In Which I Chat With Matt Fraction About Iron Man, Avatar and Watchmen

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So Matt Fraction’s been in town for the last couple of weeks for various Marvel-y things that just so happened to coincide with Sega’s showcase of upcoming video games for the press. I was offered the opportunity to interview the Eisner award-winning writer who’s currently working on Invincible Iron Man and Thor. I jumped at the chance as you can imagine.

We probably didn’t talk enough about the game, but I’m okay with that. I had a quick demo and Sega definitely made some much needed changes from the first Iron Man game. I’m sure we’ll have a review when it comes out in April. In the mean time check out the trailer below and hit up the microsite.

Anyway, Matt and I talked about a lot of things ranging from comics to movies to coffee. I didn’t know he lived in or around Portland, OR. The transcript gets cut short, BTW. I turned my recorder off for some reason. We pretty much continued to geek out. It was rad.

MF: …like Tony’s back and can speak English again. It’s weird. I got to write my first Tony and Pepper talking scene and I was like, “Ah fuck, I miss this so much.” Because he’s been – it just hasn’t happened in so long. It’s like new armor on everything. I’m excited to get into it, get it moving.

PH: Speaking of new armor. Over the course of last year’s World’s Most Wanted story arc, you sort of put Tony in some old sets of armor. Are we going to see any of that in this game?

MF: That’s definitely a question for the Sega people. Not only are there old armors, but there are Easter egg, unlockable armors based on game performance. I’m not sure which ones. They can give you the stats. There’s probably even art for them, too.

PH: Are we going to see the 2010 suit of armor in the game?

MF: No, because the paint is still wet on that one.

(More on Techland: Iron Man’s New Suit: Basically Void Of Change)

PH: So, Iron Man’s suits: His stuff changes pretty frequently because it’s cutting edge technology and what not but about the new suit? What is it that makes it 2010?

MF: It’s actually more like 3010. When Tony’s back, his mind is a blank slate, even when his life functions, everything is gone. The entirety of what his brain is used for is deceased. And through a variety of exciting comic book adventures, he’s able to reboot his brain the way you’d reboot an OS on a hard drive with an upgrade. And it gives him root over the entirety of his body process. He can control his own heart rate. I’ve got to back up for a second. He’s got the arc rigged in his chest. Not so much because it makes it like the film, but because it makes it like the comics used to be where he was tied to his repulsor. He had it in his chest all the time to keep him alive and I missed that link. So I wanted to put that back in his chest, but that gives root over the entirety of his body. So he’s hacking what his biology is capable of and flooding his brain with more energy. We stopped eating roots and berries and started to eat nuts and hunt because our brains were growing. So he’s just pumping power into his head and he’s literally the world’s smartest man, so he designs an armor like we’ve never seen before. That no one has ever seen before.

… We should maybe hold this until 25 comes out. So to cut out all of the specifics, the answer is the armor is more like 3010. We’ve never seen armor like this before. It’s really exciting and completely different. Let’s just say that the user interface is wildly updated.

(More on Techland: My Life as a “Science Fetishist”)

PH: So in the first game we saw a hand full of Marvel villains, including Whiplash. Is that going to happen in the second game as well?

MF: Yes. It’s a much richer Marvel experience and it’s definitely a much deeper Iron Man experience. If you’re a fan, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces and if you’re not and you’re just sort of a fan of the film or a fan of the game, the world gets much deeper or much richer and its great seeing some of that stuff.

PH: Are any villains that you’ve written going to end up in the game?

MF: I don’t know if I’m allowed to answer that. …Yes.

(More on Techland: Say Hello To Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash)

PH: You didn’t have anything to do with the first Iron Man game right?

MF: Uh huh.

PH: But I’m sure you’re familiar with the story line. Does two pick up where one left off?

MF: I don’t know actually. People seem so unhappy with two I think he means one!). I only played the demo and never went much deeper than that because I thought it was pretty lousy. No disrespect for those who were involved, but the demo really never game together for me. So we just took it from a blank slate in a way. I know there was stuff that they would say is from the first game, and they were looking internally to not have too much confusion, but it’s really sort of a parallel experience to the film and to the book. The three worlds sort of overlap in a way that makes sense, though they don’t necessarily repeat one another or echo one another or replicate one another. But, they all sort of feel united.

PH: So the game follows the movie storyline?

MF: Movies are better movies than they are games. So there’s a parallel experience. It really takes the seed of the end of the last film – “I am Iron Man” – and kind of goes from there. But it has a sort of a different set of masters than the film has.

(More on Techland: Iron Man 2 Trailer: ‘I have successfully privatized world peace’)

PH: So the story of the game more or less intersects with the Iron Man universe and what’s going on right now?

MF: Not literally, but we see Tony dealing with being a hero with the history of an arms dealer and a weapons designer. We see Tony having to learn about what responsibility is in a real way for the first time in his life. It’s similar themes. You’ll see in the film, too.

PH: What are your thoughts on all of these superhero movies coming out right now?

MF: They’re good when they’re good. One of them does terrific and then you can have a couple of stinkers. You can have The Dark Knight, which makes a billion dollars and then you can have a Watchmen and it’s fine. Watchmen can suck all it needs to.

PH: Did you think Watchmen sucked?

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