The History of Comic Books Chapter XIV: Iron Man

When Stan Lee created Iron Man, he wanted to challenge himself. He wanted to create someone who embodied everything hippies hated about capitalism, and yet they’d still root for him. That’s a perfect description for Tony Stark.

When Iron Man debuted in Tales of Suspense #39, his armor was much bulkier than it is now. I saw those early issues and I was always saying “How is he supposed to move?” We have Steve Ditko to thank for the more streamlined suit ( which was in Tales of Suspense #48.

Iron Man’s origin is actually somewhat different from the first movie. Obadiah Stane was introduced in 1982. James Rhodes was introduced in 1979. The earliest villain was the Crimson Dynamo (who’s one half of the inspiration for the movie version of Whiplash.), introduced in Tales of Suspense #46. The earliest supporting characters were actually Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts, both introduced in #45. His butler, Edwin Jarvis, was introduced in #59. (The inspiration for the JARVIS AI in the movies)

Another prominent enemy is the Mandarin. A rather problematic character, the Mandarin has actually been redrawn in looks, mostly to reduce his offensiveness as a Chinese villain. His powers come from the rings he wears on each finger. Tales of Suspense also introduced two future Avengers as villains: Black Widow and Hawkeye.

Iron Man became another founding member of the Avengers, months after his first appearance. He was given his own comic, The Invincible Iron Man, in 1968. Before then, he’d share Tales of Suspense with Captain America.

Next: Strange Spies

Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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