Happy Hogan (comics)

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Happy Hogan
Happy Hogan MarvelComics from-IronManual2008.jpg
Happy Hogan
Art by Ron Lim
From All-New Iron Manual, 2008
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceTales of Suspense #45 (September 1963)
Created byStan Lee
Robert Bernstein
Don Heck
In-story information
Full nameHarold Joseph "Happy" Hogan
Team affiliationsStark Industries
Supporting character ofIron Man

Harold Joseph ’Happy’ Hogan 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 also the father of Teen Abomination.

Jon Favreau portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).

Publication history[edit]

Created by writers Stan Lee and Robert Bernstein and artist Don Heck, Happy Hogan first appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963).

Fictional character biography[edit]

A former boxer with a history of losing his fights, Hogan is hired by Tony Stark as his chauffeur and personal assistant after Happy saves Tony's life in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963). Happy learns that Tony is Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #70 (October 1965).[1]

In Tales of Suspense #74 (February 1966), a desperately ill Happy is mutated into a giant, savage, nearly mindless, superhumanly strong humanoid known as the Freak when doctors try to cure him using a cobalt ray machine powered by Stark's experimental "Enervator" device. Freak breaks loose and goes on a rampage, escaping before Iron Man can arrive to stop him.[2]

Iron Man leads the Freak back to his laboratory, but runs out of power and collapses. The Freak encounters Pepper Potts, who faints at the sight of him, and he carries her away. The police fire on him, causing him to drop Pepper. Iron Man saves Pepper, and leads the Freak to his lab again. He is restored to his normal self in Tales of Suspense #76 (April 1966) when Iron Man exposes him to the Enervator once again, though he is afflicted with temporary amnesia that lasts until Tales of Suspense #83 (November 1966).[3]

Later, while helping Iron Man rebuild his armor, Happy is again exposed to cobalt rays and is again transformed into the Freak. The Freak smashes Iron Man through a wall, and takes Pepper with him. Iron Man is able to again return Happy to normal.[4]

The Collector later kidnaps Happy and Pepper, hoping to add the Freak to his collection. This draws Iron Man's attention, who intervenes and rescues his friends.[5]

Later, after Happy is injured while wearing the Iron Man armor, Stark uses the Enervator to save him, thinking that he has corrected the problems with the device. But again it transforms Happy into the Freak, who goes on another rampage. He exposes himself to cobalt radiation, causing him to glow with energy that will eventually reach critical mass and cause him to explode. The two battle, until Stark is able to use the Enervator to again revert Happy to normal.[6]

He marries Pepper Potts in Tales of Suspense #91 (July 1967), but they later divorce.[volume & issue needed]

Happy has worked for almost all of Stark's companies including Stark Industries, Stark Enterprises and Stark Solutions. However, when Tony/Iron Man disappears during Onslaught saga, Hogan refuses to be employed by Stark-Fujikawa but is reemployed when Stark returns. He also remarries Pepper Potts.[volume & issue needed]

With the events of the 2006 "Civil War" storyline causing Tony Stark considerable moral, political and emotional problems, Happy Hogan continues to give Tony much needed advice. In an important moment of crisis, he says to Tony: "You, my friend, are the only cape in the bunch [of superheroes] that's both one of us [that is, human] and one of them. Who else can see both sides the way you do?" On the night of his anniversary with Pepper, Hogan is attacked by the Spymaster, who is seeking to use Hogan as bait to draw out Iron Man. Spymaster threatens to kill Hogan first, then Pepper. Angered, Hogan grabs him by the neck and they fall several stories,[7] leaving Hogan in a vegetative coma.[8]

While he is in the coma, Pepper tells Tony of Cobra McCoyle, a former boxing friend who took too many hits to the head. Cobra is unable to even feed himself and must be taken care of. Pepper tells Tony that Hogan has declared he never wants to end up like McCoyle. At the end of Iron Man vol. 4 #14, Hogan apparently dies. The issue leaves it ambiguous whether Hogan dies naturally or whether it is because Tony Stark digitally interfaced with and shut down Hogan's life support.[8]

Following this, Tony experiences occasional hallucinations of Happy, which Doc Samson attributes to the Extremis process; as a result of Tony's mind being accelerated by the Extremis process to allow him to interface with his armor directly, his subconscious mind often processes information that he was not consciously aware of, with this information being 'filtered' by the part of Tony's mind that stored his guilt to stop him facing it, resulting in illusions of Happy or Steve Rogers appearing to prompt Tony to acknowledge key information that he had not registered himself.[9]

Later, when Tony (slowly losing his mind to prevent Norman Osborn from getting the Superhero Registration Act information) and Pepper are in hiding, Pepper reminds him of all his friends and allies with Happy being one of them. Tony then replies, "Who's Happy?"

After experiencing a moral inversion, Tony is confronted by a new, teenage version of Abomination when he relocates to San Francisco. While talking with Teen Abomination, Tony learns that he is Jamie Carlson, the son of former Stark Industries employee Katrina Carlson who was exposed to gamma radiation during an accident at the company when Tony was busy fighting a wizard from another dimension during an earlier time. Initially planning to analyze and use Teen Abomination's powers for himself, Tony changes his mind when the analysis of the boy's DNA reveals that Happy Hogan was his father, leaving Tony resolving to heal the boy as Happy was one of the few people he ever respected.[10]

Other versions[edit]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

In the Amalgam Comics Universe, DC Comics's Green Lantern and Marvel's Iron Man are combined to create Iron Lantern.[citation needed] Iron Lantern is secretly Hal Stark, owner of Stark Aircraft, a developer of experimental aircraft.[volume & issue needed] Stark's chief mechanic is Happy Kalmaku (an amalgamation of Marvel's Happy Hogan and DC's Thomas Kalmaku[citation needed]). Happy is in love with test pilot Pepper Ferris (an amalgamation of Marvel's Pepper Potts and DC's Carol Ferris). Unfortunately for Happy, Pepper is not only in love with Stark, she is also secretly the supervillain Madame Sapphire (a combination of Marvel's Madame Masque and DC's Star Sapphire). Happy Kalmaku first appeared in Iron Lantern #1 (April 1997), published jointly by Marvel and DC. He was created by Kurt Busiek (script) and Paul Smith (art).

