Iron Man (comics)

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What if a guy had a suit of armor, but it was a modern suit of armor - not like years ago in the days of King Arthur - and what if the suit of armor made him as strong as any superhero? ~ Stan Lee
My brain still thinks! My heart still beats! But, in order to remain alive, I must spend the rest of my life in this iron prison!!
Honey no girl would want to marry an absentee husband! Think of the time I must spend managing my munitions plants all over the world!
Incredible! Infantry can now transport itself on the highways without trucks! This will revolutionize troop movements! You're a military genius, Stark!
What manner of men are these Americans, who risk their lives for their enemies?
I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military. So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist. I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him ... And he became very popular. ~ Stan Lee

Iron Man (Tony Stark) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as its associated media. The character was created by writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 (cover dated March 1963).

Tales of Suspense[edit]

  • Narrator: Yes, Anthony Stark is both a sophisticate and a scientist. A millionaire bachelor, as much at home in a laboratory as in high society!
    But this man, who seems so fortunate, who's envied by millions -- is soon destined to become the most tragic figure on earth!
  • Tony Stark: My brain still thinks! My heart still beats! But, in order to remain alive, I must spend the rest of my life in this iron prison!!
  • General: Incredible! Infantry can now transport itself on the highways without trucks! This will revolutionize troop movements! You're a military genius, Stark!
Tony Stark: A genius?
No general...just a scientist who realizes that the boundaries of science are infinite...
  • Tony Stark: Poor Jeanne! She probably thought I was trying to avoid her, but I couldn't go swimming! I can never appear anywhere bare chested because I constantly wear this iron chest plate.
    Just as other men plug in their electric shavers for their morning or evening shave, I must constantly charge up this plate which gives continued life to my heart!
    My ticker would stop beating if the plate were removed or didn't receive its regular booster-shot! Ah!... Electrical energy is pouring back! Now I can continue living...to help humanity as Iron Man!
  • Written by Stan Lee, script by R. Berns, "Iron Man versus Gargantus!", Tales of Suspense, #40
  • Tony Stark: Honey no girl would want to marry an absentee husband! Think of the time I must spend managing my munitions plants all over the world!
  • Iron Man: To begin my demonstration ids...I'll do a juggling act, but not with oranges or basketballs! With automobiles
  • Written by Stan Lee, script by R. Berns, art by Don Heck, "The Stronghold of Doctor Strange!", Tales of Suspense #41 (May 1963). New York: Marvel Comics; as quoted in "Tony Stark: Disabled Vietnam Veteran?" by Craig This in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times edited by Joseph J. Darowski, p.26.
  • Tony Stark: Americans are not murderers!
  • Written by Stan Lee, script by N. Cork, Tales of Suspense #46: Iron Man Faces The Crimson Dynamo! as quoted in "The Iron Clad American" Iron Man in the 1960's by Brian Patton in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times edited by Joseph J. Darowski, p.56.
  • Iron Man: That gives me an idea, all commies are chronically suspicious of each other! Hmm....
  • Written by Stan Lee, "Iron Man Faces The Crimson Dynamo" Tales of Suspense, Vol.1, No. 46, October, 1963 ; as quoted in "Does Kruschev Tell Kennedy?", by Jose Alanziz, in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times, p. 65.
  • Black Widow: What manner of men are these Americans, who risk their lives for their enemies?
Iron Man: That's the problem with you commies. You just don't dig us.
  • Stan Lee (w), N Korok (w) and Don Heck (a), "The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again", Tales of Suspense #52 (Apr. 1964). New York: Marvel Comics. Marvel Unlimited Web, as quoted in "Gorgeous new menace" by Natalie R. Sheppard in in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times, edited by Joseph J. Darowski, p. 65.
  • Black Widow: It is fortunate that he is taken with my beauty. I will be able to twist him around my little finger!
  • Stan Lee (w), and Don Heck (a), "Hawkeye the Marksmen", Tales of Suspense #57 (Sep. 1964). New York: Marvel Comics. Marvel Unlimited Web, as quoted in "Gorgeous new menace" by Natalie R. Sheppard in in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times, edited by Joseph J. Darowski, p. 35.

