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IRON MAN
IRON MAN
SECRET ORIGINS OF IRON MAN
PART ONE OF SIX


Lou GehrigThe FIRST "iron man" was a real person -- baseball player Lou Gehrig, seen right in a 1941 ad for Ironman Batteries. Gehrig was also called the Iron Horse because he never got injured, and played in 2130 consecutive games, finally taking himself out of the line-up when illness made him too weak to play
at the level he was used to.

The SECOND Iron Man is a cartoon character known in
America as GIGANTOR. Created by Japanese writer/artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama in 1956, Gigantor was originally named "Tetsujin," or in English, "Iron Man." XPictured left is Gigantor as portrayed in the 1963 cartoon series (See DBB #346).

Iron Man's next ancestor is a movie serial superhero known as ROCKETMAN (pictured below right). He debuted in King of the Rocketmen (1949). rocketmanRocketman, played by Tristam Coffin, flies with the aid of an atomic-powered rocket suit and what looks like a very early model of Iron Man's helmet. In twelve cliffhanging chapters, Rocketman and his associates prevent the evil Dr. Vulcan from taking over the world. (See DBB #122)

EARLY IRON MEN IN ATLAS COMICS

"I Became A Human Robot!" (splash page and several panels shown below) first appeared in Tales To Astonish #5, September 1959. This story, written by Stan Lee with art by Joe Sinnott, is what has become known as a Marvel "prototype" story -- an early story by Stan Lee that introduces themes and characters who would later reappear, in modified form, as Marvel super heroes.
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"I Became A Human Robot!" is about a genius inve ntor with a goatee who creates the world's first fully-functional, super strong robot.
Robot


Next came Tales To Astonish #31, May 1962, featuring "MAN OF IRON!" Other than its name, this story, by Lee and Steve Ditko, didn't have much to do with Shellhead's formation -- but take a look at the "iron-ic" title logo on the tale. It will serve as a template for IRON MAN logos for decades to come!
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Here's a statue of "our" IRON MAN, as he first appeared in in the glory-drenched pages of TALES OF SUSPENSE #39!
Shellhead
“Jack Kirby designed Iron Man's costume," Iron Man artist Don Heck once recalled, "Because he was doing the cover. The covers were always done first." Speaking of that famous cover... here it is!
IRON MAN
Tributes and take-offs on Shellhead's fabulous first cover...
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IRON MAN