Tony Stark, billionaire industrialist, who came into the Iron Man armor out of sheer necessity for his own life’s sake, has become one of Marvel comics, and arguably Superherodom’s, greatest heroes.
(Is Superherodom even a word? It is now!)
The first thing that sticks out about Iron Man is the visual. Iron Man is one of those characters who has gone through MANY changes in his looks, and by and large every single one has worked. Why? Because that’s his thing. As technology evolves so must Iron Man.
The appearance of Iron Man makes one wonder what’s under that armor. Then, we learn about repulsor beams, flight boots, and all manner of gadgetry that makes the Iron Man armor every gadget lover’s dream come true.
But, the armor is only as good as the man wearing it, and the story of Tony Stark is an interesting one to say the least. In typical Marvel form, Tony Stark isn’t just a good guy for goodness’ sake. He is ever the business man, seeking out angles and positioning himself to come out ahead. Couple with that his personal demons, and you have a well rounded interesting character as a hero.
He’s been an alcoholic, a womanizer, a teenager, and most recently the brains behind the act that would bring Marvel’s heroes into a Civil War. Most readers tended to think that this action put him on the wrong side of heroism, but the truth is Tony Stark was not only angling for himself, but he really felt the move was the right one to make.
This is best shown in his speech in Worl War Hulk number 1. He talks about always wanting to be a hero and realizing that being a hero calls for hard choices. While the decisions may not be pretty or even appear jerkish, Stark has done what he feels is best not just for the super powered, but also for the world. Granted, some of his moves are questionable (Tony’s Thunderbolts, I’m looking in your direction.). The point is, Tony Stark truly wants to help people and be a hero. Not for ego’s sake, but because he has the ability to go out and make a difference.
So, let’s see….cool gadgetry? Check. Flawed character? Check. Hero at heart? Check.
I’ll be the first to admit that Marvel has a long way to go to redeem Tony Stark. The side he chose during the Marvel Civil War was by and large considered to be the wrong side. His reasons for choosing his side seemed less that noble. His character took a real hit through all of that, but he has never been more interesting to read.
So, whether it’s the old Mark One bucket armore, the sleek, almost alien looking Ultimate Armor, the B-A-D War Machine Armor, or just the classic red and gold, Iron Man has and will most likely be for a while one of the most intriguing and fun characters in Superherodom. Definitely worthy of a top ten spot.