It’s been 10 years since Iron Man (2008) came out, and now MCU is approaching at the culmination of everything that has happened till now, as Kevin Feige puts it. The Iron Man trilogy starring Robert Downey Jr. has been a great success for Marvel Cinematic Universe and since then the craze for Tony Stark and RDJ has reached the seventh sky. He has made a total seven appearances in MCU movies that include Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) as well as a cameo in Incredible Hulk (2008).
Marvel studios deliberate chose to start its cinematic universe with the Iron Man movie as they wanted the over-arching plot to revolve around Tony Stark/Iron Man. Their gamble has paid off and Iron Man has indeed become the sole anchor of the entire universe with other superheroes poured in as supporting characters. He is the most admirable and a recognizable face in the MCU, no wonder he carries a lot on his shoulders.
Robert Downey, Jr. has been phenomenal as Tony Stark aka Iron Man and is one of the most expensive actors working in Hollywood, topped Forbes list of highest paid actors in 2012 with an estimated $75 million earnings. He has it all – money, fame, power, massive fan following..u name it. But his life had its fair share of trials and tribulations. He faced complicated legal tangles in his life, he was addicted to drugs and got arrested for the same.
After securing his release from state prison, he joined the cast of a popular TV series “Ally McBeal” for which he won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor in a mini-series. But that’s not the reason of his street fame, he turned into a high-powered celebrity with his iconic portrayal of a Marvel superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel cinematic universe. He has played a lead actor in several Marvel films and four of his projects – The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War earned over $1 billion on global box-office.
Iron Man is a spoilt billionaire son turned superhero who joined “The Avengers” because it’s cool to save the world. He is the most popular Marvel superhero and in a way, the sole anchor of the entire MCU with other superheroes poured in as supporting characters. He is an over-confident, impulsive guy with the high-IQ.
In Extremis comic-book series, we saw Iron Man can sustain almost any injury, access brain’s repair center for the rapid healing process. He could even regrow organs.
In Avengers, we saw how Iron Man saved the day by carrying missile on his shoulders away from Earth’s orbit. In Iron Man- 3, we saw how Tony Stark can literally be at two places at once. Thanks to Mark 42, he was simultaneously tracking both Pepper and President. He could also travel space to access advanced alien technologies and return in time. He embraces his superhero identity with pride. He can learn and improvise on the go. Lastly, he is an MIT graduate who can hack anything on Earth. He always tries to project himself as someone “larger than life” but as Cap said he is actually nothing without a big man suit.
He has gone through dozens of armors in his life that were made for special circumstances or for fighting against a special enemy. It’s pretty obvious that Iron Man armor will need a major upgrade as his suits don’t operate in space (we saw that in The Avengers when he was carrying nuclear missile on his shoulders).
In “Fear Itself” #7 (by Matt Fraction, Stuart Immonen, and Wade Von Grawbadger) the earth was under attack by Serpent who was an Asgardian god and also the brother of Odin. The deity called down eight hammers to transform the mightiest beings on Earth in his “worthy” generals. Iron Man broke his sobriety as a ‘sacrifice’ to Odin to let him use the uru metal (the metal also used in Thor’s Mjolnir) to create weapons that can help him and his fellow Avengers fight against Serpent and his worthy generals.
Tony Stark was given the power to forge weapons using Asgardian resources. He devoted himself to learn about Uru, forged 8 weapons from the materials and infused his Extremis armor with the divine will of Odin, which is the same stuff used to make Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. He built the Asgardian Armor (aka Uru Armor) using the powerful uru metal. The armor was spike-filled and was awesomely weird.
Recently, Robert Downey Jr. on his official Facebook page teased an enhanced Iron man suit embedded with Asgardian armor. Clearly, he would need something more than a standard suit to fight Thanos in space. It’s not an official concept art but Downey isn’t kidding around, the caption under the photo reads “nobody does armor like Agar.” It is also possible that all this is just a bit of trolling on the mighty fan base as the movie is still one year away from release.
The official concept art of Iron Man armor for Avengers Infinity War has been released and it’s “Prime” armor from the comics. It’s one of the most powerful suits he has ever worn as it can change shape and form. There are energy weapons loaded in its arsenal with bup-flap wings for better flight. This allows Tony Stark to use his hands for weapons.
Brian Bendis and David Marquez in 2015 came out with a design and capabilities which are said to be most amazing till date. Tony Stark made this suit when he was totally frustrated so he combined all his previous abilities into one model from nanotech to stealth to Hulk buster at will. Here’s what Brian said:
“I kind of think of the armor as a super hi-tech Lego set; it can expand into a giant Hulkbuster or contract to a skin-tight ninja-like stealth suit. It can go underwater or launch into orbit.”
Tony Stark has faced everything that world threw at him and triumphed in both civilian and superhero life. But there is always a dark side to everyone. And he is no different. can pretend to be “Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist” but he has actually profited off the death of millions of people. He sells military goods to US Dept. of Defence who then use it to kill people.
In the title Iron Man #225, Iron Man discovered that his armor designs have been stolen, he then decided to go after everyone who used power armor ever including Stingray (who was sponsored by the government), S.H.I.E.L.D, Captain America which led to him losing his Avengers membership.
In Incredible Hulk #92, the Hulk was tricked into going space by an organization called “Illuminati” of which Iron Man is the chief member. He became a gladiator, killed many people and then came back to Earth for revenge. In Iron Man #124, he killed a foreign official and caused an international incident.
In 1995 crossover “The Crossing”, Iron Man was revealed to be a traitor who has been working for Kang for years. In 2003, Exiles #23, Tony Stark became the absolute ruler of the world as he manipulated global economy and instigated war between humans and mutants. In 2011, the “Age of X” crossover had a timeline where all mutants are exterminated and survivors were hunted by evil versions of Avengers, Iron Man was the most dangerous amongst all.
In “Time runs out” event, multi-verses were destroyed as worlds collided (also known as incursions). Tony Stark knew about these incursions but chose to keep it a secret which was revealed later in Avengers #44. In 2016 Civil War II, Iron Man was opposed to the idea of using Ulysses to prevent crimes from ever happening, so he kidnapped Ulysses which triggered the civil war.
It is amply clear now that Robert Downey Jr. ain’t coming back as Iron Man, but if fans refuse to let him go then there is another elegant solution to have both Iron Man 4 as well as Robert Downey Jr. in the movie. Marvel comics has come out with an elegant solution in the recently released Secret Empire #4 comic-book which revealed the AI version of Tony Stark who is going out on missions, with one of Iron Man’s classic armor, holographic head, interacting with fellow Avengers and charting out plans as if he is the real, living and breathing Tony Stark.