Iron Munro

Created by Roy Thomas and Brian Murray

Some text excerpted from Who's Who Update '87-88

NAME + ALIASES:
Arnold Munro

KNOWN RELATIVES:
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)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
All-Star Squadron, Freedom Fighters

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987)

+ History

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

During the War, Iron Munro also met his first wife, the Young 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, Sandra and Munro eventually married, but their union was cursed. They bore a second child who was kidnapped by Baron Blitzkrieg. The child was never recovered and was presumed dead. (Damage #6)

The couple gradually grew apart and sometime in the 1960s, Phantom Lady disappeared while on a mission for the covert government agency called Argent. Though Munro later discovered she was alive, the two were never reunited. (Damage #11)

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.

Notes

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.

+ Powers

Iron Munro demonstrates super-strength and invulnerability. These were inherited from his father, the result of Arn's grandfather's experiments.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  
» SERIES:
  • Young All-Stars, 31 issues (1987-89)
  • Damage, 21 issues (1994-95)