Created by Roy Thomas and Brian Murray
Some text excerpted from Who's Who Update '87-88
NAME + ALIASES:
Hugo Danner (biological father, deceased), John Munro (father, deceased), Anna Blake Munro (mother, deceased), Abednego Danner (biological grandfather, deceased), Mathilda Danner (biological grandmother, deceased), Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady, ex-wife), unnamed son (deceased), Walter Pratt (son, deceased), Katherine Spencer (Manhunter VII, granddaughter), Ramsey Robinson (great-grandson)
All-Star Squadron, Freedom Fighters
Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987)
In 1894, scientist Abednego Danner injected his pregnant wife with special experimental serums. As a result, their son, Hugo, was born with super-human strength. Though he lived with his parents throughout his teen years, Hugo left at age eighteen to attend college and see the world. In the years that followed, Hugo's special powers led him through a number of adventures, but his unique stature among mortal men forever brought him grief. Eventually, Hugo staged his own death in the Yucatan Peninsula and went into hiding.
Before vanishing, however, Hugo returned home to Colorado once more and enjoyed a one-night affair with his high school sweetheart, Anna Blake, who became pregnant. When Hugo disappeared for good, Blake married a young businessman named John Munro, who never realized the child she bore was not his own. Their son, Arnold began exhibiting superhuman powers of strength and invulnerability at age ten. Remembering Hugo's troubles, Anna made her son promise to keep his abilities a secret until he turned eighteen. (Young All-Stars #11, 29)
As a baseball player at his high school in Indian Creek, Colorado Munro earned the nickname "Iron." He was a senior there when in April 1942, Munro saved the superheroes T.N.T. and Dyna-Mite from a burning car crash. T.N.T. died but he managed to bring Dyna-Mite to a nearby hospital. Subsequently, Munro and other new "Young All-Stars" aided the All-Star Squadron in defeating Axis Amerika. President Roosevelt asked Munro and the others to join the Squadron, about which Munro was reluctant but he accompanied them on a cross-country War Bond promotion. (#1-3)
Soon thereafter, Arn received a mysterious diary written by Hugo Danner, his father. (#9) He learned about his father's troubled life as one of the 20th century's first metahumans. (#10) This led the young hero on a quest to learn of his father's fate.
After having read his father’s diary, Arn turned to the government's secret Project M, demanding to know the location of the "Dinosaur Island" mentioned in his father's diary. There he met Georgia Challenger, who led him instead to Maple White Land in South America. Surprisingly they found Arn’s father, Hugo Danner, who had spawned a new band of "offspring," the Sons of Dawn. (#28) Danner used his father's formula to bestow powers on these Sons of Dawn and mentioned that creators of the villain Übermensch's had also stolen that formula. (#29)
Arn was forced to oppose his father when Danner ordered the Sons of Dawn to attack a Brazilian city. (#30) The combined might of the All-Star Squadron defeated the Sons of Dawn and Danner was killed. (#31)
Good on Paper
He was divorced from his first love. (Damage #11)
During the War, Iron Munro also met his second wife, Sandra Knight (the All-Star known as Phantom Lady). Before the two of them were married, Sandra conceived a child — which she never revealed to him. She confided only in the Atom, Al Pratt, who helped her give the child up for adoption. The hospital mistakenly put Al's name as father on the child's (Walter Pratt) birth certificate. (Manhunter v.3 #23)
After the war, Arn and Sandra were recruited for a new branch of the O.S.S. called Argent. Sandra and Munro married hastily in Monaco; their union was cursed and they quarrelled a lot. They bore a second child who was kidnapped by Baron Blitzkrieg, an operative of the Soviets. Sandra had fallen into the Baron's trap in Poland and their child was born and taken in captivity; they never saw this child again, and it was presumed dead. (Damage #6, 11)
After escaping from Poland, Sandra went to Roy Lincoln (the Human Bomb) for help. She wanted out of espionage. She asked him not to tell Arn, who was in a coma then, and dedicated herself to training new operatives in the school called the Université Notre Dame des Ombres. Munro was never reunited with Sandra. (Damage #11)
Grant taken to Dathan Wahrman, who thought Grant had been a failed experiment, injects him with something to inhibit powers, which fails leading to another escape chase. Roy Lincoln runs Sarge Steel out to the boat where he and Iron Munro live, with news of Grant and a case involving the Baron, which clinches it. Egrin Wahrman father of Dathan and Abriam, researcher went into seclusion to study metagenetics. An accident his mother was burnt, abriam lost an arm. Mother is now disembodied speaks via electronic projection. Troll is their captive. They have Grant's parents say they 'created' him 16 years ago. In the computer Nadjia speaks to her love who drives all her actions. Grant breaks back in where his parents betrays him to Dathan but they are shot dead anyway. A fight with Megafire triggers a massive explosion in Grant destroying most of the complex.
Wyldheart steps in to put Troll down for the count. Symbolix has new subjects ready for field testing. Iron finds a the Baron's warehouse full of drugs. the Baron admits to having killed his wife. At Bureau of Metahuman Affairs, Sarge Steel learns someone hacked them for intel on Iron (codename: Gladiator). Damage and Wyld look for shelter and stumble upon Baron's place.
