57

Iron Man's armor isn't made of iron. Then, why is his name Iron Man?

I am looking for in-universe answer.

Was the armor of Iron Man made of iron in early comics?

  • 5
    well in the new movie, his first suit is iron/steel, so his new origin story at least supports the name. – Himarm Feb 17 '15 at 19:09
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    The adjective "iron" can mean simply strong (see definition #2). It could be similar to why Superman is nicknamed "The Man of Steel," even though he is not made of steel. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Feb 17 '15 at 19:16
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    Because Man of Steel was taken. – user16696 Feb 17 '15 at 19:51
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    You should remove your line "Was the armor of Iron Man made of iron in initial comics?" from your question. Since you accepted the answer that doesn't deal with this at all, it makes your question misleading. probably untag marvel comics too, since you were looking for purely a movie answer. – Himarm Feb 18 '15 at 1:52
  • 3
    He's a Black Sabbath fan. – Ryguy Feb 19 '15 at 15:25
86

Simple: it was a catchy headline.

We see the origin of the "Iron Man" name in the MCU, and it's a newspaper that Tony is reading at the end of the first movie. He has nothing to do with the name, he just adopts it when he tells the press "I am Iron Man", referencing the name they gave him. Even Tony Stark highlights the fact the name is wrong.

Tony Stark (reading the newspaper): "Iron Man." That's kind of catchy. It's got a nice ring to it. I mean it's not technically accurate. The suit's a gold titanium alloy, but it's kind of provocative, the imagery anyway.

enter image description here

In the comics, the answer may be different, but in the MCU it's clearly got nothing to do with anything but a memorable news article. It's not a reference to the suit's material, or any particular use of iron in the armor. It's just a name, probably referencing the Black Sabbath song, which in our universe came after the comic character's creation, but in the MCU obviously came before Stark's suit was developed.

Also worth noting: it's a small change, but Tony did place his personal stamp on the name when he said "I am Iron Man" instead of "I am the Iron Man" as the newspaper styles it. That's Tony, never missing a chance to tweak, streamline, and make something just a little bit sexier...

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    the question is asking about the original comics. not the movies from my understanding. – Himarm Feb 17 '15 at 19:38
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    @Himarm The question has an MCU tag, and it links to a question discussing the movies. – Nerrolken Feb 17 '15 at 19:40
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    The question is all inclusive of various canons. This is a valid answer, even if partial. – user16696 Feb 17 '15 at 19:52
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    Tony himself lampshades this question in the scene you photographed. – Lightness Races with Monica Feb 17 '15 at 20:13
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    ...and then while they were distracted he'd blast them with his six Isobeams and bind them with handcuffs made from non-volatile osmates! Snowman, I think we have a hit. – Nerrolken Feb 18 '15 at 0:10
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Iron Man's first suit was made out of iron, hence his name, Iron Man. wiki This article also talks about his origin's and the creation of a crude suit similar to what we saw in the first Iron Man movie, essentially a crude iron suit. marvel wiki We also know that in the comic book at least the Black Sabbath song came out after Iron Man was first seen in the comics, I believe 63 for iron man and 70 for Black Sabbath's song. Ironman music

Stark's grey armor was the first Iron Man armor he built and (in retrospect) a prototype for the later models. It was built around an iron chest plate designed to prevent the piece of shrapnel he received in Vietnam from traveling to his heart and killing him.

enter image description here

  • Funny, I recall reading Iron Man comics in the late 1960s that said the suit started as a portable iron lung, required because Stark couldn't breathe on his own (and in those days, he wore the torso armor under his street clothes). Powering the rest of the suit was an obvious outgrowth. – Zeiss Ikon Sep 29 '17 at 17:52
  • @ZeissIkon - I'm afraid your memory has betrayed you. Stark's problem was always heart-related. You are correct that he had to wear the torso piece under his clothes for many years. He had heart surgery of some sort around Iron Man issue 19 or so (from 1967 or 68), and was able to go without wearing the armor from then on (mostly - a writer or two brought that, or other issues, back to leave him "trapped" again). The armor was usually carried in a brief case at that point. – RDFozz Aug 23 '18 at 18:51

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