Iron Man

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Posted by kaori 02/26/2009 @ 20:00

Tags : iron man, movies, cinema, entertainment, marvel comics, publishers, comics

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Iron Man (film)

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Iron Man is a 2008 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and master engineer with a plethora of playboy vices who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow plays his personal assistant Pepper Potts, Terrence Howard plays military liaison James Rhodes and Jeff Bridges plays Stark Industries executive Obadiah Stane.

The film was in development since 1990 at Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2006. Marvel put the project in production as its first self-financed film. Favreau signed on as director, aiming for a naturalistic feel, and he chose to shoot the film primarily in California, rejecting the East Coast setting of the comics to differentiate the film from numerous superhero films set in New York City-esque environments. During filming, the actors were free to create their own dialogue because preproduction was focused on the story and action. Rubber and metal versions of the armors, created by Stan Winston's company, were mixed with computer-generated imagery to create the title character.

Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures, the distributor, planned a $50 million marketing campaign for the film, which was modeled on Paramount's successful promotion of Transformers; Hasbro and Sega sold merchandise, and product placement deals were made with Audi, Burger King, LG and 7-Eleven. Reviews were mostly positive, particularly praising Downey's performance. Downey, Favreau and Paltrow will return in the sequel, scheduled for release on May 7, 2010. Downey also made a cameo appearance as Stark in The Incredible Hulk.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gambles at a Las Vegas casino, leaving his deceased father's friend and business partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), to accept a prestigious award for him. As Stark leaves the casino with his entourage, he is approached by reporter Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb), whom he charms into a one-night stand at his Malibu house. When she awakens the next morning, Stark is gone and she is coldly greeted by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his personal assistant.

Stark flies off to war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and company military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), for a demonstration of Stark Industries' new weapon, the "Jericho" cluster missile. On the way back, however, his military convoy is attacked. In the firefight, his escort is wiped out and Stark himself is knocked unconscious by one of his own company's bombs.

Waking up in an Afghan cave, he discovers an electromagnet embedded in his chest, placed there by fellow captive Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub). Powered by a car battery, it keeps shrapnel from working its way to his heart and killing him. Stark has been captured by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, whose leader orders him to build a Jericho missile for him.

Instead, during his three months of captivity, he and Yinsen begin secretly building a crude suit of armor, powered by a miniature "arc reactor" invented by Tony's father, Howard. Finally, the terrorists grow impatient and give Stark 24 hours to finish. Unfortunately, the deadline expires before the suit is fully activated, so Yinsen makes a suicidal attack in a desperate bid to buy time. Once the armor is ready, Stark charges through the caves. Near the entrance, he comes across a dying Yinsen, who tells him not to waste his life. Forever grateful to Yinsen, Stark burns all the munitions the terrorists have accumulated and then flies away, only to crash in the desert. Stark survives, but his suit is in pieces. After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark announces at a press conference that his company will no longer manufacture weapons. Stane tells him shortly thereafter that his decision is being blocked by the board of directors of Stark Industries.

Stark focuses his energies on building a better version of his power suit, while making an improved arc reactor for his chest. Potts gives Stark a gift: his first miniature reactor encased in glass and bearing the inscription, "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart". During Stark's first public appearance since his return, he spots Potts wearing a sexy dress and realizes that he has romantic feelings for his assistant. As they are about to share a kiss, Potts interrupts by asking for a martini.

While ordering the drinks, Stark is accosted by Everhart, who shows him pictures of Stark Industries weapons, including Jericho missiles, recently delivered to Taliban insurgents. He realizes that Stane has been putting profit before the common good, by supplying both the Americans and their enemies and that Stane has been attempting to remove Stark from power. Enraged, Stark dons the power suit, flies to Afghanistan and rescues a village from insurgents. During the operation, Stark attracts the attention of the United States Air Force, which dispatches two F-22 Raptors to try to identify the mysterious flying object. Rhodes wants to investigate, but is overruled and the fighters are ordered to destroy the target. During the resulting dogfight, Stark has time to call Rhodes to reveal that he is the unidentified target. One of the planes is accidentally destroyed when it collides with Stark. The pilot ejects, but his parachute will not deploy, so Stark rescues him before escaping.

Stark sends Potts to hack into the company computer system. She discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark. The group reneged on the deal upon discovering who the target was. She also learns Stane has recovered the pieces of the original power suit and reverse-engineered his own version, but his engineers are unable to construct a small enough arc reactor to power the suit.

After she leaves, Stane discovers what she has done. He ambushes Stark in his house, using a Stark Industries device to temporarily paralyze him. Stane removes the arc reactor from Stark's chest and leaves him to die. However, Stark manages to get to Pott's gift and re-install his first reactor.

Although his original reactor is underpowered for his latest armor, Stark races to rescue Potts from Stane. A battle erupts. Finding himself outmatched, Stark lures Stane atop the Stark Industries building. With no power left, Stark instructs Potts to overload the full-sized reactor in the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that knocks Stane unconscious, causing him to fall through the ceiling into the reactor itself, incinerating him.

The next day, the press has dubbed Stark's alter ego "Iron Man." Rhodes gives reporters a false explanation of what happened. Before speaking, Stark briefly makes an attempt to establish a romantic relationship with Potts, but is rejected. During the press conference, Stark starts to tell the cover story given to him by S.H.I.E.L.D., a government agency, but then announces that he is Iron Man.

In a post-credits scene, Stark is visited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who notes that Stark is not "the only superhero in the world", and states he wants to discuss the "Avenger Initiative".

Robert Downey Jr. as Anthony "Tony" Stark / Iron Man: a billionaire industrialist, genius inventor, and consummate playboy, he is CEO of Stark Industries, a chief weapons manufacturer for the U.S. military. The son of a Manhattan Project engineer, Howard Stark, Tony is an engineering prodigy, having built a circuit board at 4 years old and an engine at 6 years old, as well as graduating from MIT summa cum laude at the age of 17. He takes charge of Stark Industries at the age of 21 from Stane who had been in control of the company since Howard's death.

Favreau had planned to cast a newcomer in the role, but ultimately chose Downey (a fan of the comic) because he felt the actor's past made him an appropriate choice for the part. "The best and worst moments of Robert's life have been in the public eye," the director explained. "He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That's Tony Stark. Robert brings a depth that goes beyond a comic book character who is having trouble in high school, or can't get the girl." Favreau also felt Downey could make Stark a "likable asshole", but also depict an authentic emotional journey once he won over the audience.

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane: Stark's business second-in-command. Bridges read the comics as a boy and liked Favreau's modern, realistic approach. He shaved his hair and grew a gray beard for the role, which was something he had wanted to do for some time. Bridges googled the Book of Obadiah, and he was surprised to learn retribution is a major theme in that particular book of the Bible, something which Stane represents. Many of Stane's scenes were cut out to focus more on Stark, but the writers felt Bridges's performance allowed the application of "less is more". The character was called Iron Monger in the comics when he used his armor, but the codename is only referenced in the film when Stane describes himself and Stark as "ironmongers".

Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts: Stark's personal secretary and budding love interest. Paltrow asked Marvel to send her any comics that they would consider relevant to her understanding of the character, whom she considered to be very smart, levelheaded, and grounded. She said she liked "the fact that there's a sexuality that's not blatant." Favreau wanted Potts' and Stark's relationship to be reminiscent of a 1940s comedy, something which Paltrow considered to be fun in a sexy, yet innocent way.

Shaun Toub as Dr. Yinsen: Stark's fellow captive. In the comics, Yinsen is Chinese and a physicist, but in the film, he comes from an Afghan village called Gulmira, which is one of the aspects of the modernization of the Iron Man mythos for the movie.

Paul Bettany voices Jarvis: Stark's personal Artificial Intelligence computer program, which assists him in the construction and programming of the Iron Man suit. The name of the character is a reference to the comic book character Edwin Jarvis, Stark's butler. Bettany did the part as a favor to Favreau (having worked with him on Wimbledon) and claimed he did not know what film he was recording the lines for during his two-hour recording session.

Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart: A reporter for Vanity Fair.

Clark Gregg appears throughout the film as Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Samuel L. Jackson appears as their head Nick Fury following the credits. Jackson has previously 'appeared' as the version of Nick Fury used in Marvel's Ultimate Marvel imprint. Other cameos include Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee (whom Stark mistakes for Hugh Hefner at a party), and director Jon Favreau as Stark's bodyguard/chauffeur Happy Hogan. Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who provides additional guitar music for the film, has a brief cameo as a guard. Jim Cramer, star of CNBC's Mad Money appeared as himself, commenting on the investment opportunities ("Sell, Sell, Sell") of Stark Industries. Rapper Ghostface Killah cameoed in a scene where Stark briefly stays in Dubai while returning to Afghanistan, but it was cut from the theatrical release for pacing reasons.

