The latest installment in Marvel’s Iron Man Epic Collection series not only features the first appearances of Thanos, Moondragon, Starfox, and Drax, but is also serves as an excellent snap-shot of the era’s “villain of the month” esthetic.
The Iron Man: Battle Royal Epic Collection collects issues #47-67 (1972-1974) of the original Iron Man series and features work by Mike Friedrich, George Tuska, Roy Thomas, Bill Everett, Steve Gerber, Jim Starlin, Barry Windsor-Smith, Craig Russell, Jim Mooney, Vince Colletta, Mike Esposito, and Frank Giacoia.
Speaking of those aforementioned future stars of the Marvel Universe, Iron Man#55 innocently launched the careers of the cosmic heroes and villains, and many other less notable, yet colorful characters. Ole’ Shell-Head must contend with a wild rogue’s gallery of villains in these issues including Firebrand, Princess Python, The Adaptoid, The Cyborg-Sinister, Raga: Son of Fire, The Black Lama, The Blood Brothers, Fangor, The Unicorn, The Masked Marauder, The Freak, Rokk, The Squadron Sinister’s Dr. Spectrum, Namor, Whiplash, and IM’s arch villain, The Mandarin.
As usual with Mr. Stark, he also has to contend with a plethora of personal (a love triangle between Tony Stark, Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan? Believe it!) and business issues, along with the occasional disagreements with his fellow Avengers such as Thor in issue #66.
Battle Royal also includes Thomas and Windsor-Smith’s retelling of the origins of Iron Man in issue #47 (which also graces the cover of this collection by Marvel legend Gil Kane) entitled “Why Must There Be An Iron Man?”
The Iron Man: Battle Royal Epic Collection contains 448 repulsor ray singed pages for a retail price of $39.99. The latest Iron Man Epic Collection will be in stores on June 8.
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