Green Arrow/Iron Man Facebook Comments

Here are some Facebook comments on the Green Arrow/Iron Man connection:

Patrick Ford The plot is very simple. The hero is on official business in South East Asia. The hero is captured by the troops of an Oriental military commander. The Oriental military commander is aware the hero is an inventive genius and says he will spare his life if the hero uses his inventive ability to create weapons out of a collection of “scrap materials” the commander has accumulated. Rather than building weapons from the “scrap materials” the hero constructs an invention which allows him to escape.

  • David Lawrence Though the War That Never Ended does share some common elements with the Iron Man origin it is not quite so precise a copy as Mr. Ford suggests. Nor is it Jack’s Green Arrow origin story.

    War was published in Adventure #255, December 1958 and the writing is credited to Dave Wood in the recent Jack Kirby Omnibus Volume 1, though of course Jack may have had a hand in the writing.

    The Green Arrow origin story, The Green Arrow’s First Case, was published the following month in Adventure #256. The Omnibus credits France Herron as the writer.

    Both take place on islands, which might have helped create some confusion. In War, a Japanese commander who does not know WW2 has ended forces GA to build weapons, but our hero quickly turns the tables.

    In the origin story, there is actually no menace…other than the necessity of learning to survive while stranded on an uninhabited island…till GA swims out to a passing boat that is under the control of mutineers.

    I kind of wish I had the Iron Man story handy. I seem to recall that Jack definitely laid out the splash for Don Heck, with their being some dispute over whether Jack laid out the rest of the story. And let us not forget that Jack acted for a time as an art coach for Larry Lieber, who is the credited scripter, so it would hardly be surprising if he helped Larry with this as well. Stan does claim a plotting credit on this story.

  • Michael Hill David, are you familiar with the wrting habits of Dave Wood? I think all you proved is that Dave Wood plotted the first Iron Man story. Also the costumes are different.

  • Patrick Ford As people who have seen Kirby’s layouts from the era know the layouts are commonly so rough there is no way they would end up looking like Kirby’s work. There are stats of some of Kirby’s layouts (read story plot) for one of John Romita’s first Daredevil stories, and Romita didn’t follow them very closely. I doubt Kirby did layouts for Heck on Iron Man, most likely Kirby turned in a couple of pitch pages for the Iron Man character and as was his usual practice Kirby included a lot of text on the pages which described the character’s background, origin, along with plot suggestions for a few issues. It’s known Jack created pitch pages during the ’60s. One is published in TJKC #13, and Jim Shooter said he “held in my hands” Kirby pitch page for Spiderman. Shooter said the page contained not only drawings but blocks of text describing the character. After Lee approved Kirby’s Spiderman and Kirby created the first story, Lee showed the pages to Steve Ditko who was going to ink them. Just as the original Green Lantern story is the template for the Iron Man origin, according to Ditko Kirby’s Spiderman was near identical to the Simon and Kirby origin of The Fly. The point is not that they were great ideas. They were old ideas, recycled by Kirby (under the pressure of producing up to 100 pages a month) from projects he’d worked on in the past. The point is that along with the Challengers origin being so similar to the FF’s a pattern is easy to see. The pattern is Kirby bringing his old ideas to Lee. It wasn’t until around late 1965 that Kirby was able to ease his work load and take the time to develop really exceptional complex plots rather than frantically grinding out riffs on old chestnuts he recalled from the pulps of his youth and stories from his recent past.

  • Patrick Ford BTW the plot I posted earlier is not from either the Green Arrow story or the Iron Man story. It is a recap which is identical to both plots. You could substitute Iron Man or Green Arrow for the word hero and it would not change anything.— “The plot is very simple. The hero is on official business in South East Asia (Same). The hero is captured by the troops of an Oriental military commander (Same). The Oriental military commander is aware the hero is an inventive genius (same) and says he will spare his life (Same) if the hero uses his inventive ability to create weapons (Same) out of a collection of “scrap materials” (same exact wording “scrap” materials) in both stories) ) the commander has accumulated (Same). Rather than building weapons from the “scrap materials” the hero constructs an invention which allows him to escape(Same).” Of course there are differences GA builds giant arrows and Iron Man builds his suit. GA does not have a weak heart, etc. But the South East Asian setting, the Oriental troops and commander, the deal for weapons made from scrap, the hero instead using the scrap to aid his escape. Those are a sequence of building blocks which can’t be explained, particularly in the context of CHallengers/FF, and The Fly/Spiderman.

  • Patrick Ford Typical Jack Kirby pitch page. This is how Kirby presented ideas to publishers going back to the ’40s

  • David Lawrence Don’t misunderstand. I think it highly likely that Jack had a large hand in creating that Iron Man origin. There are so many examples of ideas from Jack’s earlier work popping up in the seminal Marvel books. The FF not only reprises the COTU, but a Sandman story as well. That Sandman story features a criminal circus…sound familiar? Jack used Thor I believe 3 times before creating the Marvel super-hero. I remember a Joe Simon quote along the lines of (paraphrasing as I don’t have it in front of me) if an idea is good use it at least 4 times. And considering that Jack was schooling both Don Heck & Larry Lieber in that era…

  • Patrick Ford David, Understood, and BTW I’m not saying Kirby wasn’t bringing ideas to Lee which were based on ideas from Dave Wood. I’m skeptical Wood was plotting for Kirby, but who knows? We do know based on comments from Jack Schiff that Kirby was involved in story conferences while at DC in the ’50s. And I don’t dispute Kirby’s Spiderman was via the Simon-Oleck-Simon-Kirby “spider-fly” kerfuffle. What I’m saying is the evidence indicates ideas were flowing from Kirby too Lee, not from Lee to Kirby as Stan claims.

  • David Lawrence I’d say that we are in complete agreement on the big picture.