Iron Man, the superhero identity of the billionaire arms dealer Tony Stark, is one of the most famous characters created by Marvel Comics. Furthermore, thanks to the hugely successful series of films and other spin-offs like the Marvel online slots featured at Ladbrokes, he is also now a character with a following far beyond that of hardcore comic book fans, but how many of those who have discovered him through the films and games know all about him? This article will profile Iron Man.
Although the ordinary people behind many of the most famous superheroes were characters who struggled prior to gaining their powers – whether it was struggles with being an adolescent nerd like Peter Parker or with being physically weak like Steve Rogers – Tony Stark was already hugely powerful and successful before becoming Iron Man. His father was a wealthy industrialist called Howard Stark and he proved to be a genius with mechanics and electronics – using these skills to transform Stark Industries into a massive corporation producing government weaponry. Instead of battling against adversity, Tony Stark’s transformation into Iron Man was more about a facing up to the moral realities of what he did for a living – which he had always ignored in favor of making money.
Stark gained his superpowers when he was in Vietnam undertaking field testing for a new weapon he had devised. He got caught in a booby trap which led to shrapnel becoming embedded near his heart and, while wounded, was captured by Wong-Chu – the leader of the communist group his weapon would have been deployed against. Told to create a weapon for the group in exchange for the operation to remove the shrapnel needed to save his life, Stark created the armored Iron Man suit, complete with pacemaker-style device to counteract the shrapnel and escaped his captors – with the aid of US Marines pilot James Rhodes and a stolen helicopter. Thus Iron Man was born.
Iron Man’s main allies within the Marvel universe are the group of superheroes known as The Avengers – which includes the likes of Thor, Hulk and Captain America. His relationship with the other members of this group has sometimes proven fraught, with Captain America in particular standing in opposition to some of his actions – notably the killing of Titanium Man. Aside from this, Iron Man has faced a number of major enemies over the years, with Doctor Doom and Mandarin being two of the most famous ones. The former shared Stark’s genius for inventing, but also had sorcerer’s powers – with his general appearance designed to suggest death, complete with skeletal armor. The latter is Iron Man’s arch enemy, with superhuman martial arts abilities and scientific genius. Mandarin was brought up by his misanthropic aunt and her influence, combined with his anger at losing his family’s wealth, turned him evil.
As you can see, Iron Man has enjoyed a fascinating story since his creation, leaving plenty for future films to explore.