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  • September 18, 2022 8 min read

    Iron man is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel comics. The character was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Tales Of Suspense #39(1963).

    Iron man's alter-ego is Tony Stark, a billionaire who owns Stark Industries. He is a very talent as an extremely skilled engineer. Tony Stark suffers a severe chest injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. Later, Stark augments his suit with weapons and other technological devices he designed through his company, Stark Industries. He uses the suit and successive versions to protect the world as Iron Man, while at first concealing his true identity.

    Publication History

    Stan Lee had been toying with the idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the "quintessential capitalist", a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel's readership. Lee said,

    "I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military....So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist....I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him....And he became very popular."



    He set out to make the new character a wealthy, glamorous ladies' man, but one with a secret that would plague and torment him as well. Writer Gerry Conway said, "Here you have this character, who on the outside is invulnerable, I mean, just can't be touched, but inside is a wounded figure. Stan made it very much an in-your-face wound, you know, his heart was broken, you know, literally broken. But there's a metaphor going on there. And that's, I think, what made that character interesting." Lee based this playboy's looks and personality on Howard Hughes, explaining, "Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a multi-billionaire, a ladies' man and finally a nutcase." "Without being crazy, he was Howard Hughes," Lee said.(1)

    Fictional Character Biography

    Anthony "Tony" Stark was born to Howard Anthony Stark and Maria Collins Carbonell Stark, owners of the prominent US firm, Stark Industries. As a boy, Tony was fascinated with building and controlling machines. At the age of 15 Tony entered the undergraduate electrical engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduated with two master’s degrees by age 19. Tony went to work for Stark Industries, but showed more interest in living a reckless playboy lifestyle than using his engineering skills. At the age of 21, Tony inherited Stark Enterprises when his parents were killed in a car accident secretly orchestrated by rival corporation Republic Oil (later ROXXON). Still lacking in business acumen, Tony promoted secretary Virginia "Pepper" Potts to be his executive assistant and left the majority of his workload on her so that he could avoid what he saw as a burden.

    Tony personally attended a field test of his military hardware at one of his international plants; however, soon after his arrival Stark’s party was attacked by a gang of terrorists led by the Sin-Cong revolutionary Wong Chu. During the skirmish, a land mine went off and lodged a piece of shrapnel near Tony’s heart. Taken back to Wong-Chu’s camp, Tony shared a cell with Professor Ho Yinsen, a world-famous physicist. Wong-Chu demanded that the two scientists develop advanced weaponry for his forces. Knowing that he could not live long with the shrapnel so close to his heart, Tony proposed that he and Yinsen devote their gifts to creating one of the battlesuits he had been developing, equipped with a magnetic field generator to prevent the shrapnel from reaching his heart. The armor they created became the first true Iron Man armor and was equipped with crude magnetic weaponry for defense. While the armor’s battery was being powered, some of Wong-Chu’s men attempted to break in on the proceedings. Yinsen went to create a diversion and was shot to death by Wong-Chu’s men. When the battery had finished charging, Tony went into battle as Iron Man and tore Wong-Chu’s camp apart. He eventually returned to the USA with the aid of US Marine James "Rhodey" Rhodes. Tony offered Rhodey a job with his company should he ever need one.


    At first, Tony found his new life a torment; his armor’s chest plate had to be worn constantly and required frequent recharging. He kept the armor a secret from everyone, including his fiancée, Joanna Nivena. Turning suicidal and drinking heavily, Tony was supported by Joanna, with whom he shared his secret identity. Joanna encouraged him to use his armor as a super hero, but ultimately called off the engagement knowing Tony would not be the family man she desired.

    Tony worked to improve the Iron Man armor and claimed Iron Man was Tony Stark's personal bodyguard to disguise his identity. Tony played a dual-role with the formation of the Avengers both as the sponsor and, as Iron Man, as a founding member along with Thor, Ant-Man (Henry Pym), the Wasp (Janet van Dyne), and the Hulk. While pursuing Namor the Sub-Mariner, Iron Man came across the comatose body of Captain America (Steve Rogers), the famous World War II super hero, preserved on ice. Revived, Captain America joined the Avengers and became an important teammate and friend to Tony. Later, Tony helped establish the International super-spy agency SHIELD to combat terrorist threats.

    During these early years as a super hero, Iron Man battled Mandarin, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow(Natasha Romanova). (2)

    Powers and Abilities

    Iron man possesses numerous amount of armors, most of them unique in their own way. They are powered by his arc reactor and give him a number of abilities including supersonic flight at Mach 3, superhuman strength and durability, energy repulsors, missiles and a lot more.

    Other weapons built into various incarnations of the armor include: the uni-beam projector in its chest; pulse bolts (that pick up kinetic energy along the way; so the farther they travel, the harder they hit); an electromagnetic pulse generator; and a defensive energy shield that can be extended up to 360 degrees. Other capabilities include: generating ultra-freon (i.e., a freeze-beam); creating and manipulating magnetic fields; emitting sonic blasts; and projecting 3-dimensional holograms (to create decoys).

    In addition to the general-purpose model he wears, Stark has developed several specialized suits for space travel, deep-sea diving, stealth, and other special purposes. Stark has modified suits, like the Hulkbuster heavy armor. The Hulkbuster armor is composed of add-ons to his so-called modular armor, designed to enhance its strength and durability enough to engage the Incredible Hulk in a fight. A later model, designed for use against Thor, is modeled on the Destroyer and uses a mystical power source. Stark develops an electronics pack during the Armor Wars that, when attached to armors that use Stark technologies, will burn out those components, rendering the suit useless. This pack is ineffective on later models. While it is typically associated with James Rhodes, the War-Machine armor began as one of Stark's specialty armors.(3)

    Supporting Characters


    Iron man has a number of supporting characters including his co-worker and love interest Pepper Potts, his best friend Lt. Col. James Rhodes, his close associate Happy Hogan. Since he is a founding member of The Avengers, he asks them for assistance when required and he also has help from his trusted A.I. system J.A.R.V.I.S(Just A Rather Very Intelligent System).






    Over the years, Iron man has made a number of enemies including The Mandarin, Whiplash, M.O.D.O.K, Iron Monger and Crimson Dynamo.






    Iron man (2008)

    Iron man was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it was directed by Jon Favreau. The movie featured Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Terrence Howard as Lt. Col. James Rhodes and Jeff Bridges as Obadaiah Stane/Iron Monger. The movie performed well both critically and financially.

    You can check out the trailer below

    Iron man 2(2010)

    Iron man 2 was the sequel to Iron man and was the third movie in the MCU. The movie was directed by Jon Favreau and featured Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Iron man, Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Mickey Rourke as Whiplash. The movie performed well financially, but was received with mixed reviews.

    You can check out the trailer below.

    The Avengers(2012)

    The Avengers was the first MCU movie which consisted of Iron man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk. The movie was directed by Joss Whedon. It featured Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The movie was a huge hit as it performed extremely well at the box office and received very good reviews. It is one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

    You can check out the trailer below.


    Iron man 3(2013)

    Iron man 3 was the third Iron man movie and was directed by Shane Black. It  featured Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Iron man, Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/Iron Patriot, Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. The movie performed well both financially and critically.

    You can check out the trailer below

    Avengers: Age Of Ultron(2015)

    Avengers: Age Of Ultron was the sequel to The Avengers and was the 11th installment in the MCU. It was directed by Joss Whedon and featured Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Aaron Taylor Johnson as Quicksilver and Ultron voiced by James Spader. The movie performed well both critically and financially.

    You can check out the trailer below.

    Captain America:Civil War(2016)

    Captain America: Civil War is the 13th installment in the MCU. It was directed by the Russo Brothers(Anthony Russo and Joe Russo). The movie featured Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch,Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spider-man. The movie was a huge hit, it performed extremely well financially and critically. It is considered to be the best superhero movie.

    You can check out the trailer below


    Notable Comics(4)

     Comics Artist(s) Writer(s)
    Enter: The Mandarin Joe Casey Eric Canete
    Iron man: Deliverance Denny O'Neil Luke McDonell, Steve Mitchell, Bob Sharen
    Civil War: The Confession Brian Micheal Bendis Alex Maleev, Jose Villarrubia
    Invincible Iron man:World's Most Wanted Matt Fraction Salvador Larroca
    The Iron Age Kurt Busiek, Richard Howell Patrick Zircher, Bob McLeod, Glynis Oliver
    The Invincible Iron man: Doomquest David Michelinie, Bob Layton John Romita Jr.
    The Armor Wars Bob Layton, David Michelinie Mark D.Bright, Barry Windsor Smith, Bob Layton, Bob Sharen
    The Invincible Iron man: Extremis Warren Ellis Adi Granov
    War Machine Len Kaminski Kevin Hopgood, Bob Wiacek, Mike Rockwitz
    Iron man: Demon In A Bottle David Michelinie, Bob Layton John Romita Jr., bob Layton, Carmine Infantino, Ben Sean


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