Iron Man: A Comic History

by Alan Rapp on April 30, 2008

in Uncategorized

Iron Man was created in 1963 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby.  That’s a pretty good pedigree folks.  For 45 years industrialst turned super-hero Tony Stark has been a staple of the Marvel Universe dealing with super-villains, hostile take-overs of his own company, relationships, and his own addictions.

Today we take a look back at some of the highlights in Iron Man’s illustrious comic book career.

This post wraps up our three day Iron Man Week, but make sure to come back on Friday for our review of the new film!


For 45 years Iron Man has been a staple of the Marvel Universe.  From a founding member to the Avengers to a catalyst in Civil War, Tony Stark has had both his ups and downs over the years.  Here are a few of his more memorable moments.

Tales of Suspense #39 – The first appearance of Iron Man.  “Iron Man is Born!” tells the origin tale of Tony Stark who is wounded and captured in Vietnam and forced to create weapons for the tyrant Wong-Chu.  He secretly creates the Iron Man armor to save his life and escape.

Tales of Suspense #40 – Iron Man’s armor gets its first of many revamped looks when one of Tony Stark’s women suggests a brighter and less scary look for the hero.  Stark turns the iron from gray to gold and bests the giant alien robotic caveman Gargantus.

Avengers #1 – Iron Man helps found the Avengers.

Tales of Suspense #46 – Iron Man takes on the Crimson Dynamo for the first time.

Tales of Suspense #48 – After almost dying at the hands of Mister Doll, Tony Stark designs a new lighter armor and which introduces the classic red and gold look for the first time.

Tales of Suspense #50 – Iron Man’s first encounter with the Mandarin.

Tales of Suspense #69 – Iron Man is challenged to battle by the Communist created Titanium Man.

Iron Man #142 – Introduces Iron Man’s Space Armor.

Iron Man #149 Iron Man and Doctor Doom battle in Camelot.

Iron Man #152 – The Stealth Armor is introduce for the first time.

Iron Man #128 – Ending of the “Demon In a Bottle” storyline featuring Tony Stark’s battle with Justin Hammer and his struggle against his own alcoholism.

Iron Man #170James Rhodes begins his two-year stint as Iron Man.

Iron Man #173 – Still struggling with the bottle, Tony Stark loses his company to Obadiah Stane.

Iron Man #182 – Tony Stark hits rock bottom and almost dies on the streets.

Iron Man #191 – Tony Stark return ins a new all gray armor; Rhodes remains in the classic red and gold.

Iron Man #200 – Tony Stark takes his place as the one and only Iron Man in new red and silver armor to take on his nemesis Stane in the stolen Iron Monger armor.

Iron Man #218 – The first appearance of the Undersea Armor.

Iron Man #225 – The “Armor Wars” begin as Tony Stark goes after both heroes and villains who are using stolen Iron Man technology including Stilt-Man, the Beetle, the Controller, the Crimson Dymano, the Mauler, Titanium Man, Stingray, and S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives the Mandroids and Guardsmen.

Iron Man #231 – Following the “death” of the red and silver Iron Man from the end of the previous issue, Tony Stark returns to a revamped red and gold design.

Iron Man #242 – Tony Stark is shot and paralyzed by a crazy former girlfriend Kathy Dare.  Over the following issues Stark creates armor which allows him to move around as Iron Man.

Iron Man #250 – Iron Man and Doctor Doom battle in Camelot, again.

Iron Man #269 – Tony Stark fights paralysis from nerve damage caused by the interface of the new Iron Man armor.

Iron Man #281 – First appearance of the War Machine armor.

Iron Man #284 – Tony Stark fakes his own death and goes into suspended animation hoping a cure for his degenerative condition can be found.

Iron Man #290 – Iron Man returns from the dead with new armor.

Iron Man #305 – Iron Man takes on the Hulk in the new Hulkbuster Armor.

Iron Man #324 – Having lost Iron Man to the mind control of Kang the Conquerer, The Avengers go back in time and recruit a younger Stark to be Iron Man.

Avengers #395 – Death of older Tony Stark.

Onslaught: Marvel Universe – Death of younger Tony Stark.

Iron Man #1 (Vol. 2) – Iron Man reboots as part of the “Heroes Reborn” pocket universe storyline.

Iron Man #1 (Vol. 3) – Iron Man rebooted again as Franklin Richards returns the Avengers to the main comic continuity.

Iron Man #27 (Vol. 3) – Iron Man’s armor becomes sentient.

Iron Man #55 – Tony Stark reveals himself to be Iron Man.

Iron Man #78 (Vol. 3) – Tony Stark becomes Secretary of Defense.

Avengers #503/Avengers Finale – Tony Stark disbands the Avengers.

Iron Man #1 (Vol. 4) – Iron Man rebooted (again).

New Avengers #1– Iron Man and Captain America reform the Avengers.

New Avengers: Illuminati #1 – Iron Man revealed to be part of the Illuminati.

Civil War #1 – Tony Stark comes out in favor of the Superhuman Registration Act.

Iron Man #15 (Vol. 4) – Tony Stark takes over as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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