Who Is Tony Stark?
Love him or not, Marvel's Iron Avenger is one of the world's hottest properties right now and wherever Marvel travels, Stark follows. From America to Asia, the world is hooked. But, what's beneath the armor? Hit the jump to check out what made the Man (made) of Steel, who he is!
"Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist". It's a line engraved in comic book history. It's the standard alter ego; a mantle taken up by heroes such as Batman, the Green Arrow and (some of) the Green Lanterns. To Wayne and Queen it's a second mask, who would suspect the party animal of wearing the cape and cowl come nightfall? But Stark? There is no mask. So what makes Iron Man the man that he is? Well, let's rewind, back to the 1960!
The world is in turmoil! The nuclear age is upon us, bringing with it it's impending doom! Meanwhile, the world's two largest powers are busy having a pissing contest, what we know as the Cold War. Soviet US tension is at an all time high. And in a time of great need Marvel Comics do what they do best, exploit the general public to the best of their ability. Marvel rolled the dice on a character named Anthony Edward Stark, and it payed off. Why? He, just as Captain America had before him, swooped in and took the world (okay, the US) by storm. But why? It's simple really, here's why:
The country was at war (not a lively war but still a war), but no matter how hard the Soviets pushed, one thing would never break: the American spirit! So what did Marvel do? They personified the American Dream, giving a face to the ideal. marvel created a character that everyone could relate to. He was a genius, he could pull any woman at ease, but he never let the corrupt beat him, just as the average man at the time tried. Tony Stark was both the perfect man and every man.
Remember kids, the Americans said that communism was wrong, that means it's wrong. The world feared Soviets, Russia and China were the global threats to the
World Police Force America. Nuclear war was on the horizon, every day the Cold War crawled on was a day closer to the end of the world. But what if someone was fighting the Soviets for America? Wouldn't they be the best that you could be?
Let's take a minute to look at Iron Man's rouges gallery. We have:
Whiplash: Russian genius, the anti-Stark
The Crimson Dynamo: A Russian general with his own suit
The Mandarin: A Chinese warlord, hellbent on the destruction of the west
And for a short time:
Black Widow: A Russian spy infiltrating America
See a trend? It's no coincidence that Tony Stark took on the world's most fearsome Soviets. And while we're on the topic of Soviet's...
What did America hate? Soviets! Why did they hate them? Oppression! So what did Marvel do? Make someone as far from Soviet ideals, of course! Tony Stark doesn't live by the rules, he can't be stopped or held back. If he needs something, he makes it. He even made the weapons S.H.I.E.L.D were using against (wait for it, it's surprising) Soviet nations!
So, in conclusion, what made Iron Man the man that he is? The American view on the world. just as Superman was shaped by 1920's ideals, Iron Man was a product of the Cold War paranoia, an example of a nation's attempt at escaping the fears that surrounded them. Or, in short, the Soviets. I should add that I have nothing against Soviets. But what do you think? Am I right? Sign off your thoughts below!
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