Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (race unrevealed)

Occupation: Invader

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Others of his race

Enemies: Inhabitants of Earth (including Bobby, Spot, and unidentified magician)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile on Earth; originally from his unidentified homeworld

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#31/1 (July, 1962)

Powers/Abilities: The Monster in the Iron Mask possessed superhuman strength (approximately class 5) and was virtually indestructible. His one weakness was to poison gases or any deadly fumes.

Having a body covered with shaggy fur, the Monster's face resembled a gray iron mask--it was unrevealed if these were traits common to his race, or unique to him alone (see comments).

The Monster traveled from his homeworld in a spaceship.

Height: 9' (by approximation)
Weight: 2 tons (by approximation)
Hair: Brownish-orange

(Tales of Suspense I#31/1) - The Monster in the Iron Mask was sent to Earth by his leaders--as the first of their invasion force, he was ordered to soften up humanity for their main army.

(Tales of Suspense I#31/1 - BTS) - The Monster landed his spaceship on a beach somewhere in America; he then apparently carried his spacecraft into a nearby cave to conceal it.

(Tales of Suspense I#31/1) - The Monster was first seen by Bobby, and he ordered the boy to tell humanity of his power; the Monster also mentioned that his one weakness was poison gases, but that his air-tight mask made him invulnerable to such attacks. The Monster then dismissed Bobby, who ran off to warn the authorities.

   Shortly afterward, the military engaged the Monster in battle, but the invader was immune to their bullets and artillery shells, and he easily crushed their armored vehicles. Finally, the military resorted to using an atomic bomb, in the hope that it might stun the Monster long enough for them to remove his mask and expose him to gas; but even the bomb proved to be useless, for not only was the Monster still alive, he wasn't even stunned!

   When all seemed lost, Bobby's father--a stage magician--realized that the Monster's claim of his air-tight mask giving him immunity to poison gas was merely a case of misdirection; the magician went to the authorities and encouraged them to use gas against the Monster, for he was certain it would work.

   Just as the Monster was about to summon the rest of the invasion force, a soldier fired a canister at him, and the alien invader found himself enveloped by a caustic cloud of tear gas. With his vision blinded, the Monster began to cough incessantly, and the soldier threatened to use a far deadlier gas next. Realizing he had been beaten, the Monster admitted defeat.

   As the Monster left Earth in his spaceship, the magician was questioned how he knew the gas would penetrate the Monster's mask; the magician revealed the alien invader's secret--the Monster's "mask" wasn't an air-tight mask at all, but it was actually his real face!

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

Oddly enough July, 1962 was also the debut of Dr. Doom. Kirby must have really liked the design of Doom's mask.

Maybe back then, Kirby had watched the old movie "The Man in the Iron Mask" on television, and it just stuck in his mind, so he was inspired to create both Doom and the Monster.

The Monster was the only member of his race depicted in this 7-page story, so it was unrevealed what the other inhabitants of his planet looked like.

On the cover of this issue, the Monster appeared to be a little larger, less shaggy, and with the green coloring, he bears a closer resemblance to Doctor Doom...

A theory to explain the similarity between Doom's mask and the Monster's face: Maybe the whole "alien invader" bit was actually a scheme perpetrated by Doctor Doom in his early days to conquer the world (This was at a time when the age of modern heroes was only beginning, and the Fantastic Four were the only ones around).

Maybe the Monster was actually one of Doom's lackeys that he mutated (much like he did with Desmond Pitt/Darkoth) so he could instill worldwide fear of an alien invasion; then Doom himself would've appeared--since he wore a mask that was similar to the Monster's face, he would have been assumed to be the leader of an all-powerful extraterrestrial army, and thus the nations of Earth would have surrendered to his rule (The Monster did address his unseen leader as "sire").

No? Well, it was just a thought...--Ron Fredricks

Profile by Prime Eternal. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

The Monster in the Iron Mask should not be confused with:

The unidentified magician should not be confused with:

Bobby has no known connection to:

Spot has no known connection to:

Monster in the Iron Mask's homeworld

An oddly shaped unidentified planet, it was light-years from Earth.

Apparently ruled by a monarchy, the technologically advanced inhabitants wanted to conquer Earth. But before sending a full-scale invasion force, they dispatched the Monster to soften up Earth's defenses.