In April 1990, Universal Studios bought the rights to develop Iron Man for the big screen. Stuart Gordon was to direct Universal's low-budget film. By February 1996, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights from Universal. In January 1997, actor Nicolas Cage expressed interest in being cast for the lead role, and in September 1998, actor Tom Cruise had expressed interest in producing as well as starring in the film debut of Iron Man. Jeff Vintar and Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee co-wrote a story which Vintar adapted into a screenplay. Jeffrey Caine (GoldenEye) rewrote Vintar's script. Director Quentin Tarantino was approached in October 1999 to write and direct Iron Man. With no deal made, Fox eventually sold the rights to New Line Cinema the following December. By July 2000, the film was being written for the studio by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Tim McCanlies. McCanlies's script used the idea of a Nick Fury cameo to set up his own film. New Line entered talks with Joss Whedon, a fan of the character Iron Man, in June 2001 for the possibility of the director taking the helm. In December 2002, McCanlies had turned in a completed script.

In December 2004, the studio attached director Nick Cassavetes to the project for a target 2006 release. After two years of unsuccessful development, and the deal with Cassavetes falling through, New Line Cinema returned the film rights to Marvel. Screenplay drafts had been written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and David Hayter, but they were not retained. New Line's script pitted Iron Man against his father Howard Stark, who becomes War Machine. In November 2005, Marvel Studios worked to start development from scratch, and announced it as their first independent feature, as Iron Man was their only major character not depicted in live action.

In April 2006, Jon Favreau was hired as the film's director, with Arthur Marcum and Matt Holloway writing the script. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby worked separately, with Favreau compiling both team's scripts, and the script received a polish by John August. Comic book staff Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso, and Ralph Macchio were also summoned by Favreau to give advice on the script.

Favreau had wanted to work with Marvel producer Avi Arad on another film after the Daredevil adaptation. Favreau celebrated getting the job by going on a diet, and lost seventy pounds. The director found the opportunity to create a politically ambitious "ultimate spy movie" in Iron Man, citing inspiration from Tom Clancy, James Bond, and RoboCop. Favreau also described his approach as similar to an independent film, "f Robert Altman had directed Superman", and also cited Batman Begins as an inspiration. He wanted to make Iron Man a story of an adult man literally reinventing himself, and realizing the world is far more complex than he believes. Favreau changed the Vietnam War origin of the character to Afghanistan, as he did not want to do a period piece.

Choosing a villain was difficult, because Favreau felt Iron Man's archnemesis, the Mandarin, would not feel realistic, especially after Mark Millar gave his opinion on the script. He felt only in a sequel, with an altered tone, would the fantasy of the Mandarin's rings be appropriate. The decision to push him into the background is comparable to Sauron in The Lord of the Rings, or Palpatine in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Favreau also wanted Iron Man to face a giant enemy. The switch from Mandarin to Obadiah Stane was done after Bridges was cast. Stane was intended to become a villain in the sequel. The Crimson Dynamo was also a villain in early drafts in the script. Favreau felt it was important to include intentional inside references for fans of the comics, such as giving the two fighter jets that attack Iron Man the call signs of "Whiplash 1" and "Whiplash 2," a reference to the comic book villain Whiplash, and including Captain America's shield in Stark's workshop.

Production was based in the former Hughes Company soundstages in Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California. Favreau rejected the East Coast setting of the comic books as many superhero films were set there, and he wanted to avoid repetition in his film. Hughes was one of the inspirations for the comic book, and the filmmakers acknowledged the coincidence that they would film Iron Man creating the flying Mark III where the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" was built.

Filming began on March 12, 2007, with the first few weeks spent on Stark's captivity in Afghanistan. The cave where Stark is imprisoned was a 150-200 yard (150-200 m) long set, which was built with movable forks in the caverns to allow greater freedom for the film's crew. Production designer J. Michael Riva saw footage of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, and saw the cold breath as he spoke: realizing remote caves are actually very cold, Riva placed an air conditioning system in the set. He also sought Downey's advice about make-shift objects in prison, such as a sock being used to make tea. All this created greater authenticity. Afterwards, Stark's capture was filmed at Lone Pine, and other exterior scenes in Afghanistan were filmed at Olancha Sand Dunes. There, the crew had to endure two days of 40 to 60-mile (97 km) an hour (60 to 100 km/h) winds.

Filming at Edwards Air Force Base began in mid-April, and was completed on May 2. Exterior shots of Stark's home were digitally composited on footage of Point Dume in Malibu, while the interior was built at Playa Vista, where Favreau and Riva aimed to make Stark's home look less futuristic and more "grease monkey". Filming concluded on June 25, 2007 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Favreau, a newcomer to action films, remarked "I'm shocked that I on schedule. I thought that there were going to be many curveballs." He hired "people who are good at creating action", so "the human story like it belongs to the comic book genre".

There was much improvisation in dialogue scenes, because the script was not completed when filming began (the filmmakers had focused on the story making sense and planning the action). Favreau acknowledged that improvisation would make the film feel more natural. Some scenes were shot with two cameras to capture lines said on the spot. Multiple takes were done, as Downey wanted to try something new each time. It was Downey's idea to have Stark hold a news conference on the floor, and he created the speech Stark makes when demonstrating the "Jericho".

Brian Michael Bendis wrote three pages of dialogue for the Nick Fury cameo scene, with the filmmakers choosing the best lines for filming. The cameo was filmed with a skeleton crew in order to keep it a secret, but rumours appeared on the Internet only days later. Marvel Studios's Kevin Feige subsequently ordered the scene removed from all preview prints in order to maintain the surprise and keep fans guessing.

Favreau wanted the film to be believable by showing the construction of the suit in its three stages. Stan Winston, a fan of the comic book, and his company built metal and rubber versions of the armors. They had previously worked on Favreau's Zathura. Favreau's main concern with the effects was whether the transition between the computer-generated and practical costumes would be too obvious. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) was hired to create the bulk of the visual effects with additional work being completed by The Orphanage and The Embassy; Favreau trusted ILM after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Transformers.

The Mark I design was intended to look like it was built from spare parts: particularly, the back is less armored than the front, as Stark would use his resources to make a forward attack. It also foreshadows the design of Stane's armor. A single 90-pound (41 kg) version was built, causing concern when a stuntman fell over inside it. Both the stuntman and the suit were unscathed. The armor was also designed to only have its top half worn at times. The Embassy created a digital version of the Mark I. Stan Winston Studios built a 10-foot (3.0 m), 800-pound (360 kg) animatronic version of the comic character "Iron Monger" (Obadiah Stane), a name which Obadiah Stane calls Tony Stark and himself earlier in the film, but is never actually used for the suit itself. The animatronic required five operators for the arm, and was built on a gimbal to simulate walking. A scale model was used for the shots of it being built.

The Mark II resembles an airplane prototype, with visible flaps. Iron Man comic book artist Adi Granov designed the Mark III with illustrator Phil Saunders. Granov's designs were the primary inspiration for the film's design, and he came on board the film after he recognized his work on Jon Favreau's MySpace page. Saunders streamlined Granov's concept art, making it stealthier and less cartoonish in its proportions. Sometimes, Downey would only wear the helmet, sleeves and chest of the costume over a motion capture suit. For shots of the Mark III flying, it was animated to look realistic by taking off slowly, and landing quickly. To generate shots of Iron Man and the F-22 Raptors battling, cameras were flown in the air to provide reference for physics, wind and frost on the lenses. For further study of the physics of flying, skydivers were filmed in a vertical wind tunnel.

Composer Ramin Djawadi is an Iron Man fan, and still has issues of the comic from the late 1970s. While he normally composes after watching an assembly cut, Djawadi began work after seeing the teaser trailer. Favreau clearly envisioned a focus on "heavy" guitar in the score, and Djawadi composed the music on that instrument before arranging it for orchestra. The composer said Downey's performance inspired the several Iron Man themes (for his different moods), as well as Stark's playboy leitmotif. Djawadi's favorite of the Iron Man themes is the "kickass" because of its "rhythmic pattern that is a hook on its own. Very much like a machine." The other themes are "not so much character based, but rather plot based that carry you through the movie". Guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, who has a brief cameo in the film as a guard, contributed additional guitar work to the movie's soundtrack.

The premiere was held at the Greater Union theater at George Street, Sydney, on April 14, 2008. The film was released worldwide except for Japan between April 30 and May 7, 2008, with Japan to receive the film in September 2008.

Marvel and Paramount modeled their marketing campaign for Iron Man on that of Transformers. Sega released a video game based on the film, which included other iterations of the character. A 30-second spot for the film aired during a Super Bowl XLII break. 6,400 7-Eleven stores in the United States helped promote the film, and LG Group also made a deal with Paramount. Hasbro created figures of armors from the film, as well as Titanium Man (who appears in the video game) and the armor from the World War Hulk comics.

Worldwide, Burger King and Audi promoted the film. Jon Favreau was set to direct a commercial for the fast-food chain, as Michael Bay did for Transformers. In the film, Tony Stark drives an Audi R8, and also has an "American cheeseburger" from Burger King after his rescue from Afghanistan, as part of the studio's product placement deal with the respective companies. Three other vehicles, the Audi S6 sedan, Audi S5 sports coupe and the Audi Q7 SUV, also appear in the film. Audi created a tie-in website, as General Motors did for Transformers. Oracle Corporation also promoted the film on its site. Estimates for the cost of marketing Iron Man ranged from US$50 to $75 million.

