Iron Man - The Key Issues
The Iron Man character was created by Stan Lee and further developed by writer Larry Lieber ( brother of Stan Lee ) and artists Jack Kirby and Don Heck. Iron Man made his first appearance in March 1963 in issue 39 of Tales Of Suspense, the character would go on to become one of the most beloved and enduring Marvel superheroes. Unlike many superheroes Iron Man is portrayed as being far from perfect, Tony Stark Iron Mans alter ego is a rich millionaire playboy who at times has suffered from severe alcoholism. Stark has been a renowned womanizer and has clashed with other superheroes morally and ethically on many occasions, notably Captain America during the Civil War storyline. It is probably safe to say it is due to Starks human frailties that Iron Man has remained fresh to readers over the years and remains an immensely popular character in both comic books and film.
Tales Of Suspense # 39
After suffering a life threatening chest injury after being captured by terrorists, industrialist Tony Stark is forced by his captors to create weaponry to aid in their cause, pretending to go along with their aims Stark builds a battle suit from spare parts that not only allows him to fight his way out of the terrorist camp but also protects his badly damaged heart from failing. To many younger readers the image of Iron Man on the cover of Tales Of Suspense # 39 will not be too familiar, the early design of the Iron Man armor looked extremely basic and almost robotic, it was not until issue # 48 when the suit was redesigned by artist Steve Ditko that we see a suit that resembles what we see today.
Tales Of Suspense # 45
In this issue we first meet two characters that would become major players in Iron Man comics from then on, Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. Former Boxer Hogan becomes Tony Starks personal assistant, chauffeur and loyal friend over the years. Virginia "Pepper" Potts began working for Stark industries in the secretarial pool but after solving an accounting problem for Stark she becomes his secretary and sometimes love interest although she would later fall in love with and marry Hogan in issue 91 of the series.
Tales Of Suspense # 48
In this issue Iron Man is seen wearing armor that looks much more familiar to the modern reader. The armor was redesigned by artist Steve Ditko, Ditko is probably better known as the co creator and artist on the early issues of Spider-man.
Iron Man 3 Trailer
Tales Of Suspense # 50
With super human martial arts skills and rings that have been adapted from alien technology, genius scientist The Mandarin would become one of Iron Mans most frequent opponents. In this issue we meet The Mandarin for the first time. The Mandarin was played by British actor Ben Kingsley in the 3rd movie of the Iron Man movie franchise.
Tales Of Suspense # 97
Whiplash ( Mark Scarlotti ) also known as Blacklash makes his debut in this issue and becomes a recurring Iron Man foe. Numerous characters have been given the name Whiplash within the Marvel universe with the most familiar being Anton Vanko as it is this version that appears in the movie Iron Man 2 starring Mickey Rourke.
The Avengers # 1
Alongside Thor, Hulk, Ant Man and The Wasp, Iron Man becomes part of the new superhero team The Avengers. The Avengers would go on to be a hugely successful comic book which at issue # 4 reintroduced Golden Age hero Captain America and of course in 2012 spawned a blockbuster movie.
Iron Man # 1
After sharing the spotlight with Captain America in Tales of Suspense, Iron Man finally gets his own monthly book in May 1968. The book features a famous cover by artist Gene Colan.
Iron Man # 55
This is becoming a very valuable book in high grade as it features the first appearance of cosmic super villain, the Avatar of Death, Thanos.
Iron Man # 118
The introduction of the character who would go on to become Iron Man Jim " Rhodey " Rhodes.
Iron Man # 128 Demon In A Bottle
The Demon In A Bottle storyline ran from issues # 120 to 128 in Iron Man comics and has become an iconic and well loved storyline to comic book fans, The cover to issue 128 with art by Bob Layton shows the misery and desperation in Tony Starks face as he descends into alcoholism.
Iron Man # 282
Tony Stark wears the War Machine armor for the first time.
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