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Donald Birch (kid)

Young Donald Birch witness his future self

Early years

As a kid, Donald Birch would one day see an old man in his garden, looking at him, and pronouncing the paroles "Our memories as reality - We are all time machines", before disappearing.[2]

Donald Birch (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 63 004

The Phantom Saboteur

Stark Industries

Later, as Dr. Birch, he became the head of New Products at Stark Industries.

He was continually frustrated because Stark never seemed to have the time to discuss his problems, which led him to the decision of destroying Stark Industries in order to get revenge.

Adopting the identity of the Phantom, Birch began planting bombs or sabotaging and destroying other projects at Stark Industries. As the attacks continued, the local unions threatened to pull their workers due to the risks, and the Department of Defense considered cancelling their defense contracts and moving them to another company. Staying on guard as Iron Man around the clock, Stark finally caught up with the Phantom and chased him into a prototype Moon Missile, capturing him within its capsule. The Phantom was unmasked as Birch before being taken away by the police, and fired from Stark Industries.[3]

Orchestration of his vengeance

At this point, he decided to take revenge on Stark, seeing him use his work in his numerous Iron Man Armors, and his life ruined by Tony's actions.[1] He then decided to reassemble Doctor Doom's Time Platform, to which its parts had been scattered around the world, in order to travel in the future to update his own technology. There, he saw that he had no future self, and decided to achieve his plan.

Donald Birch (young adult)

Donald Birch discovered in London by the future Iron Man

He was seen in Britain during James Jaspers' reign as Prime Minister and was tortured under Vixen's watch after having seemingly captured by the Beetles[4] in London. He was probably freed from the S.T.R.I.K.E. complex by Captain Britain and the British resistance. He had come to this place in order find a piece of Doctor Doom's Time Machine, but it was stolen by the time-travelling Iron Man, who hesitated to kill him right now in order to prevent the fate of his world, and decided to leave instead. This was due to Tony feeling bad with the concept of preventive murder, having been confronted earlier with the Beetles arresting innocent mutants and having heard part of Jaspers' interview on the subject of preventive arrests of powered beings.[4]

Birch worked for a time with both A.I.M. and Hydra, without joining their ideology. There he developed many forms of technology for the two terrorist organization, before he stole millions of dollars that belonged to them and quit. Using this money, he built a massive underwater using a combination of Hydra and future technologies.[1]

From there, he achieved his goal of assembling the time machine, and also kept a eye on Captain Britain, Dazzler, Iron Fist, Scott Summers, Luke Cage, Henry Pym and Johnny Storm (even when this one was considered dead for a time), knowing that those heroes had interfered in his plans on many iterations.[2]

Iron Age: Alpha & Omega

Donald Birch's death (Earth-616)

Donald Birch's death

At a few weeks from his death, his plan was achieved and, using a bunch of Iron Men-like robots, he kidnapped both Tony Stark during the inauguration of a new library in Harlem, after having disabled his internal armor, and also Jean Grey, the Dark Phoenix, in the past.

He then intended to make his robots attack her, in order to make her destroy the world, but his plan was aborted by the intrusion of an unnamed team led by an Iron Man from a reality where his counterpart had succeeded in destroying Earth by unleashing the Phoenix.

The team confronted Birch's robots and the Phoenix but the future Iron Man was killed while saving Power Man from the Phoenix fire. Birch greatly enjoyed his enemy's death and soon ordered his constructs to attack the Dark Phoenix, but Pym and the present Tony Stark took control.

His cancer, combined with the shock of his failure, soon caused Birch's death.[2] With him dead, Tony's internal armor was reactivated.


Weaknesses

Birch is now stuck in a wheel-chair, and needs medical support in order to face his cancer.


Transportation

Donald Birch (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 63 005

Birch's costume as the Phantom Saboteur

A wheel-chair

Weapons

  • Explosives: The Phantom is experienced and has access to a variety of explosives.
  • Blast Gun:
  • Suction Bombs:
  • Enhanced robots: Birch possesses a whole army of robots that are able to defeat Iron Man's armor, or super-heroes as Iron Fist or Luke Cage, using technologies obtained from the future.

As a kid, Donald Birch possessed figurines version of Captain America, Bucky, Red Skull and Baron Zemo.[2]

Donald Birch was originally depicted as a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy,[3] but was later retconned as a brown-haired, brown-eyed one.

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