Ho Yinsen

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Ho Yinsen
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceTales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Larry Lieber (scripter)
Don Heck (artist)
In-story information
Supporting character ofIron Man
AbilitiesGenius-level intelligence

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Ho Yinsen is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted usually as a supporting character in stories featuring Iron Man and is the co-creator who help create the Iron Man armour.

Shaun Toub portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Iron Man.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Professor Ho Yinsen is a supporting character of Iron Man in the Marvel Comics universe. The character, created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Don Heck, first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963).[2][3]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Professor Yinsen was a brilliant physicist, engineer and pacifist from the fictional nation of Timbetpal[4]; while Tony Stark was in college he greatly admired his work. At some point Yinsen moved to Seattle, got married and had a child named Toni Ho.[5] Unfortunately, the marriage fell apart, prompting Yinsen to return to Timbetpal. Back at his homeland, he married again and had a son.[6] When Natalia Romanoff was a Red Room operative, she kidnapped Yinsen in the name of warlord Wong-Chu.[7]

Yinsen was captured in Siancong[8] by the warlord Wong-Chu before American arms manufacturer and engineer Tony Stark was also captured. Stark's US military convoy had tripped a land mine and he was injured with shrapnel that was slowly moving toward his heart. Yinsen builds a magnetic chest plate and affixes it to Stark's chest, thus preventing the shrapnel from reaching his heart, thereby saving Stark's life and keeping him alive. Wong-Chu then orders Yinsen and Stark to build weapons for him. Instead, Yinsen helps Stark secretly build the first Iron Man armor, which includes a device for Stark's heart to keep him alive. Yinsen sacrifices his life distracting Wong-Chu in order to buy time for Stark to power up his armor. Stark dons the armor, becoming Iron Man, and defeats Wong-Chu, apparently killing him in the explosion of a munitions shed, before freeing all other prisoners.[9]

Twelve of Wong-Chu's former prisoners were disciples of Yinsen; one of these disciples (Sun-Tao) leads them to establish a quasi-religious cult called the Sons of Yinsen. The Sons of Yinsen develop very advanced technology from notes in Yinsen's journal that he had written before his death; they use this technology to create the apparent utopia of New Timbetpal, a floating, ambulatory, usually-cloaked city in the sky. It is revealed that Wong-Chu survived the munitions shed explosion and that Yinsen's brain was preserved alive, salvaged by an interdimensional merchant called Doctor Midas. Midas sold Yinsen's brain in an auction to Wong-Chu. Iron Man, driven by his own guilt that he never looked for Yinsen himself, simply assuming that his friend had been killed while focusing on his own escape, helps the Sons of Yinsen defeat Wong-Chu, who is beheaded by one of the Sons of Yinsen, and recover Yinsen's brain.[10]

The Sons of Yinsen attempt to resurrect Professor Yinsen by placing his brain inside a sentient Iron Man armor, which is actually under Ultron's control. Falsely believing Ultron to be Yinsen resurrected, the Sons of Yinsen follow directives toward planning for a war; only Sun-Tao refuses to obey, for which he is displaced as leader of the Sons of Yinsen by a man named Tyger Minn. Ultron leads the Sons of Yinsen to reveal themselves to the public and establish the Church of Yinsen. Sun-Tao recovers Yinsen's brain, and then Iron Man, Sun-Tao, and Jocasta work together to defeat Ultron and the Sons of Yinsen and free Ultron's prisoner Antigone. Ultron attempts to blow up the floating city of the Sons of Yinsen to kill all of them as well as Iron Man; however, the sentient armor has apparently absorbed enough of the thoughts of Yinsen that part of it acts to save Iron Man and Sun-Tao from the destruction of the city.[11]

Other Versions[edit]

In the Iron Man Fatal Frontier miniseries, shows a scenario from the capture where Tony risks his life to safe Yinsen, Yinsen dons a weapons-free suit and becomes Rescue. He later joins the Defenders and expanding them across the world, turning Earth into a "Defenders World."[12]


In the Mangaverse community, Ho Yinsen is still captured and assists Tony Stark in creating the Iron Man armour. However, it would later be Antoinnite Stark, the sister of Tony Stark, who would take up the mantle as Iron Maiden.[13]

In other media[edit]


