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Iron man has been one Marvel’s most successful Superheroes and below is Iron man’s original story. He’s been with us for over 50 years and has appeared in many mediums, from comics, cartoons and movies, spawned billions of dollars in merchandising, people dress like the armoured Avenger at costume parties and conventions but how did it all begin? Click here if you want to know more about Iron Man’s powers and abilities, because he is an absolute powerhouse and a staple of the Marvel universe aswell as a founder member of the Avengers, a group that includes the likes of Spiderman, Thor and Captain America.
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When Was Iron Man Created
When was Iron Man created? Marvel’s iron Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 which was cover dated March 1963, Iron Man was a collaboration of Stan Lee who thought of the concept and main plot and Larry Leiber who fleshed out the story, as well as Jack Kirby who was responsible for the cover art and thus the grey robotic look of Iron Man himself, and Don Heck who drew the majority of the comic and who came up with Tony Stark’s look, for which he drew inspiration from Errol Flynn. Stan Lee originally conceived the idea of a millionaire industrialist playboy who despite having an invincible suit of incredible technology struggles with many contemporary issues of the time, including government oversight and entrepreneurial control of his inventions. Iron Man’s Alter ego Tony Stark was directly modelled after the enigmatic Howard Hughes a famous American inventor and defense contractor, known for both his brilliance and eccentricities, who despite his fame and fortune would struggle with his public persona and mental health. This is what Stan Lee wanted for Tony Stark, a genius who due to an accident in a war zone would struggle with both his health and the morality of his actions as a weapons supplier to his government in a time of war.
Stan Lee’s impetus behind the Iron Character was in the 1960’s America was involved in what would become the Vietnam War, and Lee had been toying with the idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the “quintessential capitalist”, a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel’s readership. At the time capitalism and the military were incredibly unpopular and Lee wanted the challenge of creating a character that represented both and having the readership come to embrace the character. It certainly worked because Iron Man’s continued to make appearances in Tales of Suspense with artist Steve Ditko redesigning the armour in his second appearance, giving it it’s now familiar red and gold colour scheme. He then appeared in a one off comic Iron Man and Sub-Mariner in 1968. In that same year he finally given his own title The Invincible Iron Man #1. Iron Man was billed as the Golden Avenger and is a founding member of the Avengers.
Why Did Tony Stark Become Iron Man
Why did Tony Stark become Iron Man? That’s a great question and to better understand the answer you have to know about Tony’s early life and circumstances that led up to that moment. Born on long Island Anthony Edward Stark, he was the son of wealthy industrialist Howard Anthony Stark and his wife Maria Collins Carbonell Stark. Tony’s Father Howard was owner of a huge U.S technology and manufacturing firm Stark Industries, and from an early age Tony developed as a genius showing incredible abilities building and controlling machines, at age 15 Tony enrolled in an undergraduate electrical engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and at 19 he graduated with two master’s degrees. At Age 21 Both of Tony’s parents were killed in a car crash, and Tony took over as CEO of Stark Industries. At such a young age Tony wasn’t interested in running the huge corporation preferring instead to use his enormous wealth to live the life of a playboy, and so he promoted secretary Virginia “Pepper” Potts to run the business.
Later Tony personally attended a live fire weapons testing of one of his products in Vietnam, and after being critically injured by a booby trap he is captured by enemy forces under the command of Wong-Chu, he is taken prisoner and forced to build weapons. Unfortunately for Tony the booby trap had lodged a sliver of shrapnel close to his heart and it was just a matter of time before it killed him, it was at this point that he met Wong-Chu’s other captive Ho Yinsen a physicist who had won the Nobel Prize. To save Tony’s life Yinsen constructs a magnetic chest plate that to keep the shrapnel away from Tony’s heart. Using the resources at their disposal in the workshop provided they secretly construct a suit of powered armour to help them escape. Once the armour is fully assembled and tony puts it on, but they need to charge the power reserves, running out of time Yinsen distracts their captors, buying the precious time with his life. Once the suit is fully charged Tony avenges Yinsen’s death destroying his kidnappers and their base. Although Tony is free he is also behind enemy lines and must make his way back to the American positions, during his trek he encounters a injured Marine fighter pilot James Rhodes.
