sun-tao-soy-twelve sun-tao-soy-unarmored-full.jpgSUN-TAO

Real Name: Sun-Tao

Identity/Class: Human technology user;
    citizen of New Timbetpal and Timbetpal (Asian nations)

Occupation: Disciple of Ho Yinsen, educator, priest

Group Membership: Formerly the Sons of Yinsen, the Twelve

Affiliations: Dr. Midas, Harold "Happy" Hogan" Iron Man (Tony Stark), Jocasta, Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Ho Yinsen, Mrs. Yinsen;
    the surviving people of Wong-Chu's village

Enemies: Iron Man Model 16 "sentient armor" / Ultron Mark Twelve, Titanium Man (Boris Bullski), Wong-Chu and his guards, "the Yokozuna" (see comments);
    formerly Antigone, the Church of Yinsen, the Sons of Yinsen, and the Twelve (including Tiger Minn);
    the people of Kyoto, Japan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were attacked by the Sons under Sun-Tao's direction, although neither Sun-Tao nor the Sons would consider those people enemies; among those who suffered from the Kyoto attacks were the staff of Askew-Tronics (including
Professor Jennifer Smith) and their guests Rumiko Fujikawa and Tony Stark/Iron Man;

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly New Timbetpal (mobile throughout the Asian skies), as well as the Sons of Yinsen's mother ship;
    formerly Wong-Chu's base in Southeast Asia;

    formerly Timbetpal

First Appearance: Iron Man III#31 (August, 2000)

sun-tao-soy-marked2Powers/Abilities: Sun-Tao is a genius and a scientific prodigy, highly skilled and trained in the advanced science and technology of Ho Yinsen, as well as having advanced upon that technology.

    Sun-Tao has a strong faith in a religion dubbed "Yinsenism," developed by himself and the other 11 original disciples of Yinsen, based on the teachings of Ho Yinsen, and revering the union of life, the spirit, and technology.sun-tao-soy-marked1.jpg

    Sun-Tao is highly skilled in an unspecified form of martial arts, apparently combining a mixture of disciplines.

    In combat, he traditionally wore armor based on Iron Man's, containing a number of the Sons of Yinsen's other advancements. Like the other sons, he wore a helmet and chest/torso plate (covering the back and front of chest and abdomen), as well as gauntlets, but his arms were bare (no armor connected the gauntlets to the torso plate). It was not clearly shown, but like the other Twelve, he presumably similarly wore armored boots, but no leg armor. The Sons' armors typically granted them flight, enhanced durability (at least in the covered areas), cloaking technology that rendered them invisible to the naked eye and most forms of detection, stasis fields. Many of the armors contained personalized weaponry, including repulsor waves and hypno-pulses; only a few of their abilities were shown, and Sun-Tao's personalized abilities were not specified.

    Following his interaction with the Model 16 "sentient armor" / Ultron Mark Twelve, he wore a full set replica of the Model 16 armor (although after regaining his wits following Ultron's brainwashing, he typically went without the helmet), which granted him superhuman strength, durability

    As the leader of the Sons of Yinsen, he controlled their hundreds of Iron Man model 1 drones and the dragon-like mothership. These could be programmed to strike precisely, causing property damage and non-fatally incapacitating specific targets without harming innocents.

Height: Unrevealed (he looks to be at least 2-3 inches taller than the armored, but helmetless, Iron Man/Tony Stark, who would be about 6'5"; so, perhaps 6'8"; he wasn't anywhere nearly as large in Iron Man III#49, but that was a different artist, so we'll call that "artistic license")
Weight: Unrevealed (at 6'8" and muscular, he would probably be at least 275 lbs; Iron Man's armor ways around 200 lbs., so he's some portion of that heavier when wearing armor, depending on how much he's wearing)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Other Distinguishing Features: He bears the Mark of Wong-Chu on his left cheek (although I'm sure he could find the technology to remove it...or he would just cut off the skin and leave himself with a scar)

History:

sun-tao-soy-with_yinsen (Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Ho Yinsen hand-picked twelve prodigies who studied under him, starting with Sun-Tao, whom he considered his greatest student.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - Ho Yinsen predicted to his followers the coming of Iron Man.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - Invading armies captured their nation, Timbetpal, and took Yinsen away.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb)) - Sun-Tao insisted he be taken alongside Yinsen, and he tolerated being under Wong-Chu's tyranny in order to remain at his master's side.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb)) - As Sun-Tao and Yinsen feigned failure, Wong-Chu eventually lost patience with their inability to create weapons of mass destruction, though they were sure he suspected their duplicity. Wong Chu banished the two to slave ranks within the camp, and Sun-Tao did the work for the progressively more frail Yinsen to keep Wong-Chu's attention diverted.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb)) - Yinsen and Sun-Tao were surprised when Stark arrived as a prisoner in Wong-Chu's camp. When Yinsen was sent to work with Stark, Sun-Tao felt blessed as he felt that this meant Yinsen would be spared.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - While Yinsen was with Stark, Wong-Chu's guards made Sun-Tao's days unkind.

