an Iron... Man!

With the recent surge of American super hero movies comes a linked perplexity from us non-American westeners who never had exposure to the lesser known super heroes. Batman, Superman, Spiderman and the Hulk are universally famous, I believe. But outside of that, it’s pretty thin.

So, I have a (what I suppose to Americans is unique) complete lack of knowledge regarding this Iron Man person. Because of that, I wanted to create a thread based on my assumptions and discussions on who he really is, before I actually find out. Here are the possibilities in my head:

  1. He is a a famous Black Sabbath song.

  2. He is a man who literally has the characteristics of the metallic element Fe. Which means he is solid, leads current and can be scratched. He would also be quite heavy. The question is if he is *all *Iron Man (which would make quite immobile) or if he just uses some iron attributes, like an armor. Based on my speculation, it sounds like the Iron Man is either a robot or a soldier. Is he vulnerable to magnetics?

  3. Iron Man isn’t very literal and uses the word Iron semantically, to imply Iron strength. Similarily, the Swedish name for Super Man is Stålmannen; the man of steel (“the man of steel” is coincidentally the translation of the family name Stalin). If this would be the case, then there’s not much to say about the actual character, it’s all speculation. Just like how Super Man’s name suggests his super-human strength but doesn’t exactly clarify what his powers are.

I talked with my friend about this a bit. We didn’t reach much of a conclusion, though we gave Iron Man a new nick name: Lord Byron-man. It sounds cool.

He’s a spin-off from The Wizard of Oz - The Tin Man’s cousin.

  1. is quite close to another character, but a *DC * Comics one, Ferro Lad, who I remember hearing about in about 1967-68. (I was a youngster then, but it’s amazing what I remember.) He was already dead by the time I heard about him, and Superman, visiting the Legion of Superheroes in the 30th century, had to deal with FL’s pissed-off brother seeking revenge on the Legion for letting him die.

Perhaps we’re misreading, and in fact he’s the tireless defender of dianetics.

No, no, no.
By analogy with Marvel’s other hit, Spiderman, Iron Man is a man who was bitten by a radioactive* Iron. Now he can steam his own shirts wityhout other implements. He can press pants with his bare hands. He can fall on people and give them concussions. And if you leave him on a shirt while you absent-mindedly carry on a phone conversation, you’ll come back and find that he’s scorched an image of himself onto the shirt, a sorta Shroud of Tony Stark
These powers are limited, but he cleverly uses them to parlat himself into a major hero and member of The Onagers.

  • except that, in more recent versions, it’s a genetically engineered iron

The death of Ferro Lad was one of the landmarks in 60s comics. He was a very popular character in the Legion and back then you didn’t permanently kill off superheros (for instance, a few years earlier, they killed off Lightning Lad in the Legion, and brought him back a few issues later).

There was some talk it was a copyright issue – Ferro Lad’s mask looked a lot like Spider-Man’s – but I doubt it. And, of course, years later they did bring him back.


That was actually in an alternate future of the Legion - the “Adult Legion” story - and then, he wasn’t genuinely pissed off, he was mind-controlled by the Legion of Super-Villains.

(Years later, it is revealed that the “real” Douglas Nolan dreamed of this alternate future, and eventually disappeared into an alternate time-line (or dream dimension, depending on which continuity period you’re in) in which he envisioned himself joining the Legion as Ferro Lad’s replacement.)

The capper to the whole Ferro Lad arc was a nice little scare-story where the Legionnaires think they’re haunted by Ferro Lad’s ghost. The year of Ferro Lad (introduced Adventure Comics # 346, ghost story in # 357) was a brilliant series of stories by thirteen-year-old Jim Shooter. Not Watchmen by any means, but light years ahead of its predecessors at DC.

Well then, maybe I confused him with Irony Man?

I hear he has a dry sense of humor.

Hey, you’ve got to remember I stumbled across this one issue back when I was maybe seven or eight. Can’t expect me to get all the details :slight_smile: and I wasn’t a regular reader by any means.

Yes, as to the “Adult Legion”, but I had no clear idea how all of this stuff worked. Certainly the Legionnaires about the place were adults - Cosmic Man, Element Man, Saturn Woman and so on.

Iron Man!

Iron Man!

Actually, the movie gets it wrong. Iron Man’s identity is really Cal Ripkin, Jr., not Tony Stark.

Stark never could hit a curveball.

“Dry” is not a descriptor that springs readily to mind when discussing Tony Stark.


“Dry martini”, maybe.

Iron Man, Iron Man
Does whatever an iron can!

Pleats your pants, any size
Steams your shirt, lookin’ fly
Watch out!
Here comes the Iron Man!

Iron Man, for those of you who don’t know, is a japanese reality show in which two chefs compete for the title by holding a real time cook-off in which each chef has to incorporate two wildly divergent ingredients into all of their concoctions. (For example - chocolates and bananas, raisins and ginger spice, pasta wheels and grapefruit) And then their dishes are rated by a panel of (japanese) celebrities whose voices are dubbed in, and…what’s that? That’s Iron Chef? Oh that’s quite different. Never mind.

If you think Iron Man is obscure, what’ll they come out with the Ant Man movie!

Hell, you want obscure:

J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter
The Elongated Man
Black Lightning
Black Panther
The Vision
Sun Boy
Nightwing and Flamebird
The Doll
Doctor Fate
The Spectre
Johnny Thunder and his Thundebolt (Say, you)
Red Tornado

I’ll see your J’onn J’onzz, and raise you Paul Kirk.

It’s not actually “Iron Man”, it’s lron man. That’s a lower-case “L”, not an upper-case “I”. lron Man exists to spread Scientology and the good teachings of L. Ron Hubbard to all the world.

I look forward to seeing the eventual Matter-Eater Lad movie.