Iron Lad is a male comic character who features in Marvel Comics.
Nate Richards was a male human from an alternate far future timeline. (Exiles v3 #1) He was a native of the 30th century where as a young boy he was often bullied and humiliated by other children in that era including by a person named Morgan. This was until one day when he was visited by Kang the Conqueror who was his future self where he showed the young boy a glimpse of his future. This included him uncovering an ancient time machine several years later and using it to become the Pharaoh Rama-Tut along with his numerous skirmishes against the Avengers. The older Richards urged Nate to kill his bully Morgan as in his own timeline Kang had his throat cut by the young man which had bankrupted his family due to medical treatments. Thus, he sought to alter his own past and intended for Nate to kill Morgan whilst wearing his armour. However, the young Nate Richards rejected his future and wanted to be strong enough to oppose his older self. This led to his suit sending him into the past to find the Avengers where he manifested at Avengers Mansion but at a time when the superhero team had disbanded. He attempted to find Tony Stark but his staff rebuffed citizens from meeting with him. Nate then decided to break into Stark Industries where he found the badly damaged and disassembled Vision who Stark was attempting to repair. (Young Avengers v1 #2) From Vision, Nate downloaded the operating system and data files of the synthezoid into his own armour in order to find people so that he could reform the Avengers. Whilst going through the files, Richards found the Avengers Failsafe Program that was secretly made by Vision to find new young heroes to become the next wave of Avengers should the hero team be destroyed or disbanded. This led to Iron Lad seeking out these people where he recruited Patriot, Asgardian and Hulkling onto this new team. (Young Avengers v1 #3)
Confronted by Kang again, he managed to convince his younger self to go through the portal to resume his place in the timeline otherwise the present would be erased. Cassie Lang intervened where she knocked Kang into the portal wth Iron Lad saving her. The two shared a kiss which he liked as the two became close with the Young Avengers arriving on the scene to debate their next course of action. Iron Lad believed that he had no choice but to return to the future thus erasing the events that brought the Young Avengers together but his comrades convinced him to abandon the armor and stay with them. Kang then returned where the Young Avengers battled the villain whilst sending Nathaniel to safety. In the fight, they managed to damage Kang's armor thus allowing the younger Nathaniel to stab a sword right through the villains chest thus seemingly killing him. (Young Avengers v1 #5) With Kang's death, the timeline began to change gradually leading to a world where the Avengers were dead and the younger heroes were vanishing. Patriot determined that the only way to save the world was for Iron Lad to resume his place in history but Nathaniel did not want to become Kang. It was only after Asgardian and Hulkling vanished that he finally relented where he shared a kiss with Cassie one last time before his armor transformed into a new incarnation of the Vision that opened a time portal for Nathaniel to take his place in history. With him gone, time resumed and all the missing people were restored whilst Nathaniel returned to take the place of Kang. (Young Avengers v1 #6) During this time, he was shown to had kept an eye on the activities of his old team mates among the Young Avengers. (Young Avengers Special v1 #1)
Shortly after getting his armor, he decided to get revenge on the bullies that had picked on him. At that moment, he was visited by Blink and a version of Kamala Khan who were transported to this reality by the Tallus. The bracelet was transporting the pair to recruit a team of heroes to battle the threat of the Time-Eater with Iron Lad being the next recruit. The 16 year old was informed about the events by the dimension travelling heroes when they were caught by Kang who attempted to apprehend his younger self but he was erased as the Time-Eater had come to consume that alternate reality. (Exiles v3 #1)
He came to join the ranks of the new Infinity Watch where he accompanied Adam Warlock and Drax to Earth during the meeting of the stone keepers. Once there, they discussed about the fate of the gems as they sought to keep them from falling into the hands of Thanos. (Infinity Wars v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
He shared a kiss with Cassie Lang with the two being attracted to one another. (Young Avengers v1 #5)
Powers and abilities
He wore a neuro-kinetic armor that was highly advanced and responded to his thoughts allowing it to change shape. (Young Avengers v1 #1) It was a product of his older self's technology thus allowing Kang to potentially circumvent control over it. Iron Lad stated that without his armor that he was powerless and thus relied on it. (Young Avengers v1 #5)
- Iron Lad was created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung where he made his first appearance in Young Avengers v1 #1 (April, 2005).
- The character was based on Kang who was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
In other media
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, the Nate Richards Iron Lad appeared in multiple playable cards in the video game.
- Young Avengers v1:
- Young Avengers Special v1:
- Exiles v3:
- Infinity Wars v1: