Real Name: Nathaniel Richards
Identity/Class: Extradimensional/alternate reality
(Earth-18651) human technology user
former reality traveler
Group Membership: Exiles (Becky Barnes of
Earth-86315, Blink/Clarice Ferguson of Earth-295, Captain America/Peggy
Carter of Earth-86315, Khan/Kamala Khan of Earth-81111, King/T'Challa
of Earth-18136, Valkyrie of Reality-22681, Wolvie)
(Clarice Ferguson of Earth-957), Blink (Clarice Ferguson of
Earth-7946), Blink (Clarice Ferguson of Earth-8096), Blink (Clarice
Ferguson of Earth-33629), Blink (Clarice Ferguson of Earth-51518),
Blink (Clarice Ferguson of Earth-61741), Blink (Clarice Ferguson of
(Clarice Ferguson of Earth-95120), numerous other Blink counterparts (see comments), Elendil of
Exiles, Nick Fury of Earth-68151, Howling Commandos of Earth-86315
(Gabriel, Izzy, others), L'il
Magneto, Moira MacTaggert of Earth-18136, Morph (Kevin Sidney of
of Earth-71853, Nocturne (T.J. Wagner of Earth-2182);
Earth-616 natives: Blink (Clarice Ferguson), Sandra, the Unseen (Nick Fury), the Watchers (Ulana, others);
Earth-38191 natives: Black Cat, Hakeem Strange;
Earth-66881 natives: Rebecca Barnes, Blackbeard (Ben Grimm), Cassius, Capt. Mercedes Knight, Scarlet Falcon (Wilson)
Enemies: Acitua and her group of
rogue Watchers, Exiles (Captain/Steve Rogers of Earth-35429, Iron
Prince/Nathaniel Richards of Earth-14181, Khan/Kamala Khan of Earth-81111, Killmonger/Shuri of
Earth-52191, Thor of Earth-19110, X-2/3rds of
Earth-24530), Kang (Nathaniel Richards
of Earth-6311 temporal divergent counterpart, active on Earth-18651),
Red Skull of
Earth-86315, Surtur of
Time-Eater (Nathaniel Richards of Earth-6311 temporal divergent
formerly L'il Magneto, Hakeem Strange of Earth-38191;
Earth-18136 natives: Magnus Gang (Maestro Wyngarde, Erik Magnus, Pete Maximoff, Mister Toad, Wanda), Pastor Xavier;
Earth-38191 natives: Caliph Doom, Mephisto, Rhino;
Earth-66881 natives: Admiral Gyrich, Juggernautical;
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents
Aliases: "Big Guy," "Einstein," "Friend Nate," "Iron Man," "Kid," "Lying Demon," "Milksop," "Nate," "Nate-Richards-Called-Iron-Lad" (nicknames)
Base of Operations: Earth-92739;
formerly mobile throughout the multiverse, mobile throughout Earth-18651
First Appearance: Exiles III#1 (June, 2018)
Powers/Abilities: While not possessing any inherent superhuman powers, Nate Richards is a genius, especially in the fields of science, and he is regarded as one of the smartest people on the planet in his home reality.
As Iron Lad, Nate wears a futuristic suit of armor
that is equipped with a variety of offensive and defensive
capabilities. The armor grants Iron Lad flight via boot jets and
palm-based stabilizers, superhuman strength (at least to the degree of
being able to carry two full-sized adults plus his own weight while
flying) and superhuman durability sufficient to withstand a direct hit
from Thor's hammer. The armor also has sensors built into the
fingertips that can detect the origin and power level of numerous types
of energy signatures. Iron Lad's armor is also capable of projecting
repulsor blasts for offense, energy shields sufficient to withstand
lightning and containment fields capable of holding temporal particles.
The armor, while breathable, also houses vents that Iron Lad can
manipulate to generate underwater air bubbles large enough to provide
oxygen to at least four others plus himself.
Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 166 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Dark brown
History: (Exiles III#5 (fb) - BTS) - As a child, Nathaniel "Nate" Richards suffered from a stutter and was often beaten up.
(Exiles III#12 (fb) - BTS) - No one but his parents
ever told Nate that he was loved.
(Exiles III#2 (fb) - BTS/Exiles III#8 (fb)) - Growing up, Nate never had many friends, often too busy with books or machines to deal with people.
(Exiles III#3 (fb) - BTS) - Regarded as one of the smartest on his planet, Nate attended therapy and his Counsel-Bot suggested that Nate was competitive about his intelligence because he refused to believe he was good at anything else.
(Exiles III#8 (fb) - BTS) - Nate's Counsel-Bot also suggested Nate learn how to not say commending remarks about his intelligence to others despite Nate's opinion that he was smarter than most kids.
(Exiles III#10 (fb) - BTS) - Nate's Counsel-Bot once
told him that being smart was "knowing what you don't know" in order to
(Exiles III#8 (fb)) - Unfortunately, Nate often seemed to attract the cruelest people and continued to suffer regular beatings.
(Exiles III#8 (fb) - BTS) - Nate Richards had his
(Exiles III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Not long after, Nate Richards was tormented by bullies, two of which nearly put him in the hospital. During the attack on Nate, a temporal divergent counterpart of Kang the Conqueror (who himself was a future Nathaniel Richards counterpart) arrived and rescued Nate from the bullies.
(Exiles III#8 (fb)) - Kang informed Nate that he was
a future version of Nate himself and that one day, Nate would become a
ruthless time-traveling warlord. Kang also told Nate that he had come
to the past to give Nate an early start on conquering.
(Exiles III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Kang
then bestowed Nate with a suit of power armor, hoping
that Nate might become a cross-time warlord if he aided his younger
(Exiles III#1 (fb) - BTS/Exiles III#8 (fb)) - Not
interested in becoming a warlord or a hero, Nate donned the
armor as Iron Lad and went after the bullies in revenge.
(Exiles III#1) - Iron Lad was punishing the two thugs who had bullied him, flying them through the air, as Earth-295's Blink and Earth-81111's Khan arrived on Earth-18651. The reality-hopping duo quickly realized they were in a future timeline and looked up to see the flying Iron Lad gloating and suggesting the bullies try to push him down the stairs. When Iron Lad hurled the two terrified bullies to the ground, Blink, thinking Iron Lad was some variant of Iron Man, ordered Iron Lad to leave the kids alone. Insisting he was not the bad guy, Iron Lad tried to explain how the bullies had nearly hospitalized him, and Khan asked why Iron Lad was using his gifted power armor to terrorize high school kids. Blink's Tallus device then informed her that Iron Lad was to be the next member of her new Exiles team, and Blink informed Iron Lad that they had more important things to discuss.
Iron Lad then exclaimed that Blink had no idea what the bullies had done to him but when Blink reminded him that she was a mutant woman, Iron Lad relented and asked what Blink was alluding to. Blink refused to tell him until he let the bullies go, and Iron Lad reluctantly told the bullies to depart before asking who Blink and Khan were, as his armor was picking up strange energy signatures from them. Quickly deducing that the two were time-travelers, an excited Nate removed his helmet and introduced himself.
Explaining the origins of his power armor and his past encounter with a time-traveler in the form of Kang the Conqueror, Iron Lad learned that Blink and Khan were trying to stop the entire multiverse from being consumed and that the duo thought Iron Lad was destined to help save it. Realizing the entire Multiverse was bigger than his petty issues, Iron Lad was contemplating the scope of the problem when the Kang counterpart attacked. Moments later, however, the Kang counterpart was wiped from existence when the reality-consuming Time-Eater arrived on Earth-18651.
(Exiles III#2) - Earth-616's all-seeing Unseen
watched from afar as Iron Lad, Blink and Khan were met by the
Time-Eater, who erased the divergent Kang counterpart who had been
attacking from existence. Shocked, Iron Lad grabbed Blink and Khan and
fled the Time-Eater, informing the duo that his sensors had determined
the Time-Eater to be a transdimensional being of incalculable power,
existing as both matter and energy. As Blink deduced that the
Time-Eater had followed them to Earth-18651 from Khan's home reality of
Earth-81111, her Tallus device activated and transported Iron Lad and
his allies to reality-22681. Khan immediately berated Blink for not
giving better explanations as to why Iron Lad's and her own realities
had been destroyed but Iron Lad interrupted, revealing that his armor's
sensors still picked up remnants of his world's energy signature,
suggesting that the realities were not being entirely or immediately
destroyed when consumed by the Time-Eater. Blink then asked Iron Lad to
join the Exiles and while Iron Lad admitted he didn't much like his
cruel home reality, the threat of the Time-Eater was bigger than
himself and he didn't wish his reality to be destroyed. Iron Lad was
then welcomed into the Exiles moments before they were drawn into
battle between Reality-22681's Valkyrie and the fire demon Surtur.
Fascinated at the idea of being in an alternate reality Asgard, Iron
Lad avoided much of Surtur's attacks until the Exiles and Valkyrie
forced Surtur to retreat back to his own realm.
(Exiles III#2/Exiles III#8 (fb)) - Valkyrie then
the Exiles for their assistance and Iron Lad introduced himself moments
before the Time-Eater arrived in Reality-22681.
(Exiles III#2) - As the Time-Eater began absorbing Asgard, the Tallus transported the Exiles and Valkyrie to the cartoonish Earth-32518 outside Xavier's Playtime Fun School for Gifted Youngsters. Met by the mutant toddler Wolvie, Iron Lad and the Exiles followed up as he tracked down missing pie. Finding the culprit to be the equally toddler-aged L'il Magneto, the Exiles were puzzled by the nature of this reality until L'il Magneto proclaimed that Iron Lad could not have pie and magnetically lifted him into the air. The other Exiles immediately tackled L'il Magneto, who apologized for his pie theft and shook hands with Wolvie. As Iron Lad and the Exiles prepared for pie in celebration of their victory, the Time-Eater appeared and absorbed L'il Magneto as it began devouring Earth-32518. Iron Lad and the Exiles were again transported away by the Tallus, this time with Wolvie, and they appeared moments later on Earth-616's moon.
