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.
Not even two sets of new armor could help Tony Stark when
Encased in his new space armor and angry at the sabotage committed on his company, our hero blasted off into orbit in IRON MAN #142 to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the citizens of Allentown, Iowa. There, circling the globe, he discovered a huge space station called Star Well, operated by the Roxxon Corporation. After an invitation to board the station by the armored Sunturion in IRON MAN #143, Stark realized that Star Well’s experiments in solar power lead to the inadvertent peril in Allentown.
IRON MAN #144 wrapped up the case as the combined might of both Iron Man and Sunturion prevented the station from crashing to Earth after a
Tony Stark faced a team of agents called the
In the South American country of Costa
Another small country, Latveria, figured prominently in IRON MAN #149 when its ruler, the despotic Doctor Doom, demanded Stark circuits for his time machine. When Iron Man himself landed in Latveria to deny the technology in person, the two men found themselves whisked into the past by the machinations of Doom’s disgruntled lackey, Hauptman. Landing in Camelot, they met the famous King Arthur in IRON MAN #150, and Doom joined forces with the evil sorceress
Bethany Cabe, Tony Stark’s beautiful lover, left in a hurry in IRON MAN #151, but the millionaire inventor found his attention drawn to a computer problem that shut down his entire complex. Scott Lang, Ant-Man, raced to the rescue and when Stark could grab a moment to breath he discovered Bethany’s predicament: captured as a spy in communist-held East Germany.
Wearing his incredible stealth armor, Iron Man infiltrated the enemy stronghold known as Heaven’s Hand, with his friend James Rhodes providing back-up, all in IRON MAN #152. The
As an extra-special year-end gift, our hero also encountered the X-Men in AVENGERS ANNUAL #10. During that one-of-a-kind event he fell victim to the shape-changing Mystique, became a living bomb, and went toe-to-toe with the latest mutant powerhouse, a Southern belle called Rogue.