Well, comics that had new covers weren’t called variants back then….they were just reprints; and Marvel did this with Iron Man and all the other Avengers.
In a world without Marvel Masterworks, Marvel Essentials, tradepaperbacks, or even online comics….there was Marvel’s line of reprints. Even cooler, some of these classic Marvel tales….were given new covers.
This week, the early Iron Man reprints, side by side with their original covers!
Since the early Iron Man appearances in Tales of Suspense (starting with Tales of Suspense #39), only took half the book, they were great material to be collected! Iron Man’s first appearance was reprinted in Marvel Tales Annual #1 (along with a few other stories, which was successful enough to make Marvel Tales a regular reprint comic, and Iron Man worked his way over to Marvel Collector’s Item, along with the Fantastic Four and others, where he was rarely on the cover!). Issues from Tales of Suspense #40-64 were covered in Marvel Collector’s Item #3-22 (more or less, some of the missing tales ended up in Iron Man Annuals), Tales of Suspense #66-70 were in Marvel’s Greatest Comics #24-28, Tales of Suspense #73-78 and #83 were in Marvel Super-Heroes #28-30 and Marvel Tales #32, and from Tales of Suspense #84-99, Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1 and Iron Man #1 were in Marvel Double Feature #1-19 (strangely enough, finally reuniting Iron Man and Captain America….but the reprints didn’t match issues…they were usually from different issues of Tales of Suspense! And, Cap hogged the covers as well, at least in the original days, they alternated covers). But, any new Iron Man covers are below…