Upon hearing from Earth-616's Unseen about the Time-Eater's progress in devouring realities, Iron Lad announced his theory that the Exiles might be able to restore the devoured realities if they could somehow stop the Time-Eater before the realities were digested, so to speak. Happy about the possibility of restoring her reality, Valkyrie commended Iron Lad as a scholar and friend, prompting a socially awkward Iron Lad to comment on how they had just met. Valkyrie reminded him that if the Exiles were to soon face death together, they should do so as friends, and Iron Lad agreed, liking the idea of actually having friends.
The bitter Khan then asked Iron Lad about restoring their realities and Iron Lad posed the ethical question of whether they should restore the realities even if they could. He then warned of the danger of tampering with the timestream, using his potential future counterpart Kang as an example of how dangerous it could be. A group of rogue Watchers soon arrived to pass judgment on the Unseen, interrupting the conversation and suggesting the Exiles listen to Iron Lad's warning. When Blink refused to allow the Watchers to execute the Unseen, the Watchers attacked, and Blink blocked their blast with her Tallus, cracking it and sending Iron Lad and the others spiraling into another reality.
(Exiles III#3) - Landing on Earth-18753, Iron Lad and the Exiles got to their feet and inspected the cracked Tallus. When Blink commented on whether or not the Tallus could get them home, Khan grimly replied that her reality was destroyed, but Iron Lad reminded her that their realities were not truly destroyed, only being digested. Khan sarcastically thanked Iron Lad for his insight moments before the Exiles were attacked by Earth-18753's cyborg dinosaurs. While the Exiles defended themselves, Iron Lad expressed his fascination with how the dinosaurs came to be in that reality but Khan interrupted, yelling at him to fight more than talk. When a pteranodon knocked Valkyrie off her flying horse Elendil, Iron Lad caught her in the air and hurled her back into the fray.
The Time-Eater soon arrived and began devouring Earth-18753, prompting the cracked Tallus to power up for another transport. Iron Lad noticed that the Tallus seemed to be unable to take them to a specific reality and theorized that the Time-Eater's reality devouring was altering the rules of reality itself. As the Exiles were transported away, Iron Lad warned that things were about to get weird. Soon arriving on Earth-71853, Iron Lad and the Exiles witnessed a time-traveling Nick Fury of Earth-68151 briefly pass through Earth-71853, and Iron Lad remarked on how he had told the Exiles things would get weird. Blink then commended Iron Lad's intelligence and he admitted he was a bit competitive about it before the group was met by Earth-71853's hippie Namor.
Shortly after Namor attempted to arrange for the Exiles' relaxation, however, the Time-Eater appeared on Earth-71853 and began devouring the reality, forcing the Tallus to transport Iron Lad and the Exiles to Earth-86315. With no word from the Tallus, the Exiles decided to assist Earth-86315's Captain America and the Howling Commandos against the Red Skull and his nuclear warhead. Locating the Skull's ship, Iron Lad and the Exiles jumped onto the ship and fought their way to the Red Skull. Upon confronting the Skull, the Exiles realized Captain America planned to destroy herself in order to stop the Red Skull's bomb, and Iron Lad whispered a warning to Blink that the bomb would cause radiation sickness to all civilians below them even if it detonated at a high altitude. Taking matters into her own hands, Blink teleported Iron Lad, the Exiles, Captain America, the Howling Commandos and the Skull's warhead to the ground, leaving the Skull in his exploding ship.
The heroes decided to celebrate, and Becky Barnes-86315 sought to take Valkyrie out dancing, remarking that they even could find Iron Lad a date. When Becky asked Iron Lad if he liked Irish girls, Iron Lad nervous fumbled his words as Blink spoke with Khan. When Wolvie subsequently picked up a dangerous smell emanating from the bomb, Iron Lad quickly detected a leak from the bomb, and Blink's Tallus activated as the warhead went off.
(Exiles III#4) - Arriving on an Earth-66881 beach, Iron Lad discussed the bomb going off on Earth-86315 and Iron Lad admitted that while he had read about nuclear weapons in school, there were no mentions of smell that accompanied the frying flesh of the weapons' blast. Iron Lad then expressed hope that Earth-86315's Captain America had somehow survived and when Blink soon noticed her Tallus was missing, Iron Lad informed her that his sensors were picking up the Tallus somewhere nearby and that he suspected the bomb had displaced it. He then told the Exiles that the Tallus should theoretically be displaying prismatic effects, making it somewhat easy to locate. When Blink commended Iron Lad on his brain, a modest Iron Lad simply replied "gosh" before a man named Cassius ran up to the Exiles, chased by agents of Admiral Gyrich.
After rescuing Cassius, Iron Lad and the
Exiles were met by the pirate Blackbeard (who was actually a
time-displaced Thing of the Fantastic Four), whom they explained about
the missing Tallus. Upon hearing the Exiles' story, Blackbeard agreed
to help them find the Tallus, which he suspected was at the heart of a
rainbow-colored whirlpool his crew had earlier seen, in exchange for
the Exiles' help against Admiral Gyrich and his slavers. Blink agreed
to talk things over with the other Exiles and when Earth-66881's
Rebecca Barnes appeared, Blink felt a sense of deja vu, prompting Iron
Lad to whisper that deja vu occurred when disparate realities began to
collapse. Iron Lad then explained that the Time-Eater's activities
appeared to be causing the remaining realities to collapse in on one
another and suggested that the Exiles should search for the Tallus on
their own for the sake of expediency. Khan agreed to go with whatever
Blink decided and when Blink remarked that they had to help the slaves,
Iron Lad questioned the idea, reminding her of how their help had not
prevented the bomb going off on Earth-86315 and asking what might
happen if the Time-Eater arrived on Earth-66881 and they didn't have
the Tallus to transport them away. He then proclaimed Blink a good
leader, however, and admitted he would follow whatever she ordered the
Exiles to do.
Later, as the Exiles were working with Blackbeard's pirate crew to come up with a plan of attack against Admiral Gyrich, Valkyrie and Rebecca Barnes were flirting and when Valkyrie asked Iron Lad if there was anything more glorious than love, Iron Lad admitted he didn't know, as he often got too scared to talk to girls. When Iron Lad commented that he often got scared to talk to anyone, even more so someone he liked, Valkyrie decided to give love advice to the nervous Iron Lad. A short time later, Blackbeard launched his attack on Admiral Gyrich's ship, and Iron Lad helped free Gyrich's slaves as Gyrich unleashed the durable Juggernautical. The Exiles and Blackbeard's crew ultimately defeated Gyrich and, during the subsequent victory celebration, Iron Lad reminded Blackbeard that the Time-Eater could arrive at any moment and that the Exiles had to find the Tallus. A man of his word, Blackbeard hours later took the Exiles to the rainbow whirlpool he had seen, and Iron Lad informed Blackbeard that the Exiles would not need a boat, as he planned to generate an air bubble within the whirlpool using his armor's vents and repulsors. Soon retrieving the Tallus from within the whirlpool, Iron Lad and the Exiles were transported to the moon headquarters of the Time-Eater. Iron Lad confirmed their location with his sensors and also confirmed that the numerous mirrors that adorned the area were actually portals to other realities. Further investigating, Iron Lad announced his suspicions that each mirror represented a reality consumed by the Time-Eater. As the Exiles found dead Watchers, Iron Lad located a chronicle of the Time-Eater's life and learned that the Time-Eater was a temporal counterpart of his own alternate future self, Kang.
(Exiles III#5) - When the Time-Eater emerged from a portal, Iron Lad informed his Exiles teammates that this counterpart of Kang appeared to be using an alternate reality Galactus corpse as a weapon or tool to wipe out realities. The Time-Eater began monologuing about how he had become enlightened, preferring to become the multiverse rather than rule it, and the Exiles responded by attacking with all their power. The Time-Eater tossed aside Valkyrie and Elendil, and Iron Lad and the others watched as another portal opened and Earth-68151's Nick Fury emerged to help in the fight against the Time-Eater. Fury's assault also proved to be ineffective against the Time-Eater, and Blink quickly teleported Iron Lad and the others to another part of the Time-Eater's fortress. Iron Lad confirmed that Blink would be unable to teleport them out of the fortress, as there were no other realities to go to due to the Time-Eater's actions.
Blink asked Iron Lad for ideas on how to stop the Time-Eater, a
guilt-ridden Iron Lad remarked that the events were his fault since
Kang was a future counterpart of himself. The rest of the Exiles
reminded Iron Lad that he could change and that he was not Kang, and
Iron Lad rose to the challenge of finding a way to defeat Kang. Taking
all theories into consideration, Iron Lad proposed that if the Exiles
could go back in time to reunite Blink's Tallus when its past
counterpart, they might be able to create a paradox that would reverse
the Time-Eater's actions and restore the devoured realities. Iron Lad
then warned that if the Exiles succeeded, their home realities would be
restored to their pre-devoured states, complete with temporally
divergent counterparts of themselves. Suspecting they would not be able
to return to their home realities with the divergent counterparts
there, Iron Lad announced that he was ready to make that choice and
asked the other Exiles' thoughts on the matter.
While the other Exiles agreed to Iron Lad's plan, a homesick Wolvie ran away, and the Exiles let him go, knowing that he was practically indestructible. Iron Lad then theorized that none of the Exiles could travel back with the Tallus, as they were all directly involved with the Tallus' activities after it had led Blink to recruit them, prompting Nick Fury-68151 to volunteer himself to take the Tallus back through time. Iron Lad then realized that the Exiles' previous encounters with Fury-68151 had been him traveling through the past to reunite the Tallus, and he informed Fury that he would likely perish traveling that rapidly through time.
Fury nonetheless accepted his mission as the Time-Eater reappeared, having found the Exiles, and Iron Lad joined his teammates in fighting the Time-Eater as Fury entered a time portal into the past. Blink and Khan followed to guide Fury towards the right moment in time while Iron Lad and Valkyrie attempted to keep the Time-Eater distracted. When Valkyrie fell to the Time-Eater, an angry Iron Lad engaged the Time-Eater directly, announcing that he would rather die with the Exiles than live forever as Kang the Conqueror. The Time-Eater responded by blasting Iron Lad to the ground, his helmet bouncing across the room. While Iron Lad lay unconscious, Wolvie returned, withstanding numerous attacks from the Time-Eater without injury until he was placed in an energy cage.
Iron Lad soon regained consciousness alongside Valkyrie and the Time-Eater, deducing the Exiles' time-traveling mission, summoned forth numerous temporally divergent counterparts of Kang to battle the duo. During the fight, Wolvie escaped his imprisonment moments before Blink returned with an army of alternate reality Blink counterparts and allies recruited from restored realities. Iron Lad, the Exiles, the Blink counterparts and their allies all then dogpiled onto the Time-Eater, defeating him and fully restoring all realities he had previously devoured.
Following the battle, Iron Lad suspected that while the Time-Eater was likely not dead, he would not be able to draw upon the power harnessed from deceased Galactus counterparts again. When Blink's army all returned to their respective realities, Iron Lad and the Exiles, now unable to return to their own realities, were transported to the Unseen's moon headquarters on Earth-616, where the Unseen commented that the Exiles' mission could not be over with the Time-Eater's defeat. Uncaring about what the Unseen had to say, Blink teleported Iron Lad and the other Exiles to Earth-616's Jersey City, where they held a memorial for their teammate Khan, who had apparently died helping Nick Fury-68151 get the Tallus back in time. Blink then transported Iron Lad and the others to the home of her Earth-616 aunt Sandra's counterpart, where she hoped they might all take a vacation. Watching the Exiles from the moon, the Unseen smiled, curious to see what the future might bring.
(Exiles III#6 (fb) - BTS) - After traveling with
Sandra and the
other Exiles to the Bahamas, Iron Lad assisted Valkyrie in repairing
damage from a recent hurricane that had hit the area.
(Exiles III#12 (fb) - BTS) - During his time helping
in the repairs, someone in their Bahamas town took a photo of Iron Lad
(Exiles III#6) - Following a day of fixing more hurricane damage, Iron Lad admitting he enjoyed helping others more than fighting, He then remarked that at least no one died and when Valkyrie tried to comfort him about Khan's apparent death, a mournful Iron Lad suggested they get back to their teammates. Later that evening, Iron Lad enjoyed dinner with Wolvie and Sandra while Blink and Valkyrie swam. When Sandra asked what the Bahamas were like in Iron Lad's 30th century world, Iron Lad explained how the Caribbean became a technological and scientific haven following the second American War. He was quickly surprised, however, when Wolvie devoured an entire plate of johnnycakes in front of them. Iron Lad later joined the other Exiles in relaxing by the beach but when Valkyrie suggested he remove his armor, Nate admitted that he felt weird and exposed in swimming trunks. Blink chuckled and, thinking Blink was laughing at his expense, Iron Lad commented that Valkyrie could laugh too.
Blink quickly explained that she was laughing at the
thought of her former Exiles teammate, Earth-1081's Morph, and how he
would made some sort of inappropriate comment about Iron Lad feeling
exposed. Iron Lad then asked about Morph and Blink mentioned that her
next mission would be to save her lost former teammates, prompting
Valkyrie, Iron Lad and Wolvie to agree to help her. A short time later,
Iron Lad and the others prepared to depart and when Blink mentioned her
Tallus being dead following their fight with the Time-Eater, Iron Lad
remarked that it appeared dormant rather than dead. When the other
Exiles happened to touch the Tallus, it activated and transported the
Exiles to Earth-18136's Old West. Iron Lad theorized that the Exiles'
combined intention of rescuing Blink's teammates may have activated the
Tallus but upon arrival, Iron Lad quickly noticed it odd that no one
seemed surprised at how they were dressed. Looking at the Tallus, Iron
Lad then suggested that the Exiles could have exerted some sort of
group control over the Tallus and that the device may be shielding their
appearances from the locals, admitting that he could equally be
Deciding to investigate the area, Iron Lad and the
Exiles entered a nearby saloon, where they learned odd types had been
coming in moments before they overheard the superfast Pete Maximoff
attempting to force himself on a woman. Iron Lad then watched as Blink
intervened, prompting Pete and his ally Mister Toad to attack. Easily
defeating the two, Blink then learned from Moira MacTaggert about
Pete's membership in the Magnus Gang and that her former teammates
Morph and Earth-2182's Nocturne had been there. Iron Lad tried to warn
Blink about familiar figures in the wrong setting in Earth-18136 as a
possible after effect of the Time-Eater's actions but he was
interrupted by the return of Pete with the rest of the Magnus Gang. A
battle ensued and the Exiles were winning at first until Wanda Maximoff
incapacitated Blink and Valkyrie, and Iron Lad was magnetically frozen
in mid-air by Erik Magnus. With Iron Lad captured, Magnus and his gang
disappeared, leaving Blink, Valkyrie and Wolvie behind.
(Exiles III#7) - Working with Earth-18136 native King to rescue not only Iron Lad but also Nocturne and Morph, the remaining Exiles tracked down and attacked the Magnus Gang, who were being telepathically controlled by the insane Pastor Xavier. While the other Exiles and King dealt with Pastor Xavier, Wolvie freed the beaten Iron Lad, who returned to his teammates to find Elendil, Morph, Erik Magnus and Pastor Xavier all dead. Admitting that their victory didn't really feel much like a win, a disheartened Iron Lad and the Exiles visited the local saloon. Iron Lad and Wolvie attempted to cheer up Valkyrie, who was mourning Elendil, but Valkyrie yelled for Wolvie to leave her be. Iron Lad went after a crying Wolvie as Blink also attempted to console Valkyrie.
(Exiles III#8) - Iron Lad and the other Exiles were
taken into custody by the group of rogue Watchers and when the Watchers
brought forth Blink to stand trial, Iron Lad asked her what was going
on. Blink expressed disappointment that the Watchers had also captured
Iron Lad and when Wolvie recognized the Watchers from before, Iron Lad
suspected they were some sort of splinter group of the true Watchers.
One of the Watchers angrily ordered Iron Lad to be silent but when they
suggested the guilt-penalty of annihilation, Iron Lad argued that, in
his reality, they were fond of community service. He then began to
remark on the notion of legal courts before he was interrupted by
Blink, who recognized their court as the Unseen's fortress and asked
where the Unseen was. The Watchers assured Blink that the Unseen would
also be judged for tampering with the timestream before they ordered
Blink to give her life story, followed by that of her teammates.
Nocturne refused, and Valkyrie nearly attacked the Watchers after giving
her life story, but Iron Lad begged Valkyrie to calm down, fearing death
at the hands of the Watchers. Valkyrie agreed to stay her hand on Iron
Lad's behalf, and the Watchers then turned their attention towards Iron
Lad himself, who recounted his own life story. After revealing his
rough childhood, Iron Lad admitted that he had learned how working
together was more important than being strong during his few weeks with
the Exiles. Following his testimony, Iron Lad watched as Wolvie gave
his life story and the Exiles' allies, Earth-86315's Captain America
and Becky Barnes and Earth-18136's King, were called as the Exiles'
proposed accomplices. When the Watchers decided to confer to pass their
judgment, Blink mentioned to the other Exiles that they may have to
fight their way to freedom, and Iron Lad assured Blink he was on her
side no matter what as the others also agreed to follow Blink's lead.
The Watchers returned shortly with their judgment of annihilation, but Nocturne fired a hex bolt that overloaded the Watchers' power dampeners, restoring the Exiles' powers and technology. Iron Lad exclaimed that fact and the Exiles briefly fought the Watchers before the Tallus activated and transported them all to Earth-38191, a world of Middle Eastern folklore and in which the Exiles found themselves replacing other beings from that reality.
(Exiles III#9) - Forced into the role of an Earth-38191 genie, Iron Lad was held captive in a lamp until Earth-38191's Hakeem Strange led Blink (who was forced into the role of Aladdin) to a cave, where she freed Iron Lad from the lamp. Unsure of what had happened, Iron Lad listened to Blink's experiences and deduced that they had somehow been forced into the story of Aladdin. The two decided to escape the cave, only to find that Strange also thought Iron Lad a genie. Strange angrily accused Blink of usurping the "genie" from him and erected a mystic barrier to prevent Blink from teleporting out of the cave, leaving both Blink and Iron Lad in the clutches of Earth-38191's Rhino.
Teleporting deeper into the cave, Blink and Iron Lad found a magic carpet and used it to escape the cave, soon locating King and Wolvie (who had been forced into the roles of Sinbad and his barber, respectively) and Captain America and Valkyrie (who had been forced into the role of Ali Baba). Regrouping, the Exiles were soon joined by Becky Barnes (who had been forced into the role of Ali Baba's wife) and the group was teleported by the Tallus to the location of Nocturne (who had been forced into the role of storyteller Shahrazad). Before Nocturne could explain her situation, however, Iron Lad and the Exiles were attacked by Earth-38191's Caliph Doom.
(Exiles III#10) - Iron Lad deduced Nocturne's role as Shahrazad and Caliph Doom as her murderous husband while Caliph Doom demanded to know how the Exiles had entered his home. The Caliph soon released his Doombots against the Exiles and, intrigued by this reality in which Doombots were dressed as medieval guardsmen, Iron Lad expressed hope that he could someday prepare proper scientific reports on everything he had seen as an Exile. The Exiles were quickly overwhelmed, and when Blink spotted the magic carpet, she ordered Iron Lad to blast out a window before teleporting all of the Exiles onto the carpet outside.
Once outside, Iron Lad questioned whether the carpet had grown in size to accommodate the team and was surprised when the carpet kept up to his top flying speed. The carpet soon stopped at a nearby oasis, and the Exiles questioned the Tallus' recent activity. Iron Lad suggested that perhaps they weren't meant to understand the Tallus in a multiverse of alternate realities, perhaps even one where he had a mustache. Nocturne joked that it was good for Iron Lad to dream and, as Blink began laying out what the team did know about their situation on Earth-38191, the team was confronted by Earth-38191's Black Cat and Hakeem Strange, who, despite being prior enemies with the Exiles, wished to assist them against Caliph Doom.