--Tales of Suspense I#31/1

Monster in the Iron Mask's spaceship

A faster-than-light spacecraft, it transported the Monster from his homeworld to a beach on Earth; the Monster apparently carried it into a nearby cave to hide it.

But after the Monster was defeated with tear gas, he left in his spaceship, presumably to return to his homeworld.

--Tales of Suspense I#31/1

Bobby and Spot

Bobby (last name unrevealed) was the son of a stage magician, and Spot was his dog.

One night, while Bobby was saying his prayers before bedtime, he looked out the window and saw what he thought to be a meteor falling on a nearby beach, so he took Spot to investigate.

But when Bobby reached the area where he thought the meteor landed, he only saw huge footprints leading to a cave, so he followed the tracks. Inside the cave, Bobby discovered a spaceship and met the spacecraft's pilot: The Monster in the Iron Mask.

After the alien invader told Bobby about his mission of conquest, he informed the boy about  his strength, and how his mask made him immune to poison gas. The Monster then dismissed Bobby, telling him to inform his people of the invincible conqueror who walked their planet, and Bobby ran off to notify the authorities.

The Monster seemed to be unstoppable, but Bobby's father later figured out the alien's secret weakness while he was demonstrating a new card-trick to the boy.

--Tales of Suspense I#31/1

unidentified magician

He (name unrevealed) was a stage magician and the father of Bobby.

He worked at Mr. Lane's theater, where he performed his acts of prestidigitation, including card-tricks and sawing a woman in half. But the audiences were bored by his sleight-of-hand tricks, and although his act was a dismal flop, Mr. Lane agreed to keep him employed because the magician had a son to support.

When the Monster in the Iron Mask came to invade Earth, the extraterrestrial seemed to be invulnerable to all conventional weaponry, and claimed his air-tight mask also made him immune to poison gas.

But while he was showing Bobby a new card-trick, the magician figured out that the Monster was just using misdirection to fool humanity, and he realized that the Monster's "mask" was actually the alien's real face; he convinced the military to use tear gas against the Monster.

After the alien invader was forced off the planet, the whole world was grateful to the magician; later, the theater was packed with audiences eager to see his performance.

--Tales of Suspense I#31/1

tear gas

After figuring out that the Monster's "air-tight iron mask" was actually the extraterrestrial's real face, a magician convinced the military to use gas against the seemingly invulnerable invader.

As the Monster was about to signal his homeworld to begin an invasion of Earth, a soldier launched a canister of tear gas at him.

The Monster was surrounded by a cloud of caustic gas, which temporarily blinded him and made him cough incessantly.

The soldier threatened to launch a deadlier dose of gas at the Monster; realizing that he had been defeated, the Monster climbed aboard his spaceship and left Earth.

--Tales of Suspense I#31/1

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p4, pan2 (Main Image - The Monster in the Iron Mask (speaking to Bobby) )
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p4, pan1 (Headshot - The Monster in the Iron Mask (speaking to Bobby)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p5, pan2 (The Monster in the Iron Mask withstands artillery barrage)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p5, pan4 (The Monster in the Iron Mask destroying tank)
Tales of Suspense I#31, cover (The Monster in the Iron Mask)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p1, pan1 (The Monster in the Iron Mask)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p2, pan1 (Monster's homeworld)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p2, pan2 (Monster's spaceship leaves his homeworld)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p7, pan5 (Monster's spaceship leaves Earth)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p3, pan5 (Bobby and Spot)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p4, pan3 (Bobby and Spot, as Monster explains why he wears the iron mask)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p6, pan4 (unidentified magician performs card trick; Bobby and Spot)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p6, pan6 (unidentified magician figures out how to defeat Monster)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p6, pan8 (unidentified magician tells authorities to use gas against Monster)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p7, pan2 (Monster hit with tear gas canister)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p7, pan3 (Monster reacts to cloud of tear gas)
Tales of Suspense I#31/1, p7, pan4 (soldier threatens Monster with a deadly dose of gas)

Tales of Suspense I#31/1 (July, 1962) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Journey into Mystery II#18 (August, 1975) - reprint

First Posted: 05/23/2004
Last updated: 11/23/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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