The Iron Fish
Real Name: Danny Gray and Penny Gray
Identity/Class: Humans using high tech vehicles
Occupation: School pupils
Affiliations: Each other
Enemies: Captain Sun, Insect Man, Birdman
Known Relatives: Professor Gray (father), unidentified uncle
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: The seas around the U.K.
First Appearance: Beano (D.C.Thomson, 1949)
Powers/Abilities: Both pilots were quick witted and resourceful. The Iron Fish is very tough, impervious to bullets and other missiles, and also extremely maneuverable - it is not only able to leap out of the water, but can be piloted precisely enough that it can puncture a diver's air hose without hitting the man himself. The hull can be electrified to drive off undersea creatures. The early versions of the Fish could also fly like mini-jet planes, and were equipped with high powered water cannons; whether the version that turned up in Buddy had these abilities is unconfirmed.
History: Danny and Penny Gray were twins who piloted an incredible submersible vehicle known as the Iron Fish from their home town of Sunport. The vehicle had been built by their father, Professor Gray, and was capable of many amazing feats. In spite of their youth, they were often called on the help the authorities against various criminals and terrorists. When their father was stationed in the Arctic, the kids' uncle modified the Iron Fish so that both siblings could travel in it simultaneously. When Professor Gray returned, he built a second Fish so each child could pilot one apiece, and modified them with jets to allow them to fly.
Comments: Created by Jack Glass.
Given the identical crafts, it seems likely that Danny Boyle, the pilot of the Iron Fish in the 1980's Buddy version of this strip, may well have received his submarine from one of the Grays, either the children or their inventor father.
Brian Asbury informs me "You may be interested to know that the Penny/Danny Gray Fish were not the originals. There was at least one earlier version of the Iron Fish before that - possibly two. I certainly remember one pre-dating the Penny and Danny twin fish which was at least a two-seater and a bit more primitive-looking, and I'm sure I once came across an even earlier one from the fifties.
What I do remember about the Gray Iron Fish was that they could be remote-controlled from each other: that was why they had antennae. Originally they could not fly, but they were later equipped with jet engines mounted under the Iron Fishes' 'pectoral fins'. These modified Fish were a bit more streamlined: the 'ball on a pole' aerials were also removed and replaced on each Fish with a dorsal fin with a light on the end: this would glow when one of the Fish was being remote-controlled."
Joe Sycamore confirms and expands on Brian's note about the earlier version of the Fish: "there was originally a single fish, two seater, which Danny and Penny drove, for want of a better word and that in one episode they are seen flipping a coin to decide who will pilot it when the coin is caught by their father who informs them that 'From now on, you will have one each'"
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Iron Fish, their successor
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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