IRON MAN #48-51 (1972)

Issue #48 starts with some very clunky characterization and a strip tease.

Then Firebrand returns, with an anticapitalist speech. Turns out, his father was killed on the job, working for Stark Industries, so he tries to blow up the building where his daddy died–and kill himself in the process.

Next, a quick fight against Super-Adaptoid.

It ends with Tony out of power, meaning his armor can’t maintain his heart, and he’s dying.

His psychic girlfriend, Marianne Rogers, had a vision and freaks out.

And apparently, her powers are like fairies: You have to believe in them.

Then, in #50, Princess Python returns. Lots of wrapping around going on.

Princess Python’s snake apparently is stronger than Hulk, who can’t dent Iron Man’s armor.

So, he lets her get away and shoots her snake instead.

And apparently, without her snake, Princess Python would rather be dead. I’m counting this with the “suicide in comics” tag, below, because it sure looks to me like that’s what she’s attempting to do.

So lots of death and suicide in these issues. They’re pretty dark. And along the way, we start to see Tony’s drinking problem getting worse.

Friedrich is doing a good job at developing a different tone in this book. His first several issues were pretty bad, but in these I started to see where he was going.


A letter from “Paty,” which was the one name used by artist and future wife of Dave Cockrum when she started working for Marvel.

Leave a Comment