It began with him. Iron Man was the progenitor of the world’s greatest movie franchise to ever exist. In Avengers: Endgame, he ensured people know why he is called a legend. While many of his comic book elements were adapted into the cinematic universe counterpart, the majority of the nooks and crannies that make Tony Stark Iron Man are yet to be explored in detail by the movies. Tony sacrificed his life so that the rest of the world has a future. But what about his legacy! How could Marvel ignore that there was still so much they could have done with Robert Downey Junior’s character. The departure of Tony Stark from the Marvel Cinematic Universe spells the doom of the storylines that could have done just that. Presenting – 10 Incredible Iron Man comic book storylines that will now never be part of MCU!!
10. Five Nightmares
The events of the Iron Man 1 movie saw Tony Stark stopping Obadiah Stane from taking over the company and defeating his Iron Monger suit to save the day. The comics take it up a notch. Five Nightmares is about Ezekiel Stane, the son of Obadiah Stane, trying to exact revenge on Tony Stark for what he did to his father. Ezekiel is as smart as Tony and is a younger and faster opponent that is more cunning than Tony Stark could ever be. Ezekiel uses Tony’s own technology against him and almost kills him in the ensuing battle that takes place all over the globe.
9. Director of Shield
Director of Shield comprises of a storyline where Tony Stark takes over the role of Shield’s shot-caller after the events of Civil War. Most of the world is still reeling from the aftermath and are suspicious of the heroes, who left the world in ruins. Iron Man, who sided with the government, is one of the few people the government trusts to be put into such a huge role of responsibility. But Tony Starks fails big time. His tenure as Shield’s Director turns out to be nothing but a mistake, and it weakens the relationship and trust factor between the government and the superheroes.
8. World’s Most Wanted
After Hydra was revealed to be the real engine behind Shield in the MCU in The Winter Soldier, Shield could no longer be trusted and was dismantled. In the comics, it wasn’t Hydra that turned out to be the juice behind Shield but Skrulls, shape-shifting aliens that can take on the form of any human being. After the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn became the new Director of Shield and the first thing he did was paint a huge bull-eye on Tony Stark’s back. What followed was an incredible cat and mouse chase!
7. Enter the Mandarin
The biggest complaint Iron Man of the MCU has encountered was the way Iron Man 3 has handled the character of Mandarin, Iron Man’s greatest arch-nemesis in the comic books. Enter the Mandarin was published in 2007 and it retells the story of how Tony Stark first came into contact with the person who will turn his life into a living hell in the future. Iron Man 3 took a complete U-Turn when they revealed that the real focus was on the Extremis storyline and Mandarin was just a blabbering stooge who was being forced to take the fall.
6. 10 Rings to Rule the World
The most awesome thing about the dynamic between Iron Man and the Mandarin was that Iron Man aka Tony Stark believed in Science and technology while Mandarin believed the key was magic and the arcane arts. The 10 Rings to Rule the World storyline involved the Mandarin, who literally has ten alien technology infused Makluan rings of incredible power, capturing an Iron Man impostor and Tony Stark being forced to enter the den of the dragon to save the guy, all the while battling Mandarin and his forces.
Tony Stark and Norman Osborn not meeting face to face was a tremendous missed opportunity for the marvel Cinematic Universe. The fact that they could not make Tony Stark encounter Doctor Doom, One of Marvel’s greatest super-villains, even though Disney actually now owns the rights to Doom, is an absolute travesty! Had Iron Man and Doom met each other in a movie, the storyline that should have been adopted would probably have been Doomquest. Doomquest takes Iron Man and Doctor Doom through the time stream and into the days of King Arthur and Camelot. While Iron Man takes King Arthur’s side and fights under his banners, Doom becomes an ally of Morgan le Fay. Both hero and villain all the while try to find a way to get back to their own time.
4. The Mask in the Iron Man
The MCU has tried to incorporate some elements of The Mask in the Iron Man storyline in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the comic book arc, the Artificial Intelligence system that guides Tony and handles the Iron Man suit, goes rogue and decides to go full on Skynet on Tony Stark. The Age of Ultron movie saw a similar plot line. A rogue A.I tried to take control of one of Iron Man’s suits and end the world. But instead of Jarvis like in the comics, it was Ultron in the movies.
This is a rather unconventional storyline but it added even more layers to Iron Man. It humanized him. The comic book storyline is set after the events of Demon in a Bottle (more on that in a moment), explored Tony’s days as a homeless alcohol addict living on the streets. He meets a pregnant woman in a snowstorm and decides to help her deliver her baby when she goes into labor. The woman dies and Tony almost loses his life in the process, but he has a revelation – he needs to beat his addiction to become Iron Man again. He contacts Rhodey soon after.
2. Armour Wars
Armour Wars is perhaps the most famous Iron Man storyline to have been ever written. Armour Wars is a story about Tony Stark’s arrogance. In this arc, Tony realizes that most of the Iron Man technology he has developed has somehow always ended up in the arms of evil men, who use it for their own gains. Tony tries to pursue the legal way to make the courts help him retrieve his tech. When that strategy fails, he decides to take matters into his own hands. After he dismantles Shield’s Mandroids and defeats the Guardsmen, he becomes public enemy number one for heroes and villains alike.
1. Demon in a Bottle
By far, this is one of the most influential Iron Man story arcs that continue to have after-effects on Tony Stark’s character development to this day, both in the comics and the movies. This classic storyline was penned by John Romita Junior and Bob Layton. It explored one of the most endearing bad habits of Tony Stark – alcoholism. The storyline did have villains for Tony to fight with but the actual bad guy was the booze in his hands. It almost drove him into madness. In the storyline, Rhodey, disgusted with Tony’s condition, decides to take up the Iron Man mantle and leaves Tony in the wind, something Iron Man 2 tried to replicate but failed miserably.
The Last Solo Marvel movie to be released under the Disney banner is Captain Marvel. The movie is currently in theatres. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.
Avengers: Endgame released on the 26th of April, 2019. The official film synopsis of the movie has been released and it states:
“After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store.”