Black Cat then lead Iron Lad and the Exiles out of the open area to her secret headquarters and along the way, Iron Lad questioned what the Exiles could do to stop Caliph Doom, as in the story in his reality, the Caliph's wife cured him of his insanity with storytelling. Blink assured Black Cat and Hakeem Strange that the Exiles would aid against Caliph Doom but the discussion was interrupted when Caliph Doom appeared on the edge of the oasis with the djinn Mephisto. Iron Lad, the Exiles and their allies quickly jumped into battle against Caliph Doom, who used Mephisto to unleash numerous creatures against the group. Blink eventually managed to sever Caliph Doom's hand that wore the Ring of Solomon that had forced Mephisto into his service, and a freed Mephisto took vengeance on Caliph Doom.
Iron Lad then watched as Caliph Doom left his kingdom in the hands of his "wife" Nocturne, who would now rule as Khalifa. Nocturne surprisingly accepted the position, and Iron Lad then accompanied the Exiles to their next destination: Earth-616's New Jersey. Finding it odd that the Exiles continued passing through Earth-616, Iron Lad theorized that Earth-616 appeared to be equally distant from each of the Exiles' home realities and acted as a hub reality for the team. King soon sensed someone approaching, and Iron Lad and the Exiles found themselves facing their former teammate Khan and her own squad of Exiles.
(Exiles III#11) - Realizing Khan's team of Exiles appeared to be hand-picked to replace them, Iron Lad and his Exiles jumped into battle against Khan's team, with Iron Lad losing against his counterpart, Earth-14181's Iron Prince. When Iron Lad demanded to know what Iron Prince had against him, he retracted his helmet and asked who the Iron Prince was. Iron Prince did the same, revealing himself as a mustached Nathaniel Richards who had joined Kang in his reality. Iron Prince then proclaimed that once he delivered Iron Lad and his Exiles to the rogue Watchers, he would return to his reality powerful enough to take down Kang and become conqueror himself. A surprised Iron Lad was then defeated and his unconscious form tossed onto a pile with his defeated teammates, but before Khan's Exiles could complete their mission, Blink teleported Iron Lad and the others away.
Regrouping on a nearby island, Iron Lad informed his teammates that the members of Khan's team appeared to have been promised something by the rogue Watchers in exchange for capturing Blink's Exiles. When Captain America suggested that Khan's Exiles would not come after Blink's team but rather, someone they were close to, Blink realized Khan's team would likely go after Sandra, and she teleported Iron Lad and her Exiles team to Sandra's home. Finding Sandra being held hostage by Khan's team, Blink negotiated Sandra's release with Khan, but Khan's team wanted to fight instead, causing a brawl to erupt. During the battle, Blink suggested her teammates switch to battle one of Khan's Exiles who didn't represent a counter to themselves. and Iron Lad switched from fighting Iron Prince to Reality-19110's Skele-Thor. Skele-Thor hit Iron Lad in the head with his hammer, and when Skele-Thor attempted to destroy both Iron Lad and King with lightning, Iron Lad deduced that Skele-Thor's bones were being held together by a kinetic bond created by Skele-Thor's lightning. Protecting King and himself with an energy shield, Iron Lad suggested King fire one of his Vibranium bullets into a very specific part of Skele-Thor's body to disrupt the kinetic bond holding him together. Firing a bullet into Skele-Thor's eye socket, King successfully disrupted the bond, and Skele-Thor fell to the ground, unable to hold his skeletal form together. Once Khan's team had been defeated, Khan and her team disappeared and Blink, tired of dealing with the rogue Watchers, decided to take the fight directly to the Watchers on the moon.
(Exiles III#12) - Iron Lad and the other Exiles teleported to the moon, arriving to confront the rogue Watchers, who banished the Exiles into alternate realities in which they would live their worst nightmares in the bodies of their alternate counterparts. In Iron Lad's case, he was transported to Reality-92739, where he was forced to live as the Conqueror, murdering extraterrestrials. Questioning his existence in this reality, Iron Lad was soon met by Blink, who had used the Tallus to break free of her alternate reality prison. Blink helped Iron Lad regain his faculties and true identity, and Iron Lad quickly realized what the rogue Watchers had done to the Exiles. Further deducing that the rogue Watchers had placed them in a time loop where, even if the Exiles escaped, they would caught and forced to live out their nightmares once more, Iron Lad came up with a plan to redistribute the temporal particles imprisoning the Exiles by overloading Blink's Tallus.
When Blink commended Iron Lad on his plan,
a solemn Iron Lad admitted that he would have to remain in their
nightmare alternate reality to ensure things were properly sealed.
Blink argued against Iron Lad's decision but he explained that he had
to remain, as he was the only Exile with the technology capable of
overloading the Tallus and redistributing the temporal particles. Iron
Lad then made Blink promise not to attempt to free him from
Reality-92739, as the actions might temporally unravel everything, and
Blink reluctantly agreed. Hugging Iron Lad, Blink expressed love for
Nate who expressed the same for her and said that being an Exile had
made him a better person. He then began overloading Blink's Tallus and
sealing himself back into Reality-92739, warning the tearful Blink that
the Tallus' overload would be bright. While freeing the Exiles, Iron
Lad secretly located Khan and deposited her into Earth-60625,
where her daughter had lived, allowing the hardened Khan to live our
her ideal life in which her daughter had developed the power to mix
dreams with reality.
