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Iron Man Month 2010

Take 10: Iron Man's Battles

Shellhead's most scintillating scuffles, as selected by the Secret Cabal

We're celebrating the May 7 (April 28 internationally) release of "Iron Man 2" with Iron Man Month 2010! Get ready for a monthlong mega mix of all things Shellhead right here on Marvel.com!


Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.

As a prominent businessman and famed public figure, Tony Stark has done battle with various corporate rivals, not to mention his own personal demons. In his guise as Iron Man, Tony has gone head-to-helmet with the most dangerous villains, monsters and would-be-conquerors this planet or any other has to offer.

It's tough to narrow down the Armored Avenger's many battles to his most prominent, but that's what the Secret Cabal has attempted to do this week.

For each fight you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!


Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #1-6 (2004-2006)
Why It Makes The List: Up against a recipient of the Extremis virus, an updated attempt at recreating the Super Soldier Serum which gave Captain America his abilities, Tony Stark finds both he and Iron Man to be outmatched. Seeing no other choice than to inject himself with Extremis, Stark gains incredible new powers and advanced control over his armor, but must grappled with mastering the virus and honing his augmented persona in time to stop his terrorist foe.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN #1 (2004)-The birth of Extremis!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #299-300 (1993-1994)
Why It Makes The List: Despite suffering from extensive neural damage, Tony Stark attempts to launch his remote-operated Iron Man armor against the massive mechanical menace known as Ultimo and ends up blasted into a coma for his troubles. As a result, War Machine is forced to lead a team of Stark's allies adorned in armors of their own against the rampaging giant as the Iron Legion, but this campaign seems similarly doomed. At the eleventh hour, Stark arrives as the cavalry in all new Iron Man apparel, but despite his defeat of Ultimo, the Golden Avenger is unable to mend fences with his estranged best friend.
Spotlight Comic: TALES OF SUSPENSE #76-The first appearance of Ultimo!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #26-30 (2000)
Why It Makes The List: It's one of Tony Stark's greatest fears come to life when his Iron Man armor gains sentience and begins to function without his instruction. Though the suit initially attempts to assist its creator, it gradually loses control, killing the villain Blacklash and seeking to supplant Stark. Ultimately "Iron Man" saves Tony's life during a duel between the two on a desert island, sacrificing its "life" to prevent a heart attack, but the man behind the armor would not recover so easily emotionally.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN: THE END #1-Tony Stark faces the ultimate foe: his own mortality!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #270-275 (1991)
Why It Makes The List: Despite temporarily gaining control over a huge section of China, The Mandarin doesn't need long to realize that his alliance with Fin Fang Foom and his alien dragon brethren is a catastrophic mistake and seek an alliance with his greatest foe, Iron Man. Despite the pairing of IM's armored might with The Mandarin's magic rings plus an assist from an armor-clad James Rhodes, the mammoth Foom will still not go down without one of the most explosive wars of all-time.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN #271-The Mandarin unleashes his secret ally against Iron Man!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #149-150 (1981)
Why It Makes The List: Both armor-clad geniuses with indomitable wills, Doctor Doom and Iron Man match up against one another pretty equally-until they find themselves transported backwards in time to medieval times, a period in which Doom's belief in and knowledge of the mystic arts proves a tremendous boon. Nonetheless, Tony Stark battled as nobly as any of King Arthur's Roundtable against Doom and his craven compatriot, Morgana Le Fay, in defense of Camelot.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN #149-The fight between Iron Man and Doctor Doom tumbles through time!

Where It Went Down: WORLD WAR HULK #1, IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #19 (2007)
Why It Makes The List: When The Hulk returned from forced exile to the distant planet Skaar at the hands of he Illuminati, he wielded new battle skills and boasted an army of allies, demanding his tormentors answer for their crimes lest he break their world. Having recently been appointed Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the wake of Civil War, Tony Stark suited up as Iron Man and took responsibility for the actions of himself and his Illuminati allies. In his augmented Hulkbuster armor, Shellhead dished out a potent wallop against the Green Goliath, but their battle would rattle a city to its foundations as Earth looked on in terror.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #19-Clad in a brand new armor, Iron Man attempts to defend New York City against a revenge-driven Hulk!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #200 (1985)
Why It Makes The List: Obadiah Stane robbed Tony Stark of everything, from his company to his friends to his sobriety. Made of sterner stuff than the master chessman could anticipate, Tony would pull himself up out of the gutter and rebuild his life before confronting the man who had torn it apart. However, Iron Man received a rude awakening when Stane unleashed his more powerful Iron Monger suit, forcing the Armored Avenger to resort to smarts and skill in combating perhaps his most relentless and intelligent foe to date.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN #200-The final showdown between Iron Man and Iron Monger!