Iron Man received highly positive reviews from film critics. On May 1, 2008, the film was identified as the "best-reviewed film of the year so far" by Jen Yamato of review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site reporting that 93% of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon 218 reviews and this rating has held its place as of November 2008. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 79, based on 38 reviews.

Among the specialty press, Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons commended the "impressive sets and mechanics that combine smoothly with relatively seamless CG", and said, "Robert Downey Jr., along with director Jon Favreau help this rise above formula. The result is something that, whilst hardly original or groundbreaking, is nevertheless refreshing in its earnestness to avoid dark dramatic stylings in favor of an easy-going, crowd-pleasing action movie with a sprinkle of anti-war and redemption themes". IGN’s Todd Gilchrist recognized Downey as "the best thing" in a film that "functions on autopilot, providing requisite story developments and character details to fill in this default 'origin story' while the actors successfully breathe life into their otherwise conventional roles".

Among major metropolitan weeklies, David Edelstein of New York magazine called the film "a shapely piece of mythmaking Favreau doesn't go in for stylized comic-book frames, at least in the first half. He gets real with it — you’d think you were watching a military thriller", while conversely, David Denby of The New Yorker put forth a negative review, claiming "a slightly depressed, going-through-the-motions feel to the entire show Gwyneth Paltrow, widening her eyes and palpitating, can't do much with an antique role as Stark's girl Friday, who loves him but can't say so; Terrence Howard, playing a military man who chases around after Stark, looks dispirited and taken for granted".

Roger Ebert and Richard Corliss named Iron Man as among their favorite films of 2008.

In its opening weekend, Iron Man grossed $98,618,668 in 4,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking number one at the box office, giving it the 11th-biggest opening weekend, ninth widest release in terms of theaters, and the third highest-grossing opening weekend of 2008 behind Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight. It grossed $35.2 million on its first day, giving it the 13th-biggest opening day. Iron Man had the second-best premiere for a non-sequel, behind Spider-Man. It had the fourth-biggest opening for a superhero movie. Iron Man was also the number-one film in the United States and Canada in its second weekend, grossing $51.1 million, giving it the 12th-best second weekend and the fifth-best for a non-sequel. On June 18, 2008 Iron Man became the first movie of 2008 to pass the $300 million mark for the domestic box office.

As of February 5, 2009, Iron Man has grossed $582,030,528 worldwide — $318,412,101 in the United States and Canada and $263,618,427 in other territories.

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on September 30, 2008, in North America. In Europe, the scheduled release date was October 27, 2008. The image on the newspaper Stark reads before he announces he is Iron Man was altered because amateur photographer Ronnie Adams filed a lawsuit against Paramount and Marvel using his on-location spy photo in the scene.

A Wal-Mart-exclusive release included a preview of Iron Man: Armored Adventures. DVD sales were very impressive, grossing $93 million in the first week of release. As of October 31, 2008, DVD sales (not including Blu-ray) have accumulated total sales of $129,239,671.

A sequel, entitled Iron Man II, is scheduled for release on May 7, 2010. Justin Theroux is writing the script, which is based on a story written by Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr., and Genndy Tartakovsky is storyboarding. Filming will primarily take place at Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach, California. The story will deal with Stark's alcoholism, which was set aside from the first film for the sequel, but Favreau said it will not be "the Leaving Las Vegas version". Shane Black has given some advice on the script, and suggested they model Stark on J. Robert Oppenheimer, who became depressed with being "the destroyer of worlds" after working on the Manhattan Project. Downey said Stark would probably develop a drinking problem as he is unable to cope with his age and Pepper getting a boyfriend.

Favreau revealed their version of Iron Man's comic book nemesis the Mandarin "allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains"; Mickey Rourke is in talks to play either the Crimson Dynamo, or Whiplash, according to varying trade reports. Sam Rockwell, who was considered for the role of Stark in the first film, accepted the role of Justin Hammer without reading the script. He had never heard of the character before he was contacted about the part, and was unaware Hammer is an old man in the comics. Emily Blunt was Favreau's first choice for Black Widow, but she is planning to film a new version of Gulliver's Travels around the same time as Iron Man II, and Marvel have met with potential replacements, including Scarlett Johansson. Adi Granov will return to supervise the armor designs. S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to have a major role, and Samuel L. Jackson was informed that Nick Fury will have more screentime. Paul Bettany will return to voice Stark's computer, JARVIS.

Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as War Machine. Howard said, "There was no explanation apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren't worth the paper that they're printed on, sometimes. Promises aren't kept, and good faith negotiations aren't always held up." Entertainment Weekly stated Favreau had not enjoyed working with Howard, often reshooting and cutting his scenes; Howard's publicist said he had a good experience playing the part, while Marvel chose not to comment. As Favreau and Theroux chose to minimize the role, Marvel came to Howard to discuss lowering his salary – Howard was the first actor cast in Iron Man and earned the largest salary of the cast. The publication stated they were unsure whether Howard's representatives left the project first or if Marvel chose to stop negotiating. Theroux denied the part of the report stating "the role of War Machine was scaled back and then beefed up". Cheadle only had a few hours to accept the role and did not even know what storyline Rhodes would undergo. He commented he is a comic book fan, but felt there are not enough black superheroes.

Gameloft will publish the Iron Man II video game.

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Iron Man (1994 TV series)

1994 Iron Man Cartoon Season 1 Title.jpg

Iron Man is an animated television series based on Marvel Comics' superhero Iron Man. The series aired from 1994 to 1996 in syndication as part of The Marvel Action Hour, which packaged Iron Man with another animated series based on Marvel properties, the Fantastic Four, with one half-hour episode from each series airing back-to-back. The show was backed by a toy line that featured many armor variants.

Interestingly, this series of Iron Man was among the few television series to be rerecorded in THX. This may have been usual at the time for a motion picture, but it is rare for a television series. Off the heels of the release of the live-action Iron Man film in 2008, reruns began airing on Toon Disney.

Although only lasting two seasons, Iron Man was the subject of a major overhaul between seasons when its production studio was changed. The result was a massively changed premise, tone, and general approach, which left the disparate seasons scarcely recognizable as being two halves of the same series.

The first season of Iron Man featured little more than a Masters of the Universe-style battle of "good against evil", as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark battled the evil forces of the world-conquering Mandarin as the armored superhero, Iron Man. In his evil endeavors to steal Stark's technology and Iron Man's armor, the Mandarin led a group of villains consisting of Dreadknight, Blizzard, Blacklash, Grey Gargoyle, Hypnotia, Whirlwind, Living Laser, MODOK, Fin Fang Foom and Justin Hammer. To combat these villains, Iron Man had the help of his own team (based on Force Works, a then-current comic book team which has since faded into obscurity), including Century, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Spider Woman.

The season consisted mostly of single-episode open-and-shut-case adventures, with two two-part stories late towards the end. Unlike many other Marvel animated series, despite featuring over-the-top titles that paid homage to the early Stan Lee written Marvel comics of the 1960s (for example, "The Grim Reaper Wears a Teflon Coat", and "Rejoice, I am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer"), almost none of the episodes were adaptations of comic book stories, consisting instead of original stories penned by Ron Friedman, occasionally collaborated on by Stan Lee himself. The closest the season came to adapting a comic book tale was in the two-part "The Origin of Iron Man," which recounted a (modified and modernized) version of the character's comic book origin (see below) just before the season concluded.

This late-run recounting of the title character's origin is symptomatic of what is generally thought of as the season's greatest weakness - despite (or perhaps because of) having such a large cast of characters, very few of the show's heroes and villains were actually developed in any way, leaving viewers unware of their personal stories and powers. The show is generally held to have been at its best when filling in these origin blanks (MODOK in "Enemy Without, Enemy Within," Iron Man and the Mandarin in their self-titled "The Origin of..." episodes), but these were rare occasions, with virtually every other plot simply consisting of the Mandarin attempting to steal Stark's newest invention and being bested, often through very strange and illogical means (with the nadir perhaps being Iron Man somehow using the energy of a small tape-player to restore his armor to full power in "Silence My Companion, Death My Destination").

Animation for the first season was produced by the Rainbow Animation Group, but compared poorly to other Marvel shows such as Spider-Man and X-Men, coming off as outdated and very '80s-esque, featuring many visible errors at a time when such things were on a decrease in cartoons. One of the most distinctive pieces of animation in the season was an amor-donning stock footage sequence for Stark, which saw the hero transform his briefcase into his armor and suit up for action. The sequence was not without its own limitations - it depicted Stark standing in his lab, wearing a white jacket, but would be used regardless of where Stark was or what he was wearing in the episodes themselves, creating massive visual disconnects. Additionally, in all but one instance (in "The Origin of Iron Man"), the sequence featured some brief moments of primitive CGI, in which Stark levitated his helmet from the ground and donned it. The "dead air" the sequence created would often be somewhat forcibly filled by lines of dialog from off-screen characters, which were inserted later in production - actor Jim Cummings (MODOK) would frequently have to provide the voice of the off-screen War Machine during the sequences (whose regular actor James Avery was evidently not available for the pick-ups), but sounded nothing like the character.

