Did the original idea for Iron Man come from DC’s Metallo?

Before some readers end up ripping into me because of how I would think up such a wild question, this isn’t a fact or a claim, but more like a found theory that probably has a lot of support to it.

During my research over Metallo when making one of my videos, I’ve caught onto something very interesting with the Golden Age version of Metalo (the actual spelling for the Golden Age version of Metalo) known as George Grant. Now this Metalo isn’t related to the cyborg villain known as John Corben or his Bronze Age brother Roger, the only connection is that Corben was a reinvented version of George Grant. The whole concept that DC wanted with Metalo and Metallo was that they wanted to see the Man of Steel go against “a” Man of Steel.

Knowing how Corben was designed as a man made of steel, Grant was just a normal man who was amped up on super strength juice while wearing a suit of armor when going against Superboy. Hopefully you see where I’m trying to go with this.

Now there currently isn’t any solid connection between both Metallo and Iron Man, but you can decide that after reading this.

Beginning with Metalo making his first debut in 1942, 21 years prior to Iron Man making his first debut within Marvel Comics. As previously stated, the idea for Metalo was quite simple, to give Superboy a challenge of going against a man of steel. Metalo found himself reinvented with John Corben in 1959 (still prior to Iron Man’s debut) where this time he was a man of steel through robotic means rather than wearing a suit of armor. Now what baffles me with Corben was how his robotic body needed either uranium or kryptonite to support him through his chest piece. This actually became his weakness when accidently lacking support from stolen fake kryptonite and the leading cause to his death.

Then in 1963, Stan Lee introduces Iron Man. Who’s Origin began with Tony Stark going through an accident where he needed a chest piece to stay alive, almost, if not exactly the same story with Corben who went through an accident and had to find certain materials for his chest cavity. From both Corben and Stark looking exactly the same to where they could be brothers, as well with both Grant and Stark wearing a gray suit of armor equipped with weaponry. I personally believe that the idea for one of Marvel’s most famous heroes was just a mixture of both John Corben and George Grant who were actually C-list villains before Iron Man’s debut.

Now believe it or not, this isn’t the first of Stan Lee’s creation where fans caught onto a connection where he got the idea from another comic organization. But because of how the Golden and Silver Age comics had more of a younger audience compared to today’s comics and how most modern day comic fans tend to not read any old-school comics, there’s the chance that even most of Stan Lee’s famous creations being easily overlooked. Of course Stan Lee admitted that the idea for Iron Man was an inspiration, but was only referring to Howard Hughes, which does make a lot of sense. But after seeing how some of Stan Lee’s creations having a pattern of strongly resembling other characters who are either minor or unsuccessful, there’s still the idea that Iron Man may have been Marvel’s reinvented version of Metallo.

So could it be that the original idea for Iron Man came from Metallo?

Aside from my theory between Iron Man and Metallo, here is my Villain Guide Video of Metallo for those who enjoy watching my videos. Thankyou for reading and I hope to uncover something else unbelievable and wild.

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Posted by Gambit1024

Interesting observation. It wouldn't be the first time one company was inspired from another idea from a different company, though. Personally I think it's only a coincidence, but if this was true, I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by The Impersonator

It's possible if the Iron Man idea did come from Metallo. But I wouldn't say it's been ripped off or anything. It's more like inspiration and making something different.

Posted by MTHarman

@The Impersonator said:

It's possible if the Iron Man idea did come from Metallo. But I wouldn't say it's been ripped off or anything. It's more like inspiration and making something different.

Marvel (Stan Lee) claimed that Iron Man was an inspiration from Howard Hughes, but given how Marvel has a pattern with reinventing characters with lesser characters from the competing organization is quite interesting.

Even though I refrained the word Rip-Off with this blog because of how it's a theory rather than a fact,

Posted by The Stegman
@MTHarman: could be an inspiration....Many Marvel writers at the time..and by many..i mean Stan and Jack Kirby...would often take Dc characters that were dying out and convert them to marvel making them more interesting, i know that's what Jack did with the Fantastic Four, they were based off of Challengers of the Unknown.
Posted by fps_dean

Personally, I never thought of it but it seems to make perfect sense to me.