Upon his return to the United States he is informed that the shrapnel piece can’t be removed without killing him, and that he must wear the chest plate under his clothes. With this news Tony injects himself into his work, specifically exploring the potential of the technology behind his powered armoured suit. Initially Tony didn’t see the suit as a weapon but saw the potential as a construction suit giving the wearer enhanced strength and it’s sealed environment enabling the worker to work in hazardous conditions while keeping him safe. After announcing his unveiling to press he was all set to showcase his amazing new invention to the world when a gang of thieves saw the armours potential a weapon and staged a robbery. Luckily for Tony he was at the unveiling and was able to secretly don the armour and foil the robbery. With this act two things happened, firstly Tony realized that he could never allow the armour’s technology to fall into the wrong hands and secondly Iron Man was truly born.
Is Iron Man A Superhero Or Super villain?
To keep his identity secret Tony announced Iron Man as his bodyguard and kept up his playboy ways in public, but behind the scenes he found adapting to his new life a struggle, and he resented having to wear the bulky chest plate which always needed recharging. Through the years Tony redesigned and refined his Iron Man armour many times and many events took place in the pages of Iron Man, he become a founding member of the Avengers, he become an alcoholic which eventuated with him losing his company Stark Industries, and only though the quick intervention of his friend and personal pilot James Rhodes was he able to keep the Iron Man technology out of his enemies hands. During this period James Rhodes wore the Iron Man armour. Although Tony struggled for quite some time he was able to adjust and eventually reclaim his place and his company, as well as finally having life saving surgery to remove the shrapnel from his chest.
Iron Man fought many villains and had many enemies but one his most memorable story arcs was the Armour Wars, in which upon discovering that Spymaster had stolen the technology to his Iron Man suits and sold it various armoured super villains, Tony decided upon a drastic course that would change his life. Tony tracked down and defeated each of the villains in turn and destroyed not only their armour but also all their ability to reproduce or redistribute the technology, after this was done he realised that he had given certain government agencies and operatives access to the technology, including S.H.I.E.L.D Mandroids and the Guardsman who were super powered prison guards for superhuman prison inmates and government operative Stingray. He knew that if he did this it would be crossing a line but determined to keep the technology safe he decided to proceed with his course of action. He successfully took down the Mandroids, and then proceeded to disable government agent Stingray, upon which he discovered that Stingray’s armour was not based off any of his technology. Sensing that the authorities were closing in on him he held a public press conference at which he fired Iron Man claiming that he had gone rogue. It was at this juncture that Steve Rogers recently stripped of his Captain America identity approached Tony who he knew was really Iron Man, in an effort to manipulate their friendship and keep Steve onside Tony manufactured a new shield to replace the one government repossessed.
Tony had one final target the super max prison where the Guardsman were stationed, Iron Man assaulted the prison and successfully neutralized all the Guardsman, Steve Rodgers who had suspected the target responded and told Tony that they weren’t friends anymore and gave him back the shield he had made him. Meanwhile the government hadn’t been idle when Iron Man started his rampage, they had constructed in secret another powered armoured operative called Fire Power after leaking that this information to Iron Man the two clash. Up to this moment Iron Man’s armour was the strongest and most advanced on the planet, but unfortunately for Tony it wasn’t enough. Not only was fire powers suit impervious to Tony technology that had disabled all his other opponents armour, Fire Power was stronger, a lot stronger. After being beat to a pulp Iron Man tried to flee and would not have made good his escape except that James Rhodes monitoring the fight in the Stark corporate helicopter flew to the scene of the battle, allowing Iron Man to board the helicopter and take Tony Stark “hostage”. Fire power wasn’t having any of this and gave Iron Man an ultimatum leave the helicopter or he would shoot it down.
Sensing that time was running out Iron Man flew from the helicopter, and as he did so fire power launched a small tactical nuclear missile killing Iron Man. With Iron Man dead Fire Power turned rogue, and after Tony Stark recovered from his injuries(he along with James Rhodes were able to assemble the armour and have fly away unpiloted)Tony designed his most powerful suit yet and easily defeated Fire power. While Tony told the world that he had hired someone new to be Iron Man, Tony’s friends in the super hero community knew the truth, and those wounds would take a long time to heal.
Although this wouldn’t be the last time Tony Stark would do whatever it takes to justify the means to the end it was the first. He was also one the main protagonists in the Civil War story arc in which he again proved his willingness to cross moral and ethical lines in the pursuit of his righteousness.
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