(Tales of Suspense I#39 - BTS / Iron Man III#31 (fb)) - Sun-Tao watched helplessly as Yinsen sacrificed himself to give Stark the time to charge the Iron Man armor, and as Iron Man defeated Wong-Chu. sun-tao-soy-with_yinsen-dying.jpg

(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - Sun-Tao was tasked with disposing of Yinsen's body in the jungle. However, unbeknownst to Wong-Chu, Yinsen survived. Yinsen gave Sun-Tao his journal that contained all of his life's works, including notes on the Iron Man armor and his cloaking technology. 

    With his apparent dying breath, he told Sun-Tao of his pride in seeing the rise of Iron Man, and he sent Sun-Tao to return to Timbetpal and teach the world of its greatest son. 

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - As a space portal then opened, the terrified Sun-Tao watched as a pair of costumed agents of Dr. Midas emerged, claimed Yinsen's body, and exited through the portal. Though Sun-Tao wanted to ask who they were and where they were taking Yinsen, Sun-Tao could barely breathe, let alone speak. sun-tao-soy-with_midas

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - Sun-Tao wanted to follow the men, but he was prevented by the imposing/arriving figure of Midas (though, Sun-Tao did not know his identity), who told Sun-Tao of the old deal he made -- funding in exchange for harvesting Yinsen's brain upon his death -- with Yinsen and assured Sun-Tao that Yinsen would be fine. Sun-Tao did not remember words being exchanged, but felt they must have conversed by some other means.

    Midas assured Sun-Tao that Yinsen would be fine and that Sun-Tao would be foolish to try to follow; he further advised Sun-Tao to escape the camp while the time was ripe. Believing Midas could save Yinsen, Sun-Tao was calmed, and as Midas departed, he told Sun-Tao he would be in touch.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Midas harvested and preserved Yinsen's brain, which was allegedly kept alive inside a tank.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - After Yinsen's apparent death, Sun-Tao returned to Timbetpal and gathered the other eleven disciples of Yinsen to teach the word of it's greatest son, the word of life, death, and technology.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - Via Ho Yinsen's many journals, his undying faith, and their own research, his twelve hand-picked disciples built and constructed a way by which to honor Yinsen and his gifts of the flesh, the spirit, and the immortal god of science.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Sun-Tao cared for Yinsen's widow, but a year after Ho Yinsen's death she died of an apparent broken heart.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - The Sons of Yinsen created a host of trite, yet commercially viable concepts.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - The Sons of Yinsen sold patents for their inventions, accumulating great wealth to put into practice Yinsen's greatest theories, and to build and maintain their equipment.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - The people of Timbetpal became curious of the Sons of Yinsen and of their ideas and their ways, and the Sons took the time to teach them.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - "The Sons of Yinsen soon had thousands of followers of "Yinsenism." As the people converted, the Sons shared their secrets with them, and the people formed a work force to hasten their efforts.

(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, all but Sun-Tao took a vow of silence.

sun-tao-soy-developing_sons(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb)) - Aided by their followers, the Sons of Yinsen constructed the immense floating city New Timbetpal and the large mothership. With the city's completion, the Sons took their followers with them as New Timbetpal rose into the Heavens and hid itself from "the evil that is the world," just as Yinsen had prophesied.
    For the first time, Sun-Tao completely understood Yinsen's scripture as he felt the touch of the flesh, the spirit, and the immortal god of science.

(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS) - With the exception of the Twelve disciples/prodigies, who wore variations of the Iron Man armor, the people of New Timbetpal were raised solely in the ways of Yinsen; as such, they had no knowledge of combat. The Twelve trained to defend the other citizens; having learned from Yinsen directly, they individually adapted their personal armor to fit each of their needs.

(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS) - "The Transference of the Journal" was considered one of the most sacred events in the Sons of Yinsen's religion.

(Iron Man III#32 (fb) - BTS) - The Sons of Yinsen considered Iron Man the embodiment of their master's beliefs: He was the merging of the human spirit with the wonders of technology; and when Stark first donned his armor, they believed that it not only saved his life, but transcended him to another plane of existence. The Sons believed that Iron Man would deliver them in their greatest hour of need.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - The Sons of Yinsen lived in secrecy for many years, preferring the clouds and their machines to earthly turmoil.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Midas sent an agent to meet with the Sons of Yinsen, arranging a silent auction with Wong-Chu (although neither they nor Wong-Chu knew the identity of the other auctioneer) to possess Yinsen's still-living brain. Wong-Chu's greater wealth won out.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Midas' mediator offered the Sons of Yinsen the name of the successful buyer for the price of their losing bid.
    Upon learning this was Wong-Chu, the Sons realized that Midas was no friend of Wong-Chu.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - The Sons of Yinsen sought out an informant, a man who dealt in the commercial abuse of helpless children; this man therefore had contact with Wong-Chu.

