Real Name: Anthony (Tony) Stark
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)
Powers: Uses an Armored Suit Equipped with Repulsor Beams, Weaponry, and Flight
Enemies: Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Most Avenger Enemies, Alcohol
Love Interests: Pepper Potts and most women in the Marvel Universe
Did You Know: According to Stan Lee, Tony Stark was based on Howard Hughes (a revolutionary mind, billionaire, ladies man, inventor and visionary).
Before the launching of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most would have considered Ironman a “B-list” hero. It was Robert Downey’s Portrayal of him that catapulted him to stardom.
A Little History
And with one famous line…”I am Ironman”, Anthony (Tony) Stark’s world would change forever (although, it actually doesn’t happen like this in the comics).
Iron man was a character created for the comic book “Tales of Suspense”. His character first appeared in issue #39 in March of 1963.
Ironman is a polarizing figure in the Marvel Universe; always trying to do what is right but not always succeeding. His ways can seem controversial, his ways can seem out of the ordinary and his ways can seem odd, but he always keeps justice on the side of good.
This wasn’t always so.
First of all, let’s quote the movies…Tony Stark is a “billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” He is cocky, conceded and arrogant.
Overall, he is a douchebag, or at least he comes across that way.
Tony built his company, Stark Industries, through selling weapons to the highest bidder. He was money hungry and in fact still is.
While in Vietnam (in the comics and Afghanistan in the movies), Tony was taken by a group of soldiers and forced to make weapons for them. He did not do it alone though as he had the assistance of a man named Yensin. To escapre their capture, Tony and Yensin devised a plan and built a suit of Armour that Tony could wear. This armor would allow Tony the capabilities required to fight an army.
Remember, Tony is a visionary.
Just before he was captured, it should be noted that he tripped a booby trap that caused shrapnel to be lodged within his body. Along with the armor, he and Yensin created a device to help keep the shrapnel that was now in his bloodstream away from his heart.
Once free (due to the armor) Tony realized that he would have to permanently wear the device under his clothes to keep himself alive.
He literally became a walking Christmas Tree.
Realizing that the old, clunky, gray suit would not be enough to:
- Keep him alive
- Fight crime effectively
- Perform (think what you want to think)
Tony created a new suit. This new suit is the one that most are familiar with today, the Red and Gold suit.
If you didn’t believe that he became a Christmas Tree with the chest plate, imagine him now with the red and gold suit.
Chest Plate – Check
Red and Gold Armor – Check
Ironman comics would introduce the readers to some of Marvel’s most iconic characters. As an example, in Ironman #55 (February, 1973), we would get a look at the most feared villain and star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of my personal favorites, Thanos.
Most notably, Ironman is well known for the “Demon in a bottle” storyline.
There was a time in the comic book world where Marvel decided to talk about addictions; addictions to drugs, and alcohol, etc.
They used Tony Stark as the poster child for this.
Stark International had long been in competition with Hammer Industries.
During this particular storyline, Justin Hammer caused Tony’s suits to malfunction (not quite like Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake).
One of the malfunctions occurred at the expense of an ambassador who wound up being killed.
To cope with his misfortunes, Tony delved deep into the bottle. He went on to become unruly and belligerent, so much to the point that his longtime butler, Jarvis quit on him.
Tony would find himself deeper and deeper into depression, anxiety and various other problems.
After a little bit of ‘poor me’ time, his friend, Bethany McCabe reaches out to help him. She tells him a story of how she lost her husband to an addiction and helps Tony cope and get over his.
The story wraps up nicely with Tony reaching out for another bottle…this time, though, he decides that keeping his friends is far more important. If you want to read more about this (and you should) click here.
In the Civil War storyline, Ironman and Captain America are polar opposites in their position of Super Power Registration.
Captain America is for the free world (not having to register) and Ironman is all for the Registration.
This leads to a tremendous battle between them where the Marvel Universe practically divided itself. Some sided with Ironman and some with Captain America.
Battles were won, battles were lost.
Hopes were realized, hopes were dashed.
It all came to head when Tony created a mechanical copy of Thor who did the unthinkable and killed a hero.
This caused outrage amongst the heroes, ultimately ending the war with Captain America’s surrender.
- Anthony (Tony) Stark, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist
- Has dated just about ever woman in the Marvel Universe
- Created Ironman suit while captive in Vietnam
- The suit is powered by a device attached to his chest
- The device keeps the shrapnel inside his body from getting to his heart
- Created a new suit (Red and Gold) due to underperforming capabilities of the initial
- Part of one of the most iconic storylines in comic history (Demon in a Bottle)
- Continually at war with Justin Hammer
- Opposite to Captain America in Civil War
- Created mechanical copy of Thor, which killed Goliath