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adapted by Marie Javins
performed by a full cast
2014 Graphic Audio
5 hours unabridged
Genres: science fiction, comic heroes
Filed in: Audiobook Reviews
5 out of 5 halos
PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Advanced technology has given Iron Man life, but now that same future tech threatens to become Stark's death. A dangerous terrorist has ingested a new techno-organic virus, transforming him into a superhuman killing machine. Now immensely powerful, but driven mad by the virus' effects, the terrorist is seemingly unstoppable. To halt this madman's psychotic rampage, Iron Man must face this dangerous new virus head-on...in a life-or-death battle that will forever alter Stark's calculated balance between man and machine. Experience Warren Ellis and Adi Granov's blockbuster re-imagining of the armored Avenger like never before in this new adaptation!
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Ever since the creation of Captain America during World War II, scientists have been trying to re-create the super soldier serum that gave the Captain his super abilities and then was lost for all time. Now, Maya Hansen, a top researcher in the field, has made a major breakthrough. Her Extremis serum has been successfully tested on animals but before it could go any further it was stolen by a low-level thug named Mallen, who promptly tested the serum on himself. Extremis was a huge success, giving Mallen all kinds of super strength and abilities.
What does Mallen decide to do with his new-found power? Naturally he wants to destroy the government whom he blames for the death of his wife and child. However, it just so happens that Maya Hansen is an old friend of Tony Stark so when Mallen begins his rampage she turns to Tony in hopes that Iron Man can stop the destruction. Now Iron Man is a pretty tough dude but let’s just say his first duel with Mallen does not go well. In fact, Iron Man gets his butt kicked. But don’t take my word for it, let’s hear it in Tony Stark’s own words as he describes his injuries to an EMT on the scene:
Everything is broken. I have pulverized bones, excessive bleeding and internal injuries. And the piece of Velcro I use to scratch my nose is missing.So Tony’s in pretty bad shape. His armor is all busted up and his body is even more busted up. In fact, if the armor wasn’t holding his broken body together he would probably be dead already. Modern medicine might be able to save him, but that would take months and a full recovery seems doubtful. Stark’s only hope may be the Extremis serum itself. If successful, the Extremis could heal him and give him enough power to stop his enemy, but in his current state there’s no guarantee he could even survive the violent changes brought on by the serum. Probable death versus saving lives: it’s the same decision superheroes face all the time and there’s no question which way Tony Stark will go.
I appreciated the capable way in which Warren Ellis handled the character of Iron Man. Of course, the superhero in any story is at the mercy of the person doing the writing and it’s up to that person to have a good working knowledge of how that hero should act. Ellis showed a good amount of knowledge and imagination in handling Iron Man and using the abilities, and weaknesses, of his armor to the fullest extent. There was one scene in particular where Iron Man was trapped beneath a car and being burned alive until his suit began to actually draw energy and power from the fire itself. I never even knew Iron Man could do that but it makes sense; his armor is the most technologically advanced piece of equipment on the planet after all.
Okay, here are a few things that caught me by surprise in Iron Man: Extremis. While I was listening to the audio I thought this book was borrowing from the Iron Man origin story from the first Iron Man movie, where Tony Stark was wounded and captured by some insurgents in Afghanistan and he built his first suit of armor to save his own life and also to escape. I also thought that the Extremis story was borrowing heavily from the plot of the third Iron Man movie, where ordinary humans were deliberately infected with some sort of virus that gave them all sorts of crazy superhuman abilities like super strength and breathing fire. After I finished Extremis and began reading about its production I was surprised to learn that Iron Man: Extremis was originally written in 2005, three years before the first Iron Man movie hit theaters. It was actually the movies that borrowed heavily from the Extremis story.
Iron Man: Extremis was a six-issue storyline originally published in Marvel’s Iron Man comic book series. It served as a “new beginning” for Iron Man, redefining his origin and significantly upgrading his power and abilities. The original comics were written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Adi Granov. It was adapted for audio by Marie Javins. The audio production was directed by Richard Rohan and featured the voice talents of Richard Rohan, Richard Cutting, Sherry Berg, Andy Brownstein, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Kimberly Gilbert, Michael John Casey, Scott Graham, Nora Achrati, Jacob Yeh, Steve Wannall, David Harris, Christopher Graybill, Evan Casey, Drew Kopas, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, Sasha Olinick, Nanette Savard, Rex Anderson, Rebecca Sheir, Matthew Schleigh, Tim Pabon and James Lewis.
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Special thanks to Graphic Audio for this review copy. Audiobook review by Steven Brandt. This audiobook review is based on the unabridged audiobook. Come back soon for more audiobook reviews from Audiobook-Heaven.