May 1, 2012

30 Days of Marvel, Day 1: Favorite Character

The Invincible Iron Man, Tony Stark himself! Iron Man debuted in Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963 and he has been a corner stone of the Marvel Universe ever since. Recently he has crossed over into mainstream fame thanks to his expert portrayal by Robert Downey Jr.. He is slated to appear in this weeks sure to be record breaking blockbuster The Avengers as well!

Tony has been noted for his suave and playboy like nature, constantly having a new women on his arm from issue to issue. The amount of women in Tony's life pales in comparison to how many people want him dead for one reason or another though. He owns the multinational super company, currently under the moniker of Stark Resilient. While most of his fortune originally came from military weapon contracts, that era has long since past in the comic book world. I would say the current version of Tony Stark to more of a Steve Jobs type business man with the attitude and charisma of Charlie Sheen.

Speaking of addiction, one of the most famous story lines in all of comics is the tale of Tony Stark and his constant battle with alcoholism. Demon in a Bottle ran for 9 issues in 1979 and captured the essence of why drinking could be potentially dangerous to anyone, especially when they are piloting a one of a kind battle suit designed to tackle wizards and old gods. Demon in a Bottle is the quintessential Iron Man arc that everyone goes to when the name Iron Man pops up. The other big notable story arc is Armor Wars, which centers on Justin Hammer stealing Stark technology and arming a gaggle of super villains for Tony Stark to stop.

Why is he my favorite character? Because he is easy to relate to and he is human. The alcoholism arc took Tony Stark and Iron Man out of the realm of Science Fiction and grounded him firmly in reality with a problem that most people can easily relate to (addiction, not alcoholism). He is also a role model for people because instead of succumbing to the horrors of being addicted, Tony has manned up and owned up to what he has done time and time again, and he still refuses to give up at the end of the day.