"Truth is... I am Iron Man." ~ Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008)
Anthony "Tony" Stark (AKA Iron Man) is the tritagonist in the Marvel Comics franchise and the main protagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the main protagonist of his three titular films, one of the protagonists of the the Avengers films, and is a wealthy business magnet, playboy, and ingenious scientist.
Why He Rocks
- Tony Stark, the man underneath the armor, is a equally eccentric genius, millionaire, playboy, and philanthropist.
- He was one of the original six Avengers (The others being Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye).
- He is basically Marvel's answer to Batman.
- He being red makes sense considering that when iron is rusted, it makes a red color.
- Although Tony causes trouble on occasion, he is more than willing to make up for his mistakes, which is also why he became a superhero.
- He's so smart that he successfully saved his consciousness as an AI in a device when his body died once.
Exclusive to the MCU version
- He had shown to be a genius even as a child - which made him a child prodigy - considering he had built his first circuit board at age 6, his first engine (a V8) at 8 and graduated summa cum laude from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at 17.
- Legendary actor Robert Downey Jr. portrays Iron Man exceptionally well, so well in fact, it jump started his career.
- Speaking of Robert Downey Jr., in an interview with Stan Lee Robert Downey Jr. admitted he was born to act as Iron Man.
- Tony is also known for being exceptionally intelligent and innovative, having built an Arc Reactor from scratch in Afghanistan. His intellect has earned him nicknames like the "Da Vinci of Our Time".
- "This is the fun car, the depress car right there".
- He's fast to make new friends, like he did with Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff.
- His relationship with Pepper Potts is even better than the comics.
- He manages to set off the wrong people such as the two civil wars he was involved in against heroes like Captain America and Captain Marvel.
- He was highly underpowered in Civil War and Endgame.
- But despite his rather carefree and overly confident personality, inside Tony's heart lies loneliness, as Ho Yinsen pointed out: "A man that has everything, but has nothing".
- Tony became such an iconic hero over the years, it's easy to forget that his comics self had done some pretty terrible deeds:
- In the Civil War saga, he tried to play god as he and his pal Reed Richards used a sample of Thor's hair to create a clone of Thor (named Ragnarok) that quickly went out of control and killed Goliath.
- Civil War II has Stark kidnap Ulysses Cain in an effort to study his power, after one of his versions saw his friend War Machine dead, even though Thanos was defeated, an untold number of lives were saved, and Rhodes was a soldier, trained to fight and die in service of the greater good.
- Armor Wars has Stark take his equipment protection way too far when Justin Hammer stole some of Stark's equipment and sold it on the black market to various villains. In response, he tried to disable and destroy armors which he legally gave to SHIELD, some which he didn't even design, like Stingray. During the conflict, Iron Man busts up a lot of rip-off armors, resulting in him getting thrown out of The Avengers and blacklisted by the US Government.
- One of the storylines has Tony fake his death when he suffered from nerve disintegration, without Rhodes' knowledge about it
- He once thought about ending the Civil War by starting another war.
- He straight-up tried to impose a police state on the Marvel Universe, complete with concentration camps for those who refuse to comply with the oppressive regime of the Pro-Registration forces such as Prison 42.
- His MCU counterpart isn't that much better:
- Tony has an Iron Man suit just about everywhere, yet somehow couldn’t be prepared for an attack on his home when a villain invades his place.
- In Spider Man: Homecoming, he proposed to Pepper as a publicity stunt.
- Giving Spider-Man a kill mode in his suit. Not everyone's okay with various murders, also any teenage hacker could have unlocked this kill mode and went on a killing spree. Real smart Stark, real smart.
- This version still has the alcohol abuse problem, and considering how powerful Tony's suit is, that's a problem.
- Bringing a teenager (Spider-Man, but still) who hadn't been crime fighting very long to a foreign country to fight against some of the most powerful superheroes in the world, and not informing said kid's guardian of the risks of what he was actually doing. How irresponsible is that? Not to mention creepily hitting on Aunt May right in front of Peter.
- All those attempted murders, especially towards other avengers.
- The Sokovia Accords towards Ultron -- which he created by the way.
- He's responsible for creating several of the MCU's main villains.
- There's anti-heroes Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch from Avengers: Age of Ultron. They were orphaned after a Stark Industries munition killed their parents. This leads to Scarlet Witch giving Tony an apocalyptic vision that scares him into making a planetary defense system called Ultron. Unfortunately, the robot went rogue immediately and teams up with Quicksilver and the Witch to destroy the Avengers.
- Iron Monger/Obadiah Stane from the first Iron Man film was created due to Tony's careless neglect in running the business his father left him which allows many of his weapons to end up all over the world, including a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings which Stane ordered to attack him for these reasons.
- Whiplash/Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2 had a grunge on Howard Stark (Tony's father), and was inspired to became Whiplash after witnessing Stark in his super suit. Even though his father was mostly responsible for Ivan turning evil, it was also Tony's fault for exposing himself as Iron Man.
- Aldrich Killian from Iron Man 3 got upset over Tony snubbing him at a party and making a cruel joke on him.
- Helmet Zemo from Captain America: Civil War blames Ultron's destruction (see number 1) of Sokovia as his excuse, though he blames all the Avengers rather than Tony in particular, even if Tony created Ultron.
- Vulture/Adrian Toomes from Spider Man: Homecoming was created because Tony created the government agency Damage Control to clean up public areas wrecked by superheroes and villains after the Battle of New York, which put Toomes out of business and led to him becoming an arms-dealer in order to turn a profit. He steals most of the parts from Damage Control, which his crew turns into usable weapons and his Vulture suit.
- Mysterio/Quentin Beck is a posthumous and a played with example. He was the one who fired Quentin Beck after he made the B.A.R.F. device, yet Stark still personally used it himself and stole the credit. When Stark died, Beck took the opportunity to create a "superhero" identity known as Mysterio. Plus he has a team of over a dozen disgruntled current and former Stark Industries employees working with him, all of whom hate Tony's guts and feel underappreciated by him. Really nice going Stark! (Though to be fair, Quentin's rise to villainy is also partially his own fault, since he had unrealistically freaked out, threatened to attack his own workers multiple times, killed countless innocent people without any relationship to Tony Stark, and ruthlessly went after Spider-Man -- and framed and exposed him -- even after he previously befriended him.)