Damage is drawn into the fight with the Baron and he and Wyldheart opt to get out of it. Georgia's governor is becoming concerned. Grant finds out she is part of the Symbolix familiy, feels betrayed. Her father is Abriam. Dathan reveals a bionet harness which activates a bioplasmic being. Munro manages to get out of his fight, lands in front of Damage again, pursued by Steelhawk, who strikes at them all. They are rescued by the New Titans: Arsenal, Pantha, Wildebeest, Phantasm, Changeling, and Red Star.
Zero Hour crossover: The Titans enter, on a mission to subdue Damage. Munro recognizes Roy Harper when he was with Checkmate. Their connection stops the fight until Steelhawk reenters and provokes Grant again. Grant, Munro and Steelhawk end up inside a white bubble, a timestream distortion. They see glimpses of their pasts and Munro sees Phantom Lady from 1964. She asks if Grant is their son. She's taken by the Baron, is pregnant.
Iron Munro journals, lives on a boat, has taken to working for Sarge Steel. appeared first in Zero Hour? Reappeared in Atlanta, where he and Wyldeheart greet him. Waverider told Damage "your time has not yet come." He became the spark to defeat Parallax, ignite the Big Bang. He asks Munro if he's his father to which he replies no. Damage rampages thinks he and Phantom Lady are his parents. His friends Megan and Mandra at Emory University. At a complex of Symbolix Senator Niven addresses and Nadjia Wahrman and her sons Dathan and Abriam (hints at a special paternity). They are into genetic engineering technology. Project Prometheus is critical to national security. Subjects include Telemachus. They next speak to a Baron (whose enemies were Iron and Phantom Lady), who is interested in Damage. They're looking to cure Nadjia as well of a genetic virus, Damage may hold the key. Maybe they will transfer their consciousnesses into new metahuman bodies. Wyldeheart is her adopted granddaughter, perhaps alien. Her husband greets her in cyberspace, they speak of a new race migrating into space.
Fragments: Grant wants to quit the Titans, he's under court order to be with them. Ref New Titans #117. He digs into his past looking up Munro and Phantom Lady, who is in D.C. His uncle is Neal Emerson Dr. Polaris. He reviews the Wahrmans. Symbolix now in Greensboro NC plan to launch a space station, Prometheus, Wildheart is rebellious. Someone Steppenwolf? on Apokolips monitors them. The ?? creature hides out in Georgia attacking Grant's friend, Elliot Tipton, killed. Grant attacks Symbolix, interrupted by Steppenwolf, suggests they are children of New Genesis. A Mother Box siphons his excess energy, giving him control, punching Step back thru his Boom Tube. He leaves Symbolix freely. Roy finds Arn injured, in pain. He dreams of Sandra, captive of Baron working with Kodrescu a telepath. He hasn't seen her in 30 years, will start in Poland.
Damage visits his uncle at the Slab, via Titans credentials. John and Katherine his parents' names. He wonders if Neal is his real father. He chooses this moment to escape. Some entity has taken over Emerson, sharing his mind. He escapes leaving Grant untouched but he fights him anyway. Grant is knocked out when he wakes, Polaris is gone and he thinks any of the prisonsers could be his father. Iron in Poland, at Gniezno Colliery and Iron Works. Baron worked with Kodrescu back then. He and Sandra stepped into their trap, she died. He hallucinates he sees her, has stepped into a trap with explosives.
Green Lantern and Arsenal and the Titans step in hearing Impulse describe recent events. Polaris was caught by GL in GL #59. Splatter holds Grant captive along with the sisters. They shared a weak mental link. Grant can't stop him from killing a man, and Mandra. He blows up Splatter but Megan is furious... to late to save her sister. Dr. Dyson Sinclair works on metagene research, notes Grant adds mass as his power level increases, sees "metagenic flux" happening. He'd left Symbolix with his research and noted three related projects using naturally and artificially born persons as templates for meta genetic material: Niobe, Proteus (Splatter) and Telemachus (Damage). Munro escapes but his quarry does too.
Munro comes to Washington DC to see Steel, just as Grant does as well. He comes across the new Phantom Lady, who uses a hologram projector and stun gas on him. Roy Lincoln reveals that Sandra had come to him after escaping from Poland, wanted out of spying, asked him not to tell Arn who was in a coma then. She never mentioned the fate of their baby. Sandra's school now trains top operatives, the Université Notre Dame des Ombres. That's where Grant wakes, and he meets Sandra, asks her straight away if she's his mother. She describes her meeting Arn after the war, recruited for a new ranch of the O.S.S., Argent. He was divorced from his first love. Tjhey fought Baron Blitzkrieg now working for the Soviets. They married quickly in Monaco but quarrelled a lot. She fell into a trap and her child was born and taken by the Baron; she nevers saw the child again. Meanwhile Arn arrives is greeted by Dee. Kodrescu makes Arn and Grant fight each other, manipulated with illusions. Grant wins but Kodrescu says that Arn's child was turned over to Egrin Wahrman. He and Arn take his word for it. Arn leaves without seeing Sandra. Grant returns to Titans. Next in Titans 119-121. The Wahrmans set up in new Daedalus satellite.