Heroes Reborn[edit]

In the 1996-97 Heroes Reborn series, Happy Hogan is Stark's public relations chief. He has a brief romantic relationship with Pepper. He is also attacked by the villain Rebel and is seen later in a hospital bed.[11]

Marvel Zombies Return[edit]

In the Marvel Zombies universe, Happy appears in Marvel Zombies Return. He is working for Stark International; at this point Tony Stark is a useless drunk and S.I. headquarters is literally falling apart. Happy goes off to investigate a disturbance in the basement and falls prey to the zombie Giant Man who had teleported in from another dimension. The former hero bites and turns Hogan into a zombie. Happy then leads a zombie outbreak among the staff. James Rhodes kills him by destroying his head.[12]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Hogan appears alongside Iron Man in the Ultimates series, which is part of the Ultimate Marvel line of Ultimates comics. He is seen many times, sometimes with Pepper Potts, in the Iron Man armor control room.[13]

In the spin-off novel Tomorrow Men by Michael Jan Friedman, it is revealed that he has a supervisory position at the Triskelion; the Ultimates' headquarters. Furthermore, although Hogan has worked with Stark for a long time, he never officially achieved his MIT degree.

In Ultimate Human, although he is never seen on page, Tony Stark is seen talking to him on a cell phone, and then continuing the conversation after he is in an Iron Man suit.[14]

In other media[edit]



  • Happy Hogan appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by Jon Favreau (who was also the director of the first two Iron Man films).
    • In Iron Man, he is shown to be Tony Stark's bodyguard, chauffeur and close friend.
    • In Iron Man 2, Happy is first seen welcoming Tony at the Stark Expo. When Tony receives a subpoena to appear before Congress by a U.S. Marshal, Happy Hogan takes the subpoena stating that Tony doesn't like to be handed things. Happy later assists Black Widow into raiding Hammer Industries. He struggles in his fight with one of the security personnel while Black Widow takes out the rest. Favreau's son Max had a minor appearance in the film as an Expo attendee wearing an Iron Man mask later confirmed to have been retconned as a young Peter Parker.
    • In Iron Man 3, Happy is the head of security for Stark Industries, having been promoted as he complained about feeling ridiculous announcing himself as Iron Man's bodyguard. At the beginning of the film, he witnesses the side-effects of an Extremis enhanced Jack Taggart and gets into conflict with Eric Savin. He is rendered comatose when Taggart explodes, prompting Stark to go after the Mandarin. He regains consciousness near the end of the film.
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming,[17] he is assigned by Tony Stark as head of Asset Management for the Avengers, overseeing the transition of the Avengers moving to their new facility in upstate New York. Happy is also assigned as a point of contact for Peter Parker, but is shown to abhor the job. Peter continuously calls Happy, much to the latter's annoyance. Happy later shuts off Peter's friend Ned when he tries to call him for help during Vulture's mid-air heist of the Avengers' items. During the attempted heist, Happy witnesses it from a distance as he's in the Avengers Tower. In the end when Peter defeats Vulture and leaves him for Happy and the authorities, Happy gives him his thanks and admits to Tony that "he's a good kid."
    • Favreau reprised his role in Avengers: Infinity War in a scene that was cut for time but is available as a deleted scene on the Blu-Ray release.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, Happy was revealed to have been among the survivors of the Snap and later appears at the end of the film as one of the attendees at Tony Stark's funeral. He is later seen comforting Tony and Pepper's daughter, Morgan, after the loss of her father while being heartbroken himself over losing his closest friend.
    • Favreau reprised his role in Spider-Man: Far From Home.[18] He continues to look after Peter and help him deal with Stark's loss which brings both of them closer. He aids Peter in London by helping his friends who are targeted by Mysterio to safety. He is also shown to be friends with Peter's aunt May, who it is implied he is attracted to which he eventually but spontaneously confirms to Peter's friends. Peter eventually confronts both him and May the latter of whom does not acknowledge them as dating.

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Tales of Suspense #70, Marvel Comics
  2. ^ Tales of Suspense #74, Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Tales of Suspense #76 and #83, Marvel Comics
  4. ^ Iron Man #3-4, Marvel Comics
  5. ^ Iron Man #26, Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Iron Man #84-85, Marvel Comics
  7. ^ Iron Man vol. 4 #13, Marvel Comics
  8. ^ a b Iron Man vol. 4 #14, Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Iron Man vol. 4 #25, Marvel Comics
  10. ^ Superior Iron Man #5, Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Heroes Reborn #1-12 (1996 - 1997), Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Marvel Zombies Return #2 (2009), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Millar, Mark (w), Hitch, Bryan (a). Ultimates 2 #1-13, Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Ultimate Human #2, Marvel Comics
  15. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 1, 2016). "Jon Favreau to Reprise 'Iron Man' Role in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUFmhKpZKlE

External links[edit]