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Book Review

Book Cover

Iron Man 2
The Art of the Movie (Hardback)


Author: John Barber
Publisher: Titan Books
224 pages
RRP: £29.99, US $40.00, Cdn $54.00
ISBN: 978 1 80336 493 3
Publication Date: 20 February 2024

Titan Books publishes Iron Man 2: The Art of the Movie, by John Barber – a professional comic book editor and writer, and former Editor in Chief of IDW Publishing. This is the 2nd of 24 official Cinematic Universe Infinity Saga film title quality coffee table books, reissued as a resized matching set. The book arrives in the format of a landscape hardback book with photographic colour pages, retailing at £29.99. Inside, it covers every aspect of the artwork and design involved in the preproduction and the film itself – from preliminary sketches, through fully-rendered 3-D imagery, storyboards and set designs, hero and villain weapons, technology and, of course, the various armours. The photos are accompanied by descriptions and explanations which incorporate commentary from the creators – including comic book fan-favourite Adi Granov.

Marvel Studios have released some astonishingly intricate, exciting, and inventive films over the years, until they ran out of ideas and cut corners in more recent years. The first Iron Man was named number one in the new MCU, and what a film that was. Even now it is considered the best or one of the best in the entire Marvel canon. I have it on 4K and it still gets an airing every now and then because, in all aspects, it’s simply stunning: a veritable feast of sound and vision. Not so Iron Man 2. In the sequel the balance was completely out. However, this is about the art and design, rather than the script, and there is a nice sense of the structure of design – from initial sketches to the finished project.

The one major problem with this attractive book is that it will surely appeal to a very niche market. Those who love The Infinity Saga films will have seen them at the cinema and will possibly have their own Blu-ray or 4K copies. But will they want a book about the art and design of a single film? Possibly, if they are fanatical about the film. It’s worth considering that many disc releases of films contain extra features covering the behind-the-scenes making-of the movie. So, one book release for each of the 24 films… That is close to £720 squids worth of books, if people want to collect them all! Perhaps a bigger book covering all of the films would have proved more attractive.


Ty Power

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