Uploaded on May 8, 2008
Ten Things You Should Know
1. Iron Man (Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark) was created by Marvel's Stan "The Man" Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. His first appearance was in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963). That means he's about 45 years old, which in comic book time is probably in his late twenties or early 30s. After all, Superman is still looking like a healthy 30-year-old despite debuting 75 years ago!
2. At least two Filipino artists have handled Iron Man. Image Comics co-founder Whilce Portacio handled the artistic chores of the Iron Man book for the "Heroes Reborn" storyline in the mid-90s. Former Superman artist Leinil Yu currently draws Iron Man when the character pops up in the pages of the New Avengers comic book and the mini-series "Secret Invasion."
3. James Rhodes, Stark's bodyguard, is the second Marvel character to wear the Iron Man armor. As Iron Man, Rhodes would participate in some of the more memorable storylines in the Marvel Universe including the "Secret Wars" series where groups of heroes and villains duked it out in an alien planet. Rhodes would later co-found the West Coast Avengers and would also don the War Machine armor, which was also designed by Stark.
4. Iron Man comic book fans generally agree that there are two definitive storylines most popularly associated with Iron Man. The first is the Demon in a Bottle story (Iron Man #120-128), which dealt with Tony Stark's battle with alcoholism while trying to fend off a corporate takeover by rival Justin Hammer. The second is the Armor Wars storyline (Iron Man #225-232) where Stark decides to take steps to stop other people from using his technology for evil. This storyline is particularly noteworthy as it was one of the first times that Stark would take on fellow Avenger Captain America (shades of Civil War).
5. Iron Man is one of the few Marvel characters who does not have a secret identity. Iron Man went public (twice) in his comic book, revealing that he was both creator and wearer of the Iron Man armor. Other Marvel characters whose identities are public include the recently deceased Captain America (Steve Rogers) and members of the Fantastic Four.
6. In the Marvel Universe, Stark has already died! It happened in "The Crossing" storyline in the Avengers comic book. However, his death would be shortlived as Stark would return as a teenage Iron Man who would then merge with his older self (don't ask!) Of course, as comic book resurrections go, Iron Man is in good company with other superheroes who have come back from the dead including Superman, Elektra and the X-men's Jean Grey.
7. In the Ultimates Universe, Tony Stark does not get injured after being kidnapped in Afghanistan but he does have "a tumor in his brain the size of a golf ball."
8. Iron Man has a limited number of bad guys. Comic book readers would no doubt recognize the movie's reference to the Mandarin, an evil Fu Manchu-like character that does battle using 10 rings of power. Other Iron Man baddies include Russia's own armored superhero Titanium Man, the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror and the Crimson Dynamo.
9. Stark is probably one of the most influential characters in the Marvel Universe and is in the same league of braniacs such as Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards, the Avengers' Hank Pym and the X-men's Henry McCoy also known as Beast. Stark was previously named US secretary of defense in the Marvel Universe. In the Civil War storyline, Stark would lead efforts to register all superheroes in the Marvel Universe, which put him in direct opposition to Captain America. (Ironically, it was after this storyline that Captain America was killed by an assassin's bullet.) Iron Man is currently the director of SHIELD.
10. Stark is the 10th richest man in the world, at least according to Forbes Magazine's Fictional 15. With assets estimated at $6 billion, Stark beat out Lucius Malfoy ($1.6 billion), Gomez Addams ($2 billion) and the fake Steve Jobs ($5.7 billion). Sadly, Tony Stark is allegedly less affluent than Scrooge McDuck ($28.8 billion), Richie Rich ($16.1 billion) and DC's Bruce Wayne ($7 billion).
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