(Iron Man III#1/2 / Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - As part of a plot to flush out Wong-Chu, the Sons of Yinsen -- in their dragon-like ship -- assaulted the city of Kyoto, Japan, unleashing numerous Iron Man drones and firing energy blasts into the city (designed for structural damage while not injuring the population).

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Within seconds of the assaults, one of Wong-Chu's constituents warned him that the Sons of Yinsen were hunting him.

(Iron Man III#1/2 - BTS) - The Sons announced that they meant the city and people of Kyoto no harm, but that they were just seeking that which rightfully theirs: The city was harboring a prisoner of war, and they stated that they would not cease fire until the Yokozuna was released into their custody (see comments).sun-tao-soy-full-backsun-tao-soy-chest-up

    Stray blasts heavily damaged an Askew-Tronics facility, and Tony Stark -- present there with his girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa -- was trapped under masonry. Freed via summoning and donning his Iron Man armor, Stark confronted the Sons of Yinsen. After his onboard diagnostics (see comments) determined the drone armors to be uninhabited, Iron Man began swiftly destroying the drones. After a powerful blast from the ship stunned him, the drones piled on top of Iron Man and began pummeling him.

    Flying into the air, Iron Man tried to incapacitate the drones with an electromagnetic pulse but found them to be shielded. He next emitted a maximum magnetic field to trap the drones' air within them, and then pushed one of his boot jets to failure, flying himself and the whole mass of drones into the upper atmosphere, where the relatively higher air pressure inside them apparently caused them to explode. The fragments apparently burned up in re-entry.

(Iron Man III#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - The mother-ship and remaining drones departed without leaving a trace before Iron Man returned.

(Iron Man III#31) - The Sons of Yinsen prepared for their coming encounter with tea.

(Iron Man III#31 (fb) - BTS) - The sentient artificial intelligence Jocasta identified Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the most likely point of the Sons' attack and reported this to Iron Man.

(Iron Man III#31) - The Sons assaulted Kuala Lumpur, striking precisely to cause property damage without casualties.

    As Iron Man arrived, the mothership broadcast a message assuring the people of Malaysia that they meant them no harm but instead sought a man they were harboring whom they were seeking for crimes against humanity. 

    Iron Man assaulted the Model 1 drones, but when he confronted Sun-Tao or one of the other Twelve, the leaders called the drones to halt and knelt before Iron Man. When the Twelve and the Drones suddenly took to the air and departed, Iron Man pursued them back to the mothership, and then pursued that back to the immense New Timbetpal. Sun-Tao then led the Twelve to meet with Iron Man as he revealed knowledge of Iron Man's true identity; Sun-Tao further detailed his history with Yinsen, the origins of the Sons of Yinsen, and the fact that Wong-Chu was still alive.

(Iron Man III#32 - BTS) - Wong-Chu was warned of the Sons of Yinsen's having learned his location.

(Iron Man III#32) - Sun-Tao shared the Sons' history with Iron Man and then gave him a tour of New Timbetpal. The people of the city gathered to meet and then knelt before the legendary Tony Stark; after a young girl gave Stark a flower, Sun-Tao explained their vow of silence.

    Sun-Tao and the rest of the Twelve then met with Stark, providing details of Wong-Chu's survival and subsequent activities. Sun-Tao nonetheless assured Stark that they were enlightened and wished to bring Wong-Chu before an international war crimes tribunal for a proper trial. sun-tao-soy-gauntlets.jpg

    Having secretly arrived over Wong-Chu's camp while New Timbetpal was cloaked, the Twelve led Iron Man in invading the camp with aid from individual cloaking mechanism.

(Iron Man III#32 / Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - A young girl from Wong-Chu's village gave Iron Man a rag doll; as a precaution, Stark hid a card/chip possessing the Sons' cloaking technology within the doll.

(Iron Man III#32) - Sun-Tao and the rest of the Twelve, alongside Iron Man, easily fought their way past Wong-Chu's men, including the guards to Wong-Chu's temple. sun-tao-soy-upper-armored

    However, as they confronted Wong-Chu himself, the warlord, via having his troops hold 24 of the city's people at gunpoint, demanded their surrender. Sun-Tao initially refused, but Iron Man convinced him to comply to prevent the deaths of so many innocents. Once Iron Man and the Twelve had removed and surrendered their armor, Wong-Chu had his soldiers slay the city residents anyway. 

