> Iron Man Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I know I've only days to live, but my last act will be to defeat this grinning, smirking, red terrorist!"

- - Tony Stark, thinking about Wong-Chu, page 5

Tony Stark as Iron Man: Before his first battle, some soul searching.


Iron Man from Tales of Suspense #39
March 1963 • 13 pages

Job Number: X-51

Publication Date: December 10, 1962

Letters Page: No letters page was published in this issue

Ranked #29 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

I: Feature Story: "Iron Man Is Born!"

Pages: 13

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: Larry Lieber
Pencils: Don Heck
Inks: Don Heck
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Iron Man/Anthony Stark, Wong-Chu, Professor Yinsen

Villain: Wong-Chu

Origin: Iron Man

Guest Appearance: Professor Yinsen

Death: Wong-Chu, Professor Yinsen

Marvel Milestones: First appearance of gray Iron Man Suit

Iron Man Tech: transistor-powered air pressure jets, magnetic turbo-insulator, mini-finger buzz-saw

Setting: Vietnam

Synopsis: In a closely guarded lab, Tony Stark shows off a new invention to US military defense officials. It is his development of super powerful, transistorized magnets, strong enough to pull open a thick metal door from a distance: they increase magnetic force a thousandfold! Tony Stark impresses the military brass with his new inventions, while at the same time impressing the ladies of the international jetset 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. While he contemplates further Communist mayhem, Tony Stark is on the ground in Vietnam trying to figure out a way to increase American military power through the use of his inventions. While on a mission in the jungle to see his weaponry in use, he accidentally triggers a trip-wire that explodes a landmine. His wounded body is claimed by the forces of Wong-Chu and taken to a nearby headquarters. Wong-Chu realizes his prisoner is a "famous Yankee inventor" and he decides that even though doctors determine he only has days to live before "shrapnel reaches his heart", he will put him to work in service of the Communist insurgency.

Wong-Chu lies to Tony Stark that he will have a surgeon save his life if only he will develop new high-tech weapons for him. Stark agrees, but only in order to try and save his own life with his technical abilities. Given access to scrap metal and tools, Stark promises he will deliver a "fantastic weapon" to the villain, but instead sets out in building a mechanism that will help stop the shrapnel from moving toward his heart. He is given an assistant named Professor Yinsen, a great thinker that Stark had heard of while he was in college who has since been imprisoned for his anti-communist beliefs, and the two finalize work on Stark's project: they have invented an iron body-suit with a chest-plate that, through use of transistor-powered magnets, will keep the shrapnel at bay inside Tony Stark's heart.

Just as Stark has climbed inside the life-saving suit and begun to receive the life-nourishing flow of electrical current, Wong-Chu comes in to check on his prize possession. To distract him in order to save the precious seconds for Tony Stark to fully power the Iron Man suit, Professor Yinsen rushes out into the hallway and shouts derogatory comments about Wong-Chu and is shot dead by armed guards. Tony Stark, as Iron Man, hears his friend being murdered outside and swears he will avenge his death. He tries to rise off the table and walk on the floor in his Iron Man suit, but it is difficult to learn how to stabilize himself in his heavy metal trappings. But learn he does, and he evades detection from Wong-Chu by leaping up to the ceiling and using suction cups to hold him steady. After the tyrant leaves the room, the villainous overlord heads outside to "amuse himself" with his "favorite sport" - that is, beating up villagers.

Iron Man comes down from the ceiling, covers himself in a coat and hat, and wanders outside to where Wong-Chu is tossing people around in the judo arena. Iron Man challenges Wong-Chu, and then takes his coat and hat off, revealing 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 his guards fire at Iron Man, but the bullets just bounce off his metal chest plate. His magnetic inverter turns the bullets around to the source where they were fired from. Wong-Chu races away in cold fear, but Iron Man, nearly low on energy and too weak to continue pursuit, uses his finger-apparatus oil-dispenser to launch a stream of oil towards an ammo depot Wong-Chu is running near. He then sets fire to the oil stream, and it makes its way to the ammo dump, resulting in a lethal explosion that claims Wong-Chu in its blast. Iron Man sets the prisoners free, and reflects on the knowledge that he has avenged Professor Yinsen.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Iron Man from
Tales of Suspense #39-50

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


TOS #39

TOS #40

TOS #41

TOS #42

TOS #43

TOS #44

TOS #45

TOS #46

TOS #47

TOS #48

TOS #49

TOS #50


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