Last week’s popular release of Iron Man in theaters has galvanized our fascination with robots and cybernetics. The original Iron Man was drawn up in 1963 as your average, metallic American freedom fighter. But the new movie’s styles have taken hints from robotics portrayed in Japanese anime, reminiscent of vintage tin toys from the 1950s.
The distinctive styling is really an example of American and Japanese cross-pollination. As C.B. Cebulski reports in Anime fringe:
“Keron Grant is the new penciler of Iron Man for Marvel, and he was asked to redesign Iron Man’s armor. When Keron met Kia Asamiya at Wizard World, he confessed to Kia that for inspiration for Iron Man’s new armor, he looked at Kia’s character from Steam Detectives, the Emperor of Steam. Kia just looked at Keron and rather matter-of-factly replied, ‘That’s cool! When I was designing the Emperor of Steam, I looked at Iron Man for my inspiration.”
There is just something satisfying about armor and robots made of real metal… is it nostalgia for when the whole world wasn’t seemingly encased in plastic?