Iron Man Vol 1[edit]

  • What about you Tony Stark? Once you were do or die for America and Mom's apple pie! You didn't do much soul searching back than, did you? As Iron Man you beat up the commies for democracy without ever questioning just whose democracy you were serving....
  • Tony Stark: And I swear, as the man, Tony Stark-- As the Avenger fate chose to cast in the role of Iron Man-- That I will live to avenge those to avenge those whose lives have been lost through the ignorance of men like the man I once was. Or I will die trying!
    • Mantlo Bill, (2) and George Tuska Iron Man Vol 1 #78: "Long Time Gone" (Sept.1975). New York: Marvel Comics; as quoted in "The Iron Clad American" Iron Man in the 1960's by Brian Patton in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times, p.14.

The Invincible Iron Man[edit]

  • The Mandarin: I've destroyed your life! I've killed your friends. I've killed your woman! Oh, and when I did to her by bringing death she welcomed death-such pleasure you will never know!
  • Quesada, Joe (w) and Sean Chen. "The Dream Machine part 2". Invincible Iron Man #27 (April 2000). New York: Marvel Comics; as quoted in "Fu Manchu Meets Maklu-4: The Mandarin and Racial Stereotypes", by Richard A Iadonisi in The Ages of Iron Man: Essays on the Armored Avenger in Changing Times, p.42.

In other media[edit]

  • In everyone's life, Peter, there's an 'it'... your wife leaves you, or you get cancer. There's your life before 'it' and your life after 'it.' 9/11 was an 'it' of national magnitude. And Stamford... is going to be another one.

About Iron Man (comics)[edit]

  • Kirby designed the costume, because he was doing the cover. The covers were always done first. But I created the look of the characters, like Tony Stark and his secretary Pepper Potts.
    • Don Heck as quoted by Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York City: Harry N. Abrams. p. 99. ISBN 0-8109-3821-9.
  • [Kirby] definitely did not do full breakdowns as has been erroneously reported about ... the first 'Iron Man'. [In the early 1970s], Jack claimed to have laid out those stories, and I repeated his claim in print — though not before checking with Heck, who said, in effect, 'Oh, yeah. I remember that. Jack did the layouts'. We all later realized he was mistaken. ... Both also believed that Jack had contributed to the plots of those debut appearances — recollections that do not match those of Stan Lee. (Larry Lieber did the script for the first Iron Man story from a plot that Stan gave him.) Also, in both cases, Jack had already drawn the covers of those issues and done some amount of design work. He came up with the initial look of Iron Man's armor...
    • Don Heck as quoted by Evanier, Mark (n.d.). "The Jack FAQ". P.O.V. Online. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009.
  • I did it all. They just didn't bother to call me up and find out when they wrote up the credits. It doesn't really matter. Jack Kirby created the costume, and he did the cover for the issue. In fact the second costume, the red and yellow one, was designed by Steve Ditko. I found it easier than drawing that bulky old thing. The earlier design, the robot-looking one, was more Kirbyish.
    • Don Heck as quoted by Peel, John (March–April 1985). "A Signing Session with Don Heck". Comics Feature (34). p. 18.
  • I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military. So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist. I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him ... And he became very popular.
  • All of Marvel's new heroes of the early 1960s some how reflected and contributed to American perceptions of its Cold War enemies, but none more explicitly than Iron Man, whom historian Bradford Wright identifies as "the most political of Marvel's superheroes" (222). Reflecting back on some of his co-creations in 1975, Stan Lee dubiously claimed that "Marvel Comics has never been into politics" or beholden to an "official party line" before offering a near-apology for the moral simplicity of the portrait of the Vietnam conflict in 1963's "Iron Man Is Born!" (Son of Origins 47.) A disinterested observer would find much evidence to counter these claims in the pages of Tales of Suspense between 1963 and 1968.
  • It could be argued that Tony Stark is not really a disabled veteran because he is not serving in the military. He is a civilian - a military contractor, ho just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, it can be argued that Tony Stark/Iron Man is a soldier-actually, a modern twist of an old soldier-a knight.

External links[edit]

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