  • The character appeared in the 1994 Iron Man animated television series, voiced by Neil Ross. This version is named Wellington Yinsen. He works with Professor Arnold Brock before the man was the Mandarin. Mandarin later captures Yinsen and Tony Stark to build armor for minions. Instead, Yinsen helps Stark become Iron Man to help to escape. Yinsen is vaporized by Mandarin in the process while protecting Iron Man and the dummy of Stark.
  • Professor Ho Yinsen appears in Marvel Anime: Iron Man, voiced by Hiroaki Hirata in the Japanese version and by Kyle Hebert in the English Dub. This version's early history is similar as his film version's as he helps install the initial electromagnet that keeps Tony Stark alive after he is shot down in his helicopter by terrorists and convinces his ally to reflect as a weapons manufacturer. However, Yinsen turns out alive albeit corrupted by Minister of Defense Kuroda of Zodiac and becomes Iron Man Dio after stealing the prototype armor.
  • Dr. Yinsen appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. He appears in the episode "The Invincible Iron Man Part 2: Reborn" as a Stark International medical specialist and the man who repaired Tony Stark's heart after Howard Stark's plane crashed. Yinsen is later seen in the episode "Iron Monger Lives" after Howard was attacked with a poison by Head of Security O'Brian (revealed to be Whitney Stane).


  • The character appears in the 2007 direct-to-video animated film The Invincible Iron Man, but the voice actor is uncredited. This version is Ho Yen and helps James "Rhodey" Rhodes treat Tony Stark's damaged heart after being captured for attempting to dig up an ancient city and tells of the legend of the Mandarin. He is subsequently killed by Wong-Chu.
  • Professor Yinsen appeared in the 2008 film Iron Man, portrayed by Shaun Toub. He is a doctor and engineer from the small fictional Afghanistan village Gulmira and is captured by the local branch of an international terrorist group called the Ten Rings alongside Tony Stark. He assists Stark in creating the miniaturized arc reactor and the first Iron Man armor, subsequently sacrificing himself to buy time for Stark's armor to charge up. Dying, Yinsen reveals that his family is dead and he never intended to survive. After learning of a Ten Rings attack on Gulmira, Stark intervenes in for the first time as Iron Man to save his friend's home village.
  • Shaun Toub reprised the role in a cameo appearance in the 2013 film Iron Man 3. He was seen briefly meeting Stark during a flashback set on New Year's Eve 1999 which was also attended by Aldrich Killian. This appearance established his full name as Ho Yinsen, to which Stark jokingly says "I finally met a man named Ho."

Video Games[edit]

  • Shaun Toub reprised his role as Ho Yinsen for the 2008 Iron Man video game adaptation. He is seen on the tutorial level walking Tony Stark through the Iron Man suit's various features and bringing its weapons online. Unlike in the movie, he is not killed by buying Tony Stark time to escape, but deliberately sacrifices himself to prevent the Ten Rings acquiring Tony's notes on the Iron Man armor and the ammunitions that were stored with them.
  • Ho Yinsen is mentioned in Iron Man VR. Both him and Tony Stark were captured by terrorists in Afghanistan five years prior to the game's events. Yinsen helped Stark build his first Iron Man armor, but was unfortunately killed by the terrorists during Stark's escape.


  1. "The Real Hero Of The Marvel Universe Is The Guy Who Sacrificed Himself For Iron Man" article on Ho Yinsen
  2. DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 91. ISBN 978-0756641238.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. Hoskin, Michael; Vandal, Stewart; Wiltfong, David; Anderson, Chad; Byrd, Ronald, ed. (2008). "2008". The All-New Iron Manual. New York, United States of America: Joe Quesada. p. 64. ISBN 9781608872756.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. Iron Man #31 (August 2000)
  5. New Avengers vol. 4 #1
  6. Iron Man Vol 4 #7
  7. Black Widow Vol 6 #6
  8. His origins have went through multiple revisions, from the story originally taking place in Vietnam to finally being moved to Siancong in History of the Marvel Universe Vol.2 #2 (2019) Marvel Comics.
  9. Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963).
  10. The Invincible Iron Man vol. 3 #31–32 (August–September 2000) and Invincible Iron Man Annual 2000.
  11. The Invincible Iron Man vol. 3 #46–48 (November 2001 – January 2002).
  12. Al Wing, Medina (w), Lan (a). "Iron Man: Fatal Frontier" Iron Man v4, #9 (February 2014), Marvel Comics
  13. Marvel Mangaverse: New Dawn #1 (2002) Marvel Comics
  • CC-BY-SA icon.svg Text was copied from Ho Yinsen; see that page's history for attribution.

External Links[edit]

Category:Comics characters introduced in 1939 Category:Marvel Comics characters Category:Iron Man characters Category:Characters created by Stan Lee

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