Iron Man multi-tasks at annual comic convention

Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:14pm EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

SAN DIEGO, California (Reuters) - Iron Man is in the spotlight at this year's comic book convention Comic-Con, getting a grip on fans not just of comics and movies but also video games.

Video games have taken center stage alongside Hollywood as marketers take advantage of the 126,000 attendees traveling to San Diego for the annual multi-genre fan convention that began in 1970.

"Videogames are getting bigger and more important every day," said Iron Man's creator Stan Lee, publisher emeritus of Marvel Comics.

"Many are based on movies and/or comic books. In fact, the line of demarcation between movies and comic books is getting slimmer and slimmer. Today, when a comic book -- or a movie -- is being planned, one of the first questions asked is would it make a good video game?"

Lee was on hand with Activision Blizzard on Wednesday to showcase "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2," a game that allows players to choose from 24 superheroes and take part in a civil war between Captain America and Iron Man.

Iron Man is also on display at Japanese video game maker Capcom's booth, where he's a featured fighter in the new Xbox Live Arcade game, "Marvel vs. Capcom 2."

While Paramount Pictures' "Iron Man 2" movie director Jon Favreau and his cast won't unveil footage of the much-anticipated sequel until Saturday, Sega started showing off the "Iron Man 2" game at its convention booth during Wednesday's preview night.

But as the game features the actors and scenes from the film, it was a case of the virtual world trumping the movie world.   Continued...

<p>A life size "Iron Man" is on display in the Marvel booth at the 39th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego July 24, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>