Features a photographed cover. Editor Jim Spivey. Grant goes to the satellite for answers. New costume. Dr. Sinclair meets a shadow figure, worked with Egrin Wahrman, steals his secrets and kills him. Dathan takes him down momentarily. Damage finds Nadija's body. She tells him of Klaus Schimmel, who was a biogeneticist of the Third Reich who created Blitzkrieg, came to America OSS made him into Egrin Wahrman. A benefactor stepped in to fund him and he founded Symbolix. Egrin steps in to introduce himself: Vandal Savage had recognized Schimmels' success as a fluke so Savage suplied him with cell samples from the JSA members. In one experiment Proteus the dna was put into an artificial being. Niobe a dna-laced egg was put into a surrogate, and Telemachus dna infused into a naturally born child, with preexisting meta potential. His parents were Al and Mary Pratt. Mary worked at Symbolix. Al was away when Grant was born, didn't know Mary was pregnant, Mary was older and she was killed after delivering. The baby Grant was placed with Henry and Katherine Emerson. When the JLA debuted more samples were used to be imposed on Grant's genetic structure while he was young, making him potentially the most powerful meta on Earth. He was only 7 when the lab exploded killing Egrin. Records of Niobe vanished. Abriam steps in to oppose Vandal and is killed but sets off destruct of the satellite. Vandal allows it and Grant escapes in a ship.
Underworld Unleashed: Damage flew in New Titans Annual #11. He doens't like to use his real name anymore. In an dream, he is saved from falling by man in jacket. Kicked out of the Titans #127. He's on a plane in Miami w Megan when his powers begin to trigger so he runs. Then they notice weird things in the trffic control tower, and find Copperhead, who's been transformed by Neron. News travels that Damage is trashing the airport. Copperhead escapes and Grant must release energy in another big explosion. Iron Munro heads that way from Roy's boat. Body Count burns through bodies, they are mostly in hiding. He thinks a metahuman body might be better and targets Damage.
News covers the latest damage. Damage dreams again; the man tells him "you're going to be very bad at it for a very long time... if you live a long time." He wakes in mid flight from his powers surging. He's caught and interviewed but fight. The rejects kidnap Megan and draw him in. Iron arrives to help him. Body Count takes over his mind.
Razercut turns on Body Count for his betrayal of their other teammates. Damage has latenty telepathic powers from his DNA from J'onn. The man in the jacket watches in the real world. Damage manages to regain mental control, the fight with Munro causes another build up but this time he manages to channel is expulsion safely into space. The newsmen witness everything and see that he's not to blame for the destruction. Later in Tampa, Florida, Damage goes to see Albert Rothstein, to learn about his father Al Pratt.
Munro settled in Florida with his friend, Roy Lincoln (the Human Bomb). There he eventually met the young hero Grant Emerson, aka Damage. Munro helped Emerson search for the identity of his biological parents (which Grant believed might be Munro and Knight). (Damage #6) Eventually they discovered that Damage was the son of the original Atom.
Iron Munro continued to serve as an adventurer and apparently benefited from extended youth. During the massive war between Imperiex and Brainiac 13, the Justice Society’s Sand recruited an army of All-Stars, including Arn. (JSA: Our Worlds at War) Afterwards, he joined the Human Bomb and Damage in the Freedom Fighters. This group was doomed; Arn lost his good friend Roy when several of the F.F. were slaughtered by the Society. (Infinite Crisis #1)
Sandra Knight eventually learned the fate of her first child, Walter Pratt. Pratt became a homicidal maniac, but his daughter, Katherine Spencer became Los Angeles' avenging Manhunter. Pratt died when he was cut in half midstream in teleporation. (Manhunter #19) Though Sandra met Kate Spencer, (#23) Arn remained unaware of this extension of his own family.
The character of Iron Munro was inspired by a significant moment in literature. His character was inspired by Philip Wylie's 1930 novel The Gladiator, which is itself widely considered to have been an inspiration to Jerry Siegel when he created Superman. The Gladiator starred Hugo Danner, and is now in the public domain. The events described in the diary in Young All-Stars #10 were adapted from The Gladiator.
The Maple White Land from Young All-Stars #28 first appeared in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. The character Georgia Challenger is the granddaughter of that novel's hero, Dr. Edward Challenger.
Iron Munro (and his fellow Young All-Stars) was created by Roy Thomas to fill the "void" left by several pre-Crisis mainstays. Munro (and Übermensch of Axis Amerika) was a substitute for Superman, though his character never rose to such heights after the Crisis.
Iron Munro demonstrates super-strength and invulnerability. These were inherited from his father, the result of Arn's grandfather's experiments.
- Young All-Stars, 31 issues (1987-89)
- Damage, 21 issues (1994-95)