The Armored Legends Collection
Zoom Suit #1 included a “Retailers Incentive Offer.” Retailers were rewarded with one of the rare Armored Legends retailer incentives based upon their initial order of Zoom Suit. Zoom Suit #1 had four (4) retailer incentive Issues.
This is Bob Layton’s personal interpretation of bad guy SIMON BANE and was a 10-1 retailer incentive. This means that comic shop retailers had to order 10 copies of Zoom Suit #1 to receive one copy of this tough to find edition. Like the Zoom Suit #1 cover “C”, this issue “re-imagines” Bob’s famous Marvel Comics Iron Man #118. However, it’s very different than the standard edition cover “C”, and easily recognizable. The easiest way to tell Cover “C” from the Bob Layton Armored Legends Collection #1 is the bright blue coloring, retro trade dress, retro cover price. Also Simon is wearing glasses in the standard cover “C” edition, while in the Armored Legends edition Simon has no glasses. Of course, it’s also clearly labeled “ARMORED LEGEND” near the Zoom Suit Logo. Buy It Here if it’s not sold out.
In 1978, with writing partner David Michelinie, Bob totally re-imagined Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man, transforming it into one of Marvel’s all-time best sellers. Bob’s work on the Iron Man story, “Demon in a Bottle” is considered a milestone in comic history and was recently voted as ‘one of the top 20 comic stories of all time. Numerous concepts and characters that Bob created are represented on the silver screen in the 2008 motion picture–Iron Man and the sequel- IRON MAN 2.
Bart Sears’ homage to one of his most famous images, Valiant Comics X-O Man-O-War #14 (Which coincidentally was written by Bob Layton!) Bart’s cover re-creation features the Zoom Suit and Brittany in the 1992 Valiant Comics classic pose. This edition was a 20-1 retailer incentive. Retailers has to order 20 copies of Zoom Suit #1 in order to receive a single copy of this rare edition. It says ARMORED LEGEND near the Zoom Suit Logo and is a mostly pink and blue with green crackling energy from the hands of the Zoom Suit. At 20X AS RARE AS ZOOM SUIT #1, this is tough to get your hands on. Check for availability here.
Bart Sears unique style and dynamic layouts have been featured in comics for every major imprint and many independent publishers for over 25 years. Highlights include critically acclaimed runs on DC Comics Justice League Europe and Legends of the Dark Knight, Valiant Coics X-O Manowar, Turok and Image Comics Violator. Bart has taught at The Kubert School of Comic Book Art, and is the author of the well known monthly series Brutes and Babes that was featured in Wizard Magazine, as well as the How-To book ‘Drawing Powerful Comics: Volume One’ which has achieved a cult status.
Gene was the original cover artist on the silver age masterpiece, IRON MAN #1, which he recreated for this super scarce 25-1 retailer incentive. Retailers received just a single copy of this edition for every 25 copies of Zoom Suit ordered. It features classic silver age trade dress and the iconic 12 cent price from the early days of the Marvel Age of comic books. The single big image of Zoom on the deep blue background is a homage to Gene’s most famous work. Clearly labeled ARMORED LEGEND near the Zoom Suit Logo, this is a very collectable and hard to source edition. In 2001 Gene did the amazing Iron Man #1 cover recreation (pencils, inks, color) that you see pictured. It was placed up for auction with an opening bid of $5000.00.
Gene Colan was an American comic book artist best known for his work for Marvel Comics, where his signature titles include the superhero series, Daredevil, the cult-hit satiric series Howard the Duck, and The Tomb of Dracula, considered one of comics’ classic horror series. He co-created the Falcon, the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics, and the non-costumed, supernatural African-American character Blade, which went on to star in the series of films starring Wesley Snipes.
Colan was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005. Sadly, Gene passed away on June 23 of 2011. He will be missed.
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Jim Starlin’s Zoom Suit cover is a homage to the iconic Iron Man #100. Like its’ 70′s classic predecessor, it features a single image of Myles in the Zoom Suit snapping a piece of steel. The cover is all metallic silver. This was a 50-1 retailer incentive! Retailers had to order 50 copies of Zoom Suit in order to receive a single copy of this extremely rare edition. Like the other 3 ARMORED LEGENDS it also says ARMORED LEGEND near the Zoom Suit Logo. It also features retro 70′s trade dress and the classic 70′s retro cover price.
Jim Starlin’s early work for Marvel included three issues of Iron Man, introducing the fan favorite character Thanos. He was then given the chance to draw an issue (#25) of the “cosmic” title Captain Marvel. Starlin took over as plotter the following issue, and began developing an elaborate story arc – Thanos saga which remains a critical piece of the “Marvel Universe” continuity. Years later Jim would return to Iron Man to create one of the most famous covers on the series, Iron Man #100.
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Zoom Suit #2 ARMORED LEGEND EDITION BOB LAYTON
As if the definitive Iron Man artist, Bob Layton’s, remarkable homage to Tales of Suspense #39 wasn’t enough – It Glows in the dark! This was a 25 to 1 retailer incentive with the unannounced “Extra Feature” of the “Element 116″ glow in the dark cover. The glow in the dark ink was barely perceptible until sundown, when fans and retailers alike began to chat about the strange glow. The result was a rush to own this rare comic. Additionally, Zoom Suit #2 is the rarest of the four issue limited series. Because comic book retailers are forced to order their books two months in advance, they were caught short on all Zoom Suit #2 issues, were as they had time to bump up orders on issues #3 and #4.
The background utilized for this edition is an actual screen gran from the animated series, while the inset images and full body image of Zoom is a homage to Tales of Suspense #39 – the first appearance of Marvel Comic’s Iron Man.
Zoom Suit’s Armored Legend Edition for issue #3 was a recreation of the most famous comic book cover of all time. Considered the first true superhero comic book, Action Comics #1, published in June of 1938, features the first appearance of Superman. This edition was a 25 to 1 retailer incentive.
Although most people don’t know, it was this very cover that allowed Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to introduce Superman to the world. Action Comics was started by publisher Jack Liebowitz, who would later say that selecting Superman to run in the comic was “pure accident” based upon deadline pressure and that he selected a “thrilling” cover, depicting a man lifting a car over his head.
Bart’s re-imagination depicts Zoom in the iconic superhero pose SPOILER WARNING: Although it’s not in issue #3 that Zoom lifts a car. That happens in issue #2 when He hammers Simon Bane with the neighbors pride and joy. The cover has been compared to Hercules Clubs the Hydra by Antonio del Pollaiolo.
Zoom Suit #4 ARMORED LEGEND EDITION BOB LAYTON
In the last Armored Legends Edition in Zoom Suit Series 1, Bob Layton captures the drama, action and excitement of his fan favorite, classic Marvel Comics Iron Man #131. In the original, which featured Iron Man vs. the Hulk, we see the Hulk coming in for the killing blow, with what appears to be Iron Man down for the count.
The cars on the ship depict the battlefield for the penultimate battle of Technology vs. Technology, Zoom vs. Simon Bane and finally the real secret behind the Zoom Suit. Like his original, Bob recaptures “the Moment” with foreboding shadow effects on the powerful X-80 Hunter Killer Robot.
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