The Iron Man suit, since its first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963 had the helmet with slots for the eyes; both in the first Iron Man gray suit (Tales of Suspense #39) and the first red and yellow suit (Tales of Suspense #48).

Cover of Tales of Suspense #39 Cover of Tales of Suspense #48
Click images to enlarge

So, when was the first time the eye slots were replaced by a HUD?

  • Might be worth a clarification here. Do you mean the first publication that showed it? i.e. out of universe. Or in universe the first suit that had it. If the latter my answer is more accurate. If the former then, I think, the other answer is.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 14:58
  • 1
    @TheLethalCarrot i didn't know that both possibilities existed. I thought the first appearance in the publication would have been the same as the first chronological in-universe appearance. I was looking for the former though. So I guess Skooba's answer is close to what I wanted.
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 9:04

3 Answers 3


Probably the first true HUD was in Iron Man #277, published February 01, 1992.

Iron Man HUD 277

This trend continued in Iron #278, published March 10, 1992, with an ever more detailed HUD.

Iron Man HUD 278

It wasn't until 2012 that the HUD in the comics explicitly matched the one we see in the MCU films.

Iron Man 2012 HUD

  • 1
    +1 because from my research '92 is probably the first time we get any sort of HUD out of universe so I think you nailed the OoU answer here.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:20

The very first time is actually in the Model 1 Mark III suit, the gold one, before his first red and yellow one. I believe this suit first appears in Tales of Suspense Issue 40 (April 1963). However, it is only revealed in the Iron Manual (1993) that this suit does indeed have a heads up display in it.

Iron Manual page with the relevant part quoted below Iron Manual page showing the HUD prototype
Click images to enlarge.

They projected words and even images so they appeared to float in front of my face. Now the military calls it 'Heads Up Display' or HUD; so-called because you don't need to look down at instrumentation.

  • 3
    that's a cool retcon
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:00

It's not really a HUD, but in Avengers #201 (1980), Iron Man's mask is depicted as having a little digital clock by the right eye slit:

That particular story was adapted from a short story published in The Marvel Superheroes the previous year. In the story, the time displays when Tony thinks the word "time".

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