> Iron Man Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"But it's not only brute strength I possess, Baxu! Stand back and watch what I can do with electronic powers!"

- - Iron Man, page 10

Seriously, Kala! You have a kewpie doll riding on the correct guess!


Iron Man from Tales of Suspense #43
July 1963 • 13 pages

Publication Date: April 9, 1963

Letters Page: No letters page was published in this issue

I: Feature Story: "Kala, Queen of the Netherworld!"

Job Number: X-216

Pages: 13

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: Robert Bernstein (credited as R. Berns)
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Don Heck
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Kala, Baxu, Jim, Evans

Villain: Kala

Gueset Appearance: Baxu, Jim, Evans

Iron Man Tech: electronic reverse-energy beam, imper-sonic flamethrower, transistor-powered hand clippers

Marvel Milestones: First appearance of Netherworld

Setting: Netherworld

Synopsis: A wind tunnel machine in Anthony Stark's private lab breaks down, with the generator producing hurricane force winds and sending a test missile slamming into the side of a hill. The technicians call Stark to alert him to the problem, and he tells them Iron Man will be there to handle it! Shortly, Iron Man arrives on the scene and walks into the face of the torrential wind, creating a countervailing wind current of his own by using his magnetic transistors to spin himself around with incredible gravimetric force. This causes the machine to break down and saves the day. He quickly seeks privacy and changes out of his Iron Man suit, later rejoining the scene as Tony Stark. While surveying the damage, a security guard named Jim vanishes in thin air! Just then, a lab technician named Evans disappears also! Stark and his people stand shocked, until a prism-like object rises out of the ground and surrounds Stark, then sinks him beneath the Earth.

Down he goes, through the crust of the planet, until he reaches a highly advanced and technological world. He is greeted by a beautiful woman named Kala, Queen of the Netherworld, and she shows him that Jim and Evans are there as well. She explains that they were trying to kidnap him, but accidentally kindapped Jim and Evans. She explains that they were the former kingdom of Atlantis, and in order to escape gigantic tidal waves, they sank themselves down to the bottom of the sea. Over time, they sank futher down to the core of the Earth, where they are now the kingdom of Netherworld. She has decided the time is now to invade the planet Earth, and she introduces Tony to her military commander, Baxu.

Baxu shows off some of their high-powered weaponry, but Kala explains that the one thing they lack is machinery to get them to the surface. She commands Stark to help them create such machinery or she will kill him and his friends. He tries to persuade her to drop her plans by promising that Iron Man will be on the surface of Earth to fight her, and he is extremely powerful on his own, but Kala remains undeterred. She further threatens to reverse the rotation of the Earth if he does not follow along. Stark agrees to help her, while his friends look on as if he were a traitor to the human race. Stark demands a lab and total privacy. Baxu guides him to his lab, where the military commander confesses that he doesn't think it is wise to invade Earth, and he is very uncomfortable following Kala, who is a woman, despite his love for her.

While in his lab, Stark creates a duplicate Iron Man costume, and then busts out to take the fight to Baxu and Kala. He tells Baxu that he sent Stark back up to Earth to warn the planet of their coming. He beats down Baxu and then explains to him that he doesn't want to kill him, only to convince him to persuade Kala to call off her crazy mission. Baxu cooperates, but Kala is ready to fight. She calls out her Disintegrator Cannon to be fired at Iron Man, but the armored hero destroys it with his own reverse-energy beam. Nothing she can throw at him can outwit Iron Man, until he manages to get close to her and carry her up through the crust of the Earth, to the surface of the planet. There, in the atmosphere of the clean surface air, her facial features turn into that of a "hideous old hag!" She realizes she can never come back to the surface of Earth and maintain her beauty. Iron Man convinces her to go back to Netherworld in peace, marry Baxu and rule her kingdom wisely. She does so, regaining her beauty, while Tony Stark returns to the surface of Earth and his playboy ways.

--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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