Today, while I was grocery shopping I perused the “Romanheft” spinner rack at the supermarket and came across this western novelette, the title of which made me do a doubletake.
Now I’m pretty sure the title is a coincidence. For starters, because the series in question is a reprint line which republishes some of the more than 700 western novelettes penned by Gert Fritz a.k.a. G.F. Unger. I suspect this one dates from the 1970s, though there is no copyright date to be found. And since Unger died in 2005 (here is his obituary), he cannot have been inspired by the Iron Man movies. I also doubt that he was inspired by the Marvel comics, since US superhero comics were only available sporadically in Germany well into the 1990s. Of course, it’s possible that Unger somehow came across some Iron Man comics (the height of his writing career coincided with the silver age of comics) and simply borrowed the name because he liked it. Also note that Unger’s Ironman is spelled differently than Marvel’s.
I actually bought the novelette in question – how could I not? The story has a first person narrator named Jake Ringold, though it would have been amusing if his name had been Stark. The plot BTW involves Ringold being made the the sheriff of a small town in the Old West and tasked with protecting the town against bandits. In short, standard western stuff. Though I generally find the G.F. Unger westerns surprisingly readable.
On the other hand, maybe the protagonist of Unger’s Ironman is the grandfather of Howard Stark and therefore great-grandfather of Tony.