The Avengers recruited "Teen Tony" from an alternate reality (believed to be the past) to help against the threat of an Immortus' manipulated Iron Man. Inducted into their ranks, "Teen Tony" donned several makeshift armors as Iron Boy and fought alongside the team. After the real Iron Man's sacrifice, he began acting as the new Iron Man until Onslaught's attack and Franklin Richard's subsequent recreation of the fallen heroes on Counter-Earth in which he erased and all remnants of "Teen Tony" were replaced with a more traditional Tony Stark counterpart.
Iron Boy was created by Bob Harras and Roger Cruz and first appeared in Avengers: Timeslide #1.
Iron Boy was introduced in the controversial storyline called The Crossing. It was entirely just a convulted way to replace Tony Stark (who was an "uncool" middle-aged recovering alcoholic) with a younger "hip" Iron Man. The story made the real Tony Stark into a villain and the only person who could possibly defeat him was himself! So, therefore Iron Boy entered the scene when the Avengers travelled to the past to recruit a teenage Tony Stark.
Iron Boy's existence didn't last long as months later the "Heroes Reborn" titles launched which were more or less reboots of much of Marvel's properties and as such there was no longer any need for Iron Boy. The character was left dead at the hands of Onslaught and the real Tony Stark subsequently returned and Marvel were quick to sweep his existence under the rug and ignore the controversial story and character.
Major Story Arcs
Tony Stark was still a 19 year-old college student when his life was turned upside down. While out on a date with his beautiful and exciting girlfriend Meredith, several time-traveling Avengers arrived at Stark Manor in hopes of recruiting him to their ranks to help them against the real Iron Man who had gone mad after months of manipulations by Immortus. While hiding in Stark Manor, the time-travelling Jarvis with the Avengers noticed the date they had arrived was the date that Maria and Howard Stark, Tony's mother and father, died. And it is no coincidence that they happened to arrive on this day, as at that moment his parents were attacked by one of Immortus' time-travelling agents known as Tobias who had arrived to kill the younger Tony Stark.
The Avengers intervened and fought Tobias, but he managed to escape with Tony Stark's parents as his hostages. Not long after, Teen Tony arrived and the Avengers filled him in on what was happening and their hopes for the teenaged Stark to help them save his future self. Tony refused to leave while his parent's were still in danger and the Avengers agreed to help him locate and free them.
Using his knowledge of technology to track his mother's watch, Teen Tony (now outfitted as Iron Boy) and the Avengers descended on Tobias and during a long battle with him, Tony's father was killed and his mother badly wounded. After defeating Tobias, Iron Boy held his mother in his arms as she died.
Tobias was retrieved by Malachi (another of Immortus' agents) as a grief-stricken Iron Boy agreed to join the Avengers and avenge his parents. Following the battle however The Avengers were stranded in the past with no way to return to their own time. That was until Doctor Doom just happened arrive and deduced they did not belong in this time and assisted them (or rather forced them) to use his time platform and return to their own time.
Now in the present, a group of Avengers consisting of Hawkeye and new recruits Madame Masque and Iron Boy launched an ill-fated assault on the real Iron Man. While aimlessly outclassed, Hawkeye and Masque continued to fight against the maddened Avenger. During the chaos, Iron Boy slipped away and put on an old suit of armor made by the real Iron Man and used it to battle his elder self. After an intense fight between the two Iron Men, due to his inexperience, Iron Boy was defeated when the real Iron Man tore straight through his chest.
Later on realising the extent of his madness and disgusted at his actions and murders of several Avengers and their assosciates, the real Iron Man sacrificed himself ultimately stopping Immortus' plot and his last act was giving the Avengers technology that could save his younger self.
After serious surgery to help him survive against his severe injuries incurred by Iron Man, Iron Boy survived the ordeal and was outfitted him with life-maintaining equipment in his chest. Soon afterwards, Tony registered at Columbia University to continue his education where he met a girl called Kris DeGann who he quickly began a relationship with. He also signed up for a class and discovered to his shock the Professor was actually his former girlfriend Meredith from before he was brought forward into the future.
