Real Name: Wills (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human; briefly a exo-skeleton user
Occupation: Criminal, Thief
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Iron Man
Base of Operations: New York, New York
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#65 (May, 1965)
Powers/Abilities: Wills is a reasonably skilled thief, able to sneak past Stark Industries security. He briefly wore the Iron Man Mark IV armor, which granted him superhuman strength (Class 25?) and durability, as well as the ability to fly and project repulsor blasts. As when worn by Stark, one of armor's major weaknesses was its limited power supply, necessitating frequent and inconvenient recharging. Oh yeah...and that pesky and all-too-accessible main power switch.
(Tales of Suspense I#65) - Weasel Wills was an otherwise small-time criminal, who thought to make it big by being the first person to break into Stark Industries. Little did he realize that his findings would include the attaché case of Tony Stark, which had been unwittingly left behind, with its protective explosive device left unarmed. Wills donned the Iron Man armor and walked off the premises, posing as the real Iron Man, and none were the wiser.
Wills test rode the armor a little, and then began a crime spree, until he was quite literally rolling in money. Stark heard of this, figured what had happened, put on his older, Mark II armor, and contacted Wills on the special Iron Man armor frequency, telling him to meet him at his Flushing factory and fight it out, or he would hunt him forever. Wills showed up, and the two Iron Men fought it out. While the older armor was apparently stronger and more rigid, the newer armor was faster and packed with more advanced gadgets. Stark managed to hold Wills off, goading him into squandering the armor's energy, while he secretly disabled the factory's power supply. Wills became slower and slower as his energy began to run out, and he found himself unable to recharge. Stark then grabbed Wills and cut the armor's main power switch, leaving him trapped within the immobile armor.
Stark feared that Wills would then expose his identity, but Wills had become so engrossed in the idea of being Iron Man, that he believed himself to be the real Iron Man. He told the police the armor was his and that he had designed it, and that's exactly what he believed. So Tony Stark's secret identity was safe again, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Don Heck
Alas, Weasel Wills was not summoned by Tony Stark to help fight Ultimo as part of the Iron Legion (Iron Man I#300), composed of all those who had ever worn Iron Man armor. For that matter, neither were Dr. Demonicus, the Omnos, Krang's Atlantean criminals, or any of the other criminals who usurped his armor at some point. Wisely, I think, Tony chose only those likely to provide assistance and not attack him.
I fear we'll never be treated to the much anticipated union of the Rip-Off raiders, including Wills, Second Story Sammy (Giant-Man imposter), the Planner (Captain America imposter), and Professor Zaxton's demon duplicate of Thor, all of whom showed up back in the Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, Journey into Mystery days, and then decided to not come back.
I think it was the Iron Manual, or perhaps Iron Man:The Legend, that identified the various versions of the Iron Man armor. Reading the story in Tales of Suspense, one would think that Stark was wearing the original armor, and Wills was wearing the second version. According to the above source, the Mark I armor was that which Stark first built in Tales of Suspense I#39. After returning to the USA, he developed the Mark II armor, using the more advanced technology of his factory, and changing to the gold color. He made the first red and gold armor, Mark III, in Tales of Supsense I#48, and I don't remember the significance off the top of my head, but he made the Mark IV armor in ToS#54. The next issue after Wills stole the armor, he designed the Mark V armor.
However, it makes more sense that some of these different versions were modifications of the previous armor, rather than building a whole new set. I would think the Mark II armor was just a modification of the Mark I, and IV may have just been a modification of III. I think the only significance to the Mark V armor was that the rivets from the face mask disappeared.
Ah well, moot point...dorcas farcas.
Weasel Wills should not be confused with others who have worn the Iron Man armor, including:
Tales of Suspense I#65 (May, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
Last updated: 11/23/02
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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