Posted by LaserLambert

@The Stegman: Well Jack Kirby also created the Challengers of the Unknown so it's not really taking ideas... and unless you have other examples, and really in the first 3 issues they had nothing in common, then they started getting the jumpsuits and flying planes around the world, other than occasionally fighting big monsters and there being four people they weren't related. and Jack Kirby was just good at drawing big monsters.

anyway I highly doubt the connection Iron Man-Metal(l)o, I have a hard time believing that Stan Lee was big into Superman Family, especially since his complaints to comics being for children before creating the FF, and I doubt that even the creators of the second Metallo had any idea what the first metalo was about, since writers/artists would mix up characters like Luthor and some nobody henchman who was bald.

and really since the credits for the Iron Man's creation are spread between Stan Lee as a writer, Don Heck who drew the first issue, and Jack Kirby who is credited as character designer, I imagine it was little more than Stan Lee coming up with an Anti-Communism Pro Capitalism character and getting handed a portfolio of character sketches by the King and Stan saying "yeah that suit of armor could have Howard Hughes inside and he could smash some Soviet Spies!"

Posted by MTHarman

@LaserLambert said:

@The Stegman: Well Jack Kirby also created the Challengers of the Unknown so it's not really taking ideas... and unless you have other examples, and really in the first 3 issues they had nothing in common, then they started getting the jumpsuits and flying planes around the world, other than occasionally fighting big monsters and there being four people they weren't related. and Jack Kirby was just good at drawing big monsters.

anyway I highly doubt the connection Iron Man-Metal(l)o, I have a hard time believing that Stan Lee was big into Superman Family, especially since his complaints to comics being for children before creating the FF, and I doubt that even the creators of the second Metallo had any idea what the first metalo was about, since writers/artists would mix up characters like Luthor and some nobody henchman who was bald.

and really since the credits for the Iron Man's creation are spread between Stan Lee as a writer, Don Heck who drew the first issue, and Jack Kirby who is credited as character designer, I imagine it was little more than Stan Lee coming up with an Anti-Communism Pro Capitalism character and getting handed a portfolio of character sketches by the King and Stan saying "yeah that suit of armor could have Howard Hughes inside and he could smash some Soviet Spies!"

Stan Lee may not be a big fan of the Superman family, but he sure seems to be a bigger fan of lesser famous characters that probably wouldn't catch a potential lawsuit. It's quite funny as to how even a few of Stan Lee's creations were actually full-fledged rip-offs that never gained any attention because of how they came from idea's that couldn't sell any comics. A strategy of taking somebody else's bad idea and altering it into something better that would gain greater attention with the readers. It's funny how Stan Lee or Marvel wouldn't admit their own rip-off of the Man-Thing or the X-men when there was obvious proof.

But seeing how your doubting and assuming a theory is something hard to believe, something that even a reader in denial shows that my claim may be a fact. Plus, there was a connection between George Grant and John Corben, DC wanted to reinvent a villain more than once that would also take up the name "The Man of Steel". Problem with Metallo was that they reinvented him alot more than they should have.

As for the Lex Luthor mistake, he was accidently mistaken for another villain known as the Ultra-Humanite thanks to a substitute artist named Leo Norvak. I don't know why Wikipedia would add that he was also mistaken for some bald henchman when the Ultra-Humanite mistake was confirmed.

Posted by LaserLambert

I hate the argument that X-men is a rip-off, not a fan of the x-men, but if you are talking about DOOM PATROL similarities, they came out in close proximity, hardly a time to judge if they were popular enough to rip off (especially since it took a longer time to judge if people were buying a bunch of comics back then), or if they were unpopular enough that no one would notice as you suggest. also DOOM PATROL is a blantant rip-off of Fantastic Four, especially Robot-Man/Thing

and Man-Thing and Swamp thing is hardly a rip-off, there are tons of weird swamp monster comics back when oldschool horror comics was a thing, maybe they were just one shot things mostly not recurring like Swampy but still. I even an issue of fantastic four from 1970 that had a swamp man "monster from the lost lagoon" that was green and kelpy and such.

I disagree with you on the Humanite Luthor debate. Humanite had a white hair crown and was crippled and had put his mind into a woman's body. Luthor did appear with a odly prominant bald henchman in his issues, and the truth is probably forgotten by now so it's not a big deal.

I hope i don't sound dismissive, if you have other suggested inspirations or ripoffs i would love to discuss them.

Posted by revbucky

Sounds very plausible. I'm not surprised.

Posted by Emperormeister734
Posted by MTHarman
Posted by cattlebattle

hmmm. interesting development, even their identities resemble one another

Posted by joshmightbe

there are very few actually original ideas in comics or any other form of media for that matter so relax pic which version you like better and enjoy

Posted by Misterwizz
Posted by MTHarman

@Misterwizz said:

Curious, how does one of the many TOS Monsters relate to either Iron Man or Metallo besides the name?

Edited by Misterwizz

@MTHarman:

I'm not saying it does, however Marvel already published a story (by Stan Lee) featuring a character named Metallo (which isn't a common name). So I figure I'd show you guys.

Posted by MuyJingo

IMHO, you really have not given any solid proof. I dont regularly read marvel comics nor like them, so little bias on my side. Looking at the facts though....the characters seem vastly different.

If your strongest point is that both wear a suit of metal, well, that isn't a strong point. When designing a superhero who isn't going to have powers, an armored suit is going to be a pretty obvious and common recurring choice.

If DC's metallo of any incarnation was a genius engineer, or billionaire playboy, or had any other defining traits of tony stark you might have more of a t.

The cherry picked resemblance and suit of armor are not proof, nor is the chest cavity plot point accept at a surface level.

Posted by MuyJingo

@MTHarman: Why would I be upset? As I said, I don't even read or like marvel. Just looking at this objectively, it looks like you're stretching things. If anything, it seems like you're the one who might be upset that people don't agree with you. Whatever.

Posted by MuyJingo

@MTHarman: Woah!

There is little need for that condescending and insulting reply.

I pointed out that I didn't think you had much merit to your point. You asked if I was upset, which is already a trollish reply.

I don't care about "proving people wrong with very poor and unsupported accusations", I merely stated in my opinion, I didn't think you had a good point. I wasn't trying to prove you wrong and if anything I find it amusing how defensive you are being about it.

As for my comments with Entropy about Bane being Hispanic, well, whatever. It is well supported in the comics. Other people on the board realize that. If he wants to ignore evidence then, well, I don't really care. I supported my argument, I don't really care if he dismisses it rather than providing a counter-argument.

Here's a hint - When people disagree with you, resorting to insults or baseless assumptions to dismiss their point doesn't do you any favors.

Posted by Vance Astro

The Rocketeer+Howard Hughes=Tony Stark\Iron Man.

Moderator
Posted by MTHarman

@Vance Astro said:

The Rocketeer+Howard Hughes=Tony Stark\Iron Man.

That's what I thought at first, which may be strongly true.

Posted by Vance Astro
@MTHarman said:

That's what I thought at first, which may be strongly true.

I love how much Stark looks like the original Metallo though.I didn't know that Metallo wasn't always an Android.I thought Stark was the first character in comics to wear battle armor.I wouldn't be surprised if Metallo had even a little to do with the creation of Tony Stark.Marvel and even DC seem to borrow alot from older stories whether it be old novels or radio shows or even ancient mythologies.It's interesting to see where certain ideas come from.
Moderator
Posted by Vance Astro
@MTHarman said:

Reason why I have slight doubt with Stan Lee claiming that Iron Man was inspired by Howard Hughes was that he claimed a few of his other creations were inspired by something else, until it was found that they were strongly recognized as shameless rip-offs.

Like who, for instance?
Moderator
Edited by MuyJingo

@MTHarman: I don't like marvel although I found your proposed theory interesting. I simply disagreed it was more than a coincidence, as did many people on here.

I think it's you that has an issue, making baseless assumptions about me so you can dismiss my opinion. Logical fallacies 101. I'd be more than happy to disagree with you in person, socially, although I'm sure you would find some other reason to dismiss me, as you do anyone who disagrees with you.

Don't worry, I won't bother replying to any more of your articles since you can't handle people disagreeing with you. Or to this thread.

You win kiddo. Feel proud.

Posted by entropy_aegis

LOL

Posted by venomoushatred1001

Nice work, HT. Very interesting.

Posted by Cakeman3000

Very interesting...

Posted by Zeeguy91

@LaserLambert said:

I hate the argument that X-men is a rip-off, not a fan of the x-men, but if you are talking about DOOM PATROL similarities, they came out in close proximity, hardly a time to judge if they were popular enough to rip off (especially since it took a longer time to judge if people were buying a bunch of comics back then), or if they were unpopular enough that no one would notice as you suggest. also DOOM PATROL is a blantant rip-off of Fantastic Four, especially Robot-Man/Thing

I really don't see any similarities between The Doom Patrol and the Fantastic Four. The Doom Patrol were created to be outcast heroes led by a man in a wheelchair (sound familiar) and there were only originally three of them, not counting Niles Caulder. Mento didn't come along until later. However, I can't really think of a time at all where the Fantastic Four were treated as outcasts.