During a massive electrical black-out across all of Manhattan and it's surrounding areas caused by the terrorist group known as Zodiac, Iron Boy's chest plate began losing power as well. Whipping on his gauntlets and going into action again as Iron Boy, he teamed up with Captain America, Thor and the other Avengers to fight against the new Zodiac group and investigate the mysterious blackout.
On the outside of Manhattan, the Avengers found Zodiac holding all of Manhattan hostage within an impenetrable dome as the while they were trapped on the outside. Unable to help the team much due to his inexperience and lack of armor (he only has gauntlets!), Iron Boy at least manages to bypass the defensive measures of the dome and manages to get himself, Thor and Captain America onto the other side. Not much use to the team without armor (he's only wearing gauntlets), he then attempts to shut down the dome from the inside using up the last remaining power in his chest-plate. Fortunately for him, it momentarily works and Giant-Man, Wasp, Quicksilver and Deathcry are able to follow suit and enter Manhattan as well. Giant-Man saves Iron Boy by re-routing some of the energy from dome into Iron Boy's chest-plate.
Re-energized, Iron Boy and the Avengers discovered Zodiac's base on a docked aircraft carrier. Their attempts at a stealthy assault were ruined by Iron Boy who's metal gauntlets caught a glint of light giving away their position and altering Zodiac to their approach. While battling against Libra, the leader of the Zodiac, Giant-Man discovers the power generator within the ship and disables Zodiac's defensive measures by destroying it. Upon defeat, Zodiac activates bombs within all of Zodiac's clothing killing all his agents and escaping promising it was only the beginning.
Not long after, Iron Boy attended the reading of the real Tony Stark's will and he was personally affected and inspired by his elder self's insistence of being remembered and honored for his legacy and not his final actions.
Iron Boy next decided to track down Meredith and try to explain his disappearance all those years ago and resolve their history together. Upon arriving at her house, Iron Boy discovers she is being attacked by her ex-husband, now a supervillain called Frostbite. Wanting to be with his love once again, Frostbite had frozen Meredith (sound like a familiar DC ice-based villain?). His plan wasn't very well explained, it seemed he just wanted to freeze her and "be together forever". Iron Boy sprung into action against Frostbite but was quickly frozen in his place.
Following his quick defeat by Frostbite, Iron Boy managed to thaw himself out with the heat from one of his gauntlets that wasn't entirely encased in ice. He then headed back to Avengers Mansion where he began stealing and salvaging bits and pieces from around the house to make a suit of armor to wear with his gauntlets to fight against Frostbite and save Meredith.
Iron Boy donned his new armor for the first time and became Iron Man as he fought against Frostbite for Meredith's safety. His inexperience again took it's toll as Meredith was blinded in the fight although Frostbite was defeated thanks to his armor.
Soon after, without the real Tony Stark to run the business anymore Stark Industries was bought out by Fujikawa Interprises and all of the former staff let go. Given 48 hours to clear the premises, Abe Zimmer, Pepper Potts and War Machine began a quick mission of destroying records and anything that could lead to Fujikawa or a third party discovering the secret to Iron Man's armor.
Elsewhere, Iron Boy began enjoying student life as Tony Stark. He began attending frat parties and beer bashes with his girlfriend Kris. Getting drunk one night, Iron Boy and a group of his peers broke into the Metropolitan Museum of Art to pull a prank in replacing a piece of art with a crudely drawn nude picture Iron Boy had drawn of Kris. Stumbling around the museum, the drunken students set off the alarms and while they all ran for it, Iron Boy was caught by the police and taken into custody.
