Iron Man Writer Bob Layton Trashes Current Iron Man Comics

As countless comic book writers have found out over the years, not all superheroes are created equal, as it often takes more than just delivering readers expected adventures to make a character become a success. Comic book creator Bob Layton is one of the defining writers of the Iron Man series, with his run on the book beginning in the late '70s debuting James Rhodes, Justin Hammer, and the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline that introduced the concept of Tony Stark's alcoholism. While Layton claims he no longer keeps up with the character's comics, he noted how difficult a time Marvel has had in finding the right approach to the character.

"I don't follow the comics but I know about [Riri Williams] because when they do something egregious, all my fans start writing me immediately," Layton shared with Adventures in Poor Taste. "So I know every horrible thing that's ever happened to Iron Man even though I don't follow the books, because the fans hate the Iron Man comic."

Riri Williams took center stage in the Iron Man comic, fighting crime under the alias "Ironheart." Fans enjoyed the character, but she didn't have the staying power of Tony Stark, resulting in the series being re-launched.

When the relaunch was brought up, Layton noted, "Because nobody can ever get it right, it seems like I'm the only guy who's ever been able to do the character properly, you know?"

The topic came up in response to a discussion about Robert Downey Jr.'s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe possibly ending, with many reports claiming he will exit the franchise for good following Avengers 4. While a character like Captain America is symbolic and has been adopted by multiple identities, Iron Man is intrinsically linked to Tony Stark, possibly preventing a new performer from stepping into the iconic suit.

Despite knowing these difficulties for the live-action franchise, Layton thinks it's time for the character to be played by a fresh face.

"I think it would be smart for [Downey] to move on while he's still young enough to do some other stuff, but the money Hollywood throws at you is hard to turn down too, because they throw some serious bucks," the creator pointed out. "I mean, he's the highest paid male actor in Hollywood and he's raising a family, so who knows? I don't really know. I would say retire the character and let somebody else be Iron Man for a while. Draft some Riri whatever her name is — I hate that."

The most recent title, Tony Stark - Iron Man, kicked off last June.


What do you think about the difficulties of a new character becoming Iron Man? Let us know in the comments below!

[H/T Adventures in Poor Taste]