The pages of Marvel’s current Iron Man have taken a pretty unique approach to comics canon, weaving in characters and concepts from decades of lore. The current arc has been no exception, giving characters like Hellcat, Korvac, and more the attention that they arguably deserve. As the current arc marches on — and Tony Stark’s status quo only gets weirder — that sentiment is proving to be even more true. The series’ most recent issue, Iron Man #10, took that to a whole other level, reintroducing and reimagining multiple obscure Marvel characters, including a pretty infamous villain. Spoilers for Iron Man #10 from Christopher Cantwell, Cafu, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue finally played on the cliffhanger that Tony Stark was stranded on an unknown planet, after he was teleported out of the battle with Korvac. Tony later found an eclectic group of alien refugees, who operated as a community called Megiddo. These included Colin Richard/Avro-X, a Canadian man who briefly operated in his own version of the Iron Man suit. After spending more time in the Megiddo community, Tony was soon introduced to the man who had put the entire colony together. He was taken to a mountainside fortress, which was occupied by none other than Wilbur Day/Stilt-Man. Sporting his signature stilts, and a long beard and head of hair, Stilt-Man revealed that he was one of the first people mysteriously teleported to the planet, but that it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as he’s come to embrace his role in leading the largely-peaceful colony.
The colony was later attacked by an Ultimo robot, the race of which apparently originated on the planet. Tony, Avro-X, and Stilt-Man all suited up to defend the colony, and when they eventually succeeded (albeit, after suffering a few casualties), Tony spoke with Stilt-Man, and revealed that he wanted to stay and help run the colony.
Created by Wally Wood in 1965’s Daredevil #8, Stilt-Man was a scientist who resorted to committing robberies in his armored battlesuit, and proceeded to do so against Daredevil for quite some time. He then prominently factored into the original “Armor Wars” storyline, as his suit was one of many that was upgraded by Tony Stark’s stolen technology. The character sporadically appeared in the years since, operating as an agent of the government in Civil War, and being killed by The Punisher in the ensuing conflict. Since his initial death (and up until his eventual resurrection as a clone during the Clone Conspiracy arc), three more people operated under his mantle, including a female version of the character named Lady Stilt-Man.
While Stilt-Man as a character is inherently a silly one, he’s undeniably memorable, spawning some absurd merchandise and calls for the character to appear in movies and television. That being said, Iron Man #10 does recontextualize the character in a pretty earnest way, one that definitely sets him apart from other odd villains of the same era.
What do you think of Stilt-Man’s return in the pages of Iron Man #10? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!