Iron Man (Tony Stark) is a superhero in the Marvel Universe and a former weapons manufacturer turned armored superhero.
Born Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark, he is an industrialist playboy and genius engineer who suffers a severe heart injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a massively destructive weapon. He instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. He later decides to use the suit to protect the world as Iron Man. Through his multinational corporation, Stark Industries, Tony created military weapons and his own 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 and films. The character is portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in the live action film Iron Man, Iron Man 2, including a brief cameo in The Incredible Hulk. Downey will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel Iron Man 3. In 2012, Downey appeared alongside Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo in the major blockbuster hit, The Avengers.
Iron Man possesses powered armor that gives him superhuman strength and durability, flight, and an array of weapons. The armor is invented and worn by Stark (with occasional short-term exceptions). 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 on kinetic energy along the way; so the farther they travel, the harder they hit); an electromagnetic pulse generator; and a defensive energy shield that can be extended up to 360 degrees. Other capabilities include: generating ultra-freon (i.e., a freeze-beam); creating and manipulating magnetic fields; emitting sonic blasts; and projecting 3-dimensional holograms (to create decoys).
In addition to the general-purpose model he wears, Stark has developed several specialized suits for space travel, deep-sea diving, stealth, and other special purposes. Stark has modified suits, like the Hulkbuster heavy armor. The Hulkbuster armor is composed of add-ons to his so-called modular armor, designed to enhance its strength and durability enough to engage the Incredible Hulk in a fight. A later model, designed for use against Thor, is modeled on the Destroyer and uses a mystical power source. Stark 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. While it is typically associated with James Rhodes, the War Machine armor also began as one of Stark's specialty armors.
The most recent models of Stark's armor, beginning with the Extremis Armor, are now stored in the hollow portions of Stark's bones, and the personal area networking implement used to control it is implanted in his forearm, and connected directly to his central nervous system.
Movies and TV shows
- Ultimate Avengers one and two
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
- Avengers Assemble
- The Avengers
- The Invincible Iron Man
- Iron Mans Movies 1-3
- Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures
- Marvel's Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United
- Marvel's Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United