NYCC 2012 Interview: Howard Chaykin and Gerald Parel Suit Up For 'Iron Man: Season One'

Howard Chaykin may be best known for his art, but he's taking on writing duties for "Iron Man: Season One," an OGN announced yesterday at New York Comic Con. To find out more about the book, which is penciled by Gerald Parel, we chatted with the team... and got put in our place by Chaykin:

MTV Geek: There's of course been a lot of takes on Iron Man's origin at this point - and I realize the Season One book look back to the original stories... But what's your take on Iron Man, and Tony Stark? What makes him unique as a character?

Howard Chaykin: I've been a fan of Iron Man since its creation. I love everything about the franchise--his origin, his politics, his personal problems--his mustache, for god's sake.

Gerald Parel: I think Iron Man was the first comic book I've ever read in its french version (Strange magazine). It was beautifully drawn by George Tuska and the story was about a Boxer who's nickname was "Iron Man." I loved the character so much! Especially since he has no power, but his intelligence. He's unique because he has problems just like anyone.

Geek: Howard, I think you've only very briefly worked on Iron Man, despite having tackled most of the rest of the Marvel Universe. What's it like taking on what's possibly the most iconic story for the Golden Avenger?

HC: I was thrown for a loop when I was solicited on this gig. Bear in mind, this material was written a few years back, and the editor who hired me on the material is long gone, but I remain grateful. It was a gas to write and update the origin I knew so well.

Geek: Gerald, how about you? You have worked on Iron Man before, so what's your process with him like here? What's different?

GP: I must say I felt very excited and nervous about it first. Being a long time fan of the character and some Iron Man artists like Jack Kirby, George Tuska and John Romita Jr./Bob Layton are part of my biggest influence--even though what I do can look different. In France, artists usually work on their own creations, characters et cetera. I tried to make this mine, but also tried to stay close to classic spirit the same time. It was a very long process, I admit.

Geek: Given the tweakings that occur with the Season One books, where are we going to see Tony imprisoned this time?

HC: I think that's officially none of your business until the book is in your hands. I hate spoilers, and so should you.

Geek: How about the armor... Is that going to get an updating, or is it the classic, built in a cave dome-head?

HC: Yes and no. Oddly enough, the script and its description, which predates the movie by quite a bit, prefigures and predicts a few of the source objects that were used in the film...and I'll leave it at that.

Geek: And are we going to see the movie version arc reactor in the mix?

HC: No.

Geek: For those who aren't familiar with the first few issues of Iron Man, what's the story arc here?

HC: Simply put, Tony Stark is a genius, but a reckless wreck in his personal life. He's confronted by the consequences of his actions--more than once--until he finally hits bottom, and has a moment of clarity--at which point he stops digging the hole he's been digging and climbs out to become the hero, flawed as he may be, that he was always intended to be.

Geek: Not having iconic bits of Iron Man lore, like his alcoholism... Does that present a challenge at all? Is it tempting to tease those bits so early in his history?

HC: You're in for a surprise.

Geek: Any final thoughts, or things we missed?

HC: Only that it would be really good for America if you all bought the hell out of the book. I thank you, and so does America.

GP: This is my first comic book work for US, it took me serious time to do my part. Thanks Howard and Marvel for their patience and faith.

Iron Man: Season One hits bookstores April, 2013 from Marvel Comics.