Iron Man is an American fictional character, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963).
An American billionaire playboy, industrialist and ingenious 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. He later uses the suit and successive versions to protect the world as Iron Man.
Through his corporation ― Stark Industries ― Tony has created many military weapons, some of which, along with other technological devices of his making, have been integrated into his suit, helping him fight crime.
Exactly who Stark might be without his armor is difficult to say. Writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck initially presented him as a suave playboy, part of a long tradition of rich men who have become masked heroes. Yet unlike most of his predecessors, Stark got his income from a specific source: he manufactured and sold weapons. This was a slightly sinister occupation, despite its undoubted utility, and there were hints that Stark was ambivalent about his role. When his business was menaced by a hostile takeover in a 1979 storyline, he collapsed into alcoholism, and a friend was obliged to take over temporarily the job of Iron Man. So the suit an function without Stark, but can Stark function without the suit?
Throughout most of the character's publication history, Iron Man has been a member of the superhero team the Avengers and has been featured in several incarnations of his own various comic book series. Iron Man has been adapted for several animated TV shows and films. The character is portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in the live action film Iron Man (2008), which was a critical and box office success. Downey, who received much acclaim for his performance, reprised the role in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including two Iron Man sequels and The Avengers (2012). Iron Man was ranked 12th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.