The Iron Man is the playboy-billionaire-philanthropist that people tend to confuse with its billionaire-orphan-vigilante-fighting-justice arc which is ironed all over its metallic face. But alas, he is not another Batman. The meteoric rise of comic book heroes and villains including the likes of Harley Quinn and Spider-Man has gained a wild fandom over the consecutive years since their characters have the most lethal public spotlight in the watershed moment. Considering the release of 2008’s Iron man, the superhero genre has kick-started the monolithic Marvel Cinematic Universe with Robert Downey Jr in the driver’s seat.
11 years and over 11 billion dollars worth the estimate, Robert Downey Jr. is finally set to depart the role that energized his career with Avengers: Endgame. It’s going to be pretty bumpy, but it also presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the morality of Iron Man, how Downey managed to redefine him, and how the character’s resurgent popularity has given rise to a whole host of miscalculations and comedy of errors in the process.
Ever since 1963, Iron Man has been a constant face of the Marvel Universe but with the changing of the zeitgeist, you’d struggle to find a superhero as misunderstood as Tony Stark. With a change in history, there also has come a change in the character and the various identities that people associate his name with.
1. Tony Stark Has Always Been Like He Is In the MCU
Iron Man wasn’t even a household name. Before 2008, he has been a part of the numerous avenger books but never quite a popular star like Spider-Man, Hulk, or even a Captain America. Sure he was cast opposite those figures in the popular cartoon and comic realm but never quite possessed the draw of the other A-listers. At least Tony Stark was never quite the media figure. The nineties witnessed his aroma in the cracking cartoon series but were the most ardent of true followers who were familiar with the Avenger.
The adaptations possessed little influences from the character’s comic book self that explored the frequent arrogance and demon stomp in a much darker galaxy of the Stark figure present elsewhere. Clearly, Downey Jr. aced an excellent job of conveying Tony’s ego, his arrogant nature and his combative approach to dialogue were some of the charms that got later transformed to some inventive quirks that Downey invented himself.
The Tony Guy was much of a Joker and was far more aware of the concept of humility, as a result, the character was exerted with personal prowess and influences that powered the actor’s influence in 2008. Downey’s Stark has been the gripping comic capture of the generation. It was only with the recent portrayal that had changed with the comic figure.
2. I am Batman
Compared to any other character in the DC library Marvel’s inevitable Bruce Wayne was always Tony Stark. To begin with, both were billionaires, both were orphans and both lacked typical god particle powers. Their intelligent quotients were the only weapon that created a technological suit of armour to outthink their opponents and protect them in combat. In the broad daylight, Bruce Wayne is a philanthropic playboy who spends his days meddling over the affairs of Wayne Enterprises, a company with interests in the technology industry and, before he wrested control from the board, the arms industry too.
Tony Stark is a weapons manufacture specialist who builds weapons at Stark Industries. The industries turned scientific business serves as an outlet to advance the Iron Man Tech. In the beginning, Stan Lee created Tony Stark to be a Cold Warrior. The Character design was to be as unlikable as possible. The man of the Military Industry Complex was supposed to be introduced as someone you would have met in the sixties. Versioned to be antagonized the Iron man was to give the Marvel readers a different perspective to see that nothing was ever always black or white, but that there were always shades of grey.
3. Stark Doesn’t Get Along With S.H.I.E.L.D.
One would guess that there has always been a different unlikely understanding between Nick Fury and Tony Stark. Whereas SHIELD and Stark had always shared a pretty simple relationship in the MCU. Recruited by Nick Fury to be a member of the “Avengers initiative, a super team of individuals designed to fight the battles no one else could Shield plays a pretty underhand way when Black Widow infiltrates Stark’s company and problems arise. Mentors and Superheroes always share a common trait of not getting to gel well with each other.
In the comics it’s the former that’s pertinent with Downey having to go far of hacking Shield’s mainframe to understand Fury’s true intentions. Stark was never a fan of Fury’s tantrums, but truth is always different. He didn’t come to loathe everything about SHIELD they represent even going down the rabbit hole in the likes of 2006 Civil War written by ark Millar and drawn by Steven McNiven.