After being bailed out by Kris (using money from the frathouse's "bail fund), Iron Boy and Kris returned to the Kappa Phi's halls of residence where Tony was inducted as a member and began drinking with them once again. However, a fire broke out during the celebrations and he went into action as Iron Boy to combat the flame and try and save everyone inside. After grabbing Kris and safely putting her out of harm's way in the building's attic, Iron Boy managed to calm the fire down and evacuate the rest of the building ionizing all the oxygen below with an electro-magnetic charge and using it to snuff out the flames. However, in his drunken stupor, he realised he'd actually put Kris down in an attic full of flammable oxygen cannisters next to pressurized helium and nitrous tanks. Before he can act the entire attic explodes with Kris inside.
Following the accident, Iron Boy met up with War Machine and sought his advice and help in training to be a hero. War Machine had just dropped Abe Zimmer over to break into the real Tony Stark's office and while talking to Iron Boy, War Machine received word from Abe who was being attacked by a group of villains called Stockpile. War Machine and Iron Boy rushed to the rescue, but were too late, as Iron Boy caught Abe Zimmer who had been hurled out of a high-story window and another person died in Iron Boy's arms.
Iron Boy and War Machine then went up against all of Stockpile to stop them from breaking into the security vault in the real Tony Stark's office which holds all his old Iron Man armors. Battling against villains called Sunstroke, Joust, former Iron Man enemy Unicorn and a construct called Brass who was being controlled through cyberspace by Morgan Stark - the mastermind behind the whole attack. After defeating Stockpile with relative ease, Morgan took control of all the Iron Man armor's in the vault through cyberspace and began battling the armored duo.
Iron Boy decided in a last ditch effort to tell War Machine to clear out and, since he was Tony Stark, he could activate all the old armor's self destruct sequences. Doing so while fighting off the armor, Iron Boy proved himself just as much as a hero as the real Iron Man as Morgan Stark's plan to usurp Stark's legacy was foiled.
Webs of Time
While with the Avengers, his team-mates insisted on putting him through intense training to make the transition between Iron Men unnoticeable to the public. Not showing restraint or appropriate strategic use of his armor while combat training with Hawkeye, Iron Boy threw a tantrum whenever Hawkeye outsmarted him in combat. In an impulsive outburst, Iron Boy attempted to siphon off all the energy from one of Hawkeye's trick arrows (one specifically designed for use against his armor) into his suit resulting in an overload and a small explosion. Hawkeye, being his usual jerk self, thought it would be hilarious to hide under the floor and convince the young and impulsive hero that he had actually killed Hawkeye. When Hawkeye reveals his gut-bursting comedy antics to his victim and he, Giant-Man and Wasp are in hysterics, Iron Boy gets annoyed and storms off.
Iron Boy met up with the real Iron Man's close friend Pepper Potts who had brought Iron Boy a thorough set of documents detailing the life of Tony Stark. While discussing his predecessor, Iron Boy soon started flirting with Pepper and playing on her relationship with the real Tony Stark. When Pepper rebuffed his advances, Iron Boy began insulting her husband Happy and almost forcing himself onto her. Interrupted by Jarvis, Pepper stormed out leaving Iron Boy frustrated and feeling a fool. After excusing Jarvis, he began throwing another temper tantrum throwing things about.
Elsewhere, Kang's robot of Spider-Man had resurfaced following the time disruptions during the Crossing which re-activated and seemingly changed it. Posing as Spider-Man, the robot had began abducting several people around New York and trapping them in a series of webs which literally "suck all time out of them". Captain America, Thor, Giant-Man and Wasp confronted this "Spider-Man" and were swiftly defeated and added to his collection. The current real Spider-Man showed up and after a fight, he discovered the nature of this "Spider-Man" and that he was working for Kang. The real Spider-Man was shocked to discover that the imposter believed Iron Boy was his master Kang. Before he could relay his discovery to anyone, the rest of the Avengers arrived and Quicksilver and Vision quickly subdued Spider-Man believing he to be responsible for what had happened to their fellow team-mates.
