"If this part of town is kingdom of crooks, this guy has to be some kind of king."―Indiana Jones[src]
The man in the iron mask was a member of French royalty determined to re-establish a monarchy in France with himself on the throne.
Descended from the secret uncrowned brother of King Louis XIV, the man in the iron mask was born into a family that established itself as a leader of the Marseilles criminal underworld when kept from the country's throne.
He was passed down a story told by the heirs of Louis IX about a lost message the king had made while on a crusade in 1270 concerning a bejeweled crown taken from a tribe in Egypt and couriered back to France as bargaining chip in case he was ever captured.
In 1914, the man in the iron mask learned an Aiges-Mortes native called Dupont had uncovered the body of a knight buried with an aged manuscript. Meeting with Dupont to purchase the artifact, the man was informed the document was already promised to American Thornton N. Thornton VI. The iron masked man assigned men to steal the item from Thornton — disguised as gypsies to devert attention from himself — but found the manuscript to be in medieval latin which he couldn't read. He had Dupont killed and kidnapped Thornton to translate along with his companions Indiana Jones and a Rom named Sarah.
The artifact led to the location of the valuable crown which carried a curse by the gypsy leader, from whom it was revealed the crown was originally stolen, which caused Louis' death by plague. The man in the iron mask unveiled his plan to use the crown as a gift for the loyalty of the German kaiser, maneuvering the world into a war, who would assist the man in the iron mask in re-establishing a French monarchy with himself as the head of state.
However, in his grandiose attempt to execute his three captives by guillotine — as he was inspired to rehearse the coronation — the would-be king placed the crown of the Rom upon his head and before he could pronounce their death he let out a scream and collapsed to the floor.
- Young Indiana Jones and the Gypsy Revenge (First appearance)