    Wong-Chu then told Stark that the Twelve weren't actually there to bring in their enemy, but to recover Ho Yinsen, who was still alive.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Wong-Chu had Sun-Tao's face "branded" (though it looks a lot more like a tattoo; perhaps he meant marked with his brand/symbol) with the Mark of Wong-Chu.

    Wong-Chu further donned the boots, pants, and gloves of some of the Twelve's armors.

    Wong-Chu taunted Stark and the Twelve as he had them sit around a table at his feast, with their arms bound behind their backs; Wong-Chu's guards shoved their faces into bowls of slop.

(Iron Man Annual 2000) - Feeling he had tarnished the spirit of master Yinsen by allowing Wong-Chu to sully his face with his mark, Sun-Tao warned Wong-Chu what he would do if he broke his bonds.

    Undaunted, Wong-Chu encouraged Sun-Tao to reveal the full truth about Yinsen's fate, which he did, including how they had learned of Wong-Chu's existence. Wong-Chu was pleased, nonetheless, that the Sons of Yinsen had to use violence to locate him and mocked that he had learned of their hunt and prepared for them. Sun-Tao warned Wong-Chu to stop speaking his master's name as he was unworthy; Wong-Chu mocked Sun-Tao, who told Wong-Chu he would pay for his crimes, after which he apologized to Stark for their predicament.

    En route to their planned execution, however, Sun-Tao advised Stark that he had not told Stark of Yinsen's survival because that quest was too holy to be saddled with his unnecessary Western emotional baggage and that they wanted him focused. He further denounced Stark's lack of efforts to have ever searched for Yinsen's body to have a proper burial. When Wong-Chu's guards silenced him with the butt of a rifle to his head, Sun-Tao told Stark to spare him his false concern, as he never understood why fate had blessed him with his master's greatness.

sun-tao-soy-breaking_chainssun-tao-soy-assaulting-wcguard    As Wong-Chu prepared to have his men execute the group, Sun-Tao silently observed as Stark freed the Sons' cloaking card he had hidden within the rag doll (which Wong-Chu had allowed to remain attached to a necklace around Stark's neck as a mockery) and placed it within a port to his artificial heart, allowing Stark to vanish suddenly. Wong-Chu ordered the guards to fire, but the Twelve dodged and attacked the guards. Sun-Tao then instructed Stark that the Twelve could handle the guards, but that Stark must return to the temple and recover his armor. Sun-Tao further hinted to Stark to remember the day he freed himself from Wong-Chu's camp, leading Stark to punch in the date of his escape from Wong-Chu's camp into the cloaking card, which signaled a summoning of a large number (Stark estimated "hundreds") of the Sons of Yinsen's Iron Man drones as the planned cavalry. As programmed, the drones took out Wong-Chu's weapons towers  and soldiers all without actually harming anyone.

    Wong-Chu's men surrounded the still manacled Twelve, offering to let them live if they gave up Stark's location. However, the  returning Iron Man then uncloaked behind Wong-Chu and threatened to kill Wong-Chu unless he had his men let the Twelve go. Wong-Chu called the bluff, knowing Iron Man would not commit murder; instead, Iron Man used his repulsors to shatter the Twelve's manacles.

    In response, Wong-Chu smashed Iron Man's cloaking card, activated his own, and then swiftly fled. Sun-Tao advised Stark that Wong-Chu would be heading towards Yinsen, and Iron Man traveled to Wong-Chu's fortified bunker, where Wong-Chu blasted him before cloaking himself again. Ultimately, Iron Man blasted several drones flying overhead, and the shower of molten metal both outlined Wong-Chu and caused him to scream out in agony. Targeting that, Iron Man blasted Wong-Chu, knocking him to the ground, and then physically battered him into submission. 

    Sun-Tao told Stark to stop so that Wong-Chu could lead them to Yinsen, but when Wong-Chu vowed he would die before leading the Sons anywhere, Sun-Tao sent a female member the Twelve into the bunker. Tripping a sensor, however, she was killed in the resultant explosion, leading Wong-Chu to mock her death. As Wong-Chu continued to laugh, however, one of the Sons' servants (who had been secretly in love with the female Twelve member just killed), who had stowed away inside one of the drones, picked up a machete, rushed forward, and slew Wong-Chu with it before anyone could stop him. 

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - The Twelve pronounced Wong-Chu dead and found the brain of Yinsen in a preservative chamber.

(Iron Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - After Iron Man's heart unit ran out of power, the Sons rushed him back to New Timbetpal to recharge. They transported Yinsen's brain to New Timbetpal and placed the chamber in the hands of their immense Yinsen statue.

