Iron Man-- Peter David
This is a paperback novelization of the movie by Peter David. Because it is a novelization of a movie, it has to stick to the story in the movie. The paperback was released a month before the movie was released. There is a picture of Iron Man's face on the cover. The goal of these type of paperbacks is to encourage you to go out and see the movie.
The story modernizes the comic book iron man. Iron man was retired in comic book form a while ago. Marvel comics is reviving the franchise.
Tony Stark is a world leading weaponry salesman. His goal is to sell weapons to the United States so the United States military can be the best in the world.
Stark makes a trip to Afghanistan and is driving in a convoy when it is hit by insurgents. He is captured. The terrorist insurgents demand he fix some of his own weaponry so they can use it against American troops. He sees firsthand that the enemy is using his weaponry.
Instead, Tony Stark builds a prototype of his iron man suit and fights his way out, escaping to freedom. He makes a vow to stop selling weaponry the world over. His experience creates a change of heart. Also, he gets shrapnel near his heart signifying a physical change. He has to have a magnetic chest plate put in to stop the shrapnel from entering his heart.
The story is very straightforward, the writer, Peter David makes it come across easily. There is not a lot of angst or deep thought. It is action oriented and about change.
When he gets home, he announces the change in his company. However, many people in the company don't want to change. They plan for Tony Stark's downfall. Thus we have the classic Judas story, where there is a traitor in the midst.
Tony Stark builds a new more powerful iron man suit and goes to defeat the terrorists, destroying the weapons which were manufactured by Stark Industries.
When he gets home, he must face the Judas, an appropriately named villain, Mr. Stane. Mr. Stane has built a suit similar to Iron Man's which he plans to sell as a weapon of war, the Iron Monger. A major battle ensues where Iron Man destroys the Iron Monger.
This is very straightforward action. Iron Man even plays Metallica and Black Sabbath rock music while he is fighting the villains. Peter David does a good job creating a straightforward story of good versus evil. Tony Stark starts out as a millionaire playboy without a conscience and gets a conscience through directly experiencing the bad guys.
The book was quite easy to read. I finished it in about two and a half hours. It is the kind of thing which you can read in an afternoon.
Peter David has written numerous Star Trek novels, for Babylon 5, for Marvel and DC comics, as well as a few of his own novels like Tigerheart. Tigerheart is advertised on the inside front cover of the Iron Man paperback. He is an entertaining bestselling writer.