YMMV / Iron Man

See Iron Man Films for the films.

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YMMVs for the Comics:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Tony Stark. Good guy, or imperialist scumbag?
    • Hero or as much of a villain as a number of people he fights?
  • Author's Saving Throw: When Marvel did a sequel Civil War story to capitalize on the MCU film based on the original, Tony was made the leader of the pro-freedom side.
  • Awesome Ego: Tony Stark.
  • Broken Base:
    • Kieron Gillen's run. The first arc was generally well liked, while the second arc, while mostly liked, irked some of the fans who sided with the Avengers during Avengers vs. X-Men due to the way it treats Tony's attack on the Phoenix. The arcs following, however, for retconning Tony's dad met aliens who may be responsible for Tony's intelligence. One party found the story interesting, the other felt the idea robbed Tony of his independence by establishing he was predisposed from birth to make his armour. The ending and subsequent arc where its revealed that he wasn't the child 451 altered, and is instead Howard Stark's adopted son, and has a secret brother named Arno, is similarly split between those who're still enjoying the run, those who were unsure about the previous story arc but are happy about this revelation and subsequent possible stories, and those who just hate the changes going on and refuse to read.
    • Superior Iron Man. Some people loved it and thought it was awesome, other people couldn't stand it.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Obadiah Stane, AKA Iron Monger I, after seeing his father shoot himself during a game of Russian Roulette, reached two conclusions: that life was a game you had to win at, no matter the cost, and that his father was a weakling who left too much to chance. During a childhood chess match, when paired against a boy who was his equal or better, Stane slit the boy's pet dog's throat to make sure his mind wasn't on the game. Becoming a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Stane defeated Tony Stark in a corporate buyout, and engineered his psychological breakdown, reducing Tony to living on the streets as a homeless, alcoholic vagrant. When Tony returned as Iron Man, Stane wasted no time in kidnapping his friends and loved ones, going so far as to try and brainwash one of Tony's former girlfriends into becoming his lover, not out of interest, but to drive in the fact that he had won; he then set off a bomb at the Circuit Dome to kill Tony with no compunction about collateral damage. When Tony arrived to confront him, Stane revealed he'd set up a chamber with Tony's loved ones subject to receiving electric shocks should he take a step to free them, intending to force Tony to starve to death in the room. When Tony beat Stane's game, Stane played his last trump card: Tony would surrender or Stane would use his own suit to crush a baby's skull. Once beaten, Stane opted to hurt Tony and deny him victory the only way he could: suicide.
    • Wong Chu started off as Iron Man's first major villain but later became something worse. In the original version of Iron Man's origin, Wong Chu was an Asian warlord who ran a PoW Camp. After Tony Stark was injured while visiting a war zone, Wong Chu captured him and brought him to his camp, so that Stark could make weapons for him. Stark instead made the Iron Man armor, not before Wong Chu's men killed Yinsen, the kindly scientist who helped Stark create the armor. Wong Chu was about to order his men to kill all the prisoners in the camp, but he was seemingly killed during a battle with Iron Man. Wong Chu managed to survive and reappeared in in 2000's "The Sons of Yinsen" storyline. Deciding to become a drug lord, he opened a more brutal camp in a remote Asian jungle and kidnapped villagers to work as slaves and produce narcotics for him. The Sons of Yinsen, a group that revered the original Yinsen, informed Stark of Wong Chu's camp. Iron Man and his allies attack the camp, discovering that Wong Chu also uses children as slaves. When Iron Man and his allies confront Wong Chu, Wong Chu is sitting on a throne made of human skulls. Wong Chu threatens to murder two dozen slaves if Iron Man and his allies don't surrender. When they do surrender, Wong Chu executes them anyway, then tortures Stark and his allies, before planning to execute them, taking them to a pit filled with thousands of corpses of murdered slaves.

  • Creepy Awesome: Ghost. Sometimes overlaps with Crazy Awesome.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome:
    • Tony's had a few but one of note is the entirety of Iron Man (vol. 1) #200 where he reclaims the Iron Man mantle, faces off against Obadiah Stane, out-gambits him at every turn and leads to Stane committing suicide out of sheer frustration.
    • In Iron Man (vol. 1) #293-294, as part of the Infinity Crusade story arc, Tony's confronted with the Goddess, a female cosmic being who wants to "purify" the universe of evil; she wields several Cosmic Containment Units, basically omnipotent plot devices which make her all-powerful. She's trying to bring over superheroes to her cause and one of them is Iron Man. Twice, both times completely at her mercy with his naked spiritual form like a shrimp in her fist, he tells her she is a presumptuous hypocrite and no thanks, he won't join her.
    • Iron Man's victory over the Mandarin in Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #28. Forced to wear an irremovable power-dampener to shut off his Extremis abilities, and racing against time to prevent the Mandarin from releasing an airborne form of Extremis (which will kill 97.5% of the world's population), Tony dons an outmoded armor, tracks down his old nemesis, and engages him in a particularly brutal slugfest, during which he yanks half of the Mandarin's power rings (which were fused into his spine) right out of his body, whilst sustaining a broken arm and a dent kicked in his helmet. He then downs the Mandarin temporarily with his own weapons and the Mandarin's own rings, then deliberately severs part of his own foot to get the power dampener off, fights through the pain and shock and the sensory overload of his Extremis abilities returning, then averts the Extremis outbreak. The Mandarin then gets up again and punctures a container of Extremis, prompting Tony to freeze him AND the Extremis with freon spray. Only then does he pass out. Damn...
  • Dork Age: Civil War and the aftermath. See Strawman Political, below. Before Civil War, there was his Face–Heel Turn during the terrible "Crossing" storyline that led into Teen Tony and Heroes Reborn. Thankfully, much of that was retconned out in Avengers Forever.
    • The Iron Nose. It was hated so much that the comic had fans at a convention wearing armor replicas without the nose and telling Tony Stark how hideous it looked.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Maria Hill gained a number of fans during the post Secret Invasion storylines, possibly due to Matt Fraction being the first writer to develop her outside of a role as a person to be an enemy for the Avengers.
    • The Stark Seven, a team Tony's dad formed to perform a heist on an alien-ran casino back before Tony was born, and featured in a single story arc in Kieron Gillen's run. Fans were asking for a miniseries about the group once they appeared, and some are still waiting.
      • One of them, the woman called "The Bear", did reappear in Al Ewing's run on Mighty Avengers, which explained her backstory... and how she could reappear in the modern day when the flashback showed her being blown up.
    • Amongst the Rogues Gallery there's Ghost, Blizzard, and Madame Masque.
    • Iron Monger/Obidiah Stane. He's been dead for decades now, but he was the centerpiece of such a major story arc that fans will always remember him as one of Tony's greatest foes.
  • Epileptic Trees: Immediately following Civil War, Tony is fighting Mole Man creatures with his Avengers team when, all of a sudden, Ultron reveals it has invaded his biology and transforms Tony into a copy of the Wasp. Considering Tony's biggest crime during Civil War was building a cyborg with the power of Thor (as well as locking up heroes and building a giant ersatz Masters of Evil which Ultron used to lead), it's not so hard to just assume that a lot of Tony's immoral actions were the product of Ultron inside of him, influencing his actions.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Tales of Suspense #45. The first handful of issues were pure silver age, starring aBruce Wayne Expy who battles such goofy threats as a Neanderthal robot caveman (sent by aliens, naturally) or casually uses magic to venture back in time and romance Cleopatra. But #45 turned the focus squarely towards Tony Stark as both a wounded man with a debilitating chest injury and a genius inventor during the Cold War who struggles to stop the misappropriation of his technology, as well as introduced major supporting characters Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts to give him more of a plotline when out of costume. The run of issues that follow would also introduce Marvel mainstays the Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, as well as Iron Man's now-standard red-and-gold armor.
    • Iron Man was not as big a hit early on as some of his contemporaries and started to really develop into a fully realized character when David Michelinie and Bob Layton took over writing duties with the character defining Demon in a Bottle arc. They'd do it again during their second run with Armor Wars.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In issue 9 of Marvel Team Up, Spider-Man referred Iron Man as Sherlock Holmes, guess who plays both Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes in the movies.
  • Ho Yay: Piles, both with War Machine in the Iron Man books, and Steve Rogers in The Avengers.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Stan Lee has stated that this was his original intention in the creation of Tony Stark. He wanted to create a character who was a bit of a bastard for his war-profiteering, womanizing, and fast lifestyle but was also pitied (especially by women) for his insecurities due to his injury and the knowledge that what he was making was killing people.
    • Madame Masque. She may be a supervillain, but she's legitimately mentally ill and keeps being evil mainly because she thinks everyone she cares about betrayed her.
    • Living Laser, though the Jerkass part far outweighs the Woobie part. Still, being a being of living energy that constantly risks dissipating into nothing can't be doing good for his mental state.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Mandarin has been one since the 1960s. There's also Stark himself, depending on the writer.
  • Memetic Mutation: A BLOO BLOO BLOO note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: A fair few readers are convinced Tony himself came precariously close to this line in the much-maligned Civil War: Front Line, in which it's revealed that one of the ideas he had for uniting the warring superhumans was to stage a False Flag Operation to bait Atlantis into going to war with the U.S., a threat which all the heroes would have to team up against. Stark is saved from the pit by the fact that the idea remains precisely that, an idea, but had he actually gone and done it, there's little doubt most fans and quite possibly many writers would've considered him an unrepentant villain. What's worse is that the writer, Paul Jenkins (who has since become one of the most despised men at Marvel) seemed to be arguing that this was a logical thing to do!
    • Tony and Reed cloning Thor. Particularly as Tony was close friends with Thor, and Tony was been in possession of the hair used to clone Thor since they met.
    • Sasha Hammer hits this during Iron Man's Fear Itself tie-in: not only she blows off the main pilot of her Detroit Steel fleet be turned to stone by Mokk (Grey Gargoyle), she also goes on to leave Rescue (Pepper) to fight him alone while trying to make herself look good. And when he's got Pepper in his clutches and is ready to deal the killing blow, she simply... retreats.
  • My Real Daddy: David Michelinie and Bob Layton in the early 1980s transformed the character with such innovations such as his specialized armors and his drinking problem.
  • Never Live It Down: Tony's alcoholism, although his actions in Civil War are catching up in their effect on his reputation.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Near the conclusion of the Extremis story arc, Tony battled the bio-super-soldier Mallen for the second time... and this time, he won. Unfortunately, Mallen made it abundantly clear that only death would stop him... and after Iron Man has blasted a fist-sized hole through his chest and he just keeps trying to choke Tony through the armor, he repulsors Mallen's head off. And then, for a moment, Mallen's decapitated body tries to get up again.
    • During Fear Itself, Iron Man deployed to Paris, France, to take on the Grey Gargoyle, who was possessed by the spirit of Mokk, one of the generals of the Big Bad. There, he discovers that all people in the city have been turned to stone. During his battle with Mokk, he gets knocked out, and comes to in a giant pile of broken statues - oops, make that a giant pile of petrified corpses.
    • Issue 255 - Freak Quincy, after accidentally swapping Iron Man's and Crimson Dynamo's minds, getting his arms blasted off by Iron Man's pulse bolts, due to Dynamo's unfamiliarity with Iron Man's weapons systems. Quincy somehow managed to survive long enough to facilitate a reversal of the swap.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: As discussed in the Strawman Political section, they could have had an interesting plot in which Tony is forced to go to more and more extreme measures to enforce an act that would hold responsibility over all other things, something he believes in due to his own shortcomings. Instead, they decided in some books to turn Tony into a power hungry fascist and decided accountability = slavery. Also he's a war criminal now. Apparently believing in responsibility is akin to amorality.
  • What Could Have Been: Iron Man 258.1-258.4, also known as Iron Man: Armored Vengeance in trade paperback format, reunited David Michelinie and Bob Layton to tell a non-canon story based on Layton's original Armor Wars II plot that didn't see the light of day due to John Byrne taking over the comic and running his own oddly named Armor Wars II. While a fan favorite in its own right, Byrne's version had nothing to do with the original Armor Wars.

