"That landmine put shrapnel two centimeters from my heart. My every movement allowed it to inch closer. I had to design a system to hold the shrapnel where it was. And incorporate it into a self-defense solution to get me out of captivity. It was the first time I'd had to design something that saved lives. It was a stopgap at best. I got home and put my money into a suit that'd keep me alive. I spent years in various versions of this breastplate, holding the shrapnel in magnetic fields. Until medical science caught up with me. And I could get the damn thing out. But I kept the suit. Kept tinkering with it. And I'm not sure why any more. Except maybe that it wasn't about the future. But my future. And it allowed me to pretend that I wasn't a man who made landmines. I went from being a man trapped in an iron suit to being a man freed by it. Iron Man command system on. Start."
—Anthony Edward Stark
Tony Stark: It is one thing to question the official story, and another thing entirely to make wild accusations or insinuate that I'm, uh, a superhero.
Christine Everhart: I never said you were a superhero.
Tony Stark: Didn't?
Christine Everhart: Mmm-mm.
Tony Stark: Well, good, because that would be outlandish and, uh, fantastic. I'm...just not the hero type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the mistakes I've made (largely public) -
James Rhodes: Stick to the cards, man.
Tony Stark: Yeah, okay, yeah. The truth is...I am Iron Man.
— Iron Man
Steve Rogers: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, what are you?
Tony Stark: Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist.
I! AM! IRON MAN! I! AM! I-RON MAN!
(90s-tastic guitar solo)