The imposter next attacked Columbia University where Iron Boy was attending a lecture. As Iron Boy's chest-piece began reacting weirdly to what was happening around him, he grew weak and he was close to blacking out. He witnessed as the imposter webbing up Kris and sucking all the time out of her. Unable to fight back due to his fastly declining state, the imposter grabbed Iron Boy, calling him "master", and escaped with a confused and weakened Iron Boy in tow.
The remaining Avengers managed to sort out the typical confusion with the real Spider-Man and deduce it was Kang's robot and most of what has happened so far. Basically, Kang's robot is "collecting time" from all those he captures to store as a sort of battery to activate Kang's time machine (in a Temple in New Mexico) and usher in "the Age of Kang". The robot believes Iron Boy to be Kang because when he was brought to this time it left him with vestigial temporal readings that the robot misread as Kang's.
As Kang and Iron Boy put into effect their plan for Iron Boy to rule over all of time, everything within the temple's close vicinity began having the time sucked out of it - including the advancing Avengers - leaving only Vision and for some reason Spider-Man unaffected by the crazy time leeching. As a confused and weakened Iron Boy stood by as a persistent Quicksilver and Crystal were quickly dispatched by the Spider-Man robot, Iron Boy finally snapped out of his trance and began fighting against the robot yelling that he won't become Kang's pawn like his predecessor. The robot is pretty quickly defeated now and everything returns to normal as Iron Boy realises how sharp and steadily a decline it must've been for the real Iron Man to fall from grace like he did. He makes a resolution to ensure that with the advantage of knowledge of what might happen to him (which the real Iron Man never had) he can hopeful prevent himself from having a similar downfall - starting by apologising to Pepper Potts and putting more effort into training with the Avengers.
History Repeats Itself
A time travelled by the name of Tyfon arrived in the garden of Avengers Mansion and sought to warn the Avengers of approaching danger. Finding only Jarvis, Tyfon warned Jarvis that on this day the Avengers were defeated by their "greatest foe". Tyfon claims he doesn't know who the actual enemy who defeats the team is and only Jarvis could help by remembering who the Avengers greatest foe was. Jarvis opened up the data banks as he and Tyfon began searching through the Avengers foes for who it could be.
Elsewhere, Iron Boy heeded a priority call from the Avengers when New York was being attacked by several of the Avengers enemies. Splitting up, Iron Boy, Captain America and Hawkeye managed to defeat the Living Laser who was causing havoc in downtown New York with relative ease.
Realising too late, the city was being engulfed by matter from the Dark Dimension and the team were being attacked by dark matter constructs of the Avengers own enemies. As the wave of darkness swept beyond just New York, even as far as Wakanda, the Avengers regrouped in the middle of a dark matter recreation of the Kree/Skrull War.
A dark matter construct of Kang and the Squadron Sinister only make things worse as Hawkeye, Black Widow and Quicksilver are all injured badly and Crystal is relieved to take them away for medical attention. As the remaining Avengers continue to fight dark matter constructs, Iron Boy goes head-to-head with a dark matter construct of Ultron. Unable to fight the construct himself, Iron Boy pleads for help from Captain America or Thor but are likewise struggling to fight against an overwhelming number of dark matter constructs.
Meanwhile, Jarvis continues to help Tyfon but can't think on the spot and wants to go back to the start, which Tyfon constantly states isn't helpful. Jarvis deduces what is going on - Tyfon is actually the Avengers first foe Loki and he is using the databanks of Avengers villains to create these dark matter constructs. After goading Loki by teasing him about how "embarrassed" the Avengers are of their first foe, Loki reveals himself and attacks Jarvis but not before Jarvis alerts the other Avengers to return to the mansion.
