Iron Munro


caption=Arn Munro, artist Brian Murray
character_name=Iron Munro
real_name= Arnold Raymond "Iron" Munro
publisher=DC Comics
debut= "Young All-Stars" #1, (June 1987)
creators=Roy Thomas (writer)
Dann Thomas (co-plotter)
Michael Bair (artist)
Brian Murray (artist)
alliances=Young All-Stars
All-Star Squadron
Freedom Fighters
aliases=Arn Munro
powers= Super strength, ability to make great leaps, superhuman level of resistance to injury|

Iron Munro is a fictional superhero, who first appeared in "Shadow Comics" #1 (June 1940), published by Street & Smith. He is loosely based on Aarn Munro, the hero of a series of short stories written by John W. Campbell in the 1930s. The modern and better known version of the character, who started life as Arn Munro, first appeared in "Young All-Stars" #1 (June 1987) and was created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Michael Bair and Brian Murray. Munro is the illegitimate son of Hugo Danner, the superpowered protagonist from the 1930 novel "Gladiator" by Philip Wylie. However, Iron was not a character or even a possibility in the original novel. Hugo's inability to pass on his powers to his children is explained by his ailing scientist father, "the effect of the process is not inherited by the future generations." [Wylie, Philip. "Gladiator". New York: Shakespeare House. 3rd Edition, 1951, pg. 158.]

Publication history

Following the "Crisis on Infinite Earths", all the parallel worlds were merged into one, and Earth-2 Superman was retconned out of existence. To fill the gap, DC introduced this superhero with muscles of steel, the ability to leap tall buildings and a spit curl hairstyle to fill in the stories that Superman would have. DC writer Roy Thomas created a "new" Iron Munro (and the other "Young All Stars") while trying to replace the Golden Age Superman (and Wonder Woman and Batman).

Using Wylie's novel as a springboard, Thomas had Hugo fake his death at the end of the novel. From there, the story of the second Iron Munro begins. Like the original, featured in Street & Smith's "Shadow Comics", the modern Munro is a superhumanly strong adventurer with black hair, who favors tee-shirts and jeans, in lieu of a colorful costume. The original version had no connection to the "Gladiator" novel, whatsoever. (Gladiator was also adapted to comics by Marvel Comics, see "God-Man".)

Fictional character biography

In 1894, the scientist Abednego Danner injected his pregnant wife with an experimental serum. Their son Hugo was born with super-human strength, speed, and nigh-invulnerability. Hugo lived with his parents throughout his teen years and left at age eighteen to attend college and travel 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 Dan the 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. [Ibid #1-3] Soon thereafter, Arn received a mysterious diary written by Hugo Danner, his father. [Ibid #9] He learned about his father's troubled life as one of the 20th century's first metahumans. [Ibid #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. [Ibid #28] Danner used his father's formula to bestow powers on these Sons of Dawn and mentioned that the creators of the villain Übermensch had also stolen that formula. [Ibid #29]

Arn was forced to oppose his father when Danner ordered the Sons of Dawn to attack a Brazilian city. [Ibid #30] The combined might of the All-Star Squadron defeated the Sons of Dawn and Danner was killed. [Ibid #31]


During the War, Iron Munro also met his future wife, the Young All-Star known as the Phantom Lady, Sandra Knight. 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 listed Al as the father on the child's birth certificate. The child was named Walter Pratt and later became the father of Kate Spencer (the current vigilante Manhunter). [Manhunter vol. 3, #23, June 2006]

After the war, both Arn and Sandra started working for the U.S. Government as members of the O.S.S. off-shoot called "Argent." Arn took the code name "Gladiator One." The couple eventually married and on numerous missions came up against his WWII Nazi nemesis, Baron Blitzkrieg (calling himself simply "The Baron" and working for the Soviets). When the couple bore a second child, it was kidnapped by the Baron when Sandra was on a mission in Communist Poland. The child was (and still is) assumed killed at the time."Damage" #6]

The couple gradually grew apart and sometime in the 1960s, Phantom Lady disappeared while on a cover mission for Argent. Though Munro later discovered she was alive, the two were never reunited. [Ibid #11]

Munro settled in Florida with his friend, Roy Lincoln (the Human Bomb). There he eventually met the young hero Grant Emerson, Damage. Munro helped Emerson search for the identity of his biological parents. For a time, it appeared that Grant might be Arn and Sandra's lost child. Eventually they learned that Damage was actually the son of the Atom, Al Pratt, and his wife.

Iron Munro continues to serve as an adventurer and apparently benefits from extended youth. During the massive war between Imperiex and Brainiac 13, the Justice Society’s Sand recruited an army of All-Stars, which Arn joined. ["JSA: Our Worlds at War"] Afterwards, he joined the Human Bomb and Damage in the Freedom Fighters. This group was doomed and recently Arn lost his good friend Roy when several of the F.F. were slaughtered by the Society. ["Infinite Crisis" #1]

Recently, Sandra Knight also learned the fate of the child she gave up for adoption, Walter Pratt. Pratt became a homicidal maniac. His daughter, Katherine Spencer has now become Los Angeles' Manhunter. Pratt died when he was cut in half midstream in teleporation. ["Manhunter" #19] Sandra met Kate Spencer [Ibid #23] , and months later brought Arn to Kate's house for an introduction. [Ibid #31] .


* 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.


External links

* [ DCU Guide: Iron Munro]

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