4. Tony has always been Iron Man
The mechanisms of Stark Tech always belonged to the prodigal son of Howard Stark not necessarily. The tech did follow suit with the other allies as well. The first replacement was Colonel James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, who assumed the Iron Man identity back when Tony Stark relapsed into alcoholism and the firm was owned by Obadiah Zane. Rhodey did later assume the mantle of War Machine fighting alongside Stark’s Iron Man under a variety of different circumstances in comic books.
A teen version of Tony was also Iron Man as it appears that the present Tony had been a villain all along. Riri Williams and even Victor Von Doom have assumed variations of the Iron Man identity over the last few years. The rate Tony is being exposed to successors there could be a billion Iron men like the endgame in Iron Man 3 or you might call it the Christmas party.
5. The Number of Armors
Over more than 40 armors had been created by Stark at various points over the years, with some only featuring the briefest of moments, but to say he was born to be suited with. A definitive answer is definitely hard to come by when some haven pegged a figure of being close to 50 rather than 40. One of the many things that i=Iron Man Fans won’t find hard to answer is which of the suit of armor is their favorite.
6. He’s Only Ever Been an Avenger
It’s a completely wrong notion if the Iron becomes complete synonymous with the Avengers. The disingenuous part would be to think the greatest tech survivor and liver is not competent enough to fight other supergroups. Written by Brian Bendis the series made for a welcome change of pace for Iron Man, who had all too often spent most of his time grounded on Earth.
Yes, he would regroup and fight alongside his fellow Avengers, but his time spent with the Guardians will be remembered fondly. Apart from being listed with Star-Lord and his raccoons Tony only has also been associated with the Thunderbolts (effectively Marvel’s Suicide Squad), and even the Illuminati, a group comprised of Earth’s foremost intellectuals who conspire to tackle threats Earth’s less mighty heroes probably wouldn’t understand.
7. Iron Man 3 Is A Bad Movie
From the famed director of The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and for contributing to 1987’s Predator, Shane Black signed on to co-write and direct Iron Man 3, Marvel fans were justifiably excited. The Critical Consensus of Iron Man 3 was actually good but the fans of Marvel have been pretty divisive. The original Mandarin of the comics was a Fu Manchu-esque caricature who had no business with modern day Marvel; Black reimagined having Aldrich Killian being the real version of the character which was actually gold.
In addition to the Shane Black Film the buddy-cop dynamic shared between Rhodey and Stark, was an honest appraisal of Stark’s mental condition after the Battle of New York that broached themes surrounding PTSD, and Tony himself grows as a character by the time the end credits roll.
8. Civil War Destroyed His Relationship With Steve Rogers
The actual graphic novel did a poor job of diving into Stark’s motivations and painted the savior as authoritarian hellbent on curtailing civil liberties. The recent shift to being the director of SHIELD was somewhat dreary as it drove the relationship of the Cap and Iron Man apart. For Steve’s eventual surrender the battle cry eventually turned out to be his death note. After Captain’s death, Tony is the one who grieves out of all the most and spends the next couple of issues begging Bucky Barnes to assume Rogers’ mantle, so desperate is he to ensure Cap’s legacy isn’t forgotten.
9. Pepper Potts Is His Only Romantic Partner
Pepper Potts and Tony Stark aren’t made for each other, the entire playboy antics leading to setting his eyes for his secretary feels like a child in Endgame. The fact is Tony and Pepper have never really been able to kick it off together in the comics. Pepper was actually married to Happy Hogan for a while. Tony hasn’t had the august presence when it came to women.
One of his earliest romantic flings was with Black Widow back when she was working for the U.S.S.R., and it’s become something of a repeating theme for Stark to fall in love with all manner of super villains and secret spies, with Madame Masque, Sunset Bain, and Indries Moomji all having won Stark’s affections, only to reveal themselves as being evil.
10. He is Just a Man in a Suit of Armour
In the first Avengers movie, Steve Rogers asks a pretty scathing question to Tony Stark –
Steve Rogers: “Big man in a suit of armour. Take that away and what are you?”
Tony Stark: “Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
Steve Rogers: I know guys with none of that worth ten of you.”
Tony Stark is the man who has put behind all his demons to be the hero of today. The only philanthropist who doesn’t need to conceal behind a mask. The only genius who had privatized world security and safety and gave it a big brand name of his own.