Edited by LaserLambert

@Zeeguy91: are you gonna sit there and tell me you don't think Robotman is a GIANT rip-off of The Thing? the whole Thing attitude was stolen for that Team not to mention the Brain and Caulder being two really smart guys mirror's the Mr. Fantastic-Dr. Doom rivalry.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@LaserLambert: Yeah I am, because the fact that one has rocky skin and the other has metal skin does not make them the same. If you're thinking of the animated version of Robotman that appeared in the Teen Titans, that still doesn't mean that Robotman is a rip off. That's an animated appearance, not the comic book version

Edited by LaserLambert

@Zeeguy91: It's been years since I've seen any of that Teen Titans show, no clue what you're talking about.

What I am talking about is the fact that The Thing's defining character trait is that he is a normal man tragically transformed into a horrible sub-human monster.

and Robotman's defining character trait is that he is a normal man tragically transplanted into a cold lifeless Robot.

not to mention that their personalities are the exact same! both rush into action, talk a lot of tough talk and use slang from the whatever 60's.

so having a leader with a wheelchair and outcasts (for completely different reasons) makes the X-Men a rip-off but all that and Robotman is not a rip-off? Bullshit.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@LaserLambert: Okay then, by that logic, Thing himself is a cheap knockoff of Rocky Davis from the Challengers of the Unknown.

Then that also means that Professor X is a cheap knockoff of Niles Caulder (the Chief), Thanos is a cheap knockoff of Darkseid (which I find to be exceedingly true), Super-Adaptoid is a cheap knockoff of Amazo, Deadpool is a cheap knockoff of Deathstroke, the Thunderbolts are a cheap knockoff of the Suicide Squad, and Vision is a cheap knockoff of Red Tornado.

Need I go on?

Posted by Superguy0009e

honestly, i dont care if iron man is a rip off or not, and neither should any of you guys

iron man had a huge impact on all of our lives, and both characters have branched respectively into their own well developed characters.

let bygones be bygones and lets just enjoy comics

Edited by LaserLambert

@Zeeguy91: ....what?

ROCKY Davis, the completely normal dude who's like an Olympic athlete or something, that isn't a horrible monster, not to mention the fact that both he and the Thing were created at least in part by Jack Kirby, which completely nullifies the whole argument! but HE'S NOT A MONSTER.

between Professor X and Chief all you see is the wheelchair when you look at those characters? sad.. but I've already spoken my peace about that subject in plenty of discussions so I'm done with that.

but yeah I think the rest of those characters are rip offs (even if Deadpool moved away from being a dumb knockoff and just became a dumb joke). not that being a rip off means they are necessarily inferior. still I don't understand why you made that little list, or how it has any lean against my statements but sure, keep going, go on, go on.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@LaserLambert: Rocky and The Thing have the exact same personalities. They're both slow witted, they both rush into action, and they're bother more likely to use their fists than their words. And I know they were both created in part by Jack Kirby, but I have a feeling that when Stan Lee wanted to create a team for Marvel to rival the Justice League, he looked at Jack and said "Hey Jack, you know the Challengers you made for DC. I think we should just copy them and give them powers to make a new team." It's not that hard to imagine. Plus the fact that Rocky Davis' name is well, "Rocky" and Thing was transformed into a monster with rocky skin, I think there's at least a connection between the two.

And no, that's not all I see between Professor X and the Chief. What I see are two characters who are both geniuses and founded superhuman teams to "teach humanity to accept others who live as ostracized "freaks." That's a direct quote from Caulder's Wikipedia page. Of course, Caulder's team consisted of people "who have been radically transformed from terrible accidents", but the same principle still applies. The fact that they're both paraplegic is just another similarity.

Posted by LaserLambert

@Zeeguy91: okay that's enough, I'm done. I'm sick of defending the X-men (who I hate, but not enough hate to accuse them of ripping off Doom Patrol)

I've said my peace on the whole X-men/Doom Patrol controversy before, I'm not doing it again.

you are stretching like Mr. Fantastic for this one, their personalities are the same? so all the original justice league are rip offs of one another? I only thought to supplement my argument with the personality because while by itself is lame, stacked on top of the whole being a MONSTER thing, it rings true. you need to stop that line of "logic" now before you pull a muscle.

and add on top that you argue that crap about Prof.X and the Chief while completely disregarding my argument above about Thing and Robotman leads me to want to punch you in the mouth.

