The origin of a Superman villain is the dark opposite of Iron Man

The origin of an obscure superman 1970s Enemy is a dark, twisted version of iron man In issues 147 and 148 from 1972 Superman’s sidekick Jimmy Olsen, introduced readers to Victor Volcanum, who used his scientific knowledge to harness the power of a living volcano, a power he hoped to use to conquer the world. Much like Tony Stark, Victor was forced to develop this technology to save his life – but unlike Stark, he would continue to use it for evil purposes.


When readers first met Iron Man Tales of Suspense #39, his origins were rooted in the then growing Vietnam conflict. Weapons designer Tony Stark was visiting the area when he was kidnapped by terrorists who forced him to design new weapons for them. During his captivity, Tony designed the first Iron Man suit, which he used to overpower his captors. The entire experience was an eye opener for Tony who, after seeing the extent of the destruction his technology wreaked, decided to use his talents for good and fight evil as Iron Man. But what if Iron Man had taken a darker path? An obscure Superman villain named Victor Volcanum gave readers a glimpse of what that might look like.

Related: Superman’s Identity Reveal Secretly Killed One of DC’s Darkest Futures

In the two-part story spans over Superman’s sidekick, Jimmy Olsen #147-148, written and illustrated by Jack Kirby, Jimmy and the Newsboy Legion were the “guests” of Victor Volcanum. From his cave in a zeppelin tethered to an active volcano, Victor tells his origins: he was once an adventurer from another time. His hot air balloon was blown off course and landed him on an island with a volcano. With the technology that survived his crash, he was able to extract a life-giving elixir from the “fiery energies” that surrounded him. Next, using metal from ships that washed ashore, Victor built an army of robots, and finally a base inside the volcano. Years of isolation drove Victor insane, and instead of sharing his amazing discoveries with the world, he decided to conquer it. However, Jimmy and the Newsboy Legion, along with Superman, foiled Victor’s plans.

A darker twist on the origin of Iron Man

When faced with life and death situations where they had to use their technological skills to survive, Iron Man and Victor Volcanum both made the best of it – but what happened afterward really mattered. Iron Man saw the light, learned what it meant to be a true hero, and would save countless lives. Victor Volcanum, on the other hand, took the potentially world-changing technology he developed during his exile and used it to attempt to make himself their leader. As Superman points out, Victor spent many years in isolation, which could potentially have led him down the dark path, but as clearly seen in his origin story, he could have developed technologies that would have allowed him to leave at any time. Victor had a choice, and he chose evil.

Unlike Victor, Tony Stark chose to become a better person and dedicated his life to the cause of good as atonement for past sins. However, one opaque superman Villain flipped the script ironman origin, giving it a much darker note.

Next: Iron Man is no longer a billionaire in Marvel Continuity The origin of a Superman villain is the dark opposite of Iron Man

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