Marvel | Back To Tales Of Suspense | March 1963 | Volume 1 | USA | 40 Owned
1st Appearance of Iron Man (Tony Stark)

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Key Issue
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March 1963
Comic Age
Cover Price
  • 1st APPEARANCE of "IRON MAN" (Anthony "Tony" Stark)
  • 1st APPEARANCE of "Iron Man Armor Model 1"
Interior Artist
Cover Artist
Stories May contain spoliers
1st APPEARANCE "IRON MAN" (Anthony Stark)
In a closely guarded lab, "Tony" Stark shows off a new invention to US military defense officials. He has developed micro-transistors capable of powering up things such as magnets; turning them into powerful weapons strong enough to pull open a thick metal door from a distance. They increase magnetic force a thousandfold! Stark impresses the military brass with his new inventions, while at the same time impressing the ladies of the international jet set 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. Meanwhile, Tony Stark has arrived in Vietnam to observe the testing micro-transistor-powered weaponry, which allow heavy items like mortars to be reduced in size no larger or heavier than a flashlight. Accompanying a squad of soldiers equipped with his weaponry on a patrol through the jungle, he accidentally triggers a tripwire that detonates a landmine. The wounded Stark is captured by Wong-Chu's forces and taken to their nearby headquarters. Wong-Chu realizes his prisoner is a "famous Yankee inventor" and decides that he will put him to work in service of the Communist insurgency even though doctors determine the young inventor only has days to live before "shrapnel reaches his heart."
Wong-Chu falsely promises that he will have a surgeon save Stark's life if he will agree to develop new high-tech weapons for him. Even though he saw through Wong-Chu's words to his true intentions, to make him work until his death, Stark agrees, in order to try and save his own life with his technical abilities and Wong-Chu's resources. Given access to scrap metal and tools, Stark promises he will deliver a "fantastic weapon," but sets out in building a mechanism that will help stop the shrapnel from penetrating his heart. He is given an assistant named Professor Yinsen, a famous physicist whom Stark had read about while in college. Working together, the two finalize work on Stark's project: an iron body suit with a chest plate that will keep the shrapnel at bay through use of transistor-powered magnets.
Just as Stark has donned the life-saving suit and begun to power it with electrical current from a generator, Wong-Chu attempts to come check on his prisoners. Professor Yinsen rushes out into the hallway shouting at Wong-Chu and is shot dead by armed guards, buying the precious seconds Stark needed to fully charge the armor. Tony Stark, as Iron Man, hears the murder of his friend and swears he will avenge his death. He tries to rise and steady himself in the Iron Man armor, but discovers it is like learning to walk again. He quickly gets the hang of operating the armor and evades detection from Wong-Chu by leaping to the ceiling and holding himself there using suction cups. After Wong-Chu leaves the room, the tyrant heads outside to "amuse himself" with his favorite sport, challenging the villagers to a duel of judo.
Iron Man descends from the ceiling and finds a coat and hat, with which to cover his armor, and wanders outside to find Wong-Chu tossing people around in the judo arena. Iron Man challenges Wong-Chu, then takes off his coat and hat to reveal 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 that his guards open fire on Iron Man, but the bullets just bounce off the armored figure's metal chest plate. Iron Man then uses "reverse magnetism" to repel the enemy weapons. Wong-Chu tries to get to the speakers of the nearest building, in order to put a bounty on Iron Man, but Stark manages to create electrical interference and switch the radio's channel, telling Wong-Chu's troops through the speaker to flee their leader before the Iron Man "slays [them] all." Iron Man cuts down the building's door using a transistor-powered b
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TALES OF SUSPENSE #39A Marvel Legends Edition
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TALES OF SUSPENSE #39B UK Edition (9d)
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Comic Cover for Tales Of Suspense (#39)
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