Marvel’s Next Big Thing: IRON AGE With an Exclusive Preview of IRON AGE: ALPHA!

Today we took part in a press call with writer Rob Williams and editor Tom Brennan to talk about Marvel's big ol' time-hoppin' event, Iron Age


Writer Rob Williams is now exclusive with Marvel (Note the M on that varsity jacket wrapped around his waist).

Iron Age is an opportunity to tour the entire history of the Marvel U, or at least a few major eras. The origin of the concept is actually in Williams' love for the NFL and special occasions when favorite teams don uniforms from bygone eras. So this is a celebration of the evolving look and tone of the Marvel Universe. That said, explains Williams, "It can't just be fan fiction. There has to be a heart to it. It's not just about nostalgia."

Iron Age sees Iron Man traversing the time stream to mend the damage wrought by a scorned former employee. Using Doctor Doom's time machine, this mad scientist brings Dark Phoenix through a rift in reality and brings about planet-wide destruction. Tony is the only hero to survive the cataclysm, and it's up to him to set things straight.

Williams calls artist Rebekah Isaacs the premier shark artist of her generation (the mad scientist's lab is located miles beneath the ocean's surface). But these two are not the only creative team involved.

The Iron Age #1 includes an Avengers tale from Christos Gage and Lee Weeks.

The Iron Age #2 features a collaboration by Jen Van Meter and Nick Dragotta on Power Man and Iron Fist and a Torch-centric FF story from Elliot Kalan and Ron Frenz.

The Iron Age #3 sees Louise Simonson and Todd Nauck delivering some Dazzler.

Iron Man interacts with a number of heroes throughout time, and they don't always welcome him with open arms. For some, Stark is a notorious booze hound and probably not the most reliable source for prophetic advice. Brennan offers that any time travel story worth it's salt really needs a Dazzler tale from the disco era. It just makes sense. And who doesn't want to see Luke Cage in his tiara again? Don't answer that. One of the big thrills for the English writer is featuring Captain Britain in his prime.

Asked about the tension within the fan community over the subject of Jean Grey, Williams stresses that such characters are deserving of respect, but he's trying not to be terrified to utilize hot button characters. While Dark Phoenix serves as a weapon of mass destruction in the opening of the story, a younger Jean Grey appears later in the story to provide more of an emotional arc.

I asked whether the time-hopping aspect in the story also translated to tonal shifts in Williams and the other writers' narrative style. This was very much the case, and the creative teams were carefully chosen for either their personal involvement in that period of 70s era Marvel or, in the case of writers like Christos Gage, their modern sensibilities jibing with the title. We're looking at Stern era Avengers and the dangerous, maybe even nihilistic Captain Britain world of the 80s.

Like pathos? Tony meets his alcoholic self.

How does time work in this story? Wouldn't Dazzler be a late 90s or even a 2000s performer in today's continuity as opposed to a disco era singer? Brennan explains that it's a tricky balance, but they're avoiding Raegan robots and if a time period joke is funny, they're not going to pass on a great opportunity for humor.

"There will always be unemployed musicians in New York using roller skates to get from place to place." Brennan says. And that includes Iron Man's roller skate armor. For real. 



Take a look at the myriad covers from Iron Age proper as well as a few tie-ins. 


Marvel was also sweet enough to send us an exclusive preview of Iron Age: Alpha!



Iron Age runs from June through August with three 48-page main series books, bookended by Alpha and Omega issues. 



  1. Jesus, can we worry about one “next big thing” at a time?!

  2. This was originally gonna be called ‘Throwback’, or ‘Avengers: Throwback’. The release was going to be around the same time as the NFL ‘Throwback’, but the artists/writers probably got behind schedule, so they must have changed the name to ‘iron age’.

  3. I love Iron Man.  I also think time travel stories are getting kinda stale, and when I read this I kept thinking it was a late April Fools.

  4. Tony Stark builds a “death star” that eventually gets blown up from the looks of things…

  5. This sounds fun.  Luge Cage cover is great plus disco Dazzler.  I’m so onboard.

  6. I’m repeating myself again but this is the third time Iron Man time traveling has come up. They’re always fun stories especially if Doom is involved.

  7. @TheNextChampion: There is a hardy heritage with Iron Man traveling back through time with the aid of Dr. Doom. It’s not a retread, but rather an intended recurring theme.

  8. @William: I didn’t say it was a retread.

    I love these stories when Doom and Stark are paired together. Doomquest and Legacy of Doom are fantastic trades. Everyone should get them. 

  9. Might check it out esp with classic form of marvel characters showing up

  10. Starkpoint! the future and the past will never be the same!

  11. I love these types of stories, especially when Marvel digs thru it’s silver and bronze era goodness. Consider me at the table with two spoons ready, and my napkin tucked in.

  12. 3 issues plus an omega and alpha issue- so why not call it 5 issues?

  13. Anyone else kinda think this is combat the DC Retro books coming out?

    Aside from that, sign me up, for at least the Gage written Avengers with She-Hulk. I miss her outside the Hulk Universe.

    Also, would like to read sober Tony meets drunk Tony. Could be done with great charm and some humor or could be easily overdone in many ways.

  14. seems rather irrelevant. the fact that the 616 is still here negates the entire threat of “Iron Age”. As a basis to revisit time-laden characters? indulgent at best, I’d rather go to the long boxes than see the classics paraded out of time and out of thier established canon.

  15. @nightwalker  Only read the comics that matter.

  16. @ResurrectionFlan  No, only read the comics that are good. That’s all that should matter.

  17. @josh  I was being silly. 🙂 Comics shouldn’t be a pyramid scheme.