Marvel's “Iron Man 3” became the film with the second-highest-grossing opening of all time last weekend. “Iron Man 3” opened to $174.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo, which is second only to “Marvel's The Avengers,” at $207.4 million.
Typically, part threes haven't fared as well at the box office, but “Iron Man 3” breaks that trend, and makes the top 2 all-time opening movies both Marvel Studios films starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The film is doing even better overseas, already crossing the $500 million barrier.
Fans who want to dig deeper into the history of “Iron Man” have a lot of options in the comic-book series. Here are three comics for fans to read after “Iron Man 3.”
“Iron Man: Extremis”
Warren Ellis and Adi Granov wrote this update of Iron Man in 2005. It's the comic that “Iron Man 3” draws the most from, including the characters of Aldrich Killian, Maya Hansen and the Extremis tech. Though “Iron Man 3” is unquestionably its own story, “Extremis” is a good comic to read as an alternate take.
“Extremis” has also been released as a motion comic and a prose novel. It's a good summer for Ellis; “Red 2,” coming in August, is based on the comic-book series “Red” by Ellis.
“Invincible Iron Man: Five Nightmares”
Matt Fraction's take on Iron Man is one of the definitive looks at the character. In “Five Nightmares,” Tony Stark must deal with technologically enhanced bombers, as he does in “Iron Man 3.”
“The version of Extremis that ends up in the movie is suspiciously similar to the actual way that bomb people manifest in ‘Five Nightmares' — it's kind of a mash-up, as it were,” Shane Black told Empire Online.
“Iron Man Vol. 1: Believe (Marvel NOW!)”
Marvel comics relaunched many of its top series in 2012, including “Iron Man.” Kieron Gillen (“Uncanny X-Men”) takes over as writer and Greg Land as the artist in a new series that shares some similarities with the latest “Iron Man” film. The first graphic novel, “Believe,” features the Extremis tech that plays a role in “Iron Man 3,” but also introduces new villains. Gillen praised Tony Stark in an interview with Marvel.com.
“The best thing about the character is the character,” Gillen told Marvel.com. “I just want to do a lot of new things and Iron Man is all about invention. It's why I'm using Extremis to drive the plot. Throughout the first five issues you'll meet new villains.”
In addition to mainstays Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, Maya Hansen, seen in “Iron Man 3,” plays a role in “Believe.”
For more about comics and graphic novels, visit Matt's blog at newsok.com/blogs/nerdage.