I don't know if you're anti-Marvel or you're a big Doom Patrol fan or what, but I'm not continuing this.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@LaserLambert: You're the one who started this, my friend. And no, I hardly think I'm stretching at all. Its really not that hard to prove; a six-year-old could argue this. And, I'm sorry, but YOU were the one to cite Robotman and Thing's respective personalities as evidence. I just continued that line of thought. And actually, the personality of a character is just as important, if not more important than the character's power-set or appearance. Maybe Robotman was inspired by the Thing, but that would also mean that the Thing was inspired by Rocky from the Challengers.

And you can't deny the similarities between the X-Men and the Doom Patrol. This is from Topless Robot:

Both are teams of misfits, shunned from society because of their gifts, and led by a (occasionally megalomaniacal) genius in a wheelchair. The individual pieces don't match up as well as that leader in a wheelchair, but it is interesting to note that both teams had a big death scene after which they hid from the public for a while.

And FYI, I'm not anti-Marvel. In fact, I'm a fan of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and whole bunch of other Marvel characters. but I am also a DC fan, and yes that includes the Doom Patrol. I like the X-Men now because of the fact that they evolved past being a Doom Patrol rip-off into something dramatically different. Now, they are more an analogue for race relations than just simple misfits. However, that doesn't mean they didn't start off as Doom Patrol-inspired.

So, in conclusion, suck it up. This is just a debate. There's no reason to get hostile. I could say right now that your annoying dumb-ass comments make me want to kick you in the face, but I won't. And the fact that you are getting all upset and blustered by being proven wrong means that you're just an immature and ignorant philistine.

Edited by LaserLambert

@Zeeguy91: okay. I didn't start this, you jumped in on an old argument, you should know what you're getting into.

you're wrong, I didn't present the two as separate issues, the Thing is defined by being an average Joe in the body of a monster, an average Joe is hardly something that needs to be stolen from any source, let alone from CotU who's members were all the same average Joe personality who's dialogue sounds like it's coming from the same mouth in the first volume so I don't know why you bring up Rocky specifically.

I can deny the similarities because I have free will.

go back and read early X-men, it's clear from the start they were analogous for race and not whatever the Doom Patrol was about.

It is my theory that after the Success of Spider-Man, a teenager and outcast, and The FF, Lee thought to combine the two into a team of teenage outcasts, and the wheelchair thing must be a coincidence, it's not an important part of Doom Patrol, so to steal that would only serve to make it more obvious and absolutely nothing else.

there now I've had to repeat my old old old argument. great.

So, in conclusion, you really got peeved at that Punch in the mouth line, jeez it's from Anchorman calm down. I haven't been proven wrong. and don't use the word philistine, no one has ever not sounded like a prick after using that word. in fact I read that whole paragraph one way, then saw that word and went back and re-read it with a whiny nasally voice.

Posted by sinestro_GL

I always thought Iron Man was partially based off of Batman...

Posted by Silkcuts

Great blog.
I have been vocal on how overrated I think Stan Lee is and I am glad your innocent discover is another example how Stan Lee has been given more credit then he deserves.  The idea "might" of been "borrowed" from Metallo.  The Look was all Jack Kirby and later artist to follow.  So why is "Stan the man"?  Because he sells candy to kids.  
If we were to take Stan Lee when he "Still wrote" and placed him into todays market with a different name, no way would we celebrate him the same way.  He is a man with a silver tongue so he'll have a job.  But he wouldn't be the same "god" since it would be to easy to see where he is "tapping ideas"from.
 
So if in the Marvel method the "writer" has the idea.  The Artist makes it work on paper. Then the writer does the captions and speeches. Do you really think Marvel needed Stan, when Kirby was King?
 
Thanks for the fun read.
Hope you find more fire on Stan.

Posted by ThomasElliot

Errm. I mean, these are good points, I'm just not sure about the point of showing who influenced who and who took from what in the world of comic books. If you started doing this for every character, you'd be writing for a long, long... long time. And the riffing that Marvel and DC did off each other has been documented so many times over... I dunno, just seems a bit futile, and little bit 'no s*** sherlock', to me.... no offense meant here.

Posted by SupremeHyperion

I'm pretty sure we are influenced in some way by anything we see and I'd say that Metallo was probably influenced by many robot type characters throughout early science fiction. that's how everything works. do you think any of the characters in comics today were actually brand new ideas with no inspiration coming from material before?

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