Iron Man #158 (1982)


This is Denny O’Neil’s first issue, but he’s not joined by artist until #161 so it’s not truly the beginning of what will become a very important, excellent run on Iron Man.   This is a one-off about a fat kid with powers who is cruel to his mommy.  It’s weird and creepy.  And the creepiest part is how he eats his breakfast.  I remember when I first read this.  I was twelve.  Those eggs looked absolutely disgusting, and who drinks milk with eggs?!?

Iron Man gets in the mix because the kid has the power to affect machines, so Tony traces him to his farmhouse and takes him down.

“I’m more than a tin suit.”  It’s a little strange to see Tony denigrate his own tech like that—his armor is clearly not made of tin—especially since all he really did here is beat up a fat kid.  But that last panel, where the mom says “hit him again,” caps off the story in as creepy and gross a place where it started.

This is a very different, very icky issue.  But it has stuck with me for decades.  Especially the eggs.

Also, I like the development of the “villain” in this—it’s rare to see a comic spend so much time on a character who is basically disposable.  He’ll never appear again after this.

For those reasons, I’m rating it highly.

Creators: Denny O’Neil and Carmine Infantino
Grade: B+

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