In 1995, Marvel switched The Marvel Action Hour to a new animation studio (as previously mentioned, the animation in Season 1 was provided by the Rainbow Animation Group, while the animation in Season 2 was provided by Koko Enterprises), and with it came new writers (Ron Friedman was replaced by Tom Tataranowicz for Season 2) and new music for each sequence, coupled with a new direction for the series. The first season's subtle keyboard theme music for Iron Man (composed by progressive rock artist Keith Emerson) was replaced by an intense electric guitar theme featuring the repeated refrain of "I am Iron Man!", while showing Tony Stark beating red-hot iron plates into shape with a blacksmith's hammer (possibly to mimic the Black Sabbath song "Iron Man") . Tony Stark's longer hair style in the second season was based upon the artist Mark Bright's depiction of Stark from the late 1980s, which is where most of the episodes from Season 2 were based upon.

The new storylines spanned multiple episodes and were no longer "open and shut" cases. They formed a linking narrative, featuring themes of duplicity, consequence, and phobias. Also, the stories were no longer centered on the Mandarin, whose rings had been scattered and whose power had been depleted. While the Mandarin did appear in these episodes, his appearances were reduced to cameos in the cliffhangers at the end of the story, as he tried to retrieve each ring.

Another change was that Force Works was mostly written out of the series, parting ways with Stark after he deceives them in order to work in secret against the Mandarin when Fin Fang Foom and his fellow dragons were plotting to eliminate Earth. This split would be revisited with Stark's ensuing conflicts with Hawkeye over the course of several episodes. Also, War Machine develops a phobia of being trapped inside his armor (also based on a then-current comic storyline), but this is resolved before the final episode.

In the finale, the Mandarin, having regained all of his rings, unleashes a mist using the heart of darkness to render everything technological useless. Iron Man reunites with Force Works in order to stop him. The Mandarin unmasks Iron Man before their final showdown ends in his death. After disappointing ratings, the series was cancelled.

As described above, the first season of the series bases very few of its stories on the comic books, aside from its retelling of Iron Man's origin. In modernizing the character's origin story, Tony Stark is not injured in a Vietnamese war zone, but in an act of industrial sabotage plotted by Justin Hammer and the Mandarin. Wounded not by a chunk of shrapnel near his heart, but by slivers near his spine, Stark and Ho Yinsen (whose first name is changed to Wellington) were held captive by the Mandarin, rather than Wong Chu. The Mandarin himself was subject to heavy modification, altered by his rings to a much greater extent than in the comics. He gained green skin (a fate which befell other Asian villains in animation around the time, such as Doctor No in James Bond Junior and Ming the Merciless in Defenders of the Earth) and an enhanced musculature, but the show did retain the connection between his origin and Fin Fang Foom. Aside from these origin stories, the only episode to draw on a comic book in any way was "Rejoice! I Am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer," which featured the Mandarin's robotic servant Ultimo from the 1960s, but featured his appearance and alien-born origin from the 1990s.

The Mandarin's minions (with the exception of the original character, Hypnotia) were all solo operators in the comics, most significantly arms-dealing business man Justin Hammer, who was a criminal mastermind in his own right, rather than a villain who would serve another. Force Works, on the other hand, were lifted straight from the comics, but their actual civilian roles were never defined in the cartoon, save for Spider-Woman, who was recast as the vice president of research and development for Stark Enterprises. Notably, the cartoon's Scarlet Witch owes next to nothing to the comic book character: here, she is a mystical, tarot-reading spiritualist identified in the closing credits as "Wanda Frank" (an alias by her in the comics, in which her real name is "Wanda Maximoff"), who speaks with a thick Eastern-European (or according to the closed captioning, German) accent and refers to other characters as "pumpkin" and "cupcake". Her power is identified as a "hex sense," but what the means is never explained, and seems to allow her to do anything, from shape-changing to matter manipulation. In a sub-plot crafted solely for the cartoon, Spider-Woman and the Scarlet Witch vie for the affections of Iron Man.

The second season performed a complete turnaround, and began regularly adapting major Iron Man comic book stories including "Dragon Seed" (as "The Beast Within"), "Armor Wars" and "The Hands of the Mandarin" and introducing more characters derived from the comic books, including HOMER, Firebrand, Sunturion and more.

Stark's armor on the show was the Mark XI "Modular Armor", which was the suit he was wearing in the comics at the time. The first season modified his helmet design to add a traditional mouth slit, but the second season restored the "mouthless" comic book design.

A new Iron Man series was in production in France for airing in 2006 alongside a new Fantastic Four series, in effect reviving The Marvel Action Hour, though it remains to be seen if they will be aired together or not. In September 2006, the Fantastic Four series aired on Toonami at 8:00 p.m. every Saturday; the Iron Man series did not.

On October 8, 2007, both seasons were released together in a Region 2 three-disc set from Maximum Entertainment in 2007, back when Disney had the rights to the Marvel shows and before they brought the rights back. The 3 disk set had no features and just included all 26 episodes. There are no plans for a Region 1 release at the present time.

When the show had aired in Japanese television stations, the opening sequence was changed, featuring a new J-Pop theme song called "Eien ga Ai ni Kawaru Toki (When Eternity Becomes Love)" by the J-Pop group Pretty Cast, and splicing in scenes from various episodes alongside the original opening animation, a similar change was made to the ending credits sequence.

Spider-Man: The Clone Saga · Invasion of the Spider-Slayers · The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man · Secret Wars · The Wedding!

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Alternate versions of Iron Man

In addition to his mainstream incarnation, Iron Man has had been depicted in other fictional universes.

1602: New World features a 17th century Spanish Iron Man named Lord Iron. Taken captive in the Holy Land during the English / Spanish war, he was forced to make weapons for them by way of weeks of torture by David Banner, the later Hulk of that world. He needs his massive armor to survive. The armor is powered by "lightning bottles" and provides him with super strength and invulnerability as well as several electricity-powered weapons.

With his Moorish associate, Rhodes, Lord Iron is assigned by King James to put an end to the traitors and witchbreed in the New World. Instead, he realizes he has let bitterness consume him, and makes his peace with Banner. He is last seen using his armor to power the colony's printing press.

Machine Man 2020 features Arno Stark in the red and gold armor, acting as a mercenary in the employ of Sunset Bain.

In the Age of Apocalypse, Tony Stark is an agent of the Human High Council. The injury that compromised his heart is caused by the attack of a mutant.

In the sword and sorcery world of the Avataars: Covenant of the Shield miniseries, Iron Man's counterpart is Ironheart, one of the Champions of the Realm. A powerful warrior, he wears a huge suit of grey armor.

In Bullet Points, Iron Man is Steve Rogers, who, following the assassination of Dr. Abraham Erskine and the cancellation of the 'Captain America' project, agrees to be bonded to the prototype 'Iron Man' armor despite the intense physical pain and discomfort this will cause. Rogers is later killed fighting an alternate version of the Hulk; following this, Tony Stark, who has been recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. expresses a desire to continue in Rogers' footsteps as Iron Man, but is rejected owing to a heart condition. He later disobeys this command and adopts the mantle upon the arrival of Galactus.

In the alternative reality of Earth X, Tony Stark builds a headquarters that protects himself from a plague that grants all humans superpowers. Afterwards, he builds the Iron Avengers. Later, his headquarters is revealed to be a giant armor in and of itself, based on the old Godzilla fighting mecha, the Red Ronin, which he uses to delay the Celestial attack until the coming of Galactus, sacrificing his life in the process. He later becomes part of the angelic Avenging Host of Mar-vell's "Paradise", with an Iron Man motif.

In the continuity of Earth-691, Tony Stark is devastated by the horrors of the Martian invasion and jettisons his technology into space. It is found by a primitive alien race who use it to become an interstellar menace calling themselves the Stark, who subsequently clash with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the 31st century.

In the continuity of Earth-2122, the home of Crusader X, where the British won the American Revolution and still control North America, Anthony Stark is a member of a group called the Sons of Liberty. In this reality, Stark is willing to kill innocent people.

In this mini-series which is set in a future where Reed Richards' technology has launched humanity into a golden age without poverty, hunger, disease or war and where mankind has colonized the entire Solar System, awaiting membership in the intergalactic federation while in quarantine from the rest of the universe, Tony Stark has died long ago - but his consciousness survives, 'hopping' from artificial body to artificial body. All the bodies shown in the mini resemble Iron Man armors, often being identical to existing armors. One notable exception was the bulky, stocky space-armor which played an important role in the battle of humanity's heroes versus several alien armadas.

