The Legacy of Iron Man
Who is worthy to wear the armor?
by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog
Big news broke this week in the world of Marvel Comics, specifically about the character of Iron Man. After the events of the current Civil War II miniseries, Tony Stark will not be Iron Man for an as yet unrevealed reason. There will be two different characters operating as Iron Man, one a long time Marvel villain and a new, fairly recent character. More on them later. But this isn't the first time Marvel has put someone other than Tony in the armor. All true Iron Man fans know Jim Rhodes substituted for Tony many times before his untimely death. Here are just a few examples of other people who have temporarily called themselves Iron Man.
The Iron Legion
After the giant robot Ultimo defeats Tony Stark/Iron Man in battle, Tony goes into a coma. Jim Rhodes is then reluctantly called upon to come up with a plan to defeat Ultimo. Jim has engineers at Stark Enterprises reassembly some of the older versions of Iron Man’s armor and asks some of Tony’s friends who formerly covered for Tony as Iron Man in the past including Happy Hogan, Eddie March, and Michael O’Brien for help. Carl Walker is chosen because as the reformed supervillain Force he has experience with armor. And the finally volunteer was Bethany Cabe, former girlfriend of Tony Stark, based on her combat experience. While the group did not end up defeating Ultimo, they slowed the menace down long enough to give Tony time to recover and defeat Ultimo with a new suit of armor (it was issue #300, there had to be a new suit!)
Teen Iron Man
When Tony Stark is discovered to be under the mental influence of the time traveling Avengers enemy Immortus, the Avengers go back in time to enlist the help of a teenage Tony. The Avengers actually travel to the past of an alternate Earth (Earth 96020) and bring the teen back to their present. The original Tony eventually sacrifices his life to stop Immortus, leaving the teen Tony to operate as Iron Man while not in college classes. Teen Tony is one of the heroes to go into the Heroes Reborn universe and is merged with his original counterpart. When the original Tony Stark returns to the proper Marvel Universe, he retains all of his memories and those of his teen counterpart.
Iron Man 2020
Arno Stark would take control of Stark International in the year 2020 after his uncle Tony goes missing and is presumed dead. Arno would lose his wife and son after he arrives home too late from a time travel adventure where he sought the shut off to a nuclear bomb. Arno would also go on to help heroes of various alternate realities and the Guardians of the Galaxy from the future. Arno would also be used as a pawn of villains from time to time, either in Immortus’ Legion of the Unliving or Kang’s Chronos Corps.
And finally I promised you current news. The first of the two upcoming Iron Man successors will be the reformed Victor Von Doom in a new book titled the Infamous Iron Man. Little is known about this, how will Doom operate, as a hero, anti-hero, or something far more sinister. The only image released so far is the cover to issue #1.
The second person, who will probably act much more heroically than Doom is Riri Williams, a fifteen year old african american girl who is a M.I.T. student. What started as a hobby trying to reverse engineer Tony Stark’s armor in her dorm room has turned into a heroic crusade. Need more proof she’s the real deal? Robert Downey Junior, The MCU’s Tony Stark, has already given her his seal of approval.
So what do think of the two new contenders vying to inherent Tony Stark’s heroic legacy? What do you think Riri will call herself since she is not a man? Share your thoughts with me!
@nightwingpdp or @marvel_roundup on Twitter
My cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) and I discuss all things Marvel weekly on the All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity podcasts, just 2 of the shows on the Nuff Said Podcast. I also write another blog, Legends of DC. You can find all of my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com. And for one stop shopping of all of my creative endeavors, please visit www.philperich.wordpress.com.
Remember, heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. NUFF SAID!