Iron Man‘s fortunes have recently taken a turn for the worse, but with the help of one surprising group and some new armor, he’s about to get a serious upgrade. By joining forces with the mutant Hellfire Club as its Black King, Tony Stark will be fighting alongside mutantkind as they battle a shared foe.


In Invincible Iron Man (2022) #9 by Gerry Duggan, Juan Frigeri and Bryan Valenza, Tony is going to leverage his inheritance from his father to become the new Black King of the Hellfire Club, bringing with him a stunning new suit of stealth armor to boot. In a recent solicit for the August 23 issue, Marvel reveals the story’s summary, as well as Björn Barends’ variant cover and Kael Ngu’s main cover art.

Iron Man's stealth armor on the variant cover to Invincible Iron Man (2022) #9

Tony Stark: Black King of the Hellfire Club! Feilong and the Stark Sentinels have beaten Iron Man and robbed him of his armor. But Tony isn’t without his resources: his father’s membership to the Hellfire Club and his new Stealth Armor

Iron Man Joins the Hellfire Club

hellfire club

The Hellfire Club is an exclusive aristocratic club controlled by the chess-themed Lords Cardinal, ruled over by the Black King, Black Queen, White King, and White Queen, with the occasional Red King and Queen once Emma Frost broke away from the organization. While typically a secretive cabal of mutant villains, in theory the club is open to anyone with enough money, or those whose famous family have given them inherited membership, including Tony Stark. The most recent incarnation of the Club is the Hellfire Trading Company, which focuses on the distribution of mutantkind’s miracle drugs. This is the incarnation Tony’s likely joining, bringing with him a new set of grey and black stealth Iron Man armor with inbuilt cloaking technology.

Iron Man Gets New Armor as the Black King

Invincible Iron Man 9 new armor

Invincible Iron Man has Tony going up against Kevin Heng aka Feilong, an evil businessman and scientist whose jealousy over being beaten to Mars has put him on the warpath with the mutants of Krakoa. Now, Feilong has seized Stark Industries after waging a PR war on Iron Man and has turned Iron Man’s tech into a new breed of ‘Stark Sentinels’, all the more efficient to destroy mutantkind. With Tony left with practically nothing, he’s turning to Emma Frost for help, joining her and Krakoa as they combat Feilong and his allies in the anti-mutant group ORCHIS.

This is far from the first time that a superhero has taken a role in the Lords Cardinal, even before the creation of Hellfire Trading. Magneto, Storm and Sunspot have all taken leadership roles in the organization to try and use it for good. Now, Tony is joining that list, as he takes on the resources and responsibilities of the Black King. It’s a shock that the mutant nation of Krakoa would allow a human to occupy this position, and shows just how much of a threat Feilong poses.

Feilong Is Totally Changing Iron Man’s Life

iron man feilong cyclops powers x-men

Tony’s use of his father’s legacy to join the club also directly parallels Feilong, who in Duggan, Frigeri and Valenza’s Invincible Iron Man #5 discovered a secret cache of film reel from Howard to Tony, revealing that Howard has discovered a new element on the periodic table, a ‘miracle metal’ from outside the universe itself. The parallel of Feilong seeking out Howard’s most revolutionary invention to use for evil, while Tony uses his father’s membership in an oft-evil cabal for good is perfect, and further ties Tony to Krakoa. How Iron Man will fit into Krakoa’s own version of the club as Black King however remains to be seen, when Invincible Iron Man #9 releases on August 23 from Marvel comics.

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