A one shot comic that shows an aging Tony Stark working on his greatest creation, a space elevator called "Big Jump." Stark faces retirement due to age and the physical toll of an illness, no longer allowing him to run his business "Stark Universal" and continue to be Iron Man. This leads to the need to groom a replacement.

Iron Maniac is an evil alternate universe version of Iron Man from Earth-5012. He first appeared in Marvel Team-Up (vol. 3) #2, wearing armor that bears heavy resemblance to that of Doctor Doom (and is, because of that, mistaken for that villain).

He comes from an alternate reality where most of the Avengers were killed when they encountered the vicious alien Titannus in space. While the team is rescued by the reserve Avengers five years later, it takes another five years to fight back the Trellions - the alien race that has brainwashed Titannus - and, during that time, an apparently power-hungry Reed Richards turns his back on the surviving heroes (the exact circumstances behind this are unknown). Scarred for life due to an attack from the Human Torch shortly before the aforementioned hero is killed, Iron Man sets his own operation base in Latveria for the express purpose of "take over the world to save it from Richards," until Richards somehow manages to banish him into Earth-616 (other differences between his world and the one we know include that there is no Spider-Man - or, at least, he and Iron Man have never met - and that Hank Pym is another version of the Hulk).

After being transported to Earth 616, the alternate Iron Man fights the Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange, all of whom initially assumed him to be their Doctor Doom having escaped from Hell. However, after he unmasks himself, they learn his true identity, shortly before he manages to temporarily negate the FF's powers and escape. Capturing a recently-discovered mutant, the alternate Iron Man attempts to return to his home dimension, but is attacked by Spider-Man and X-23. After the appearance of Captain America and Black Widow, he realizes that he is in an alternate world, but continues to fight the heroes, calling them all 'Richards' lackeys'. He is defeated thanks to Spider-Man and X-23's use of their own version of the fastball special to destroy his equipment, shortly after 'warning' the other heroes of the Titannus War (by saying that he wouldn't kill them now because it would be a kindness).

While the alternate Tony Stark is kept locked up and drugged in the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, he is briefly visited by his counterpart in this universe, although he is unaware of the visit. Shortly after the alternate Stark is transferred to a conventional cell, Titannus soon arrives and fights the heroes, this time confronting a new group of Defenders assembled by Doctor Strange. When Titannus' comatose lover is revived, she tells him that she never loved him and that he was insane, causing Titannus to kill himself. The alternate Iron Man later discovers from Spider-Man and Wolverine that the Avengers were never massacred in space in this reality because the group had been disassembled, thus never encountering Titannus and averting the so-called 'Titannus War'.

He has recently broken free from captivity, having immunized himself to the gas that was used to keep him sedated onboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. In the process, he gains the unwilling alliance of the LMD Diamondback. Having convinced her that he is the "real" Tony, the AU Tony Stark erases her memories, and reshapes the former LMD into an advanced suit of armor. This armor, even more advanced than the pre-Extremis suit Iron Man wore at that time, is able to replicate any weapon from the wearer's memory. He subsequently battles Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America and Luke Cage, but is only defeated after the sacrifice of rookie hero Freedom Ring, who kept Iron Maniac occupied long enough for Captain America to knock him out with a shield thrown at the back of his neck.

The name Iron Maniac is what he decided to call himself, due to being the "sole survivor of a sane world living in a backwards, insane world".

Iron Maniac is known to be at least partially cyberized, with armor plating implanted in his chest (revealed during his escape from the Helicarrier, when he is shot). It is unknown whether the rest of his body is similarly armored or if he possesses other cybernetic enhancements.

He has been briefly mentioned as being held in a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier recently in The Irredeemable Ant-Man.

In the Marvel Mangaverse reality, Tony Stark creates the original armor together with Dr. Ho Yinsen and acts as Iron Man for a time, but eventually vanishes after a battle with Namor, the Submariner. He is succeeded by Antoinette (Toni) Stark, his twin sister, a former agent of SHIELD, who turns Iron Man into a massive operation - a veritable army of Iron Men in many forms, with herself as Iron Woman. After she dies in battle against the Hulk, Tony Stark reveals himself again; he has gone underground after spinal cancer reduced him to a disembodied head hooked up to a life support system. However, he has designed a new armor, and a body that he can integrate with.

He also had designed four massive vehicles for the Avengers of his world to use, which could combine (in a manner resembling old fashioned combining super robots like Combattler V and Voltes V) into a skyscraper-sized Iron Man-mecha (Dubbed Ultimate Iron Man in its first appearance, then the Iron Avenger in its battle with the Hulk and finally simply called "the Avenger's mecha" in Volume 2 of the series). Unfortunately it was quickly destroyed by that world's Hulk. Apparently, however, it was rebuilt again by the time of the second volume, this time as a single robotic unit without transformation (or, if it was capable of transformation, it was never demonstrated). This unit helped fight off the giant Galactus spores, but was later destroyed, along with most of the Avengers, single handedly by the Mangaverse version of Dr. Doom.

The Marvel Adventures Iron Man is very similar to the Earth-616 Iron Man, but with some changes. Instead of suffering damage to his heart due to a booby trap in Vietnam, Tony Stark's heart was damaged when an experimental plane he was flying was brought down by AIM. AIM wanted Stark to build weapons and devices for them. Dr. Gia-Bao Yinsen aided Tony in escaping AIM, but Yinsen died saving his country from AIM. Iron Man doesn't seem to have problems with alcoholism, since the Marvel Adventures is aimed at a younger demographics. Iron Man's armor resembles his Extremis armor although Iron Man has other armors that fit over his regular armor, as in the case of his underwater armor.

In Marvel Zombies, Tony Stark has been infected by the zombie virus, infected by a zombie version of the Fantastic Four during the attempt to set a coordinate to another universe to help the survivors of the zombie-plague to escape. Alongside a horde of starving superhuman zombies, Iron Man attacks the Silver Surfer. The attack is successful, but one of the Surfer's energy bolts hits Iron Man's lower torso, cutting him in half. The zombie "survives" this wound and later gains cosmic powers (including flight) by eating part of the Surfer's corpse. Galactus then shows up and after eating him along with five other surviving zombies, Iron Man becomes one of the members of "The Galactus".

Currently, the Marvel Zombies are attacking a Skrull planet, only to encounter the Fantastic Four of this reality- currently consisting of Black Panther, Storm, the Thing and the Human Torch-, leaving the Zombies eager to capture the FF and transport back to their reality.

He also appears in Marvel Zombies 2, one of the small group of super-powered zombies that have eaten their way across all known space. Here Stark has had his entire lost lower body replaced with cybernetics. He also appears to have forgotten he had some design in the machine which opened a link to the Ultimate Universe. The Hulk kills Iron Man when The Hulk stomps through the armor, forcing Tony Stark's flesh through any openings in the armor.

In the alternate future of MC2, Tony Stark retires after the loss of many heroes in battle, but eventually creates the armored computer program Mainframe, which joins the next generation of Avengers.

In the alternate world of newuniversal, Tony Stark is one of three humans altered by the Fireworks on April 26th, 1953. Prior to the Fireworks, Stark is unexceptional, but he then becomes a technological genius. His discoveries revitalise his father's company, Stark Industries, and are "five years ahead of everything everyone else is working on". There are suggestions that he is capable of more, but is not making all of his discoveries public.

Stark's transformation is noticed by the National Security Agency's Project Spitfire, which is discreetly monitoring the superhumans created by the Fireworks. In March 1959, Stark's plane crashes in North Vietnam and he is imprisoned. He escapes by constructing an Iron Man suit from "spare parts" and flying out of the country.

On April 4th 1959, when he returns to the USA, the NSA takes Stark to a San Diego naval base, ostensibly to debrief him. Stark is then shot dead by Philip L. Voight, a Project Spitfire agent, to prevent him from making contact with the other superhumans.

The Iron Man suit is seized by Project Spitfire and reverse engineered by Doctor Joe Swann, eventually becoming the basis of the project's H.E.X suit, an exoskeleton designed for combat with superhumans.

In the two issue Warren Ellis series . Tony Stark is a rich industrialist, he supplied weapons for the US military in an attempt to win the Vietnam war. This version of Iron Man was injured while mediating between US forces and pro-secessionist Californians by a piece of shrapnel thrown by National Guard. This embittered Stark who formed a revolutionary cell named the Avengers. This version of Iron Man was betrayed by Scarlet Witch who provided the United States military information to crush the Avengers. Tony Stark is presumably killed.

Real name of Ultimate Marvel Iron Man: Antonio Stark.

The Ultimate Marvel version of Iron Man first appears in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #4, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Mike Allred (though his biography, as related in this book, is very different from what is later established as canon). He later appeared in the Ultimates and often appears in the same titles they do. In the Ultimate Universe, Antonio "Tony" Stark is a wealthy business tycoon and inventor who creates the Iron Man power armor. Antonio is half Hispanic, through his mother, brilliant scientist Maria Cerrera. Like his mainstream counterpart, Tony has a drinking problem and life-threatening affliction; in this case an inoperable brain tumor which will kill him anytime between six months and five years, which he explains is the reason he has become a philanthropist and superhero. Stark's early life and origins are explored in the Ultimate Iron Man miniseries, written by science fiction author Orson Scott Card.