Arriving the Avengers discover that Loki himself is actually the gateway to the Dark Dimension, standing before them as a living vortex drawing matter and energy from the adjacent Dark Dimension that's dark energies compliment his own magic. Using his magic and the dark energies, Loki animates the adamantium statues in the Mansion's garden of the original Avengers and sends them to attack the real Avengers. Iron Boy is attacked by the adamantium Wasp who circles him tearing through his arm with her adamantium wings. The team are thankfully saved when the Scarlet Witch uses her hex power to it's fullest power to melt the statues however the wave of liquid adamantium continues to advance on the team threatening to encase them underneath. Using the full force of their blast powers, Iron Boy, Vision, Thor and the Scarlet Witch manage to literally turn the tide as the adamantium wave turns and encases Loki instead.
Now entrapped within adamantium, both Loki and his gateway to the Dark Dimension are no longer a threat and the team leave it in the hands of Thor to decide how to deal with his brother.
For further details: Onslaught
When Professor X lost control and became the Onslaught monster he led an army of Sentinels in an attack on New York. Iron Boy, Giant-Man, Quicksilver and Black Panther fought against the Sentinels and together with the Panther he created Vibranium helmets resistent to Onslaught's telepathy.
Iron Boy arrived with his helmets and joined up with the Avengers as they fought against Onslaught's minions Holocaust and Post in a huge battle in New York. All hope seemed lost until Captain America managed to trick Holocaust into attacking Post with full force and the Avengers swiftly took down the now weakened Holocaust.
Meeting up with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and Doctor Doom, Iron Boy and the Avengers joined in with a massive battle against Onslaught himself. The Hulk managed to destroy Onslaught's armor which leaves Onslaught as a being of nothing but raw psionic energy. Attempting to attack this new form, the heroes and villain discovered that attacks weaken this new form but also appear to kill the attacker. As the Avengers and Fantastic Four sacrifice themselves one-by-one, Onslaught gets progressively weaker. Before sacrificing himself, Iron Boy chases after Doctor Doom who had fled upon discovery that he may have to sacrifice his own life in order to stop the threat of Onslaught. Catching Doom, Iron Boy gripped tight a hold of the villain as he propelled himself into Onslaught sacrificing himself and taking Doom with him. Only the X-Men, Hulk, Quicksilver and Franklin Richards appeared to survive.
Or so it seemed! Franklin Richards recreated all the fallen heroes on a pocket-world known as Counter-Earth. In recreating Iron Man, Franklin instead created the real Tony Stark as he remembered him before Immortus ever manipulated him. The recreation of the real Iron Man made the continued existence of Iron Boy irrelevant and he remains one of the few, if only, permanent casaulties of the Onslaught saga.
It was later revealed 3 years after Heroes Return that the recreated Iron Man now has memories of Iron Boy's adventures too.
Powers and Equipment
Iron Boy sported four different looks in his short time as a hero.
- His first look was simply gauntlets over a standard battle vest. The gauntlets were designed by himself and could fire repulsor blasts. It's logical to say they were similar to the very first gauntlet's the real Iron Man wore.
- His second was a modified Iron Man Mk. III armor created and unused by the real Stark and was destroyed during battle.
- His third was again simply his gauntlets over casual clothing. Although he also had a chest-piece at this point, it was purely for health reasons and wasn't incorporated into his look and was hidden under clothes.
- His final armor, created by himself to wear as Iron Man was very similar, although more advanced in some ways, to the armor the real Iron Man was last seen wearing. This was the first full-body armor constructed by the Iron Boy out of bits and pieces cobbled together on a moment’s notice. It was created to fight the super-cold villain Frostbite and therefore particularly geared and manipulating heat and cold. It only partly consisted of solid metal; parts of the limbs’ armor were holographic force-fields (which were visually indistinguishable from the original golden armor).
The only thing holding Iron Boy back was his inexperience as a superhero. He had some of the great power of the real Iron Man within his technology and some of the expertise, but he was just too young to properly understand and comprehend a lot of the things around him. Having not finished college, Iron Boy wasn't as knowledgeable or educated as the real Iron Man, although he was still "gifted" with an ability to invent.