     1994 TV Show 

YMMVs for the 1994 Television Series:

  • Adaptation Displacement: In the cartoon, the Mandarin kidnapped both Tony Stark and Yinsen. Years later, in The Invincible Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mandarin (indirectly) is involved with their kidnapping, which led to the creation of Iron Man.
  • Complete Monster: Dark Aegis, despite only appearing in the episode "Distant Boundaries", outstripped any other villain in sheer monstrosity. A foe of Tony Stark, Dark Aegis hijacked one of his satellites designed to destroy asteroids and intended to turn its firepower upon the Earth. Tony managed to stop him and launched Dark Aegis into the depths of space, with him eventually landing on the planet Elysian. Drunk with his immense power and declaring himself a god, Dark Aegis nuked the planet and slaughtered its inhabitants for being "grotesquely less than human". Promising Titanium Man upgraded weapons in exchange for luring Iron Man to the planet, Dark Aegis tried to convince Tony to join him, promising him godhood in the process. Dark Aegis demonstrated his power by destroying two of Elysian's moons and requested Tony's help in destroying the planet's dual-suns. Titanium Man ended up helping Stark and Rhodes fight Dark Aegis and later gave his life to stop him for good, as Titanium Man found that no weapon was worth the price of letting Dark Aegis live.
  • Freud Was Right: The Water Strider found in the episode "Enemy Within, Enemy Without" destroys enemy ships by "ramming" into them.
  • Growing the Beard: Season two. Tony also grew a mullet.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "The Grim Reaper Wears A Teflon Coat", Tony shows a simulation of his Grim Reaper fighter jet attacking New York, complete with it blowing up the World Trade Center. Later in the same episode, the Mandarin plans to use the Grim Reaper to blow up the Pentagon and demonstrates by having a model of the plane crash into a scale replica of the building.
  • Memetic Outfit: Between the show and Marvel vs. Capcom, many people associate Iron Man with the Modular Armor (which is indeed one of his most striking suits).
  • Misaimed Marketing: The DVD release for the series, mentions "Whiplash" on the back, probably to cash-in on Iron Man 2. Granted, Blacklash/Whiplash did appear on the show, but anyone expecting the Magnificent Bastard that is Ivan Vanko will be disappointed because not only is Mark Scarlotti not the Big Bad, but he's one of the Mandarin's many lackeys.

  • WTH, Casting Agency?: This is Adrian Pasdar's first outing as Iron Man, but like every other time he's voiced Tony Stark, many fans found him to be a bad fit for Tony.