“I do think that the storylines that I wrote for Irony Man are quite unique within the genre...”
“I AM IRONY MAN....”
Irony Man is a fictional superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character debuted in 1963 at a time when writer-editor Stan Lee was desperate for a superhero who didn't wear his underwear on the outside of trousers.
Born Anthony Snark (but usually called Tony, or occasionally "Ethel" at weekends) an industrialist playboy, bon vivant and ingenious engineer who suffers a severe heart injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. Instead he creates a powered suit of armour to save his life and escape captivity, thus using the very technology his captors hoped to benefit from to destroy them.
Tony Snark, the head of Snark Industries, a major military contracting company he inherited from his deceased father, acts as a figurehead for the company while his father's old partner and trusted confidant, Juan K. Stain, takes care of day-to-day operations. Whilst on a whoring trip in Asia Tony is captured by terrorists who seek to use his genius to devise deadly weapons of destruction that would make George Bush weep like a baby.
Instead, during his three months of captivity, Snark secretly builds a crude suit of armour powered by a miniature cat/toast reactor. Upon its completion he destroys everything in a ten mile radius in a totally un-American way. Spending his time in contemplation he realises that he is a big, filthy rich, womanising jerk, and endeavours to become a big, rich, womanising jerk in an armoured killing machine.
Focusing on changing his life around and becoming a better, more responsible person, he uses his knowledge and technology to build an improved suit whereupon he actively seeks to eradicate much of the arsenal of weapons created by his company which are now in the hands of terrorists. At the moment he begins to realise these goals his old friend and mentor Juan K. Stain turns out to be a shite of massive proportions, having used Snarks technology to make a bigger, badder, armed to the teeth suit which he uses to kick the crap out of everyone.
Somehow, and against massive odds, Irony Man overcomes defeat and emerges the victor.
It is evident that Tony Snark suffers from a rare condition called Alliteration Fetish, a condition so rare that it only occurs amongst superheroes within the Marvel Universe where they can only date women with names such as Fanny Flaps and Juggs Johnson. A renowned playboy, Snark has had more female companions than Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner combined, only to eventually discover his feelings for his personal assistant Perky Punctuation, his “perfect partner” who had been right under his nose the whole time.
Like other Stan Lee co-creations in the early years of Marvel Comics, such as The Fantastical Five and The Rhetorical Hulk?, the Irony Man story, in its original manifestation, was an exploration of literary devices coupled with badly drawn comics. In an interview in 2012 Stan Lee stated that he intended to create a superhero that nobody would like, a capitalist playboy whose jet set lifestyle would be so far removed from the ordinary lives of the average comic reader that there would be no chance for the character to become popular.