Real Name: Simon Gilbert
Occupation: Former chairman of the Board of Directors of Stark Industries
Group Membership: Formerly Stark Industries and Stark Industries' Board of Directors
Affiliations: Firebrand (Gary Gilbert), Guardsman (Kevin O'Brien (see comments))
Enemies: Firebrand (Gary Gilbert), Iron Man (Tony Stark), unidentified student protesters;
as he manipulated the unstable Guardsman to his own ends, ultimately resulting in the Guardsman's death, he could be an enemy;
he didn't directly interact with Marianne Rodgers, but she was by Stark's side as he opposed Gilbert
Known Relatives: Gary Gilbert (son, Firebrand), Roxanne Gilbert (daughter)
Aliases: "Pops" (nickname from Firebrand/Gary Gilbert);
"Big Mouth" (from Iron Man)
Base of Operations:
formerly Stark Industries Long Island Sound facility
Iron Man I#45 (March, 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Simon Gilbert was a skilled orator, able to convince others to follow his lead. He had enough business experience and/or skills to convince Tony Stark to make him head of Stark Industries' Board of Directors.
His political/business views were reactionary (FAR right wing), and he had aspirations of power.
An overweight cigar smoker, he didn't demonstrate any particular physical skills.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 220 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (irides looked clear in the panels I could see them...so, while I'd have guessed brown, perhaps light green or blue)
(Iron Man I#48 (fb)) - After a bad day at the office, Simon Gilbert used to beat up on his young son, Gary.
(Iron Manual Mark 3) - Gary's hatred for his father led him to despise the capitalist system of which Simon was a part.
(Iron Man I#59 (fb) - BTS) - Unwilling to tolerate Gary's "radical rhetoric," Simon threw him out of the house; Gary agreed, noting that the smell of pig there was much too high.
(Iron Man I#46 (fb) - BTS) - Simon Gilbert considered Daily Bugle owner J. Jonah Jameson the one newspaperman he could count on.
(Iron Man I#46 (fb) - BTS) -
Simon Gilbert spent months convincing Tony Stark to make him Stark
Industries' Chairman of the Board so that Stark could focus on his
(Iron Man I#48 (fb) - BTS) - Tony Stark made Simon Gilbert chairman of Stark Industries' Board of Directors.
(Iron Man I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Stark sensed that Gilbert was trouble the moment he was elected to the board.
(Iron Man I#45) - Meeting with the Board of Directors, Simon advised that Tony Stark should be ousted as president of Stark Industries. He noted how Stark had damaged their relations with the Pentagon, without whose contracts they would be bankrupt. Conceding that Stark owned controlling interest, Simon nonetheless suggested Stark could be pressured into resigning. He continued that Stark and his bodyguard, Iron Man (whose identity as Stark was then secret) had practically been proven anarchists and that Stark Industries could no longer continue with Stark at its helm.
When the board denounced Stark and
noted that they wanted Simon Gilbert for president, Gilbert noted that
he was flattered and would welcome the opportunity, but first asked
that they give him a vote of no confidence for Stark, which the board
did unanimously. Gilbert thanked the board, noting that this show of
strength would handle the situation perfectly.
(Iron Man I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Gilbert sent a telegram to Stark, notifying him of the board's vote and their plan to elect a new president tomorrow and advising him to be present.
(Iron Man I#45 - BTS) -
Receiving the telegram, Stark considered that he still owned
controlling interest and would not let Gilbert take over.
(Iron Man I#45 - BTS) - Someone called Kevin O'Brien and told him something that made him think, "If this is true, Tony Stark is finished..." (see comments)
In love with Stark's girlfriend,
Marianne Rodgers, and mentally destabilized by his use of the Guardsman
armor's cybernetic circuitry, O'Brien became outraged upon hearing
Marianne accept Stark's marriage proposal.
(Iron Man I#45) - With an
hour having passed since Stark received the telegram without
acknowledging it, Simon advised they hold the election immediately,
rather than waiting until the next day. However, the other board
members noted that Stark owned controlling interest and they couldn't
oust him without his fault, as well as considering Iron Man's power in
case Stark refused to surrender control.
As Simon tried to convince eveyone they could take down both Stark and Iron Man, the meeting was suddenly interrupted as Guardsman (Kevin O'Brien) crashed through the window, picked up Gilbert by the collar, and announced that he could help them take down Iron Man. When student protesters showed up outside the building, denouncing Stark Industries for building weapons of war, Gilbert manipulated Guardsman into getting rid of them.
(Iron Man I#45 - BTS) - Tony Stark's lover Marianne Rodgers' ESP sensed trouble at his factory, leading Iron Man to investigate.