Stark's genius is attributed to the fact that he was infected with a regenerative virus while in his mother's womb, which facilitated the spread of undifferentiated neural tissue throughout his body, in effect making his entire body part of his brain. However, this brings with it an over stimulation of his neural cells, causing excruciating pain whenever his skin comes into contact with anything, even dust. To save the infant Tony's life, his father Howard Stark applied an experimental bacterial coating all over his body, which grants him a certain degree of protection. However, it is unable to prevent the chronic, constant pain within his body, and the coating can be washed off. In part, this motivates him to create a stronger, more durable form of armor in the form of Iron Man. It's during this part of his young life where he meets and befriends Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, a fellow genius, and Zebadiah Stane's pudgy, son Obadiah Stane, who is a hidden sociopath.

When Tony hears Nick Fury is assembling a team of superheroes, Tony volunteers his services. After helping defeat the Hulk, Tony develops a friendship with Thor and Steve Rogers(Captain America). He has since captured the Rhino, battled Chitauri spaceships, snuck aboard a Kree spacecraft, and decapitated a Silver Surfer clone as a member of the Ultimates. Though he has made these great accomplishments, he is still unsure of himself, as in the Ultimates when he is beat down and throws up in his own helmet. He doubts his own abilities and decides he can't continue fighting until a soldier asks, "If you don't do it, who will?" Stark falls in love with and proposes to Natasha Romanova, the Black Widow Just prior to proposing, Stark gives her a black suit of armor, almost identical to his own. The flight test of the suit includes flying over her homeland, where Stark had paid the three million inhabitants of her hometown to stand in a field, spelling out his proposal, which she immediately accepts. When the Liberators invade America, the Widow shoots Edwin Jarvis and then tries to get Stark, at gunpoint, to transfer much of his fortune to her. However, Stark has ultimate control of the nanites in her bloodstream that allows her to interface with her armor. Using these nanites, Stark incapacitates Romanova and retrieves the enemy plans from her mind with the intention of fighting back against the Liberators. He takes Iron Man 6, a massive helicarrier-sized ship armed with dozens of laser cannons and machine guns, and wipes out the air force of the Liberators in Washington, D.C (as well as his opposite number in the Liberators,Crimson Dynamo ). He then heads to New York to aid the heroes there. After the battle Stark agrees to finance the now independent Ultimates and very quickly gets over Natasha's betrayal with the help of a pretty blonde. The start of Volume 3 sees Tony becoming a full-blown alcoholic. A sex tape that he made with Natasha during their time together also makes into the public, causing a PR nightmare for the Ultimates.

An alternate timeline where Stark sells his armor secrets to the general public. Stark becomes paranoid of the ensuing armor technology arms race and hides away from the world until an insurgency by Magneto forces him to return in a massive Iron Man armor.

In a timeline where the Fantastic Four were killed by D'lila (a rogue Skrull) and the Hulk, Spiderman, the Ghost Rider and Wolverine had joined together to avenge them and soldier on in their stead as the New Fantastic Four, Thanos of Titan, as in the mainline universe, came into possession of the six Infinity Gems and became ruler of all reality, before erasing half of all living beings from existence. Among those who vanished was Ghost Rider, and, being present at the battle during which he was erased, Iron Man in turn stepped up to fill his place. Taking on Thanos, the Newer Fantastic Four soon realized they were outmatched to the Nth degree - but Tony Stark, with help from the Hulk, managed to salvage the empty armor of Ziran, a Celestial, and soon realized it could be controlled by thoughts. With its original wearer gone, it now responded to him, and instantly, Tony took control of the immense armor. Using the late Mr.Fantastic's technology, he connected the armor to the Negative Zone, allowing him to call on all the power of that reality. Despite now being in control of quite possibly the most powerful armor any Iron Man has ever worn in any reality, he was swiftly defeated by the omnipotent Thanos (Who was then undone by Wolverine).

In a pastiche of the Civil War and The Initiative, Iron Man is revealed as having a ghal counterpart in the DC Comics alternate Universe of Earth-8, the Tin Man. In such universe, however, Tin Man had the full support of his Captain America counterpart, the Americommando. When Americommando became President of the United States, he approved the aptly renamed Metahuman registration act, forcing the Metahuman to register into the Metamilitia of Angor, or face imprisonment in hellish concentration camps, resembling the fortress in the Negative Zone. Tin Man is shown there as loyal to Americommando, a ruthless enforcer of the MRA, and otherwise similar in powers and background to Iron Man.

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Iron Man

Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963): Iron Man debuts. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Don Heck.

Iron Man is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963), and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby.

Born Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark, he suffers a severe heart injury during a kidnapping and is forced to build a destructive weapon. He instead creates a power suit to save his life and help him escape. He later decides to use the suit to protect the world as the superhero, Iron Man. He is a wealthy industrialist and genius inventor who created military weapons and whose metal suit is laden with technological devices that enable him to fight crime. Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American technology and business in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have gradually removed the Cold War themes, replacing them with more contemporary concerns such as corporate crime and terrorism.

Throughout most of the comic's 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. The character has been adapted for several animated TV shows, as well as for the 2008 live action films Iron Man and a cameo in The Incredible Hulk where he is played by Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron Man's premiere was a collaboration among editor and story-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, story-artist Don Heck, and cover-artist and character-designer Jack Kirby. In 1963, 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.

Iron Man first appeared in 13- to 18-page stories in Tales of Suspense, which featured anthology science fiction and supernatural stories. The character's original costume was a bulky gray armored suit, replaced by a golden version in the second story (issue #40, April 1963). It was redesigned as sleeker, red-and-golden armor in issue #48 (Dec. 1963); that issue's interior art is by Steve Ditko and its cover by Kirby. In his premiere, Iron Man was an anti-communist hero, defeating various Vietnamese agents. Lee later regretted this early focus. Throughout the character’s comic book series, technological advancement and national defense were constant themes for Iron Man, but later issues developed Stark into a more complex and vulnerable character as they depicted his battle with alcoholism (Demon in a Bottle) and other personal difficulties.

Writers have updated the war and locale in which Stark is injured. In the original 1963 story, it was the Vietnam War. In the 1990s, it was updated to be the first Gulf War, and later updated again to be the war in Afghanistan. However, Stark's time with the Asian Nobel Prize-winning scientist Ho Yinsen is consistent through nearly all incarnations of the Iron Man origin, depicting Stark and Yinsen building the original armor together. One exception is the direct-to-DVD animated feature film The Invincible Iron Man, in which the armor Stark uses to escape his captors is not the first Iron Man suit.

Like other Stan Lee creations in the early years of Marvel Comics, such as The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk, the Iron Man story, in its original manifestations, was an exploration of Cold War themes. Where The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk focused on the American domestic and government/bureaucratic responses to Cold War pressures, respectively, Iron Man looked to industry's role in the struggle against communism. Tony Stark's real-life model Howard Hughes was an archetype of American individualism as well as a significant defense contractor who helped develop new weapons technologies.

Tony Stark/Iron Man's reliance on technology and intelligence, rather than the chance transformations of many other superheroes, reinforced the American faith in technological solutions to the military, political and ideological problems of the Cold War. Stark is an idealized portrait of the American inventor. By the 1960s, military weapons development was firmly in the realm of Big Science, with little role for the lone inventor. Issues of autonomy and government intervention in research and questions of loyalty — which real-life American physicists and engineers were also facing, if less dramatically — are prominent themes in early Iron Man storylines.

A new Iron Man series started in early 2005 with the Warren Ellis written storyline "Extremis" with artist Adi Granov. The series tied-in with Civil War, before the title changed its name to The Invincible Iron Man with issue #17 and then Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in issue #29 and then War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D in issue #33, which tied into Secret Invasion and resulted in the launch of a War Machine ongoing series.

The son of a wealthy industrialist and head of Stark Industries, Howard Stark, and Maria Stark, Anthony Stark is born on Long Island. A boy genius, he enters MIT at the age of 15 to study electrical engineering and graduates summa cum laude. After his parents' accidental deaths in a car crash, he inherits his father's company.

While observing the effects of his experimental technologies on the American war effort, Tony Stark is injured by a booby trap and captured by the enemy, who then orders him to design weapons for them. However, Stark's injuries are dire and shrapnel in his chest threatens to pierce his heart. His fellow prisoner, Ho Yinsen, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work Stark had greatly admired during college, constructs a magnetic chest plate to keep the shrapnel from reaching Stark's heart, keeping him alive. In secret, Stark uses the workshop to design and construct a suit of powered armor, which he uses to escape. Yinsen dies during the attempt. Stark takes revenge on his kidnappers and heads back to rejoin the American forces, on his way meeting a wounded American Marine Corps helicopter pilot, James "Rhodey" Rhodes.

