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Appearing in "Iron Man Is Born!"
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (First appearance)
- Wong-Chu (First appearance) (Apparent death)
- Wong-Chu's Red Guerillas (First appearance)
- South Vietnamese villagers
- Tony Stark's admirers
- United States Army personnel
- United States Air Force general
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Iron Man Is Born!"
In a closely guarded lab, Anthony "Tony" Stark shows off a new invention to US military defense officials. He has developed micro-transistors capable of powering up things such as magnets; turning them into powerful weapons strong enough to pull open a thick metal door from a distance. They increase magnetic force a thousandfold! Stark impresses the military brass with his new inventions, while at the same time impressing the ladies of the international jet set with his dashing good looks and incredible personal wealth.
Across the globe, the evil Red tyrant Wong-Chu takes over another small village in Vietnam, defeating its strongest men in contests of judo. Meanwhile, Tony Stark has arrived in Vietnam to observe the testing micro-transistor-powered weaponry, which allow heavy items like mortars to be reduced in size no larger or heavier than a flashlight. Accompanying a squad of soldiers equipped with his weaponry on a patrol through the jungle, he accidentally triggers a tripwire that detonates a landmine. The wounded Stark is captured by Wong-Chu's forces and taken to their nearby headquarters. Wong-Chu realizes his prisoner is a "famous Yankee inventor" and decides that he will put him to work in service of the Communist insurgency even though doctors determine the young inventor only has days to live before "shrapnel reaches his heart."
Wong-Chu falsely promises that he will have a surgeon save Stark's life if he will agree to develop new high-tech weapons for him. Even though he saw through Wong-Chu's words to his true intentions, to make him work until his death, Stark agrees, in order to try and save his own life with his technical abilities and Wong-Chu's resources. Given access to scrap metal and tools, Stark promises he will deliver a "fantastic weapon," but sets out in building a mechanism that will help stop the shrapnel from penetrating his heart. He is given an assistant named Professor Yinsen, a famous physicist whom Stark had read about while in college. Working together, the two finalize work on Stark's project: an iron body suit with a chest plate that will keep the shrapnel at bay through use of transistor-powered magnets.
Just as Stark has donned the life-saving suit and begun to power it with electrical current from a generator, Wong-Chu attempts to come check on his prisoners. Professor Yinsen rushes out into the hallway shouting at Wong-Chu and is shot dead by armed guards, buying the precious seconds Stark needed to fully charge the armor. Tony Stark, as Iron Man, hears the murder of his friend and swears he will avenge his death. He tries to rise and steady himself in the Iron Man armor, but discovers it is like learning to walk again. He quickly gets the hang of operating the armor and evades detection from Wong-Chu by leaping to the ceiling and holding himself there using suction cups. After Wong-Chu leaves the room, the tyrant heads outside to "amuse himself" with his favorite sport, challenging the villagers to a duel of judo.
Iron Man descends from the ceiling and finds a coat and hat, with which to cover his armor, and wanders outside to find Wong-Chu tossing people around in the judo arena. Iron Man challenges Wong-Chu, then takes off his coat and hat to reveal the shocking visage of Iron Man! The metal monster walks up to Wong-Chu, picks him up, and twirls him around before tossing him into the brush. Wong-Chu demands that his guards open fire on Iron Man, but the bullets just bounce off the armored figure's metal chest plate. Iron Man then uses "reverse magnetism" to repel the enemy weapons. Wong-Chu tries to get to the speakers of the nearest building, in order to put a bounty on Iron Man, but Stark manages to create electrical interference and switch the radio's channel, telling Wong-Chu's troops through the speaker to flee their leader before the Iron Man "slays [them] all." Iron Man cuts down the building's door using a transistor-powered buzz-saw, but as soon as he enters the Communist menace fells him with a file cabinet loaded with rocks.
Wong-Chu escapes to order the execution of all his prisoners, but Iron Man, low on energy and too weak to continue pursuit, uses his armor's lubrication system to launch a stream of oil towards an ammunition depot near the fleeing Wong-Chu. He then sets fire to the oil stream using a miniature torch in one of the armor's gauntlets, causing the ammo dump to explode, and seemingly killing Wong-Chu. His batteries now recharged, Iron Man dons his coat and hat and walks away into the jungle.
Appearing in "The Icy Fingers of Jack Frost!"
- Stark Industries (Unnamed)
- Jack Frost (Gregor Shapanka) (First appearance) (Origin revealed)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Icy Fingers of Jack Frost!"
As Iron Man whizzes down the highway at high speeds using his jet-skates, he draws the attention of a pair of traffic police, who try to chase him down. He arrives at his sports car further down the road and and changes into Anthony Stark. Stark arrives at the speedway just in time to climb behind the wheel of "The Stark Special" and begin the race. Some time into the race, he feels his heart seize up on him, causing him to spin the car out of control and crash. As the car bursts into flame, Stark finds that he is trapped and cannot move. A bystander braves the flames and pulls him out of the wreckage and drags him to safety. Stark begs the man to quickly take him to his hotel room and not ask any questions. The man agrees and they take off in his car.