(Iron Man Annual 2000) - After Stark revived, Sun-Tao told him what had happened, assuring him that his people did not look lightly upon murder, but that the youth who had slain Sun-Tao would be dealt with fairly in the way of their people. Sun-Tao then brought Stark to see Yinsen, explaining the deal with Midas and Yinsen's brain's preservation. Noting this to be the holiest of relics, Sun-Tao shared the thanks of himself, his people, and Yinsen himself for Stark's role in this recovery.

    Sun-Tao then presented Stark with a medallion marked with their flag and representing their hearts, which would always be with him. Sun-Tao asked that the the word of Yinsen would bring him peace and that happiness would follow him the rest of his days; from now until death, Stark would be a Son of New Timbetpal and part of their family, and he would always be greeted at their gates. Thanking Sun-Tao, Iron Man departed.

(Iron Man Annual 2000) - After acknowledging the consequences of his actions, the servant (at least later known as Tiger Minn) who had slain Wong-Chu was accepted into the Twelve / Sons of Yinsen, replacing the fallen sister.

(Iron Man Annual 2000) - Days later, New Timbetpal arrived at the island in which Stark had buried his "sentient armor," the Model 16 sentient armor (actually controlled by Ultron Mark Twelve, as it had been installed there by Jocasta; this was the more benevolent Mark 12 that had been in control due to a premature awakening caused by a lightning strike, although none of this was not known at the time).
    Sun-Tao advised the Sons that from the ashes of the spirit and the flesh, and from the ashes of the immortal god of science, the master would rise again; and a new dawn of the Iron Man would also arise, as Yinsen had prophesied.

(Iron Man III#46 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man III#47 (fb)) - The Sons of Yinsen recovered Iron Man's incapacitated Model 16 armor and implanted Yinsen's brain within it to give him a proper vessel through which to act/live.sun-tao-soy-exiled

(Iron Man III#48 (fb)) - Once the Sons of Yinsen reactivated the "sentient armor," the primary Ultron (Mark 12) established contact and transferred his mind/program into this new host. 

(Iron Man III#47 (fb)) - The Sons of Yinsen were ecstatic to have seemingly brought their holiest of missions to fruition, but Sun-Tao soon noticed that "Yinsen" was more arrogant and aggressive, and that the orders he gave the Sons grew stranger each day; among these was the mass production of Iron Man's Model 16 armor as if he was preparing for war. Sun-Tao wondered if this behavior was an after effect of his extended disembodied existence or if this actually was Yinsen at all.
    Regardless, Sun-Tao resolved to stop "Yinsen," but the other Sons proved to be blinded by their unyielding devotion.

(Iron Man III#46 (fb) - BTS / Iron Man III#47 (fb)) - Sun-Tao was branded a heretic and ex-communicated from their order.sun-tao-soy-mind-controlled

(Iron Man III#47 (fb)) - As "Yinsen," Ultron Mark 12 convinced the other Sons that a great madness had come over Sun-Tao and that their holy technology was the only way to dispel it. In reality, "Yinsen" used the opportunity to strip away Sun-Tao's mind, leaving "Yinsen" free to proceed without opposition.

(Iron Man III#46 (fb) - BTS / (Iron Man III#47 (fb) - BTS) -  Tiger Minn (the youth who had slain Wong-Chu) became the leader and public figure of the Sons of Yinsen and the religion that followed it.

(Iron Man III#46 (fb)) <Three weeks before the main story> - Ultron Mark 12, controlling the sentient armor (Ultron Mark 12) inhabited by Yinsen's brain, arrived with the Sons of Yinsen in New Timbetpal above New York City and decloaked.

(Iron Man III#46 (fb) - BTS) - Under Ultron's control, the Sons of Yinsen set up the Church of Yinsenism, with their main office in New York. The religion caught up quickly, especially among the celebrity set, swiftly becoming the most chic new religion.

    Tiger Minn reported that Sun-Tao had disagreed with the Sons of Yinsen going public, and that he had parted ways with the order.sun-tao-soy-model16armor.jpg

(Iron Man III#46 (fb) / Iron Man III#47 (fb) - BTS) - Ultron sent Sun-Tao, in an Iron Man model 16 armor replica, to break into Askew Electronics, providing a distraction to allow the other Sons of Yinsen to steal the SKIN (Synthetic Kinetic Interfacing Nanofluid; digital fluid, generated by Askew Tronics).

(Iron Man III#47 (fb) - BTS) - Ultron had the Church of Yinsenism's New York City congregation horrifically altered, with SKIN used to turn them into his personal army of mindless cyborgs.

(Iron Man III#46 ) - After Iron Man defeated and captured Sun-Tao (who could speak only of the "Great Devil"), Ultron (posing as Yinsen controlling the sentient armor, led the Sons to confront Iron Man and demand Sun-Tao and his armor's return. When Iron Man tried to warn "Yinsen" about the sentient armor, "Yinsen" initially tried to apologize for being too overzealous, blaming his lack of social graces on having been disembodied for so long.