Where It Went Down: INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1-6 (2008)
Why It Makes The List: The son of Obadiah Stane initially strikes at his father's killer from afar, using suicide bombers powered by stolen Stark schematics to generate terror and rattle Iron Man's conscience. Eventually though, Ezekiel Stane would confront Tony Stark in his own armor even as his operatives struck at Stark Enterprises sites world-wide. Tony was forced to use an electromagnetic pulse to shut down both his and Ezekiel's suits before engaging the younger man in hand-to-hand combat, lashing out at him verbally even as he confronted his own fears of the future.
Spotlight Comic: INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #6-Stark and Stane pit their armors against one another!

Where It Went Down: IRON MAN #225-232 (1987-1988)
Why It Makes The List: When Tony Stark discovers his technology has been co-opted and sold to various factions and individuals all across the globe, something inside him snaps, sending Iron Man on a crusade which will hurl him across many lines as he attempts to secure his creations. The Golden Avenger would face more than simply resistance from foes like The Controller, The Beetle, Crimson Dynamo and more; Iron Man would also target U.S. government operative Stingray, making him a fugitive in his own home nation, betray his friend Steve Rogers in order to take down the Guardsmen, and even accidentally cause the death of Titanium Man during a fight over Russia. In the end, Stark was forced to fake Iron Man's death so that he could assign a "new" bodyguard as well as live with the consequences of his crusade.
Spotlight Comic: IRON MAN #225-The Armor Wars begin!

Where It Went Down: CIVIL WAR #1-7, various tie-ins (2006-2007)
Why It Makes The List: Tony Stark unquestionably changed the course of the Marvel Universe forever when he chose-both in his civilian identity and as Iron Man-to support Super Human Registration and aid in the new law's enforcement. Tony understood there would be consequences to his decision, but it's unlikely even a futurist such as he could have predicted the full ramification the rift between himself and his best friend and fellow Avenger, Captain America, would cause. With each man amassing powerful and resourceful allies, the clashes between the warring factions quickly became epic and costly, with both willing to do whatever it took to claim victory for their side. However, the more intimate skirmishes between Cap and Shellhead proved the most emotionally and physically taxing for both men, as the long-time allies utilized every tool at their disposal to bring each other down.
Spotlight Comic: CIVIL WAR #3-The conflict reaches a fever pitch as Iron Man and his allies lure Captain America's group into an ambush!


Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, aka the super hero Iron Man in this sequel to the 2008 blockbuster. RDJ, Paltrow, Cheadle and Rockwell are joined by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Mickey Rourke as Whiplash. Jon Favreau once again takes up the directorial reins for Marvel's armored avenger.

"Iron Man 2" is one of a continuing slate of films being produced by Marvel Studios based on the Marvel characters, including "Thor" on May 6, 2011, "The First Avenger: Captain America" on July 22, 2011 and "Marvel Studios' The Avengers" on May 4, 2012.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the official word on all things to do with Marvel movies!


Visit the official "Iron Man 2" movie site now and the Marvel.com "Iron Man 2" movie hub! Also, be sure to check out StarkExpo2010.com, the official site of Stark Expo!

Find out when the movie opens in YOUR country with the official "Iron Man 2" international release schedule!

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Off the top, I can think of several memorable battles that were mysteriously omitted such as...Iron Mans last fight with Mandarin was epic in its brutality ( Issue 25-27 Vol 4) Iron Man vs Thor (What started out in Thor, continued in Iron Man and finally culminated in Avengers was arguably shellheads best showing against Thor...ever!)Another massive slugfest with Goliath (on a beach no less) inevitably saving the lives of Hawkeye and Mockingbird (Issue 205 Vol 1)Second best fight with Titanium Man (Issue 135 Vol 1)Iron Man KO's the Hulk...and ultimately himself as well (Issue 133 Vol 1)Great inaugural battle with Arsenal that sent fellow Avengers ducking for cover (Issue 114 Vol 1)Iron Man's initial solo battle with Namor way back in Tales of SuspenseAnd arguably IM's most heroic showing was also his best fight ever with Titanium Man...where T.M. threatens the life of Pepper Potts and after Iron Man saves her...watch out Titanium Man. This also was way back in Tales of Suspense.


Wow. Marvel has completely shown that all it takes to be "great" is to have been done by them recently and still be promotable. The Extremis Virus? Really?The WWH battle? That has easily been the least epic of his battles against the Hulk. Ezekiel Stane? That battle was about as epic as any I've seen in a filler issue. The dozen punches thrown in Civil War? Don't even get me started on that gross mischaracterization of Stark, which is the only thing really epic regarding Iron Man in that saga. Where is the War Machine saga? How about any of the multiple battles against the original Titianium Man or Crimson Dynamo? Armor Wars and Iron Monger should be one and two bar none in terms of epic, and I openly admit the War Machine saga is my favorite three issues of Iron Man ever. While half this list I can agree with or at the very least make a case for, the other half is just terrible.