Super Types

May 30, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Iron Man

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody, welcome back to another spotlight in Marvel Snapshot! This week I’ll be taking a look at inventor extraordinaire Tony Stark! After seeing Iron Man 2 last week, I was compelled to let everyone know that he is the man!

First and foremost, if you haven’t seen the Iron Man movies, go out and see them both immediately. Both are well done and Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect fit for the role. The first film adaptation does a pretty good job of showing you the beginnings of Tony Stark as an adult, and the second some of his childhood. He had some big shoes to fill when his father died, because he was quite a genius himself. We know that Tony is just a regular guy inside a suit of armor, but his up and down life has been so compelling at times it seems as though he’s more vulnerable inside the armor rather than out sometimes.

The beginnings of Iron Man start when Tony is out helping to test one of his toys and a land-mine destroys the vehicle he’s in. A piece of the mine gets stuck in Tony’s heart and he gets captured by enemy forces. They tell him that they will let him live if he builds something for them. He agrees, but then turns on them after building a suit of armor full of weapons. He escapes and basically then turns into a crime fighter soon after. In Asia is where he also meets his life-long friend, James Rhoades. During this early time Stark also helps form and build weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D., and then later becomes a founding member of the Avengers. He lets the Avengers use his Manhattan Mansion for a headquarters, and his butler Jarvis takes care of the residence and its occupants. Tony has some loyal friends he can count on, too. Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan were among his best friends that helped through some tough times.

Tony’s alcoholism was front and center in the story “Demon in a Bottle, but he got himself together after a long bout with this disease. Tony has fought against the Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, AIM, and Ultron. He’s fought against rival businessman Justin Hammer, and even went undercover to infiltrate the Thunderbolts, posing as Cobalt Man. Things seemed to be going good for Tony for quite a while, but when the issue of the Super-Human Registration Act arose as a direct result of the Stamford incident, Tony found himself on the opposite side of the fence from his good friend Steve Rogers, A.K.A. Captain America. A Civil War broke out, and Tony and his followers hunted down Steve and his resistance movement. Finally, everything came to a sad ending when Captain America was shot and killed (albeit temporarily). Tony also harbored another secret. He started a group that secretly met to talk about and be preemptive against threats involving Earth. This group, the Illuminati, was comprised of Tony, Reed Richards, Namor, Black Bolt, and Professor Xavier. They basically screwed up big time, ticked off the Skrulls, and that led to the Skrulls’ Secret Invasion.

After the invading Skrulls were turned back from Earth, Tony, who had previously been appointed to head of S.H.I.E.L.D., was removed by the president because his tech was breached by the invading Skrulls. Once Osborn took over, Stark went downhill physically and mentally. He ended up taking a beating from Osborn and was left in a vegetative state. After a while, Don Blake and Bucky figured out how to reboot Stark’s mind. It was just in time for him to help save the day in Siege. Things are kind of tense right now because Tony’s best friends, Steve and Thor, don’t trust him. It’s going to be interesting to see how things pan out in this “Heroic Age” for Iron Man!

Suggested Reading
Essential Iron Man vol. 1 –Tpb
Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle –Tpb
Iron Man: Doomquest –Tpb
Iron Man: Armor Wars –Tpb
Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man –Tpb
The Road to Civil War –Tpb
Civil War –Tpb
Secret Invasion
-Tpb

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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4 Comments


  1. Kristin

    When the first film came out, I was in a very much “I hate Iron Man and I think he’s stupid” phase. But the movie looked so freakin awesome that even my dislike of the character didn’t deter me from seeing it. I still don’t like the comic character, and I won’t read his comics, but that movie was great, and I really want to see the new one. And RDJ is an amazing Tony Stark. Plus he’s pretty sexy there, too.
    But as a comic character…I still pretty much think he’s a douche.



  2. I tried soo hard to get into Iron Man comics years ago and I couldn’t for some reason, until Fraction started writing him.


  3. Billy

    @Kris- I kind of agree. His solo stuff in my opinion is mostly forgettable. I do however like his Avengers stuff.
    @Andrew- Fraction is a great writer. I loved his Immortal Iron Fist run with Brubaker.



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