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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Iron Man And The Sparrow Hawk.

This posting has been removed from the Golden Age blog spot.


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Richard Boucher asked about The Iron Man who is not, I ought to point out, nothing to do with The Iron Boy or Stark Industries.


In fact, the character is from the UKs Silver Age so a bit outside the scope of this blog.  That said, no one else is asking anything!

The character first appeared in the weekly Boys World comic from 1963 and when that comic merged with Odham's Press comic The Eagle in 1964 The Iron Man was there. Young Tim Branton was the constant companion of this international adventurer.  And only Tim knew the truth.

Robert -I can find no surname having been used- "The Iron Man" was a super sophisticated robot created by Prof. Wentworth Farrad -the uncle of Tim.  There is a bit of tongue-in-cheek going on here since, in the UK, "Robert" became almost synonymous with robots after the popular "Robbie The Robot" 1961, Gerry Anderson series Fireball XL5 (and not forgetting the robot from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet.   Anyway, the Prof was killed shortly after he created The Iron Man.

The Iron Man itself had a metallic skeleton coated in a "life-like" skin suit -in the strip he is often seen putting this on or taking it off in private. Robert's body gave him strength greater than 100 men and it was, to an extent, invulnerable.  But there was more since Robert seemed to possess a kind of self awareness -able to make decisions and even form friendships and know right from wrong.  In fact, it was stated that Robert could absorb even the most complicated data.  In a way he was like Marvel Comics The Vision.
Robert was, as far as most people were concerned, an adventurer and someone to go to if you desperately needed help.  Just as Simon Templar might receive a note for help merely addressed to "The Saint", so calls went to Robert --as demonstrated in the strip below.

When I used The Iron Warrior in The Looking Glass, I used him as a counter-Earth version -bulkier and drawn in a style reminiscent of the first strips by Gerry Embleton and Santiago Martin Salvador http://www.lambiek.net/artists/m/martin-salvador_santiago.htm

Now, in the first strip I title "The Captive Professor", Robert and Tim go to the rescue but the tiny country involved does not have peaked cap wearing, jackbooted fascists in control.  Oh no. They wear pickelhaubes!!

This is pure 1960s comic fare. 













AND NOW....THE SPARROWHAWK

The other character Richard asked about was The Sparrowhawk.  This was a side-kick character to Thurston Kyle's armoured and winged alter-ego, The Night Hawk.  This was a back-up to the main feature in the magazine named after him -Nelson Lee -The Nelson Lee Library.

All I can find out is that Sparrow Hawk wore an identical suit to Night Hawk. A vague appearance date of "the 1930s" is not much to go on. There are groups specialising in this magazine and collectors but none has seen fit to find the politeness to respond to my emails!

I spent three (3) hours yesterday evening trying to find a story featuring the characters -but no such title is ever quoted. I looked over LOTS of online covers but could not even find the one featuring Night Hawk (below).

So, sorry, Richard -failed on that one.

Anyone able to help get in touch --hoopercomicsuk@yahoo.com



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