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Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum Fin Fang Foom!


Iron Man Villain #5: Fin Fang Foom

~A comparative scale of Fin Fang Foom. Excerpt from Invincible Iron Man #271 (1991).

As old and antiquated as Tony Stark and the Iron Man adventures are to us, one of his greatest villains had his own beginnings even earlier. Created by none other than Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby, Fin Fang Foom, a gigantic dragon of ancient origins, would eventually join the pantheon of super-villains attempting to crack the invincible shell.

Most of the experts will tell you Iron Man's first beginnings were from Tales of Suspense #39 (1963); that's where you'll first meet the inventor and read the origin. What many of them don't know, though, is that Fin Fang Foom is actually older. First appearing in Strange Tales #89 (1961), this sleeping behemoth is awakened by Asian youth attempting to protect his homeland from invading Communist forces. That's when Mr. Foom shrugs off centuries of sleep, destroys the invaders, and heads back to its resting place. A friend to none, he is then lulled back to sleep with a special herb.

And there you go: Fin Fang Foom had already established comic book history before Stark ever assembled.

But let's get to the truth about this ancient Chinese dragon. Beating Iron Man thoroughly, "Triple F" first battled him in Invincible Iron Man #271 (1991). It seemed like a long time coming, but it was actually a meeting in the making; both were manipulated by otherwise malevolent forces (which you'll learn about later.) And once they did clash, it turned out Fin Fang Foom wasn't a dragon at all, but a draconian alien navigator from an elder race. Put in an eternal slumber by other members of his race bent on conquering our planet, he cultivated as one of the great myths of legend.

Ironically, Iron Man and Fin Fang Foom haven't had many encounters; while they fought in 1991-1992 in the Dragon Seed story arc, there's been little else except a stint in Iron Man #15-18 (1991). For some reason, though, he's a real popular pick when it comes to Iron Man cartoons and video games. To date, this villain has appeared in nearly every animated Iron Man series, including The Invincible Iron Man DVD from 2007. Maybe is because he's huge, maybe it's the legendary status. Who knows; it's probably because everybody loves a dragon.

They may be tough, they may be rough, but boy do they hate Armored Superheroes! This is The Top 10 Villains of Iron Man, a Countdown of Stark's Greatest Foes provided by The Superheroes List, in tribute to the Iron Man 3 movie. Want to see who put him on the map? Read The List!

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