History of Iron Man

The History of Iron Man Pt. 43

Enter Extremis, and nothing will ever be the same again!

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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 Avengers.”

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.

Also, be sure to visit the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited to read 50 years’ worth of Iron Man adventures!

The new era of Iron Man action in 2005 led to one of the biggest changes yet in Tony Stark’s armored adventures. A technological advancement joined the armor and the man like never before.

Some things never change: In IRON MAN #1, a film producer met with Tony Stark to discuss a possible movie about him but walks away painting the millionaire as a war monger. Meanwhile, the theft of a new chemical invention winds up in the hands of criminals and in the veins of a man who begins to change from the forced injection. Maya Hansen of FuturePharm disclosed the theft of the chemical—called Extremis—to Stark, concerned for whoever might use it.

Stark, as Iron Man, flew off to the Raft, the superhuman criminal prison, in NEW AVENGERS #1 to help corral a massive outbreak of villains. There, he met up with Captain America and others and got in on the ground floor of the latest incarnation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

After Maya informed Tony about Extremis and FuturePharm’s part in its development in IRON MAN #2, the two discovered that a man named Mallen had broken into FBI headquarters and began a wholesale slaughter of its employees. Maya realized that the superhuman abilities exhibited by Mallen must be due to Extremis. Stark raced off to confront Mallen as Iron Man.

At the FBI building, the Armored Avenger ordered Mallen to surrender in IRON MAN #3. The super-powered individual decided to fight instead and he and Shellhead threw down. After punishing blows from both combatants, Mallen overpowered his opponent and pierced Iron Man’s chestplate. Dazed and confused, Stark looked up to see the man ready to finish him off.

Our hero surged back in IRON MAN #4 and used his chest beam to strike at Mallen. Seeing that the tide had turned against him and now surrounded by police and army forces, Mallen fled the scene. Iron Man asked Maya Hansen to evacuate him to FuturePharm to effect repairs, but once there she realized that his injuries went far beyond her capabilities. Then, Tony had a brainstorm: inject him with Extremis. Maya complied, but Stark appeared dead to the world.

Check out IRON MAN (2004) on the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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