By Jim Beard
50 Years ago, Tony Stark became Iron Man, a historic milestone in the tapestry of the Marvel Universe.
Flash forward half a century, and the Armored Avenger has become a worldwide sensation. Beyond his prominent role across the Marvel Comics line, Shellhead hit the big screen in 2008 as Robert Downey Jr. brought Tony Stark to life in the first “Iron Man” movie. The character’s popularity grew in 2010’s “Iron Man 2” and 2011’s “Marvel’s The
On May 3, 2013, Tony Stark returns to theaters everywhere in “Iron Man 3.” In anticipation of this momentous occasion and to celebrate Iron Man’s 50th anniversary, each week Marvel.com will be bringing you another chapter in the history of this complex and beloved character. Year by year, get an in-depth rundown of the trials, foes and experiences that have made Iron Man the hero he stands as today.
You can start here.
Tony Stark waged a furious war to retrieve his technology and handed in
As the year opened, Armor Wars continued in IRON MAN #226, setting Shellhead against the armored
The Beetle fell under Stark’s scrutiny in IRON MAN #227, but when the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. demanded to know what Iron Man meant by his attacks, our hero swiftly created a ruse: “
Iron Man got his pink slip as a Stark employee in IRON MAN #229 in a continuing effort to maintain the “
Tony Stark pondered the possibilities of leaving his alter ego “dead” in IRON MAN #231, but when Cord began to attack Stark interests around the globe a new Iron Man rose up to challenge him. In a stunning suit of the classic red and gold colors, the once more Golden Avenger put Firepower down and brought an end to the Armor Wars.
Or did he? IRON MAN #232 wrapped up the tumultuous times with a horrible nightmare visited upon Stark, wherein he contended with all guilt over his “war” and the things that frightened him most. Cord himself had a few further ideas of revenge in IRON MAN #233, and while Iron Man stopped the fall of a Stane satellite from orbit, Scott Lang used his Ant-Man abilities to put the kibosh on the corporate raider in his friend Tony’s absence.
Remember the Radioactive Man? At a science convention in IRON MAN #234, the Communist villain bagged none other than Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, with an eye on performing a few devilish experiments. Tipped off to the plot by his employee Vic Martinelli, Stark rescued his fellow hero and saved the day.
Femme fatale Kathy Dare tried to become Tony Stark’s new main squeeze in IRON MAN #235, but the Armored Avenger’s attention focused on Paul St. Pierre, a sculptor whose disturbing and realistic work brought about a startling revelation for our hero: the Grey Gargoyle had returned. In IRON MAN #236, the
Still, Iron Man’s dubious status with the U.S. government hung over Tony Stark’s head. When U.S. representatives asked our hero to go after a “satellite killer” in IRON MAN #237, Stark discovered not only a genetic mutation created by the government, but also a way to clear his name. At year’s end, Iron Man flew high, lawsuits and charges behind him and a bright future ahead.