Our next stop on the road to Free Comic Book Day is, oddly enough, at your local multiplex. The inaugural FCBD took place a mere day after the release of the first Spider-Man movie, and, while not all Free Comic Book Days since have been coordinated with movie openings, the overall event has nevertheless been strongly linked to geek cinema. This year’s offering is none other than the Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man, a film that, much like Raimi’s Spider-Man, began development decades ago and changed both hands and directions many times in the process.
A far cry from Tobey Maguire’s science nerd turned web-slinger, this film casts Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire industrialist and international playboy Tony Stark. In true Hollywood fashion, the movie takes certain liberties with classical Iron Man canon. (Though it does, at least with regard to Nick Fury, seem to make a knowing nod in the direction of Marvel’s Ultimate continuity.) Still, the story manages to hit the major plot points of the Iron Man origin. Specifically, Stark sustains a shrapnel injury to the heart, is taken captive by era appropriate foils, and then crafts a high-tech pacemaker that also conveniently doubles as an unstoppable suit of power armor.
With the most popular of the YouTube-posted Iron Man trailers already well over the 3 million views mark, it’s hard to imagine a comic fan who’s not excited about the release, so let’s not focus on the obvious. Instead, let’s plumb the minds of the Geekdad community with something a bit more substantial.
Given the history between comic book movies and Free Comic Book Day and the often strained relations between comic books and comic-derivative media, is it a good idea to link FCBD – either formally or unofficially – with a film release?