"So in the movie, Tony Stark, head of Stark Industries, is a powerful genius billionaire industrialist sex-magnet. Apparently that's not enough for him, so he decides to add 'superhero' to the list as well."
Go ahead, hum that Black Sabbath
song. You know you want to
Tony Stark was a genius playboy billionaire industrialist until a battlefield explosion left him with a damaged heart that threatened to kill him. Captured by the enemy forces, he is forced into manufacturing weaponry to aid them. Instead he secretly designed and built a suit of armor in a cave, with a box of scraps
to keep his heart beating and to escape from his captors, and in the process became the superhero known as Iron Man. The character first appeared in Tales of Suspense
#39 (March, 1963), created by writers Stan Lee
, and Larry Lieber, along with artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby
. He has served as the protagonist of several series since that time.
Until recently, Iron Man was featured in Invincible Iron Man
— a rather character-driven title that deals with the troubles of Tony Stark, as well as the politics of Iron Man. The writer Matt Fraction has modeled the plot after the movies to some extent to make it a feasible jumping on point for new fans. In 2012, Fraction and Salvador Larocca's five year run ended so that Volume 4 could launch as part of "Marvel NOW", with Kieron Gillen and Greg Land switching from Uncanny X-Men
Iron Man, during the controversial Civil War
story-line, chose to champion the Superhero Registration Act, which put him at odds with his long time friend and ally Captain America/Steve Rogers and resulted in a war between Stark's pro-registration heroes and Cap's anti-registration heroes. Although Stark championed Registration with good intentions (he insists it was to protect his fellow heroes from possibly being eradicated by the government following a superhero/villain related tragedy that resulted in countless civilian deaths), he did a number of questionable and downright unpleasant things to get it in place (see below). Stark's support of Superhero Registration would ultimately come back to bite him in the ass in Secret Invasion
Until the end of Secret Invasion
, there was a second title, Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D
— a politics and espionage-based book, dealing with Stark's role as head of the international security organization. The last few issues were handed to Iron Man's ally War Machine, who has now been granted his own solo series, called "Iron Man 2.0", which is his third (after the 1994 and 2009 ongoing series).
As of the dawn of the Heroic Age, Stark is rebuilding his financial empire from scratch. His vehicle to make this happen? Using technology provided by Danny Rand
combined with his own repulsor technology has formed one of the most astounding sources of clean energy ever seen. He's offering for investors to get in on the ground floor or be flattened by him in five to ten years. And the best part? His new company won't be financed by manufacture of a single weapon
. After Avengers vs. X-Men
, Brian Michael Bendis
has confirmed that Iron Man will join the Guardians of the Galaxy
in the Marvel NOW!
series in early 2013.
In non-comic media, a movie based on the character, Iron Man
, was released in May 2008 with Robert Downey, Jr.
in the title role. It did well at the box office, and as of June 2008 had a 94% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best-received movie of the year, tying with The Dark Knight
. This movie was followed by two sequels and other appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
. Prior to the movies, Iron Man had animated TV series in 1966 and 1994; for information on those, see here
. In the wake of the movies, Iron Man: Armored Adventures
is a cartoon that takes another approach to the mythos by having Tony and his friends be teenagers. Additionally, there is a 2011 anime
, well-received by fans in concept partly on the basis that 1) the Japanese know Mecha, and Iron Man has a Mecha Suit
, and 2) it wouldn't be that far off the mark for the character to have adventures in Japan, since he's a businessman with corporate branches and rivals all over the world.note
The series led to Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
, an Anime film made to promote the release of Iron Man 3
. The character has also appeared in both Ultimate Avengers
films as well as the prequel, The Invincible Iron Man
. Iron Man will feature in yet another animated feature in 2013, this time a team-up with The Incredible Hulk
called Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
Alongside Black Widow
, Iron Man is also one of the very first playable heroes to be recruited for free in Marvel Avengers Alliance
(although technically, Hawkeye
is also free because recruiting him is a part of the game's Forced Tutorial
). Aside from appears as playable Iron Man, Tony Stark himself also appears as a part of Mission Control and the consultant
Not to be confused with The Iron Giant
, which was based on a Ted Hughes
novel entitled The Iron Man
. And please for the love of God, don't confuse this with Tetsuo: The Iron Man
. Much pain will be spared from you.
This Marvel Universe comic book provides examples of: