Public Domain Super Heroes
The Iron Terror

Real Name

(I) Herbert Balcom, (II) Paul Balcom

First Appearance

The Master Mystery (Novel, 1919)

Original Publisher

Created by

John W. Grey and Arthur B. Reeve


When Herbert Balcom, founder of International Patents, Inc., convinced Doctor Q that their partner, Peter Brent, was the source of all his problems, including the loss of his children, Q built a metal monster to achieve his revenge. Originally, the monster was built to be run by the brain of a man who had died from electrocution, but Herbert redesigned the robot chasis to be a suit of powered armor, with which he could vanquish his own enemies. After Herbert Locke was killed, his son, Paul, wore the armor to exact his own revenge.

As founder of International Patents, Inc, Herbert had access to many advanced weapons and inventions. He also commanded a small gang. Paul was Herbert's heir and had his own underworld connections.

The Iron Terrror armor was bullet proof, capable of easily withstanding point blank shots from an automatic pistol. However, it was vulnerable to heat and did not protect the wearer from poison gas. The armor did enhance the strength of the wearer and could fire lightning from its fingertips. It appears to be about 8 feet tall. It was said to be huge and frightening with glowing eyes.


In the story, the Iron Terror is usually called, "The Automaton" though it is not actually an automaton. It was also referred to as an "iron man." Some sources have misidentified the name of the character as Q.