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Obama reveals ‘secret project': ‘We’re building Iron Man’

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“Today I am joined by researchers who invent some of the most advanced metals on the planet; designers who are modeling prototypes in the digital cloud; folks from the Pentagon who help to support their work — basically, I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man.”

That’s a direct quote from President Barack Obama during a White House manufacturing innovation event. Although it was a joke — “I’m going to blast off in a second. This has been a secret project we’ve been working on for a while. Not really. Maybe. It’s classified.” — the reality is that Iron Man-like technology has been in development, in one form or another, for some time.

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Ashley Wood unveils Invincible Iron Man figures

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Last year news bubbled up that Popbot artist Ashley Wood was working on a highly detailed line of toys/statuettes based on Marvel’s Iron Man. Fast-forward one year, and they’re almost here.

On Feb. 13, Wood’s company 3a Toys will release four Iron Man figures as the opening salvo in a larger line of Marvel toys. These first figures (highlighted below) are dubbed “Classic,” “Silver Centurion,” Stealth” and “Stark Industries Prototype,” with the latter exclusive to 3A’s online webstore, Bambaland.

Although Wood is best known for creator-owned work, the artist states on the 3A forum that he had a childhood dream of drawing Marvel characters and the opportunity to do his own version of Iron Man with this toy line is “incredible.”

“Now if only I could make the comics based on the toys,” Wood writes.  “These designs are linked in my mind, a 3A secret war if you will!”

While a Ashley Wood-drawn Marvel comic is something only Marvel can decide, the artist has more Marvel figures planned after these, including Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Doom and Ultron.

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Jake Parker takes on Hulk, Spider-Man, other Marvel heroes

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A few months back Utah-based freelance designer and comics artist Jake Parker revealed a series of Marvel characters he drew–Captain America, Wolverine and Iron Man among them — for his followers to enjoy. At that time, he asked readers to suggest other characters to add to the series. The past week and this week he revealed Spider-Man and Hulk pieces he completed in response to feedback.

It is particularly interesting to see how Parker uses one dominant color to tie each piece together with the respective characters’  costumes.

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After detailing life of Iron Man action figure, fan turns to Thor

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For nearly a year and a half, from June 2012 to November 2013, an unidentified Facebook user, with some help from friends, chronicled the worldwide adventures on a pint-sized Tony Stark on a page called Poses (with Iron Man), photographing the action figure in myriad scenarios, often accompanied by captions. Around the house, with pets, in the car, on trips to Chicago, New York City, Uganda and Australia and … it was seemingly endless.

But then, on Nov. 14, they suddenly stopped. However, this morning, a video appeared, showing a hand reaching in frame to place the Iron Man figure on the shelf, only to pick up Thor. A note reads, “Coming in February …”

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This Batman and Iron Man furniture is cool but pricy

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If only the budget for the planned makeover of my home office were a little more robust, I’d consider at least a couple of these superhero-themed accessories brought to my attention from Fiction Furniture: Batman bookshelves (in two flavors, classic and Nolan-verse) and “Stark’s Heart” wall lamps (Mark II and Mark VI varieties).

They’re a little on the pricy side — the classic Batman bookshelf is the most expensive, if not by much, at $267.26 — and they ship from Malaysia, which pushes the price way up, but, damn, they’re cool.

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Forget the Avengers, Iron Man belongs in ‘Sailor Moon’

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I’m hard pressed to think of a better or, frankly, stranger way to cap off the day than with this video of Tony Stark doing his best imitation of the Sailor Moon S transformation to don his Iron Man armor.

Called “Iron Moon,” it was created by first-year animation students at South Korea’s Chungkang College of Cultural Industries as a second-semester project. I’d give them an A-minus, at least.

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Batman, Iron Man, ninjas and, oddly, more crash ‘battle wedding’

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I suppose the first clue that this wedding was going to be exceptionally nerdy, and potentially dangerous, was that the groom and groomsmen were decked out in pieces of armor. So it probably shouldn’t have been surprising when the minister was interrupted by a knight.

However, the choreographed sword fight with the groom? That was a bit tougher to predict. And no one could have anticipated cameos by an indecipherable Iron Man, an alarmingly manic Batman, the world’s wimpiest ninjas or … the battling bell-hops. Oh, or Jimmy Hart.

But, hey, the minister was a good sport.

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The Avengers do Black Friday in webcomic by Sairobee

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Black Friday has come and gone, and whether you were one of those who waited in line or simply scoffed at those who did, you’ll surely get a kick out of this great one-off comic strip by a storyboard artist known online as Sairobee. In this one-page strip, titlted “Happy Belated Black Friday, Y’All!”, the Los Angeles-based artist depicts an engaging and imaginative scenario: What if the Avengers went to Black Friday?

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Chris Panda dons X-ray specs for an inside look at superheroes

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It seems every comics fan wants superpowers, but artist Chris Panda has pulled back the curtain to show the seedy side of X-ray vision in these comic book drawings from kids’ coloring books with the heroes’ skeletons drawn in. Panda drew three superheroes — Batman, Iron Man and Spider-Man, as well as prominent cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes lore. Check out those other two superheroes below, and go to his website for more.

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The Bifrost leads to the happiest place on Earth this Fall

Thor wishes you a mighty day at Disneyland.

Thor wishes you a mighty day at Disneyland.

Much like Marvel’s Iron Man display at San Diego a few years ago, their Thor throne display is finding new life at Disneyland. As announced in August, Thor will appear in Disneyland’s Innoventions area as part of Thor: Treasures of Asgard at Disneyland park.

The exhibit features “an epic collection of objects brought to Earth straight from Thor’s home world of Asgard,” which you can see below. You’ll also be able to walk across the Bifrost bridge to meet Thor.

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The Fifth Color | The Iron Man you think you know

IronMan17_cvrKieron Gillen had to remind me to be angry. I read through my comics stash for the week, feeling very proud of myself and then went on about my day, wondering what I was going to be writing for you, Dear Reader (hi, Mom!). Then I browse through Twitter to see this posted by the writer: “You know, after yesterday with Iron Man 17 and YA11, I’d have expected my @s to be worse, but people are being really nice. Thanks!”

Being really nice? Why shouldn’t they? What should I be mad at?! Nothing happened that was all that shocking in Young Avengers, as long as you know who Loki is and that Loki: Agent of Asgard is debuting in February, so it’s just putting two and two together. That couldn’t be the reason for torches and pitchforks. Then I remembered Iron Man #17 and still felt no need to reach for my oil-soaked rags and farming tools. There’s a twist to be sure, and a fairly large change to Tony Stark’s tried and true origin, but is the cover right? Is this really “The shocking conclusion that will change the world of Iron Man forever”?

Not exactly. Read on and find out why!

WARNING: Oh yeah, big spoilers for the current run on Iron Man! Huge, massive spoilers. Click no further if you haven’t read Iron Man #17! But if you have (or simply love spoilers), please do read on!

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Comics A.M. | New ‘Asterix’ lands in middle of political debate

Asterix and the Picts

Asterix and the Picts

Graphic novels | France 24 examines the Thursday release of Asterix and the Picts — the first album by new creative team Jean Yves-Ferri and Didier Conrad — from a political perspective, noting that the story, in which Asterix and Obelix journey from ancient Gaul to Iron Age Scotland, has already become part of the current debate about Scottish independence. [France 24]

Creators | Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming, who spent a night in police custody last week on charges of “suspicion of causing a disturbance,” spoke to the press this week. Liming, who has more than 300,000 followers on his microblog account, first ran into trouble two years ago for one of his cartoons, but police told him that China has freedom of speech and he could continue drawing. Nonetheless, another of his cartoons, depicting Winnie the Pooh (a frequent cartoon stand-in for Chinese President Xi Jinping) kicking a football was deleted and suppressed by censors. “For them, drawing leaders in cartoon form is a big taboo,” the cartoonist said. “I think the controls on the Internet are too harsh. They have no sense of humor. They can’t accept any ridicule.” [Reuters]

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Jimmy Kimmel quizzes 4-year-old Marvel trivia maven

Mia vs. Marvel

Mia vs. Marvel

Earlier this year the Internet was dazzled by Mia Grace Montross, the 4-year-old daughter of a comic fan whose mutant power is knowing a lot about Marvel Comics, even more than her dad.

But does she know more than the superheroes themselves, or at least their Hollywood Boulevard counterparts? Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to put Mia to the test, pitting her against some of the Marvel Universe’s best and brightest, including Iron Man, Captain America and Spider-Man. See her answer questions about Cap’s shield, Wakanda and more, as the heroes pretty much eat her dust.

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Iron Man Experience coming to Hong Kong Disneyland

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Just like the Avengers might call in Iron Man for air support, Disney is counting on Ol’ Shellhead to rescue its struggling Hong Kong theme park.

The entertainment giant has announced the 2016 opening of the Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland, the first ride based on a Marvel character since Disney purchased the company in 2009. According to The New York Times, analysts place the project’s price tag at about $100 million.

Located in the Tomorrowland area, it will be based within part of the Stark Expo, which will apparently feature something akin to the Hall of Armor on display at Disneyland in Anaheim, California (although presumably more robust). There will also be a gift shop and photo pavilion, but the big draw is the thrill ride that employs next-generation simulator technology to send visitors into action with Iron Man.

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NYCC ’13 | Marvel reveals convention exclusives

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With New York Comic Con just nine days away, Marvel has announced the lineup of new and exclusive merchandise from comics, television and film that will be available for purchase at the company’s booth (#1354). The items range a Rocket Raccoon plush with Skottie Young print to assorted glass tumblers to T-shirts featuring Pizza Dog, Groot and Rocket Raccoon, and the periodic table of Thor: The Dark World.

See the list below. New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 10-13 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

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