Back home, Stark discovers the shrapnel lodged in his chest cannot be removed without killing him, and he is forced to wear the armor's chestplate beneath his clothes to act as a regulator for his heart. He must also recharge the chestplate every day or else risk the shrapnel killing him. The cover for Iron Man is that he is Stark's bodyguard and corporate mascot. To that end, Iron Man fights threats to his company, such as Communist opponents Black Widow, the Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man, as well as independent villains like the Mandarin. No one suspects Stark of being Iron Man as he cultivates an image as a rich playboy and industrialist. Two notable members of Stark's supporting cast at this point are his personal chauffeur Harold "Happy" Hogan and secretary Virginia "Pepper" Potts, to both of whom he eventually reveals his dual identity. Meanwhile, Jim Rhodes would find his own niche as Stark's personal pilot of extraordinary skill and daring.

The comic took an anti-Communist stance in its early years, which was softened as opposition rose to the Vietnam War. This change evolved in a series of stories with Stark profoundly reconsidering his political opinions and the morality of manufacturing weapons for the military. Stark, however, shows himself to be occasionally arrogant and willing to let the ends justify the means. This leads to personal conflicts with the people around him, both in his civilian and superhero identities. Stark uses his personal fortune not only to outfit his own armor, but to develop weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D. and other technologies such as the Quinjets used by the Avengers, and the image inducers used by the X-Men.

Eventually, Stark's heart condition is discovered by the public and cured with an artificial heart transplant. However, Stark also develops a serious dependency on alcohol. The first time it becomes a problem is when Stark discovers that the national security agency S.H.I.E.L.D. has been buying a controlling interest in his company in order to ensure Stark's continued weapons development for them. At the same time, Stark's business rival Justin Hammer hires several supervillains to attack Stark. At one point, the Iron Man armor is even taken over and used to murder a diplomat. Although Iron Man is not immediately under suspicion, Stark is forced to hand the armor over to the authorities. Eventually Stark and Rhodes, who is now his personal pilot and confidant, track down and defeat those responsible, although Hammer would return to bedevil Stark again. With the support of his then-girlfriend, Bethany Cabe, his friends and his employees, Stark pulls through these crises and overcomes his dependency on alcohol. These events were collected and published as Demon in a Bottle.

Some time later, a ruthless rival, Obadiah Stane, manipulates Stark emotionally into a serious relapse. As a result, Stark loses control of Stark International, becomes a homeless alcoholic vagrant and gives up his armored identity to Rhodes, who becomes the new Iron Man for a lengthy period of time. Eventually, Stark recovers and joins a new startup, Circuits Maximus. Stark concentrates on new technological designs, including building a new set of armor as part of his recuperative therapy. Rhodes continues to act as Iron Man but steadily grows more aggressive and paranoid, due to the armor not being calibrated properly for his use. Eventually Rhodes goes on a rampage, and Stark has to don a replica of his original armor to stop him. When Circuits Maximus comes under assault from Stane, Stark uses the completed next-generation Silver Centurion armor to confront Stane in personal combat. Stark's skill proves superior over Stane's unpracticed use of his own variant suit (known as the Iron Monger). Rather than give Stark the satisfaction of taking Stane to trial, Stane commits suicide. Shortly thereafter, Stark regains his personal fortune, but decides against repurchasing Stane International until much later; he instead creates Stark Enterprises, headquartered in Los Angeles.

In an attempt to stop other people from misusing his designs, Stark goes about disabling other armored heroes and villains who are using suits based on the Iron Man technology, the designs of which were stolen by his enemy Spymaster. His quest to destroy all instances of the stolen technology severely hurts his reputation as Iron Man. After attacking and disabling a series of minor villains such as Stilt-Man, he attacks and defeats the government operative known as Stingray. The situation worsens when Stark realizes that Stingray's armor does not incorporate any of his designs. He publicly "fires" Iron Man while covertly pursuing his agenda. He uses the cover story of wanting to help disable the rogue Iron Man to infiltrate and disable the armor of the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives known as the Mandroids, and disabling the armor of the Guardsmen, in the process allowing some of the villains that they guard to escape. This leads the United States government to declare Iron Man a danger and an outlaw. Iron Man then travels to Russia where he inadvertently causes the death of the Soviet Titanium Man during a fight. Returning to the U.S., he faces an enemy commissioned by the government named Firepower. Unable to defeat him head on, Stark fakes Iron Man's demise, intending to retire the suit forever. When Firepower goes rogue, Stark creates a new suit, claiming that a new person is in the armor.

Stark's health continues to deteriorate, and he discovers the armor's cybernetic interface is causing irreversible damage to his nervous system. His condition is aggravated by a failed attempt on his life by a mentally unbalanced former lover which injures his spine, paralyzing him. Stark has a nerve chip implanted into his spine to regain his mobility. Still, Stark's nervous system continues its slide towards failure, and he constructs a "skin" made up of artificial nerve circuitry to assist it. Stark also begins to pilot a remote-controlled Iron Man armor, but when faced with the Masters of Silence, the telepresence suit proves inadequate. Stark then designs a more heavily-armed version of the suit to wear, the "Variable Threat Response Battle Suit", which becomes known as the War Machine armor. Ultimately, the damage to his nervous system becomes too extensive. Faking his death, Stark places himself in suspended animation to heal as Rhodes takes over the running of Stark Enterprises and the mantle of Iron Man using the War Machine armor. Stark ultimately makes a full recovery by using a chip to reprogram himself and resumes the Iron Man identity. When Rhodes learns that Stark has manipulated his friends by faking his own death, he becomes enraged and the two friends part ways, Rhodes continuing as War Machine in a solo career.

The story arc "The Crossing" reveals Iron Man as a traitor among the Avengers' ranks, due to years of manipulation by the time-traveling dictator Kang the Conqueror. Stark, as a sleeper agent in Kang's thrall, kills Marilla, the nanny of Crystal and Quicksilver's daughter Luna, as well as Rita DeMara, the female Yellowjacket, then an ally of the Avengers (the miniseries Avengers Forever later retcons these events as the work of a disguised Immortus, not Kang, and that the mental control had gone back only a few months).

Needing help to defeat both Stark and the ostensible Kang, the team travels back in time to recruit a teenaged Tony Stark from an alternate timeline to assist them. The young Stark steals an Iron Man suit in order to aid the Avengers against his older self. The sight of his younger self shocks the older Stark enough for him to regain momentary control of his actions, and he sacrifices his life to stop Kang. The young Stark later builds his own suit to become the new Iron Man, and, remaining in the present day, gains legal control of "his" company.

During the battle with the creature called Onslaught, the teenaged Stark dies, along with many other superheroes. However, Franklin Richards preserves these "dead" heroes in the "Heroes Reborn" pocket universe, in which Tony Stark is once again an adult hero; Franklin recreates the heroes in the pocket universe in the forms he is most familiar with rather than what they are at the present. The reborn adult Stark, upon returning to the normal Marvel Universe, merges with the original Stark, who had died during "The Crossing", but was resurrected by Franklin Richards. This new Tony Stark possesses the memories of both the original and teenage Tony Starks, and thus considers himself to be essentially both of them. With the aid of the law firm Nelson & Murdock, he successfully regains his fortune and, with Stark Enterprises having been sold to the Fujikawa Corporation following Stark's death, sets up a new company, Stark Solutions. He also returns from the pocket universe with a restored and healthy heart. After the Avengers reform, Stark demands a hearing be convened to look into his actions just prior to the Onslaught incident. Cleared of wrongdoing, he rejoins the Avengers.

At one point, Stark's armor itself becomes sentient, despite fail-safes to prevent its increasingly sophisticated computer systems from doing so. Initially, Stark welcomes this "living" armor, as it has improved tactical abilities, but soon the armor's behavior begins to grow more aggressive, and it even kills. Eventually, the armor reaches the point where it wants to join with Stark and eventually replace him. Stark finds he cannot defeat the armor, but in the final confrontation on a desert island, Stark suffers another heart attack. To save its creator's life, the armor gives up part of its components to give Stark a new, artificial heart, sacrificing its own existence. The new heart solves Stark's health problems, but it does not have an internal power supply, so Stark becomes once again dependent on periodic recharging. The sentient armor incident so disturbs Stark that he goes back to using an early model version of his armor for a while, lacking the sophistication of the sentient version and thus unlikely to result in a repeat of the same problem. He also dabbles with using liquid metal circuitry known as S.K.I.N. that will form itself into a protective shell around his body, but eventually returns to more conventional hard metal armors.

During this time, Stark engages in a romance with Rumiko Fujikawa (first appearance in Iron Man (vol. 3) #4), a wealthy heiress and daughter of the man who had taken over his company during the "Heroes Reborn" period. An intelligent and resourceful woman, she nonetheless begins the relationship in part to rebel against her stern father, who disapproves of Stark. Her relationship with Stark endures many highs and lows, including an infidelity with Stark's rival, Tiberius Stone, in part because the fun-loving Rumiko believes that Stark is too serious and dull. Their relationship ends with Rumiko's death at the hands of an Iron Man impostor in Iron Man (vol. 3) #87.

