iron man? – user13784 Apr 12 '13 at 23:03
  • @Tayler For the new ones, read Extremis, then Invincible Iron Man. The latter is a single series, with straightforward numbering. If you want to go back and read older stuff, I don't have enough experience on what to read. I've read a few random issues of the vol. 4 stuff, but didn't find it too interesting. – user1027 Apr 13 '13 at 0:08

I think if you want the comics that most closely match the movie series (though there are of course significant differences), what you want is Iron Man vol. 4

Some of these have been published as collected editions, including Extremis (issues 1-6), which I think covers the new origin story.


Marvel has a section on their site for new readers, it looks like they suggest starting with Invincible Iron Man. New Readers

If you don't mind digital comics you may want to look into a Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscription. It's probably the most cost effective way to catch up on the past stuff, if you look around the internet you can find deals for new subscribers


@ Keen while I love Matt Fraction and the Extremis is a good story idea I wouldn't recommend them to a 15 year old who's just getting into comics. In my humble opinion the stories you mentioned just don't have the right balance of character arcs and weight. Plus they tend to be stories that long-time readers would get more from then first-time readers.

Recently something has come out (which I noticed at my public library) that I think would better fit a young new reader: The Iron Man Omnibus by Kurt Busiek & Sean Chen.

This is THE "Jump On" book to get for anyone who wants to find out who Iron Man is as well as read excellent stories which involve The Golden Avenger in deep and interesting ways. It's not only jam-packed with arcs (see below) it also represents the fresh start Marvel gave their core heroes after the re-imagining of Heroes Reborn. So, essentially Tony has to come back from supposed death to rebuild his life and fortunes as well as get back to wearing the Red and Gold again.

This new beginning jumps right in with Shellhead facing-off against a collection of familiar opponents that will give the reader an understanding of the Armored Avenger's history and complications. Opponents include, but aren't limited to, the well-known and the obscure alike, with Whiplash, M.O.D.O.K., Fin Fang Foom, Count Nefaria and Ultimo rounding out the line-up. There’s also a brand-new villainous 'War Machine' Tony must uncover the mystery of and you-guessed-it Busiek couldn't resist working in The Mandarin.

We also have Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts supporting the cast while Stark somehow finds time to romance Rumiko Fujikawa. What's great about Kurt Busiek's work is that he always seems to keep the integrity of characters while giving us new spins on older characterizations and relationships. Something many of the newer stories tend to miss, Extremis for example, is Tony Stark's personality. Extremis not a bad story, far from it, but it doesn't have the intimacy with the characters that the award-winning Busiek can provide a reader.

Kurt Busiek explained in a interview, “Iron Man was the Marvel book I always wanted to write, but it wasn’t because I was a huge fan of the series. There are runs I like enormously, notably Archie Goodwin’s run on the character, but what made me want to write Iron Man was that I saw so much potential in the character, potential that I thought was only partly-realized in the various runs of the past.”

That is why I would say this collection, more then any other, would be a great place for a new young reader to start. If it can't be found at the local library near you or at a shop for a good price you can check online.

This book collects a whooping amount of stories including cross-overs with other titles as well as the core IRON MAN Vol 3 series (#1-25). Some highlights: CAPTAIN AMERICA #8, AVENGERS #7, IRON MAN & CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL, FANTASTIC FOUR #15, THOR #17, PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #11 and IRON MAN: THE IRON AGE (Year One Style) mini-series.

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