    "Yinsen" further told Iron Man that Sun-Tao had gone mad, but when Iron Man questioned his true nature, refusing to completely believe him and refusing to surrender Sun-Tao until the matter had been resolved, "Yinsen" told Iron Man he and his allies would surely take Sun-Tao over Iron Man's dead body.

(Iron Man III#47) - As the other Sons attacked Iron Man while their cloaking protected them from being attacked in return, Iron Man fired a blast at the uncloaked Tiger Minn and "Yinsen" to no avail as Tiger Minn protected "Yinsen" with a force field.. However, Iron Man's assault left him open to attacks by the other Sons.

(Iron Man III#47 - BTS) - Sun-Tao revived and told "Happy" Hogan and "Pepper" Potts what had happened with "Yinsen," whom he now knew was not Yinsen, but "the Great Devil."

    Though Iron Man magnetically trapped the others, "Yinsen" stunned Stark and fried his armor's systems, freed the Sons, had them incapacitate Stark, and then sent them to recover Sun-Tao. 

(Iron Man III#47) - Though weakened, Sun Tao vowed to meet the "Great Devil" on his feet. Arriving alongside the Sons and breaking into the facility, Tiger Minn asked Brother Tao not to make it any harder than it had to be. Attacking the group, Sun-Tao assured them that they had no idea how hard it would be; nonetheless, he continued to try to convince them that the one they believed to be Yinsen was not their lord and savior.
    Ultimately, however, Tiger Minn struck down Sun Tao, denouncing him as a blasphemer.

    Praising Tiger Minn as bringing honor to his name, "Yinsen" instructed him to gather Sun-Tao and prepare him for the ceremony.

(Iron Man III#47 (fb) - BTS) - Minn had Sun-Tao brought back to the local (New York City) Church of Yinsen.

(Iron Man III#47) - Before a crowd of kneeing worshippers, Minn denounced and prepared to sacrifice Sun-Tao.

    However, as Minn's dagger began to plunge toward Sun-Tao's chest, a recovered Iron Man stopped him. With Jocasta's aid, Iron Man caused the Sons' cloaking function to malfunction and instead absorb light, burning them. However, when the SKIN-mutated congregation confronted him, Iron Man decided to flee rather than fight them, planning to return with the Avengers and subdue them without injuring them.sun-tao-soy-model16-unhelmeted

    As Iron Man freed Sun-Tao, Sun noted that it was odd that the "Great Devil" hadn't moved at all; having noticed this as well as the presence of strange little girl with her back turned, Iron Man nonetheless grabbed Sun-Tao and began to depart.

    "Yinsen" then used his control of the "sentient armor" to control Stark's new artificial heart (which the Model 16 armor had created), incapacitating Stark with pain and cardiac dysfunction. "Yinsen" then unmasked, revealing it to actually be Ultron in control.

(Iron Man III#48) - After Ultron revealed how he had come to control the armor and then discussed his plans to conquer Earth, Sun-Tao exclaimed that he knew this devil was not the master, and that he wished the others had heeded his warnings. Mocking Sun-Tao's ineffectiveness, Ultron then explained how the Church of Yinsen had provided him with the perfect launching point to wipe out humanity, and that the SKIN had given him the means to control the Church members. Ultron then demonstrated his power by instructing a member of the congregation to impale herself in the name of her deity; responding "Right away, my lord," she(?) transformed her hand into a spiked structure and fatally shoved it through her chest. Ultron then taunted Iron Man and the Sons with ongoing preparations being made for Church of Yinsen branches all around the country and the planet.

    After Ultron instructed his congregation to kill Iron Man and Sun-Tao while Ultron and the Sons departed, however, Iron Man used his control of the SKIN distributor in his own armor to incapacitate the entire congregation.

    After noting his amazement with Stark's resourcefulness, Sun-Tao gathered the helmet with Yinsen's brain so that the true Yinsen might rise up again. When Stark argued that recent events should have shown him this would never happen, Sun-Tao explained he would not have expected Stark to understand, as it was a matter of faith.

(Iron Man III#48 (fb) - BTS) - Ultron and the Sons returned to New Timbetpal, and Ultron outfitted its entire population with SKIN and then transported it to Las Vegas (or perhaps it was already there), where they developed a new Church of Yinsen.

(Iron Man III#48) - Iron Man (Stark) and Sun-Tao returned to Stark Enterprises, where Stark made arrangements with Jocasta to oppose Ultron.

(Iron Man III#48 (fb) - BTS) - Iron Man and Sun-Tao rigged their armors with enhanced SKIN distributors. They planned to amplify the SKIN controlling frequency through their sonic arrays to neutralize the SKIN technology affecting any of Ultron's agents.

