Art by Ron Lim
From All-New Iron Manual, 2008
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963)|
|Full name||Harold Joseph "Happy" Hogan|
|Team affiliations||Stark Industries|
|Supporting character of||Iron Man|
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).
In Tales of Suspense #74 (February 1966), a desperately ill Happy is mutated into a giant, savage, nearly mindless, superhumanly strong humanoid known as 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.
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).
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.
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.
Later, while Happy is injured while wearing the Iron Man armor, Stark uses the Enervator to save him, thinking that he has corrected the problems with his device. But again it transforms Happy into the Freak, who goes on another rampage. He exposes himself to cobalt materials, causing him to glow with energy that will eventually reach critical mass and explode. The two battle, until Stark is able to use the Enervator to again revert Happy to normal.
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.
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, leaving Hogan in a vegetative coma.
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.
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 wasn't 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 hadn't registered himself.
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.
In the Amalgam Comics Universe, DC Comics's Green Lantern and Marvel's Iron Man are combined to create Iron Lantern. Iron Lantern is secretly Hal Stark, owner of Stark Aircraft, a developer of experimental aircraft. Stark's chief mechanic is Happy Kalmaku (an amalgamation of Marvel's Happy Hogan and DC's Thomas Kalmaku). Happy is in love with test pilot Pepper Ferris (an amalgamation of 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).
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.
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.
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, some with Pepper Potts, in the Iron Man armor control room.
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.