Comic Legends: Did Marvel Get Bomb Threats When Rhodey Became Iron Man?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and tenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Just like the last couple of months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.

Let's begin!


Marvel received bomb threats when James Rhodes became Iron Man in 1983.


I'm Going With False

A few months back, I did a list about the most controversial stories that Marvel ever had. My pal David G. wrote to me that he thought that James Rhodes becoming Iron Man should have been on the list because Marvel received bomb threats over the change.

Rhodey took over as Iron Man at the end of "Iron Man" #169 by Denny O'Neil, Luke McDonnell and Steve Mitchell, where Tony Stark has a relapse into alcoholism and Rhodey has to step up and take over as Iron Man...

We see the follow-up in the next issue...

Rhodes was Iron Man until "Iron Man" #200, when a now sober Tony Stark officially returns as Iron Man (with a new Silver Centurion armor).

So was that true? Did Iron Man receive bomb threats over Rhodes taking over as Iron Man?

It doesn't appear so. There were no reports of it at the time in any of the trades. More importantly, I asked a few Marvel staffers from the era, including Tom DeFalco, and no one remembered any bomb threats, and that's not the sort of thing you forget, you know? They did all remember the bomb threat that Marvel received over an I.R.A. storyline in "Web of Spider-Man" a few years after Rhodes became Iron Man (that I covered back in this old Comic Book Legends Revealed), but nothing about Iron Man. Tom even noted that there wasn't really any major negative response to the Rhodes story period.

So I'm going with a false here.

Thanks to David for the suggestion!

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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