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Comic Legends: What Writer Quit Iron Man Over Teen Tony Stark?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Comic Legends: What Writer Quit Iron Man Over Teen Tony Stark?

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

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.


Len Kaminski quit writing Iron Man rather than write the Teen Tony Stark storyline.



Recently, I wrote a piece about how Kurt Busiek was going to write an Iron Man miniseries that would have explained away the whole “Teen Tony Stark” storyline, where we discovered that the “real” Iron Man had been a sleeper agent for Kang for many years, so that the Avengers went back in time and brought back a teenaged Tony Stark from a time when he had not yet been corrupted by Kang and tried to get him to stop his adult self.

In the end, the adult version almost kills his teen self, with the teen once again having to do the whole “his armor is the only thing keeping him alive” story angle. Meanwhile, the adult Tony sacrificed himself to save the world, proving that he was still a hero in the end. So the teen Tony took over as Iron Man and as the star of the Iron Man comic book. This did not last long, though, as soon Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor were all rebooted by Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld’s studios as part of a bold initiative by Marvel to relaunch those characters in their own separate universe. When the heroes returned, Tony was back to being an adult (Busiek later explained HOW in an Avengers Annual).

When I posted that article, Len Kaminski, longtime Iron Man writer from 1992 through mid-1995 (perhaps best known for introducing War Machine with artist Kev Hopgood)…

wrote in to explain how that story had actually driven him off of the title! As he correctly noted, this has not become general knowledge (I know I always assumed that Terry Kavanagh took over Iron Man because they simply wanted to do a different direction on the book)

Len explained:

The Crossing was the reason I quit IRON MAN. Editorial was utterly determined to ram it through, and once I saw no amount of reason would deter them, I had to walk away rather than end up being remembered as “The Guy Who Made IRON MAN Suck.”

Due to how much people dislike that era plus the fact that even had he stayed on, the books were rebooting ANYways (and would have been out of a gig either way), it was almost certainly the right move, Len!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: What surprising reason saw Breaking Bad change from being set in California to instead being set in New Mexico?

Check back later tonight for Part 3 of this week’s legends! And remember, e-mail me at or if you have any suggestions for future comic book legends!

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