Thursday, May 01, 2008

Things You Won't Be Seeing In IRON MAN: the Iron Nose

Another thing we probably won’t be seeing in any Iron Man movie is the infamous 70’s nose armor. Iron Man #68 saw Iron Man in pitched underwater battle with the Unicorn (who was actually the Mandarin, mind-switched with the Unicorn) when a blast shattered his plexiglass eye shields and he had to flee the battle, vowing to return! While supplementing his armor with new tricks and better waterproofing, he decided to add…a nose?!? Per Stark in that issue: “I'll finish the armor's changes with a slightly modified appearance…to allow a bit more expression to show, and so perhaps increase the fearsome aspects of my character to those who oppose me!" He then charged off to the next issue, and a showdown with the restored Mandarin.

The behind the scenes reasons for the change may have been pretty simple: Rumor has it that Stan Lee had recently asked Roy Thomas why Iron Man didn’t have a nose, and the editor sent down the order to give Iron Man a nose. It later developed that Stan had merely been commenting that the artist was drawing the mask in such a way that there was no room for a nose, and was suggesting that the panels be redrawn to show more helmet space at the nose area. I don’t know if that’s true, but I dearly hope so. The “Nasal Armor” widely reviled, lasted a few years, actually. Will it ever return? Who nose?


Stephen said...

i doubt that stan as editor would let the nose slip under the radar for so long

Hoosier X said...

I love the nose!

I started buying Iran Man during the Super-Villain War, and I never cared too much that I had no idea what was going on. (I've since read all the back issues - and it doesn't help a whole lot - But I still love mid-'70s Iron Man.)

So I sort of won my spurs during the nose era and I never thought it looked weird. When I see art from that period, I get all misty-eyed and flashbacky and "Stuck in the Middle with You" or something by Jackson Browne or The Eagles starts up in the soundtrack of my mind.

Remember Marvel Value Stamps? Whenever I get a back issue with one of those squares missing from the letters page, I feel a little disappointed, but I can't get too angry. It was HARD not to cut them out!

(And I remember agonizing over which comic to chop up so I could get the coupon to order "Son of Origins"!)

I'm NOT advocating that the Iron Man movie should have a nose. Just offering my observation that the nose was FUN!

zerodemocracy said...

That nose may be a primitive version of the Uncanny Valley as it's really freaking me out.

SanctumSanctorumComix said...

The "nose" story is correct.

The story is basically;
Stan wondered why there was no ROOM for a nose in the helmet.
Editors misunderstood and had artists ADD a nose.
Stan, (who wasn't in touch with the day to day publications at that time) saw a printed issue months later with said nose and freaked out.

That was it for the "nose".

There ya have it.