Let’s be real- if it wasn’t for Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, the MCU wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is right now. Iron Man definitely seemed like a strange choice to lead off the MCU’s docket of films, but it’s a move that paid off in spades. RDJ’s performance as the Armored Avenger captivated audiences and started the MCU off on the right foot.
The MCU gets a lot of praise for being comic accurate. This is the only kind of true and is mostly said by people who never actually read comics but walked by them once. Iron Man in the movies is actually very different from the comics. This list is going to look at some things the movies got right and what it got wrong.
10 Got Right: The Look
The MCU got Tony Stark’s look completely right. Casting Robert Downey Jr for the role was perfect and much better than the old Tom Cruise casting rumor that went around years ago.
RDJ looks exactly like what a real-world version of Tony Stark should like. He did such a good job that he captured in live-action character mannerisms that were only implied in the comics.
9 Got Wrong: His Leadership Competency
Iron Man became the de facto leader of the heroes of the MCU because of his overwhelming popularity. This is down to RDJ’s great performance of the character and, of course, how the character is written. In the movies, Iron Man is shown as a competent leader who makes plans that work out.
Iron Man in the comics is not that at all. Sure, he’s good at things like funding the Avengers but whenever he’s given an actual leadership role, he bungles the whole thing.
8 Got Right: The Armor
One of the places where the MCU is most comic accurate is in costume design. The costume designers aren’t scared of taking designs right off the comics page and putting them on the screen with very minor tweaks.
The Iron Man armor fans see onscreen is pretty much exactly what they’d see if they looked at any Iron Man comic of the last twenty years. In fact, it’s oftentimes better than the armor that Marvel has in the comics.
7 Got Wrong: The Hulkbuster Armor
Avengers: Age Of Ultron isn’t looked back on as fondly as the other Avengers movies, but everyone can agree that the scene where Iron Man and Hulk go at it is great and a big reason for that is the Hulkbuster armor. It’s a great design and the fight scene is a lot of fun.
In the comics, the Hulkbuster armor has never once worked against the Hulk. In fact, any time Tony Stark has built specialized armor to take on a threat that armor has failed miserably.
6 Got Right: The Arrogance
At least at first, Tony Stark was a very arrogant man in the movies. Now, for a man in his position, a little bit of arrogance is definitely earned- he’s a smart, rich ladies man and a superhero. He can back up his arrogance.
Comic Tony Stark is also a very arrogant man and for pretty much the same reasons. It’s hard to argue with someone being confident like him when they’ve accomplished as much as he has.
5 Got Wrong: The Drinking
In the movies, Tony Stark drinks but it’s never really a problem. In fact, he drinks at the right times and actually drinks pretty responsibly. This is nothing like Tony Stark in the comics.
In the comics, Tony developed a serious drinking problem and made a lot of very bad decisions because of it, almost losing everything. It looked like the MCU was going to take things in this direction but once Disney took over, things took a more family-friendly direction and he pretty much stopped drinking in general with no consequences.
4 Got Wrong: The Humor
When audiences are introduced to Tony Stark in the MCU, he’s laying down sarcastic quips a mile a minute and generally being funny and charming. Audiences loved this aspect of the character and this type of quippy humor became a mainstay of just about every character in the MCU.
In the comics, Iron Man was never ever like this. He was occasionally sarcastic but he wasn’t a joker in any way, shape, or form. It wasn’t until the character’s success in the MCU that they made him this way in the comics.
3 Got Wrong: The Extent Of His Intelligence
In the MCU, Tony Stark not only is a great engineer but he also can design self-aware AI and perfect time travel. His intelligence is basically a deus ex machina– whatever needs solving in the movies can be solved by his Swiss Army brain.
While Marvel Comics is known for a shaky understanding of science in general, for the most part, Tony Stark isn’t as much of a polymath as he is in the MCU. He’s smart, but most of the time he leaves the real heavy thinking to Reed Richards.
2 Got Wrong: He Didn’t Create Ultron
In Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Tony Stark created the AI that would become Ultron using code derived from the Mind Stone and with an assist from Bruce Banner.
In the comics, Ultron was created by Hank Pym as a laboratory assistant that would become self-aware and decided to exterminate all life on Earth. This is a bit of a minor quibble since Pym hadn’t been introduced into the MCU by that point but it’s still not at all comic accurate.
1 Got Wrong: Basically Making Him The Hero Of Captain America: Civil War
In Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man and Cap got into an ideological battle over the role of superheroes in society and also into a personal one, with Cap trying to protect his friend Bucky from Iron Man, who wanted to bring Bucky to justice for the murder of his parents.
The movie made Iron Man into a sympathetic character and this is completely different than the comic Civil War. In the comic, Iron Man goes full fascist, siding with the government against his friends, creating a secret prison for them, and even teaming with villains. There was nothing at all sympathetic about Iron Man in this story.
Some may think that Robert Downey Jr was born to play Iron Man but there are some things that fans still wish they say from the comics.