(Iron Man I#45 - BTS) - When the protesters pelted the Guardsmen with fruit, rocks, and bricks, O'Brien, still inexperienced with the armor, attempted to cool them off with a repulsor ray. However, the blast was more powerful than he intended, and it seemingly killed the student protesters (see comments). Iron Man arrived soon after and futilely tried to diffuse the situation.
(Iron Man I#45) - Watching
from the boardroom, Simon Gilbert noted that they couldn't have planned
things more perfectly, especially with Iron Man's involvement. When
another board member asked if he was mad, as three kids had been hurt
and possibly killed, Simon argued that the young radical scum had to be
wiped out anyway and that Stark Industries' new Guardsman was the best
one to do it. When the Guardsman arrived and lamented his actions,
Gilbert assured him that he had done exactly what needed to be done and
that he would soon be replacing Iron Man.
(Iron Man I#45 - BTS) - After
Iron Man departed to avoid further conflict with the students, some of
their members attacked the building from which the board operated, and
the Guardsman rushed out to confront them, leading to their fearful
(Iron Man I#45) - As Simon argued with the other board members, warning them that if they were "some
sort of left-winger who believes in molly-coddling those young
radicals...there's no place for you on the board of Stark Industries."
After Iron Man arrived, reminding Gilbert that Stark owned controlling
interest of the stock, Gilbert countered that Iron Man would soon be
out of work and that he wasn't afraid of Iron Man (as he wouldn't even
stand up to a crowd of kids), and he ordered Iron to get out or he
would have him thrown out. Iron Man then shoved Simon into a chair and
told him to shut up, noting he was Stark's persona representative and
therefore took priority over him. The Guardsman then arrived and warned
Iron Man that he was working for the board, ultimately leading to a
battle between the two; as Iron Man went on the defensive, trying to
avoid hurting his friend, Simon urged the Guardsman to finish him off,
as no court in the land would convince him.
When another board member noted that the protesters were now conflicting with the police, the Guardsman prepared to stop the protesters, leading Iron Man to blast him in a pre-designed weak spot in the armor, causing the circuits to "run wild" for a few minutes. As Iron Man departed to try to peacefully resolve the conflict, Simon futilely urged the incapacitated Guardsman to get up and prevent him from ruining their plan.
(Avengers I#99 - BTS) - As an apparently somewhat
recovered Kevin O'Brien answered a call from Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
seeking aid in returning himself and an amnesiac Hercules to the USA,
he was interrupted by a call Simon Gilbert. Taking that call, O'Brien
connected Hawkeye with someone else who could help him.
(Iron Man I#46) - Reading the Daily Bugle article denouncing the Guardsman's assault on the student protesters, Simon Gilbert was furious, considering that Jameson's anti-super-hero agenda had caused him to side with the students; he vowed that neither Jameson nor anyone else who spoke out against him would "get away with it."
Simon further advised the board that anything that smeared the Guardsman's reputation smeared theirs, as well. He urged the board members to make the media hear their side of the story, and the board members told him he could count on them. Gilbert further plotted to convince Stark that he was associated in the public mind with this disaster, forcing him to resign.
When protesters again assaulted
the bilidng, Gilbert urged the Guardsman to go finish them off. Having
realized the wrongness of his previous assault on the protesters, the
armored O'Brien picked up Gilbert and slapped him across the face,
telling him he if he wanted to steal Stark Industries, he would have to
go through him to do so. As O'Brien cursed the board as greedy
scoundrels and vowed not to let them ruin Stark, the board members
futiley piled on top of the Guardsman, who hurled them away. After the
other board members fled, leaving Gilbert alone with the enraged
O'Brien, Tony Stark arrived with Marianne and applauded O'Brien's
actions; however, seeing Stark and Marianne together pushed O'Brien
back over the edge again, and he couldn't even remember turning against
After O'Brien departed to confront the protesters, Gilbert taunted Stark with O'Brien's insanity and then advised that Stark had lost Stark Industries and should pack up and get it.
(Iron Man I#46 (fb) - BTS) - Stark punched out Gilbert, who fell into the remains of the furniture O'Brien had shattered.
(Iron Man I#46) - Stark and Marianne walked out as Gilbert futilely kicked his legs trying to get out the debris.
After the Guardsman died when Iron Man was forced to stop him, Gilbert told returned board members that things had gone perfectly: With O'Brien dead, they wouldn't have any police trouble over his actions, and they could insist Iron Man be charged with murder. He concluded that Stark Industries was as good as theirs.
(Iron Man I#47) - At Kevin O'Brien's funeral, Simon Gilbert mockingly told Iron Man to tell O'Brien's father he was sorry he'd killed his son. Acknowledging that the whole board was as deep in this thing as Gilbert, one of the board members told him to shut up in the name of human decency.
