Tales Of Suspense #40 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #40 (Iron Man story only)
...and mad scientists...
...is left to a quick couple of flashbacks before we get to what you're really here for, which is Iron Man facing off against an evil alliance of mixed big cat species.
Since he makes a little girl cry in his grey clunky armor...
...he gets an idea from his girlfriend Marion to paint it gold.
And so the "golden Avenger" is truly born.
After completing another mission, this time in Africa, that Marvel doesn't want to bother you with, Tony returns to find that Marion is missing, and when he investigates he finds that her entire town has been walled off. He burrows underneath the wall...
...to find the townspeople hypnotized by a giant caveman.
Iron Man figures out that he's really a robot built by aliens (because just a giant caveman would be ridiculous), and defeats him by chucking some magnets at him.
The aliens flee, but not before implying that they've subjugated humanity 80,000 years earlier.
Earlier we see that Tony Stark's obsession with roller skates was an integral part of his character from the start.
We saw Iron Man fly briefly in his first appearance and he does so again here.
The amount of power necessary to lift this early armor must have been enormous. Of course, everything is powered by transistors, which isn't really what transistors do (eventually acknowledged in Marvel's No-Prize book published in the 80s, if not sooner in a lettercol). Transistors even make it possible for Stark to fold up his armor into a suitcase.
Iron Man, especially in his early clunky armor, is an offbeat superhero, and Tony Stark is an unusual protagonist: an arms dealer and a cavalier playboy. In addition to Marion above, Tony has another girlfriend named Jeanne. The tragedy is that he can't go swimming with her because of his chestplate.
In the introduction to the Marvel Masterworks, Stan Lee claims that the Iron Man book got the "most fan mail from females". I don't know if that's true or if it really was because Stark was more of a "glamorous playboy" than the other Marvel heroes, but even with his weakened heart he is a different sort of character, less long-suffering than the rest.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man vol. 1
I had to give this a 2/5. The art is good, but the story is terrible. Of all the bar early Iron Man stories, I think this might be the worst written one.
Posted by: Dave B | January 17, 2013 9:18 AM
I gotta admit, I love the original armour. It makes him look much more like "an Iron" man. His later armours were too similar to the standard skin-tight costumes worn by every other hero.
I agree about Tony Stark being original. Most other marvel heroes were in the "spider-man" vein. A poor picked-on guy in his civilian life that no one knows is really a hero but he had to keep it secret. Tony Stark appears to be a winner to the outside world, but we know that his heart condition means that "winner" persona is only a projection.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | January 19, 2013 6:14 AM
What part of "He Lives, He Walks, He Conquers!" means Tony has to be family-friendly? I guess he probably had some PR training of sorts to decide to get rid of the gray suit. Shame, really.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 23, 2014 4:47 PM
Personally, I'm more curious why being like "a knight in shining armor from olden times" somehow equates to wearing gold armor, when literally zero knights would have worn gold armor, either realistic or in period fiction.
That particular metaphor probably should have led to SILVER armor, yes?
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 23, 2014 10:42 PM
That 'soldiers with roller skates' idea is genius. The enemy would die from laughter.
Posted by: Robert | September 19, 2014 9:33 PM
Are we really supposed to believe that tux is hiding his enormous breastplate? That's always annoyed me about the older Iron Man armors.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 5, 2014 8:11 PM
For so long Iron Man has been underrated, unappreciated. BUT, NO MORE! Even Spider-Man needs to take a backseat to Tony Stark!
Posted by: Jack | July 18, 2015 7:07 PM
It has been speculated that Marion in this story is Marianne Rodgers from later in the Iron Man series.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 23, 2016 9:34 PM
it would make sense to make this Marion and Marianne the same character, as its clear in Marianne's first appearance its clear they have had a past relationship. also, it at least consolodates 2 ex-girlfriends of Stark.
Posted by: kveto | October 29, 2017 10:24 AM
Hmm Silver Armor would have been interesting, however I thnk it had more to do with the coloring process used at the time, like the Gray Hulk turning Green.
Posted by: Will Gillies | December 16, 2017 10:09 PM
"Are we really supposed to believe that tux is hiding his enormous breastplate? That's always annoyed me about the older Iron Man armors."
I don't think the breastplate is as massive when its under clothes, just appears larger wwhen the rest of the armor is added on, the belt and kilt sections especially. Persoally preferred the original codpiece, but whatever....
Posted by: Will Gillies | December 16, 2017 10:20 PM
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