In Iron Man (vol. 3) #55 (July 2002), Stark publicly reveals his dual identity as Iron Man, not realizing that by doing so, he has invalidated the agreements protecting his armor from government duplication (since those contracts state that the Iron Man armor would be used by an employee of Tony Stark, not by Stark himself). When he discovers that the United States military is again using his technology, Stark, rather than confront them as before, accepts a Presidential appointment as Secretary of Defense. In this way, he hopes to monitor and direct how his designs are used. He is forced to resign after launching into a tirade against the Latverian ambassador at the United Nations, being manipulated by the mentally imbalanced Scarlet Witch. Following this, the Scarlet Witch causes the destruction of the Avengers mansion and the death of several Avengers; Stark claims publicly that he will stand down as Iron Man. The "new" Iron Man remains Stark; however, the catastrophic events that preceded this, combined with Stark's assertion, convinces the public that Iron Man and Stark are now different people. Stark leaves the wreckage of Avengers Mansion as it is, and unveils Stark Tower, a state-of-the-art office building that becomes headquarters for the New Avengers team, of which he is a member.

The miniseries Iron Man: The Inevitable reintroduces the Ghost, the Living Laser and Spymaster. Presenting the change in status quo — the focus of Iron Man stories shifting from superhero-ism to political and industrial tales — as Iron Man having elevated himself to a new place in his life where he is "beyond" apprehending supervillains, the miniseries sees a resentful Spymaster conspire to drag Iron Man back to that plebeian level.

New Avengers: Illuminati #1 (June 2006) reveals that years before, in the wake of the Kree-Skrull War, Stark initiates a meeting at the palace of the Black Panther in Wakanda with Professor X, Mister Fantastic, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, and Namor to form a clandestine, unnamed group (dubbed the "Illuminati" by Marvel) to devise strategy and policy regarding overarching menaces (Black Panther rejects membership and derides the other heroes for joining). Stark's original goal is to create a governing body for all superheroes in the world to answer to. However, the different beliefs and philosophies, besides the fact that many heroes choose to conceal their real identities, makes Stark's plan impractical. Despite this, the group agrees to share vital information.

Learning of the government's plans to instigate a Superhuman Registration Act that would force super-powered individuals to reveal their identities to the government and register as licensed agents, Tony Stark at first seeks to defeat the proposal. His opinion of the Act later changes when he sees it as a means to achieve the goals of the Illuminati. Of his fellow Illuminati members, only Reed Richards, of the Fantastic Four, and Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, agree with Stark, who becomes the figurehead of the Registration Act. Many superpowered individuals opposed to registration rally behind Captain America, leading to a destructive "superhero civil war" that ends with Captain America standing down to prevent further collateral damage. Stark is appointed the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also revives the Avengers. Shortly afterward, Captain America is assassinated while in custody, leading Stark to great guilt and misgivings.

After Tony Stark survives an encounter with Ultron taking over his body, he is confronted in the hospital by Spider-Woman, holding the corpse of a Skrull posing as Elektra. Becoming keenly aware of the upcoming invasion of the Skrulls, Tony gathers the Illuminati and reveals the corpse to them, declaring they're at war. After Black Bolt reveals himself as a Skrull and is killed by Namor, a squadron of Skrulls attack, forcing Tony to evacuate the other Illuminati members and destroy the area, killing all the Skrulls. Realizing they're incapable of trusting each other, the members all separate to form individual plans for the oncoming invasion.

Stark becomes discredited and publicly vilified after his inability to anticipate or prevent a secret infiltration and invasion of Earth by the shape-shifting alien Skrull race, and by the Skrull disabling of his StarkTech technology, which had a virtual monopoly on worldwide defense. After the invasion, the U.S. government removes him as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and disbands the Avengers, handing control of the Initiative over to Norman Osborn. With his Extremis powers failing, Stark is able to upload a virus that destroys all records of the Registration Act, thus preventing Osborn from learning the identities of his fellow heroes. The only copy of this database remains in Stark's head, while he is now on the run in one of his extra armors, and his remaining armors in Stark Tower are now in Osborn's hands.

Iron Man later appears as a member of Henry Pym's Mighty Avengers.

Iron Man possesses powered armor that gives him superhuman strength and durability, flight, and an array of weapons. The armor is invented and (with occasional short-term exceptions) worn by Stark. Other people who have assumed the Iron Man identity include Stark's long-time partner and best friend James Rhodes; close associates Harold "Happy" Hogan; Eddie March; and (briefly) Michael O'Brien.

The weapons systems of the suit have changed over the years, but Iron Man's standard offensive weapons have always been the repulsor rays that are fired from the palms of his gauntlets. Other weapons built into various incarnations of the armor include: the uni-beam projector in its chest; pulse bolts (that pick up only 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 situations. 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 powersource. Stark also 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, however.

For a time, due to an artificial nervous system installed after he suffered extensive damage to his nervous system, Stark had superhumanly acute sensory perceptions as well as extraordinary awareness of the physical processes within his own body.

After being critically injured during a battle with the Extremis-enhanced Mallen, Stark injects his nervous system with a modified techno-organic virus (the Extremis process) that not only saves his life, it gives him the ability to store the inner layers of the Iron Man armor in the hollows of his bones as well as control it through direct brain impulses. Stark can control the layer of the armor underneath his skin and make it emerge from numerous exit points around his limbs as a gold-colored neural interface under-sheath. While in this form, Stark has technopathic control of the armor and can suit up at any time, calling the larger components to him. Furthermore, the Extremis process has increased his body's recuperative and healing abilities. He is also able to connect remotely to external communications systems such as satellites, cellular phones, and computers throughout the world. Because the armor's operating system is now directly connected to Stark's nervous system, its response time has been significantly improved. After the Skrull virus infected him during Secret Invasion, the Extremis effect was catastrophically purged from his body, and because of this he no longer has these powers.

Tony Stark is an inventive genius who graduated with advanced degrees in physics and engineering at the age of 21 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and further developed his knowledge ranging from artificial intelligence to quantum mechanics as time progressed. Furthermore, this extends to his ingenuity in dealing with difficult situations such as difficult foes and deathtraps where he is capable of using his available tools like his suit in unorthodox and effective ways. He is also well-respected in the business world, able to command people's attentions when he speaks on economic matters by virtue of the fact that he is savvy enough to have, over the years, built up several multi-million dollar companies from virtually nothing. He is known for the loyalty he commands from and returns to those who work for him, as well as his business ethics. He also strives to be environmentally responsible in his businesses, and in one case, immediately fired an employee who made profitable (but illegal) sales to Doctor Doom.

When Stark was unable to use his armor for a period of time, he asked for some combat training from Captain America and has become physically formidable on his own when the situation demands it. As evidenced by his two serious bouts with alcoholism and subsequent recovery, Stark is possessed of strength of will, never giving up and often emerging from defeat even stronger.

In addition, Stark possesses great business and political acumen. On multiple occasions he reacquired control of his companies after losing them and led corporate takeovers.

Stark received hand to hand combat training from Happy Hogan (a professional boxer), James Rhodes (a Marine) and Captain America himself.

In the 1960s Iron Man featured in a series of cartoons. In 1981, Iron Man guest appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. He went on to feature again in his own series in the 1990s as part of the Marvel Action Hour with the Fantastic Four. Iron Man also makes an appearance in the episode "Shell Games" of Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes. Apart from comic books, Iron Man appears in Capcom's "Marvel vs." video games including Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (as a Gold War Machine or Hyper Armor War Machine), and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Iron Man is a playable character in Iron Man, the 1991 arcade game Captain America and the Avengers, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, as well as being featured as an unlockable character in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse and Tony Hawk's Underground.

In 2008, a film adaptation titled Iron Man was released starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. It received generally positive reviews from film critics, grossing $318 million domestically and $570 million worldwide. Its video game adaptation, however met generally negative reviews. Iron Man II has been announced for 2010, also to be directed by Jon Favreau. Downey Jr. has now also signed up for a second sequel and an adaptation of The Avengers.

The character of Tony Stark, again played by Robert Downey Jr., also appears at the end of the film The Incredible Hulk (2008).

The rapper Ghostface Killah, a member of Wu-Tang Clan, titled his 1996 debut solo album Ironman, and has since continued to use lyrics related to the Iron Man comics and samples from the animated TV shows on his records. He has also adopted the nickname Tony Starks as one of his numerous alter-egos.

Paul McCartney's song "Magneto and Titanium Man" was inspired by the X-Men's arch-nemesis and the original version of the Iron Man villain. Another Iron Man villain, the Crimson Dynamo, is mentioned in the lyrics to this song. The British band Razorlight mentions Tony Stark in a verse of their song, "Hang By, Hang By".

An abridged version of the Black Sabbath song, "Iron Man", is played over the closing credits of the 2008 movie, as well as several of its previews. The character of Nathan Stark on the television show Eureka is inspired by Tony Stark.

Forbes has ranked Iron Man among the wealthiest fictional characters on their annual ranking. BusinessWeek has also ranked Iron Man as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics.

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Source : Wikipedia