Once Iron Lad had completely sealed himself away, each of the Exiles emerged from the alternate reality captivity to again confront the rogue Watchers, and Blink informed the confused Exiles that Nate was now gone forever. The other Watchers soon arrived and took their rogue brethren into custody and once the battle was over and the Unseen was freed from the Watchers' imprisonment as well, Wolvie asked Blink if Iron Lad was really gone. Blink confirmed and transported the Exiles back to Earth-616, where they held a memorial for Iron Lad and their fallen comrades. Showing the photo taken of Iron Lad with Valkyrie, Blink remarked on her feelings that the photo summed up who Iron Lad was as a person: always humble, kind and ready to help. She then admitted that while Iron Lad felt being an Exile made him a better person, Blink felt knowing Iron Lad had made her a better person. That night, Khan appeared to Blink in a dream, revealing that Iron Lad had deposited her into an idyllic reality and asked her to return the Tallus.
Comments: Created by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez.
To clarify (and for those interested), while most
incarnations of Earth-6311's Nathaniel Richards/Kang (including ones
active in alternate realities) are temporally divergent counterparts
originating from the Earth-6311 original due to the time travel, this
Iron Lad/Nathaniel Richards is actually a true alternate/divergent
reality counterpart of Earth-6311's Nathaniel, as he (& his
reality) diverged at a point prior to this Nathaniel Richards ever
Oddly enough, throughout the Exiles series, Iron Lad is shown to have a helmet that he physically takes off and also one that retracts (sorta like Iron Man's movie armor). I guess either the armor can do both or he upgraded the armor at some point off-panel....
Iron Lad's height and weight are approximated from
that of his Earth-6311 temporally divergent counterpart, the more
famous Iron Lad from the Young Avengers.
The numerous Blink counterparts that teamed with the
Exiles against the Time-Eater were not identified by reality number but
some seemed obvious. For example, we see the arm of a Blink counterpart
wearing black and white robes, which matches up with Earth-957's Blink,
who became the new In-Betweener. Another wore a costume resembling the
classic Earth-295 costume but with straps on the legs, suggesting the
Earth-8096 Blink. There were also numerous Blink counterparts that wore
costumes identical to the classic Earth-295 costume, suggesting the
Earth-7964, Earth-33629, Earth-51518, Earth-61741 and Earth-95099
Blinks also being involved. While we don't see one wielding golf clubs,
one of the ones wearing the classic Earth-295-style costume is likely
the humorous Earth-95120 Blink counterpart. There was also one in the
black "Phalanx Covenant" outfit and many wearing outfits we've never
seen, mostly variations on that same Earth-295 costume. While we do see
a Blink wearing the costume of the Earth-10005 X-Men: Days of Future Past movie
Blink, the actual Earth-10005 Blink was also dead at the time so it
must be an alternate counterpart.
Dead at the time isn't really much of a limitation in the Marvel Universe, as it could have happened before her death, or she could have only been seemingly dead, or she could have been cloned, resurrected, etc.
This profile was completed 5/16/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Proto-Man.
Earth-18651's Iron Lad has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Exiles III#6, p2, pan4 (Iron Lad coming into for a landing, main image)
Exiles III#1, p17, pan3 (Iron Lad unmasked headshot)
Exiles III#8, p9, pan2 (young Nate Richards getting beaten up)
Exiles III#1, front cover (Iron Lad flying)
Exiles III#1, Saiz variant cover (Iron Lad with Wolvie)
Exiles III#2, p3, pan6 (Iron Lad using fingertip sensors)
Exiles III#3, p15, pan6 (Iron Lad using repulsors)
Exiles III#4, Mike McKone variant cover (Iron Lad, armored headshot)
Exiles III#5, front cover (Iron Lad flying and firing)
Exiles III#5, p20, pan4 (Nate Richards in vacation clothes)
Exiles III#9, p4, splash page (Iron Lad as an Earth-38191 genie)
Exiles III#10, front cover (Iron Lad being warped by Caliph Doom's magic)
Exiles III#12, p14, pan1-10 (Iron Lad, as Earth-92739's Conqueror, generating a containment field)
Exiles III#1 (June, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Wil Moss (editor)
Exiles III#2 (June, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Wil Moss (editor)
Exiles III#3 (July, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Wil Moss (editor)
Exiles III#4 (August, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Wil Moss (editor)
Exiles III#5 (September, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils, colors), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Wil Moss (editor)
Exiles III#6 (October, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Rod Reis (art), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#7 (November, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Rod Reis, Lee Ferguson (art), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#8 (November, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Joe Quinones (pencils, inks), Joe Rivera (inks), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#9 (December, 2018) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#10 (January, 2019) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#11 (February, 2019) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
Exiles III#12 (March, 2019) - Saladin Ahmed (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Sarah Brunstad (editor)
First Posted: 09/07/2021
Last updated: 09/06/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
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