You never know: ‘Iron Man’ on DVD is a big winner

The enormous box office success of Iron Man (a $318 million haul) only goes to show that you never know about superhero flicks.

After all, Fantastic Four was “the world’s greatest comic magazine,” as Marvel proudly dubbed it in 1961, and it launched the entire Marvel universe now populated by Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and so many more. But FF’s two theatrical films haven’t exactly been smasheroos.

And after all, if you shake up the equation by starring an Oscar-winning dramatic actor — say, Nicolas Cage for Ghost Rider — that doesn’t always work, either. But Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr., whom no one envisioned as a superhero before Iron Man, pulls it off brilliantly in this film, now new on DVD from Paramount. And Michael Keaton, while first known for comedy, wasn’t bad in his two Batman stints, either. So you see, you never know.

And beyond that, who’s Iron Man in terms of name value, especially among the likes of Spider-Man, Batman and Superman? Oh, I know. In fact, I know quite well, because I was a Marvel kid. In fact, I even purchased the first appearance of Iron Man in a comic book, which was Tales of Suspense, issue No. 39.

Then, Iron Man didn’t even have the whole comic — just the first story, followed by little five-page thrill yarns. So who’s Iron Man, anyway?

Try the most popular new superhero in the solar system. More than 40 years after his modest four-color comic book debut, Iron Man, on screen, knocks it out of the park for Marvel in its first foray into self-financed films.

So you see, you never know — and since you never know, and since the stakes and potential rewards are so high, we’re bound to find many more movie misfires with men and women in tights than we find Iron Man-worthy winners. But that’s show biz.

At any rate, well done Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau. As the embodiment of adolescent power fantasies, the superhero genre can grow old, stale and thin, but it also can be alive, vibrant and energized, and Iron Man, more than any other superhero flick of late, gets that job done.

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One Response to “You never know: ‘Iron Man’ on DVD is a big winner”

  1. Daniel's Critical Corner Says:

    Hands down this was the best movie of the year !!!
    (With The Dark Knight coming in a close second) !!!

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