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Every day in April we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Iron Man Stories Ever Told!
10. “The Beginning of the End” Iron Man Volume 1 #17-23
Written by Archie Goodwin with art by George Tuska and Johnny Craig, this story introduced Madame Masque, who turned out to be an old Iron Man supporting character/villain named Whitney Frost. The real highlights, though, were the introduction of two notable tropes that later Iron Man stories used. First, via a Life Model Decoy of Tony Stark, Tony Stark had his fortune stolen for the first time. Second, we had the first fill-in Iron Man, as Tony enlists the help of a boxer friend of Happy Hogan’s named Eddie March. Like other replacement Iron Men to come, Eddie March’s tenure was short-lived.
9. “Iron Man Is Born!” Tales of Suspense #39
Written by Larry Lieber (from a Stan Lee plot) and drawn by Don Heck, it is only due to Marvel having so many great origin stories that this origin is not remembered even more fondly than it already is (and it already has been adapted seamlessly to film, which is a real rarity for superhero origins). Anyhow, you know the drill, munitions maker Tony Stark is in Vietnam and gets caught in an explosion and captured by the bad guys and forced to work for him. Only the genius of one of his fellow captive scientists prevents Tony from dying, but now Tony needs a machine to keep his heart pumping. Secretly, Tony and the other scientist build a suit of armor which Tony uses to escape (the other scientist, an old man, sacrifices himself for Tony). Tony avenges his fallen friend and now that he has a fancy suit of armor, becomes a superhero.
8. “The Five Nightmares” Invincible Iron Man #1-7
In an attempt to avenge the death of his father, Ezekiel Stane adapts Stark technology into weapons of mass destruction, forcing Tony Stark into a race around the world to avoid stopping a man who is basically a younger and faster version of himself, only without any regard for human life! This storyline brings Pepper Potts back into the Iron Man universe in a big way. The beginning of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s long run on Iron Man.
7. “Deliverance” Iron Man #182
Denny O’Neil, Luke McDonnell and Steve Mitchell had been having Tony Stark spiraling for some time, even giving up the Iron Man armor to his friend James Rhodes a year earlier. Finally, Tony Stark hits rock bottom on a cold, sad night when his drinking buddy dies in child birth. A rough story that began a long comeback for Tony.
6. “World’s Most Wanted” Invincible Iron Man #8-19
Now that Norman Osborn has taken control of SHIELD, Tony Stark has failed. He does not want to compound his failure, though, by giving Osborn access to the files from the Superhero Registration Act (including the secret identities of all registered superheroes). Tony erases all the existing files on the Act. However, due to his Extremis powers, Tony has the files in his brain. Osborn knows this, so he begins to hunt Tony across the globe. The only way to get rid of the files is for Tony to become brain dead, which he does to himself slowly but surely. It is a powerful arc by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca that has a nice prominent role in it for Pepper Potts.
The top five is on the next page!
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