As anyone who pays attention to such things knows, the recent (and still-in-theatres) movie Iron Man is magnificent. It honestly stands comfortably shoulder-to-shoulder with such Super-Hero movies as X-Men 1 & 2, Spider-Man 2 & 2, and Batman Begins. It is a nearly flawless execution, not only standing on its own merits as a film, but (and herein lies a difficult feat for a film which aspires to the former accomplishment) is perfectly true to everything which is awesome about the comics upon which it is based.
Needless to say, there are a certain number of fans fresh out of the theatre, checking out the comic book stores for the first time, eager to experience more Iron Man adventures in their original form. Marvel has been doing an excellent job this past year or so of making that easy for people; printing and collecting into convenient trade paperbacks (henceforth referred to as "TPBs) a number of diverse Iron Man stories. Anyone who enjoyed the film can walk into a comic book shop, plunk down $15 or so and pick up any one of a number of fine collected and complete stories to take home with them.
Sadly, as hard as Marvel has been working there are other who are working against this endeavour. Just earlier today, I read this amazing post on a comic-book-related mesage board I frequent:
I hate all the new Iron Man retards who come in to my store and are like, "huurrr, give me some AWEsome Iron Man coimcs, like the movie, you know?"
They don't even realize Tony is a Nazi, and I have to spend hours explaining to them all the differences between the comic and the movie just so they can get it.
Unless I want to sell them Ultimates. Chyeah right.
I was immediately appalled, and decided to post a rejoinded to him which I now repeat here (with links and such!)
Okay, here's how a non-retarded clerk handles this first-time customer fresh out of the theatre loving Iron Man.
I ask them, "What did you like about the movie?"
If they tell me "I liked Tony. He was a charming bastard", then I'm going to point out Ultimates Volume 1 (in hardcover or softcover), extolling the virtues of the delightful scumbag Tony was throughout this story and how delightfully fun he was.
If they tell me "I loved the scenes where he was flying around and stuff. That was so cool", I'm going to tell them to check out Iron Man: Hypervelocity; an entirely self-contained story recently collected in one compact volume, which was all about aerial dogfighting, fast planes and super-speed technology.
They tell me "I loved all the high-tech sci-fi stuff", I'm going to reccommend to them Either Iron Man: Extremis, or Ultimate Human, both by Warren Ellis, both collected in handsome volumes, both very readable on their own as isolated stories or as a part of a larger tapestry, and both dealing with Iron Man as a scientist, trying to build and develop new technologies to deal with problems which are beyond his ability to punch out (though both have excellent action sequences as well).
They tell me "Hurr, I liked it when he was blowing up them terrorists", then I'll point them in the direction of Iron Man : Director of S.H.I.E.l.D., which takes place after he becomes the head of a huge international anti-terrorist task force.
In short, I find out what they like, and point them towards comics which contain that, and if they like it, then maybe I've got a new regular customer. Then, THEN I might have conversations with them about what's good and bad. I certainly don't crush their enthusiasm and drive them out of the store disappointed.
Incidentally, dear reader, I would reccommend any of these to you, both from personal experience and on the basis of any enjoyment of the film that you may have experienced.