The Iron Man: A Children's Story in Five Nights is a 1968 novel written by Ted Hughes and illustrated by Andrew Davidson. Described by some as a modern fairy tale and others as science fiction, it describes the unexpected arrival in England of a giant "metal man" of unknown origin who rains destruction on the countryside by attacking industrial farm equipment, before befriending a small boy and defending the world from an apparent dragon from outer space. Expanding the narrative beyond a criticism of warfare and inter-human conflict, Hughes later wrote a sequel, The Iron Woman, describing retribution based on environmental themes related to pollution. Prior to publishing in North America, the title was changed to The Iron Giant (as were all references to the metal man) to avoid confusion and legal issues with Marvel Comics' character, Iron Man.
The Iron Man comes to cliffs by the coast and falls over breaking into several parts. The following morning he reassembles himself and then walks out into the surf and disappears under the sea.
The Iron Man returns and consumes metal he finds on farms in the area, biting pieces out of agricultural machinery such as tractors, then returning...