Tony Stark: Iron Man #16
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Rising Marvel Comics writer Jim Zub has a mysterious dream project coming down the pike - and while the Zub's not ready to spill the beans on that just yet, this week's Tony Stark: Iron Man #16 marked the finale of Zub's run scripting over Dan Slott's plots, with him leaving to clear the decks for his new gig.

With the paint freshly dried on Zub's Iron Man finale - and the stage set for the upcoming "Ultron Agenda", Newsarama spoke with Zub about donning the Iron Man armor, working alongside writer Dan Slott, and bringing back one of the Avengers' most deadly foes.

Newsarama: Jim, this weeks’s Tony Stark: Iron Man #16 marked your final issue working on the series. I know when you were brought on it was more as a scripter (over Dan Slott's plots) than a co-writer sharing all duties. First off, what can you tell us about your time working with Dan and the editors on this book?

Jim Zub: Everyone on the creative team is wonderful. Dan's work has always been an inspiration to me and getting the chance to jam with him was a ton of fun. Valerio and Edgar are two of the most consistent high quality talents in all of comics, and seeing how well they work together kept me motivated as we turned up the heat in the story.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Nrama: Dan's co-written is Marvel stories with other authors before, and been open to some give and take. How was your experience working with Dan?

Zub: I was a bit of a hired gun brought in to help get the Iron Man book on track for the future and that's what we did. Dan has a really cool master plan in place. It's big and ambitious, taking unexpected turns while also reflecting core concepts at the heart of Tony's character.

Nrama: Dan's been at it for a while now - what did you learn working with Dan and working in this framework?

Zub: Dan's excitement for the stories he's telling is really infectious and it reminded me to be bold and try things out that I might have avoided because they were too "out there."

Superhero stories can be just about anything. If the character beats and emotion is there, readers will accept all kinds of wild and weird stuff. In fact, in many cases, the weirder, the better.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Nrama: What do you think of the six issues you scripted on? Any favorite moments stand out?

Zub: Aaron Stack, the Machine Man, was always a blast to write. He has a lot of pent up nastiness, sarcasm, and pathos that lends itself to entertaining dialogue and memorable interplay with the rest of the cast.

Nrama: Your Tony Stark: Iron Man run ends just as "The Ultron Agenda" starts up. Can you peel the curtain back a little bit and tell us what's coming there?

Zub: Ultron's plans this time out are simultaneously quite simple and horrifyingly expansive. Pym-Tron and Tony are fun to compare and contrast. They bring out the worst (and best) in each other in terms of drama, and the ramifications of this particular conflict will ripple forward in ways that will affect Tony well beyond the Ultron Agenda.

It's bad news for Stark, and great news for readers looking to be surprised and entertained.

Nrama: You said you were leaving Tony Stark: Iron Man because you were offered a 'bucket list' project. Not going to pry there just yet, but could you see yourself returning to Iron Man again in a different capacity, perhaps writing your own solo title?

Zub: Absolutely. Tony and the rest of the cast are great, bursting with potential. Obviously Dan and Christos have Stark Unlimited well in hand, but if the opportunity came up down the road, I'd love to crank up those boot jets to full blast and chart the future of the Armored Avenger.

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