(Iron Man I#48) - A furious Tony Stark confronted
Gilbert and the Board of Directors, noting that he was there to have
Gilbert fired. Citing Stark's "childish tantrum" as further reason that
Stark should resign, Gilbert reminded him that he was chairman and was
the one to call the meeting to order. Gilbert opened the meeting by
recounting recent events and noting that Iron Man's actions had placed
Stark Industries in a very bad light. Interrupting, Stark predicted and
countered Gilbert's argument -- that his responsibility for Iron Man
indicated he should resign -- by pointing out that Gilbert had spurred
Gilbert into the fight despite knowing his instability. Stark then
called for a vote on his motion to make him chairman again, informing
the "weak-kneed yes-men" that since he owned the majority of the stock,
his vote carried more weight than all others combined. As chairman
again, Stark advised board member Sorenson to write the details of the
vote and then to schedule an early meeting in which they would all
submit their recommendations.
(Iron Man I#48 - BTS) - Simon Gilbert
learned of Firebrand via "the criminal grapevine," and he contacted
Firebrand (not realizing Firebrand was his son, Gary) to assassinate
(Iron Man I#48) - A couple days after his forced resignation, as Simon waited in an alley, Firebrand surprised him with a fiery blast that blew up a nearby trash can and then he mocked the older man, calling him "Pops" (which is what Gary called his father) and telling him he would need to get used to such power. Firebrand further taunted Simon by noting his own history, which Simon apparently failed to recognize.
After Firebrand related his goals and his hatred of corporations like Stark Industries, Simon gave him a security pass to get into the local, Stark Industries-owned Bay City munitions plant so he could blow it up. Firebrand agreed, but slapped away the money Gilbert offered him, telling him he didn't want his money but rather wanted to destroy everything Simon believed in. Before departing, Firebrand further taunted Simon, noting him to be the voice of his children, which Simon took as a figurative rather than literal reference.
(Iron Man I#48 (fb) - BTS) - Consider Firebrand to be untrustworthy -- just like his son -- Simon Gilbert followed Firebrand to the Stark facility.
(Iron Man I#48 - BTS) - The guards subsequently contacted Stark, telling him to send Iron Man before the plant was destroyed.
(Iron Man I#48 (fb) - BTS) - As Iron Man and Firebrand battled, Simon Gilbert planted a number of charges within Stark Industries, enough "to blow half the place up."
(Iron Man I#48) - As Iron Man
ultimately got the better of Firebrand, Simon Gilbert activated his
charges and headed out of the building. However, with structures
weakened from the battle, the floor collapsed, and Gilbert fell and
level and was trapped under debris.
Seeing Simon trapped, Firebrand moved to save him, but Iron Man, seeing the detonator was set to go off in seconds, grabbed Firebrand and flew him to safety second before the entire building was consumed in the explosion.As the police arrived, Gilbert revealed that Simon Gilbert was his father and that while he hated his father, he was still his blood-relative, and he vowed vengeance.
Comments: Created by Mike Friedrich, George Tuska, and Vince Colletta.
Who called Kevin O'Brien?
Remember the Long Island Four!
Remember the Long Island Four!
In Iron Man I#45, the kids were reported as dead, as supported by
both dialogue and text (although people not present during the attacks
noted them as "injured" or "hurt"), and then #46 noted they were just
injured, with an editorial note
apologizing for not noting they were not dead.
In Iron Man I#45, the kids were reported as dead, as supported by both dialogue and text (although people not present during the attacks noted them as "injured" or "hurt"), and then #46 noted they were just injured, with an editorial note apologizing for not noting they were not dead.
Perhaps foreshadowing Stark's alcoholism, Marianne noted "that's two more drinks than he ever has at a party," after which when he became irate with people discussing Stark Industries' dropping stocks, she suggested they go out for a drive...that's the 70's for you...
I considered doing a sub-profile on the Board of
Directors of associated with Simon Gilbert, and I probably should have,
but I had a crazy-busy work week, and it's taken so long to get this
one done, I'm just over it...perhaps, some day, when someone covers the
Iron Man series from start to finish, they can get their own profile.
Yeah, that's the ticket...
Profile by Snood.
Simon Gilbert should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Iron Man I#45, pg. 5, panel 1 (with stocks chart);
pg. 20, panel (exhorted incapacitated Guardsman);
#46, pg. 6, panel 4 (suspended by Guardsman);
pg. 21, panel 6 (Stark Industries is ours!);
#48, pg. 7, panel 4 montage (smacking young Gary);
panel 1 (with detonator);
panel 4 (in debris)
#59, pg. 8, panel 2 (throwing Gary out of his house)
Iron Man I#45 (March, 1972) - Mike Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#99 (May, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Barry Smith (penciler), Tom Sutton (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#46 (April, 1972) - Mike Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (penciler), John Verpoorten (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#47 (May, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Barry Smith (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#48 (July, 1972) - Mike Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#59 (June, 1973) - Mike Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
First posted: 06/13/2020
Last updated: 06/13/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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