With Marvel gearing up for the "Iron Man" movie in 2008, a second highly anticipated Tony Stark-fuelled project was announced today at Baltimore Comic Con: "Ultimate Iron Man" Volume 2.
Science fiction legend Orson Scott Card ("Ender's Game") returns as the writer for the second volume, as does artist Pasqual Ferry. Series Editor Bill Rosemann told CBR News that the debut issue of "Ultimate Iron Man" Volume 2 would "rocket off shelves in December."
With the final book of the five-issue Volume 1 being released in February, 2006, Rosemann explained, "Some projects just need the proper stars to align before they leap to life. So consider the stars known as Orson Scott Card, Pasqual Ferry and Iron Man all aligned!"
In the closing pages of "Ultimate Iron Man" #5, Tony Stark dons an immense, 20-foot Iron Man prototype to stop a terrorist plot, and while successful in quashing the threat, a bomb detonates prematurely and completely destroys the super-sized suit. Rosemann revealed "Ultimate Iron Man" Volume 2 picks up the pieces (and the plot threads) left on the floor at the "explosive ending" of Volume 1 - both literally and figuratively. "This story opens mere moments after the events of that story's explosive ending," said Rosemann.
In terms of a supporting cast in Volume 2, Rosemann wasn't naming names but he did tease, "Pretty much everyone who appeared in the first... with a few surprises, of course!"
That said; expect more James Rhodes and Obadiah Stance, and potentially some Ultimate War Machine and Ultimate Iron Monger.
Rosemann says both volumes of Card's story should basically be considered Ultimate Iron Man: Year One. "Just like 'Ultimate Iron Man' Volume 1, this story takes place during Tony Stark's formative years," explained Rosemann. "Or in comic book terminology, you could roughly think of it as Ultimate Iron Man: Year One. So this previously untold tale occurs before the events of Ultimates 1."
When asked why Marvel hasn't introduced Ultimate Iron Man as an ongoing, Rosemann responded, "Hey, who's to say that won't happen one day? But between his appearance in this new story, 'Ultimate Power' and 'Ultimates 3,' Tony's well represented in the Ultimate U. Plus, we always have to try to make sure we're not overextending a character in any of our imprints. Otherwise, we'd have to answer your question about why Iron Man is in too many Ultimate comics!"
As a self-described newcomer to the Ultimate Universe, Rosemann is thrilled his indoctrination involves Orson Scott Card, who is the only author ever to win both of science fiction's top prizes in consecutive years - the Hugo and the Nebula. "I'm the new kid on the Ultimate block," admitted Rosemann. "But as a huge fan of the classic 'Ender's Game' novel, which you owe it to yourself to read, I'll say he brings the wide array of writing skills that have made him a multi-time award-winning and best-selling author. Not too shabby for a Marvel comic!"