At the hotel, Stark plugs his chest plate into a wall outlet, which begins to stimulate his heart back to normal function. He remembers the man who rescued him and decides to offer him a handsome reward. That man, Happy Hogan, is a retired boxer who rips up Stark's check for $50,000, stating that he would prefer a steady job with three weeks vacation and a pension plan. Stark in turn offers him a position as his chauffeur, which Hogan eagerly accepts. They head over to Stark's main office in Flushing, New York, where he introduces Hogan to his secretary, Pepper Potts. The bickering between Pepper and Happy begins almost immediately! Although they bicker, Hogan confesses an attraction to Pepper, who rebuffs him saying she's saving herself to be the future Mrs. Tony Stark.
Stark excuses himself and goes to his private office to test out his Iron Man armor. He goes through checks on a few of his latest innovations, when suddenly an alarm goes off. As Iron Man, he immediately heads to the basement where he discovers one of his employees, Professor Gregor Shapanka, trying to break into a vault. Shapanka fires a gun at the approaching hero, to no avail. Iron Man apprehends Shapanka and shoves him into the vault, closing it securely behind him. A few minutes later, Tony Stark arrives with armed guards, and explains that he's letting Shapanka go free because of the brilliant work he had done in the past. Since he can no longer trust Shapanka with the vital secret projects that Stark Industries is involved in, Stark fires him. As Shapanka is being escorted away, he insults Stark, who makes a comment warning him to leave now before he "gets cold feet." This comment makes Shapanka laugh out loud and thank Stark for helping him mentally "connect the dots" on a solution to his money problems. Thinking Shapanka "nuttier than a fruit cake," he is set free.
Weeks later, Shapanka is working in his private laboratory. He has developed a process to prolong human life by freezing a person within a block of ice. Using Stark's comment for inspiration, he develops a special freezing suit that lowers his body temperature without placing him within a block of ice. The suit also gives him the ability to freeze objects near him. A week later, Shapanka walks into a bank wearing his new "ice suit" and encases the armed guards and customers within blocks of ice. He robs the bank vault and then saunters outside, icing up nearby policemen (and the bullets they are shooting at him). The newspaper headlines scream about the new threat of "Jack Frost." Enjoying his newfound power and fame, Shapanka decides to make his next move against Tony Stark.
Covered in ice, the newly anointed Jack Frost walks into Stark Industries' main office and encounters armed guards, who open fire at him. Nearby, Pepper Potts uses the telephone to warn Stark that that Jack Frost is breaking in. In his office, Stark quickly changes into Iron Man. Meanwhile, Happy Hogan rushes in Pepper's office and picks up one of the fallen guard's rifles. As he races inside Stark's office to check on his boss, he is frozen solid by Jack Frost. Iron Man immediately recognizes Jack Frost's voice as Shapanka's. He triggers a trap door to open beneath Jack Frost's feet, but he grabs hold of the side of the door and uses his ice powers to climb out. Iron Man then uses a heat ray from his chest plate to melt Jack Frost's icy coating, stalling him long enough to assemble a miniature transistorized furnace from his utility belt. Placed on the ground, the furnace emanates a heat wave that disables Jack Frost's powers and melts all of the ice that he has generated. As the defeated Jack Frost is arrested, Happy Hogan is left to ponder whether he's given up prize-fighting for the wrong vocation!
Appearing in "Knightmare"
- Sir Gareth
- King Arthur
- Sir Malcolm
- Cynthia von Doom (Only in flashback)
- Merlin (Only in flashback)
- Nimue (Only in flashback)
- Reed Richards (Mentioned)
- Hildebrandt Wood
- Morgana's castle, valley of Wailing Mists
Synopsis for "Knightmare"
Iron Man and Doctor Doom find themselves stranded in the past in the kingdom of Camelot. A band of knights of the roundtable confronts the duo and they skirmish when Dr. Doom refuses to acknowledge their authority, but Iron Man makes Doom agree to go with them to Camelot. The duo present themselves to King Arthur, but Doom's royal pretensions do not impress the king. Doom forces a servant to give him the location of Morgan Le Fay's castle and requests the witch's aid in rescuing his mother from hell. She agrees if Doom will help her kill King Arthur. Using a chip from Excalibur, Le Fay raises an army of undead soldiers with Doom to lead the battle. Iron Man joins King Arthur's forces to combat them and finally drives them away. Doom promises to have revenge on Iron Man someday, but in order to return to their own time they form a temporary truce; with components from their armors they manage to juryrig a makeshift time machine. After returning home safely they part ways, Doom still vowing revenge.
The gleaming Golden Avenger steals the show as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the House of Ideas with the era-spanning MARVEL TALES! This anthology series shines a spotlight on fan-favorite characters, features timeless stories and highlights some of our most impressive talent from the past eight decades. First, Iron Man is born in the incredible origin story of Tony Stark, as told by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Don Heck in TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #39! Then, the unforgettable Pepper Potts enters Tony’s life as his hard-working assistant in TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #45! And, in IRON MAN (1968) #150, the team supreme of Bob Layton, David Michelinie and John Romita Jr. tell a Shell-Head story for the ages! Trapped in the time-lost land of King Arthur, Iron Man battles Doctor Doom!
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