Iron Jaw

Real Name: Roland

Identity/Class: Cyborg

Occupation: Barbarian, former minstrel

Affiliations: Tar-Lok, Carlotta, Soran the Sorceress

Enemies: Dektor, unnamed monarch who slew his father, the Mutant Queen

Known Relatives: Unnamed father (king, deceased), unnamed mother (queen), Elena (sister)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Post-holocaust Earth

First Appearance: Iron Jaw #1 (Atlas Comics, January 1975)-4, The Barbarians #1

Powers/Abilities: Strong, good fighter, typical barbarian really.

History: Far in the future in a world recovering from a holocaust a Queen gave birth to twins, Roland and Elena. But the Queen had a lover, and the together they planned to steal the throne. First the King died in a riding accident, thrown from a horse. Shortly afterwards the Queen married her paramour, making him the new King. Seeing the infant Roland as a potential threat, the new monarch ordered an old stablehand to drown the child in the lake. Not wishing to kill an infant, the elderly man instead abandoned him on a snowy mountain top, hoping the child might survive.

A little while later Tar-Lok the Robber came riding by, caught in a blizzard and hotly pursued by the sheriff's men. Hearing the plaintive cries, he discovered the infant, and rescued him. He raised the boy as his own, and in time the boy became a man, a peaceful and contented minstrel living amongst Tar-Lok's band of thieves. Unfortunately for the minstrel several of the thieves grew resentful of him, and the way the women looked at him. When Carlotta, the woman promised to Dektor, fell in love with the minstrel, that was the final straw. The jealous Dektor decided to stop the minstrel singing forever, and using a white hot blade sliced off the youth's chin and lower jaw, before leaving him to die from his injury.

Finding the man she loved near death, Carlotta took him to Soran the Sorceress, who agreed to save him in return for a bag of gold. Using her healing skills she managed to stabalise his condition, but could not undo his maiming. Days later the minstrel awoke, and stumbled out of Soran's cave. Reaching a nearby stream he removed his bandages, only to reel in horror at the extent of his disfigurement. With nowhere else to go he returned to the sorceress' cave. However Dektor had discovered his rival had survived, and despatched a couple of men to rectify that. They are stopped in their mission by the returning Sorceress, who freezes them with a spell. Soran had gone to find the Forger, a skilled metal worker who she has commisioned to make a jaw of iron to replace the minstrel's lost one. Using magic she permanently attaches it to her charge, and he becomes Iron Jaw, reinventing himself as a barbarian warrior.

Years later the barbarian unwittingly returned to his old kingdom, where his heritage was recognised by a birth mark on his shoulder. Captured by the King's men, he was scheduled for death in the arena, fighting ravenous bears. But his sister Elena, realising who he was, smuggled him a knife, which he used to escape. Joining with local rebels, he invaded the castle and confronted the monarch. Shot with an arrow, Iron Jaw ripped it out his own flesh and drove it into the King's stomach, ending his reign. The barbarian was swiftly proclaimed ruler in his place, but unable to come to terms with the soft life of the kingdom, he snuck away to return to the battles, hardships and freedom that he knew best.

The minstrel who would become Ironjaw.Comments: Mike Murphy notes that "Ironjaw was merely a more venal version of Conan. Although he was the only Atlas character written by Michael Fleisher who didn't eat people, Iron Jaw was still far from being a likable character - he once nearly raped a woman who turned out to be his own sister." He also provided details of his origin and the images used on the left.


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Back to US Independents Page


All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.