Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Other Iron Man

If one is observant and alert during the credits of the movie The Iron Giant, one notices the following: "Based on the book The Iron Man"-wait, what?

No, not that Iron Man.

The book was written by someone named Ted Hughes. The title was coincidental-it was originally published in England, and its title was changed to The Iron Giant before publishing over here.

So, other than really nice movies and having metal armor and the word "iron" in both their names, what do they have in common? Even in the original book (a children's book), the Giant was a superhero.

So what did he do there?

According to Wikipedia, after an initial scare, the Giant was accepted by the local village (which, by the way, was in England), but the peace was short-lived because

astronomers monitoring the sky make a frightening new discovery; a massive "star spirit" shaped like a black dragon moving from orbit to land on Earth. The "Star Spirit" crashes heavily on Australia, later demanding humanity provide him with food. Terrified, humans send their armies to destroy the Star Spirit, but it remains unharmed.

OMG just like in the comic books!


When the Iron Man [Giant] hears of this global threat, he allows himself to be disassembled and transported to Australia. There, he challenges the Star Spirit to a contest of strength: if the Iron Man can withstand the heat of burning petroleum for longer than the Star Spirit can withstand the heat of the Sun, the Star Spirit must obey the Iron Man's commands forever more; if the Iron Man melts or is afraid of melting before the Star Spirit undergoes or fears pain in the Sun, the Spirit has permission to devour the whole Earth.

After playing the game three rounds, the Star Spirit is so badly burned that he no longer appears physically frightening. The Iron Man, by contrast, has only a deformed ear-lobe to show for his pains. The Star Spirit admits defeat.

Boy, the Star Spirit was dumb.

So, yeah. Probably just a lot of eerie coincidences... I think.

-Signing off.

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