NYCC 2012: Chaykin Updates History with IRON MAN: SEASON ONE

 

Writer/artist Howard Chaykin is a veteran in the comic book industry — known for creations including and Marvel's Dominic Fortune — and has had an especially productive couple of years. He's in the midst of Black Kiss II at Image, is illustrating the creator-owned series Satellite Sam with incoming Fantastic Four writer Matt Fraction, and in 2011 wrote and drew the Avengers 1969 miniseries, spinning out of his work on New Avengers with writer Brian Michael Bendis.

His latest Marvel project is Iron Man: Season One, an upcoming entry in the publisher's continuing series of new reader-targeted original graphic novels that update the early days of their iconic superheroes. First announced Thursday at New York Comic Con's retailer breakfast, the book sees Chaykin paired with artist Gerald Parel for a contemporary re-telling of Tony Stark's rise to armored adventuring, presenting stories that date back to 1963's Tales of Suspense #39 in a new, modern light.

 

Newsarama has the first interview with Chaykin on the series, and talked with the comics legend about what readers can expect from the April 2013-debuting hardcover graphic novel starring the character he describes as "a reprobate, drunk, right-wing nut." Courtesy of Marvel, we're also debuting the cover of the book and several interior pages from Iron Man: Season One.

Newsarama: Howard, you've worked on Iron Man before — how did you approach writing a specifically new reader-friendly graphic novel starring the character? What aspects of Tony Stark are you looking to explore in the book?

Howard Chaykin: Frankly, I simply took the longtime love and affection I have for the character and its origins, and simply updated them into a more modern realpolitik. 

 

As for Tony Stark, he’s one of the great flawed heroes of modern comics — a reprobate, drunk, right-wing nut — what more could you ask for?

Nrama: Iron Man is an interesting case since clearly quite a lot of people — even if they've never read a comic before — are acquainted with the character at this point. Does that make writing a book like this a little smoother of a process, in that there's not as much to spell out? And how would you compare your take on Iron Man in Season One to the Robert Downey Jr. version of the character?

Chaykin: Bear in mind, I finished this script long before the movie was even in preproduction, so I can’t compare.

Nrama: You're paired with artist Gerald Parel on the book. Though it may be very early in the process, what has you excited about the collaboration?

 

Chaykin
: Gerald brings an astonishing verisimilitude to the work.  He’s created what appears to be a living, breathing and convincing series of illustrations.  It’s great comics on his end.

Nrama: The previous Season One graphic novels have had an interesting mix of remaining faithful to the source material while also modernizing things when necessary and deviating/expanding a bit. How much updating from established continuity are you doing in Iron Man: Season One? (Obviously in the comics his origin has changed from taking place during Vietnam to the Gulf War, etc.)


 

Chaykin
: This is a question that’s at the very heart of the new version of the origin, so I’ll just say get the book and check it out.

Nrama: On a similar note, what's the general area encompassed by the book? Mostly the origin, or a bit beyond that point, too?

 

Chaykin
: We’ll see the origin, and, it is to be hoped that we’ll get a deeper and more evolved sense of the way that a guy like Tony Stark, and in turn Stark Industries, functions in a "real world."

Nrama: Is the pacing any different for you in writing a book that's coming out in the graphic novel format first, rather than in individual issues? Or about the same?

Chaykin: I wrote the book a six-issue miniseries, so go figure.

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