Real Name: Theodore "Ted" Slaght
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Group Membership: None
formerly Tony Stark
Enemies: Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: California Poly-Technical Institute
Appearance: (Slaght) Iron Man
I#314 (March, 1995);
(Slag) Iron Man I#317 (June, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: Slag was composed of a white-hot molten synthetic alloy, hot enough to sear steel. His body was amorphous, and could form crude weapons, flow like water, or even form multiple heads. Before the onset of his dementia, Slaght was a brilliant physicist; as Slag, his mind was addled, able only to think of revenge.
History: (Iron Man I#315 (fb)/Iron Man I#318 (fb) ) - Dr. Ted Slaght, one of the five most respected physicists in the world, was one of Tony Stark's college professors; during a class on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Stark objected, citing Einstein's assertation that "God does not play dice with the universe". After the class, Slaght took Stark aside, and suggested that, despite his brilliance, he was too closed-minded for his class. Tony thought on his words, and eventually Slaght became his friend and mentor.
(Iron Man I#318 (fb) ) - Slaght attended the funeral of Howard and Maria Stark with Tony; he spoke of the "mysterium tremendae" or big mystery, of death, and insisted that Tony's father would have been proud of him.
(Iron Man I#315 (fb) ) - The two men lost touch over the years, although Slaght met Tony again at a symposium in Stockholm; some time later, they also both consulted on a NASA shuttle disaster (see comments), the latter of which made Slaght a minor celebrity.
(Iron Man I#315 (fb) ) - Slaght, who was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, incorrectly set the pressure injection perameters on an experiment involving a new synthetic liquid alloy.
(Iron Man I#314) - Ted Slaght called Tony Stark for the first time in years when his alloy went dangerously out of control.
(Iron Man I#315) - Iron Man successfully shut down the experiment; when he examined the system logs, he found that the pressure injection perameters had been set incorrectly. When he asked the Poly-Tech sciensists who'd set them, Slaght almost acknowledged that he had before losing his train of thought. Suspecting that his old friend was suffering from dementia, Tony came to visit him, but found that he'd misremembered their last meeting and had totally forgotten the accident. When Stark informed Poly-Tech's board of his suspicions, Slaght overheard and angrily accused Tony of betraying him.
(Iron Man I#316) - Still fuming, Slaght mounted his experiment again - this time alone - hoping to show Stark that he was in full control of his faculties. His addled mind betrayed him once more and the experiment exploded.
(Iron Man I#317) - Transformed into living molten metal, Slaght arose from the wreckage, swearing vengeance on Tony Stark for his treachery...
(Iron Man I#318) - Iron Man searched through the wreckage of Slaght's lab and found the creature Slaght had become. It was unable to pronounce his own name and dubbed itself "Slag", but Stark still realized it was his old mentor. Recognizing Iron Man as Stark's agent, Slag mercilessly battered the armored hero, melting his circuits and damaging his helmet. He tried to fly away, but Slag grabbed his ankle and slammed him into the floor. He carved MYSTERIUM TREMENDAE into Iron Man's armor, telling him that Stark would know where to meet him that night before dawn - or he would come for him, then flowed away. Stark, recalling his talk with Slaght at his parents' graves, met him at Morningside Cemetery. When he showed up, Slag attacked him, but found that Stark was a mere holographic illusion, concealing Iron Man - who revealed that he was Tony Stark. Slag attacked nonetheless, and Iron Man froze him solid with a cryogenic module. Slag's heat overcame the cold, but his shattered consciousness began to warp his physical form, as one vestige of his personality warned Stark to run while two others spat vitriolic accusations at him, and yet another was totally confused. Seeing that his old friend was lost, Iron Man attached two modules to Slag, each projecting an opposing magnetic field. Slag was torn apart, leaving nothing but lifeless slag strewn across the cemetery.
Comments: Created by Len Kaminski and Tom Morgan.
Slag could clearly come back (it's not like getting dispersed ever killed the Sandman, Hydro-Man, Absorbing Man...) but the climax of this story was so emotionally affecting that it's better to leave it where it ended.
In Iron Man I#315, Stark and Slaght were specifically said to have consulted on the Challenger disaster with Richard Feynmann, but I think the sliding timescale prevents Stark from being past college-age in 1986 now.
Profile by Minor Irritant.
Slag, aka Theodore Slaght, has no known connections to
Iron Man I#317, p22, pan1 (main image)
Iron Man I#316, p15, pan2 (Slaght)
Iron Man I#314-318 (March-July, 1995) - Len Kaminski (writer), Tom Morgan (art), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Last updated: 03/22/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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