(Iron Man III#48) - As the newest Church of Yinsen neared completion, Iron Man and Sun-Tao arrived, with Sun-Tao using still-active access codes to shut down the Iron Man drones surrounding New Timbetpal; Iron Man considered that this meant that Ultron did not consider them enough of a threat to change the codes.

    Ultron mocked the arriving Iron Man and Sun-Tao. Though they incapacitated the SKIN-bonded population, Ultron again exerted control over Stark's artificial heart. Iron Man then downloaded Jocasta into Ultron's armor, allowing her to battle the sentient armor/Ultron Mark 12, distracting it while Iron Man engaged Ultron externally. Together, they drove off Ultron, whose head was dislodged and sent away with his synthezoid ally Antigone (which was, unknown to everyone else, apparently under Jocasta's control).

    With Ultron ousted, the Sons of Yinsen and the rest of the population of New Timbetpal began to regain their wits. Sun-Tao welcomed his brothers back, assuring them that while there was much to discuss, and that the Great Devil was gone. Iron Man lamented that while he had tried to download Jocasta from the sentient armor, she had seemingly vanished, and Sun-Tao sympathized with his loss.

    Sun-Tao had the Iron Man helmet containing Yinsen's brain reattached to the armor Ultron had evacuated, and the armor began to move anew. However, Ultron then appeared via a viewscreen as a pre-recorded contingency message and announced that it would have the last laugh; Sun-Tao swiftly appreciated that Ultron had rigged the entire city of New Timbetpal to detonate, and he feared there was nothing they could do to prevent it.

    Iron Man prepared to evacuate everyone, but Yinsen or whatever was now controlling the armor countered that this city was the ultimate extension of his people's belief system and that they would not leave. Iron Man refused to believe this was Yinsen and argued that it could be the "sentient armor" back in control, tricking them into mass suicide. Noting his pride in the man Stark had become and lamenting that they did not have more time together, Yinsen reluctantly used the armor's control over Stark's heart to incapacitate him to stop him from interfering with his plans. Yinsen then instructed Sun-Tao that his destiny was elsewhere, that he must survive so that their ways would live on in some form, and that he should fly Iron Man out. Yinsen then gathered his followers together to pray.

    After Sun-Tao departed with Iron Man, New Timbetpal detonated over the desert. Sun-Tao and Stark discussed what they had witnessed, with Iron Man wondering if it could actually have been Yinsen. Sun-Tao contended that for him, it certainly was Yinsen. He conceded that it could have been the sentient armor or something in between, a leftover spark of Yinsen saving Stark again one last time; regardlessly, Sun-Tao considered it a matter of faith.

    Sun-Tao, however, wondered what he should do now: The life he knew was over, and he wondered what would become of him. Stark advised him to apply his faith to himself, and he would see that things would work out fine.sun-tao-soy-face-mark-microphone.jpgsun-tao-soy-western_clothing

(Iron Man III#49 (fb) - BTS) - Getting a haircut and wearing "modern" clothing, Sun-Tao returned to Stark Enterprises.

(Iron Man III#49) - Sun-Tao was present at Stark Enterprises, celebrating arm-in-arm with Happy and Pepper as Iron Man completed installation of the new Stark Communications satellite in Earth's orbit.

    They were celebrating with what looked like champagne flutes when the Titanium Man (Boris Bullski) assaulted Stark Enterprises, seeking revenge for paste defeats at Iron Man's hands.

    He swiftly donned his suit of Iron Man armor (lacking, a helmet, either because it was his preference or because he was in a rush to join/protect the energy rifle(?)-wielding Happy and Pepper in confronting the assailant.

    The energy rifles failed to harm the Titanium Man, and Sun-Tao unleashed repulsor-type blasts from both gauntlets, also to no avail.

    After the Titanium Man then struck down Happy and Pepper with a swat, Sun-Tao blasted Titanium Man with his uni-beam (presumably blinding light), and then kicked him in the neck.

    However, the Titanium Man caught his lower leg and then struck Sun-Tao in the knee, severely paining him, and followed up with a punch to his unarmored face that sent Sun-Tao flying.

(Iron Man III#49 - BTS) - Iron Man returned and ultimately defeated the Titanium Man.sun-tao-soy-kick-titanium.jpg

(Iron Man III#49) - Sun-Tao remained unconscious (at least) on the ground, with blood having poured from his mouth and nose (at least).

Comments: Created by Joe Quesada, Alitha Martinez, Nelson DeCastro & Rodney Ramos.

    He should wear his helmet...

    Sun-Tao's fate remains unrevealed, as a new creative team took over in the next issue, and nothing of the damage or injuries from this issue were followed up on.

