Starting to get into some comics and I would really like to read the Iron Man origin story. While I am aware that "Tales of Suspense #39 (1959)" is the original Origin story, has it been re-written at any point in any of the other 1000+ Iron Man comics out there?

I'm looking for a comic covering the Origin story, not a one-page background-brief (like at the start of Extremis).

  • Is there a particular version of Iron Man you're interested in? Earth-616 (the main continuity)? The Ultimate universe? The Cinematic universe? They all differ a bit.
    – phantom42
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:57
  • No, I don't care which universe it is, I'm just after version of the origin story other than the one I've listed. I've also since found "Iron Man: I am Iron Man", but that is essentially just a comic version of the first film (and not a great one at that). I want to know if there's any versions of the origin story written aside from the one quoted in my OP.
    – Altissimus
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


I'm excited to see it because I feel like no one ever asks this question and I believe I have a rather good answer for you:

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If you're into comics you might have known to expect that the best YEAR ONE scenario for Ole Shell Head to come from the man who knows more about obscure details, characters and back-stories than any other comic writer: Kurt Busiek

Aside from being a big comic historian Kurt is a long time and well celebrated comicbook professional who has written just about every kind of story. His Astro-City series has won tons of awards and has possibly one of the best Batman & Robin like stories in it I've ever read.

You can find Iron Man: The Iron Age collected in Iron Man By Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen Omnibus or just pick it up a at your local comic shop as it's only a two-issues prestige format mini-series.

And don't just take my word on how good it is Comicbookresources.com called it great as did Comicbookrevolution.net.

I hope you enjoy the read which starts with Tony in his original armor and ends with him in the more traditional red-and-gold. It not only gives you details on Tony's early days in the armor but on the side characters that populate his world and it is told in a way remnant of Kurt's work on Astro-City.

  • 1
    Hi and thanks for this reply. I can't find this particular comic under Marvel Digital Comics or under Marvel Unlimited. The only Busiek IMs of that era are the "Invincible Iron Man" comics, and none seem to carry this cover or this story. A little help finding it on Marvel Unlimited would be great!! (IF it's there!!) (If it's NOT there, it's a damn shame but this should be made clear).
    – Altissimus
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 13:52
  • 1
    I couldn't find it on there either, that may be because they are drying to drive sales to the Iron Man by Kurt Busiek & Sean Chen Omnibus which is pretty pricey. Have you tried calling your local comic shop, checking on eBay or through torrents? HERE I found it on eBay! Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 20:07

David Michelinie rewrote Iron Man's origin and added James Rhodes to the story (#122, vol. 1, May 1979). John Byrne put his spin on the origin in issue #268 (May 1991) and updated it again in #275 (December 1991).

The movie version appears in vol. 4, #1 (Jan. 2005). There's a "secret" origin in 2013 (vol. 5, #s 9-17).

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