|Publisher||Rare Underground Comics|
|First appearance||Ironheart (Spring 1994)|
|Created by||Ekim Htiek|
|Team affiliations||Tiger Riders Special Ops |
Valiant City Police
Tabemono Ninja Clan
Mustang Ironheart is the protagonist in the extremely rare Mustang Ironheart series of graphic novels and movie adaptations. He is the central character in the 14-part series that chronicles his life primarily as a detective and soldier. The series is inspiration for multiple spin-offs including Brock's War: Spirit Wings that follows his father's feats in World War I as well as the Deke Street series.
Ironheart can be described as a rough and gritty hero who will use any means necessary to enforce his brand of justice.
Fictional character biography
The Mustang Ironheart Saga can be broken up into three major parts, with the exception of Mission: Roundhouse!, a one-part story that details Mustang's rise to the top of the Thai underground street fighting circuit.
The High School Years
Taking place in the 1980s, Mustang's high school years are chronicled in Mustang vs. The Corridors of Time and Mustang vs. The Quantum Lepers. The stories follow Mustang's construction of a time machine and his travels through the annals of time. The time machine constructed during his high school years resurfaces at the end of the saga in Mustang's Law but is recalibrated by Jimmy Ice as a clone machine. The time machine additionally may or may not explain Mustang's involvement in the Vietnam War, although it is never clarified.
The two books from Mustang's high school years still remain unpublished manuscripts which Ekim Htiek was rumored to write while in college; there is question as to if their existence is real or not. However the storylines are occasionally referenced in later Mustang books.
The Vietnam Years
Mustang's part in the Vietnam War follows his participation with the Tiger Riders, an elite group of the military, "so secret that their existence is even hidden from the government". It is not clear if the author Ekim Htiek created the idea of the Tiger Riders for the graphic novels or if it was based on knowledge of an actual military group rumored to exist during the Korean War and Vietnam War. Jungle Fury, Bandoliers of Glory: Tiger Riders II and Code Name: Freedom: Tiger Riders III follow a sub-plot that starts very patriotic but slowly declines into a darker tone that graphically emphasizes the horrors of war.
The Valiant City Years
The longest part of the Ironheart saga is told through eight stories. In the early '90s, following his sister's death, Mustang becomes a detective in the Valiant City Police force. During this time we are introduced to Mustang's nemesis Jimmy Ice as well as other villains including The Mongoose, The Red Python and The Ninja King. Following the stories Ironheart and Brass Tactics, Mustang quits and rejoins the force. This creates a large continuity error in the saga, as he is rumored to have traveled to Japan to train with the great Master Tabemono before his death in the late '80s, despite the portion of the saga taking place in the early '90s.
Following his return to Valiant City in Preludes of Iron, the saga takes its only foray into humor with the buddy comedy Bad 2 the Bone. After Shadowwrath of the Ninja: The Revenge, the return of the Tiger Riders in Blood of the Tiger Riders: Turf Wars and International Waters, the saga and series conclude with Mustang's Law.
Little is known about the final graphic novel, Mustang's Law, due to an extremely limited amount of prints, but it's rumored to feature the death and resurrection of Mustang.
Ironheart is portrayed by Mike Treveloni in various films, PSAs and shorts. Like the comics the films are not released chronologically.
Mustang Ironheart: Preludes of Iron
The first film adaptation Preludes of Iron was based on the comic of the same name. The movie had a short theater run debuting February 2007 and was released on DVD in May 2007. Mike Treveloni played Mustang supported by Cassie Ramoska as his love interest Veronica Grace and Ricky Faust as his sidekick as they battled The Red Python and recurring villain Jimmy Ice.
Mustang Ironheart: Shadowwrath of the Ninja: The Revenge
Mike Treveloni was slated to reprise the role of Mustang Ironheart as he battled the fabled Ninja King and a cyberterrorist plot to rule the city. The movie has since been put into turnaround due to a controversial draft in which the usual ninja foes were changed to gun toting Marxist guerrillas. Creator Ekim Htiek reportedly endorsed the change, however producers felt audiences weren't ready for things to get too real.
A script for the long anticipated Mustang's Law is rumored to be in the works. It allegedly will follow the darker, grittier tone of the original graphic novel and, if the rumors hold any ground, it will explain the birth of Mustang Ironheart via a grandfather paradox in which he out duels his father to win his mother's affections.
While it was the first story published in Spring of 1994, Ironheart is not the first story chronologically. The first story in the timeline is the yet to be published Mustang vs. The Corridors of Time.
Released in the US
- Ironheart by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1994)
- Brass Tactics by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1994)
- Preludes of Iron by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1995)
- Bad 2 the Bone by Cordwainer Bird (Rare Underground Comics, 1995)
- Shadowwrath of the Ninja: The Revenge by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1996)
- Blood of the Tiger Riders: Turf Wars by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1996)
- International Waters by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1997)
- Mustang's Law by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1997)
Not available in the US
- Jungle Fury by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1998)
- Bandoliers of Glory: Tiger Riders II by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 1999)
- Code Name: Freedom: Tiger Riders III by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 2001)
- Mission Roundhouse! by Ekim Htiek (Rare Underground Comics, 2001)
- Mustang vs. The Corridors of Time by Ekim Htiek (1989)
- Mustang vs. The Quantum Lepers by Ekim Htiek (1990)
Mustang 2012 or "Mayastang"
In the weeks leading up to the 2009 Comic-Con postcards were circulated amongst comic book stores and head shops featuring the image of the deity Chaac wearing mirrored sunglasses and a fanny pack. This sparked whispers that after an eight year absence Ekim Htiek was returning to the printed word with a fifteenth volume of the Ironheart saga. Many loyal fans have been uneasy about the prospect of a new Mustang adventure, especially one that appears to be shamelessly cashing in on the 2012 doomsday hysteria.