    In Iron Man III#32, where he is clearly seen standing next to the helmetless but otherwise armored Iron Man/Tony Stark, he looks to be at least 2-3 inches taller than Stark, who would be about 6'5" (6'6" with the helmet); so, perhaps 6'8".
    He wasn't anywhere nearly as large in Iron Man III#49 (he looked to be about the same height, or maybe an inch taller than the 5'11" Happy Hogan, but that was a different artist, so we'll call that "artistic license". His eyes were also blue in that issue.

    In Iron Man#1/2 (one-half, 1999), the Sons of Yinsen announced to Kyoto that the city was harboring a prisoner of war, and that they would not cease fire until the Yokozuna was released into their custody. Yokozuna is a noun referring to a grand champion sumo wrestler. Presumably this Yokozuna was an associate of Wong-Chu, as the Sons made their presence known to the public as part of their effort to locate Wong-Chu. Perhaps this being was the the being referenced in Iron Man III#31: an informant, a man who dealt in the commercial abuse of helpless children; this man therefore had contact with Wong-Chu.

    Iron Man scanned the Sons' Iron Man drones with an MRI in Iron Man#1/2. However, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) works with a localized field and can't image metal...presumably he was using some other scanning technology that gave images comparable to an MRI.

    Seems like the Sons of Yinsen stories were disliked by many people. I found a number of contrived plot points painful (surrendering their armor to Wong-Chu, and not having any means between their 14 uber-geniuses of stopping New Timbetpal from blowing up), but I otherwise liked the idea. What I really disliked, however, was the Son of Yinsen story in Iron Man IV#7-12...which, along with the previous arc, took a big dump on 40 years of continuity.

The major contradictions include:

    Additional thanks to Alexandre Julião Machado for reminding me about the Iron Man III#50 origin semi-revision. Alexandre further added:

For me, this particular retcon makes sense, because it always struck me as odd that Stark and Yinsen could have built the Iron Man MK I without Wong Chu noticing anything. If he was being forced to build some sort of suit of armor in the first place, it becomes easier to understand why they didn't have their real intentions discovered by their captors. By the way, the Mandarin is not mentioned in this story at all.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sun-Tao
should be distinguished from:


Iron Man III#31, pg. 20 (with helmet, with Twelve; upper body);;
       pg. 21, panel 1 (unmasked face);
          panel 2 (taken by Wong-Chu);
          panel 4 (assisting Yinsen in work camp);
          panel 6 (dying Yinsen);
    #32, pg. 6, panel 4 (unarmed, full);
       pg. 7, panel 2 (full, from behind);
          panel 7 (upper body, unarmored);
       pg. 11, panel 2 (with Sons in planning room);
       pg. 17, panel 3 (armor/gloves);
       pg. 20, panel 2 (upper body armored);
Iron Man Annual 2000, pg. 8, panel 1 (mark of Wong-Chu; partial);
          panel 3 (mark, full);
       pg. 12, panel 1 (meeting with Midas);
       pg. 16-17 (forming Sons of Yinsen);
       pg. 20-21, panel 2 (breaking Wong-Chu's chains);
       pg. 20, panel 4 (fighting Wong-Chu's guard);
Iron Man III#46, pg. 9 (in model 16 armor replica);
    #47, pg. 10, panel 1 (without helmet)
    #49, pg. 1, panel 3 (wearing western (modern/"American") clothing);
       pg. 8, panel 5 (full face/full mark, with microphone

Appearances:
Iron Man III#1/2 (1999; this was a "one-half" issue, not the second story of the first issue) - Joe Quesada (writer), Alitha Martinez (penciler), Nelson DeCastro & Rodney Ramos (inkers), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#31-32 (August-September, 2000) - Joe Quesada & Frank Tieri (writers), Alitha Martinez (penciler), Rob Hunter (inker), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man Annual 2000 (October, 2000) - Joe Quesada & Frank Tieri (writers), Dan Panosian & Paul Ryan (penciler), Bud LaRosa, Walden Wong, Harry Candelario, & Mark Pennington (inkers), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Iron Man III#46 (November, 2001) - Frank Tieri (writer), Keron Grant (penciler), Rob Stull (inker), Mark Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man III#47 (December, 2001) - Frank Tieri (writer), Keron Grant (penciler), Rob Stull, Rich Perotta, Rick Ketcham (inker), Mark Sumerak & Jeff Youngquist (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man III#48 (January, 2002) - Frank Tieri (writer), Omar Dogan, Udon Studios (pencilers & inkers), Mark Sumerak & Jeff Youngquist (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man III#49 (February, 2002) - Frank Tieri (writer), Chris Batista (penciler), Rich Perotta (inker), Mark Sumerak & Jeff Youngquist (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First posted: 01/05/2019
Last updated: 01/13/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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