Those of us out there who haven’t seen Iron Man 3, but enjoy comics—specifically of the Marvel variety—and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe may wonder “Is it worth seeing?” To answer that question first: Yes it is. Or rather for casual movie goers who want a near-summer blockbuster with action, adventure, explosions, and big names it’s definitely worth going to see. You’ll get all of these and more with Iron Man 3.
The difficult thing is selling it to movie goers who belong to a particular fandom—myself included. Comic book fans, videogame fans, fans of particular fantasy and sci-fi series—we all tend to be very particular and defensive with our favorite franchise and rightfully so when we first hear about it being made into a movie. Sometimes the concern is unfounded for the most part such as the case with the more recent Star Trek film, half-and-half such as episodes I-III of Star Wars (I enjoyed Episode II and Episode III), and sometimes we’re spot on to be concerned and really tear into directors for going through with it.
I was so right about the Death Race and Dragon Ball remakes. Those should’ve never been touched and now Death Race has like three movies and neither of them managed to catch the magic of the original. Let’s not forget about Dragon Ball and let’s not get started on that cursed bundle of nonsense. I mean, really now.
There was no reason for this particular live action Dragon Ball film. It’s easily the most popular and marketable anime to hit stateside. Some would argue One Piece here, but One Piece most likely won’t be one of those franchises that will see videogames, reprinting of the comic, action figures, and updates years after it ended. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z ended in the mid-1990s, didn’t hit the U.S until the year it ended, and ran clean into the early 2000s. Even though the series is done, there are still new videogames being made when there’s nothing else to work with (no one’s going to use Dragon Ball GT, it might as well not count at all).
Back on the topic of Iron Man 3 and comic book fandom, this really doesn’t apply. We’re three movies—four if you count The Avengers—into the film adaptation of Tony Stark’s adventures. That’s the keyword here: “film adaptation”. The way a fan of the comic should take it is that it is non-canonical to the actual, core material (the comics) and have little to no bearing on the events that occur—outside of maybe Nick Fury Jr., but he was created more as a reaction to the current film interpretation of Nick Fury by Samuel L. Jackson. It would be difficult to successfully tie the movie into the comics without putting the comics on hold for a while.
So would it be worth going to see for comic book fans? Of course! It’s a great film with an interesting story. If you’re one of those fans who feel that he or she would simply rage at the inaccuracies of some of the stuff in it—which you shouldn’t since we’re three films into it—consider that this is an entirely different universe from the comics. It’s what had to be done to ease people when news of mixed race Spider-Man was announced for the Ultimate Comics brand of Spider-Man some years ago.
Again, it doesn’t count for anything, it’s a different Marvel Universe, and it’s the third in a film adaptation. They’ve established their universe by now and they’ve done a pretty good job. Could I have applied that to Dragon Ball? No. The ball was dropped way too hard on that.