On May 2nd 2008, we saw the release of the first Iron Man, which marked the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics Iron Man has been around for over 50 years, and there are many interesting facts you probably never knew about him.
Iron Man made his debut in the ‘Tales of Suspense’ #39 in 1963, that occurs at the height of the Cold War. He was first conceived as an anti-Communist hero. Stan Lee did come up with the idea for a “quintessential capitalist” hero, but he didn’t write the story that introduced Tony Stark to the Marvel Universe. Instead, Larry Lieber was the one who gave us Iron Man.
The character was based on Howard Hughes
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby based Tony Stark on the playboy millionaire Howard Hughes. And coincidentally, they named his father Howard Stark.
JARVIS is Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence that helps him navigate his suit, both in the movies and comics. But the anagram in the name stands for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.” In the comics, and the show Agent Carter, he is Edwin Jarvis, a human being that worked as the family butler and took care of Tony after his parents died.
Different origin story
In the movie Tony Stark built his Iron Man suit when he was a prisoner in Afghanistan but in the early comics, he started in Vietnam and later in the Gulf War.
Iron Man has many powers with his powered armor suit – durability, super strength, the ability to fly, and many weapons with the primary one being the rays he shoots from the palms of his gauntlets.
Iron Man Suit Can Lift Over 100 Tons
The fully powered Iron Man city can lift up to 100 tons, which is also the maximum Hulk can lift when calm. The Hulkbuster that was invented later could lift 175 tons.
Founder of the Avengers
One of the lesser-known Iron Man facts is that he was the founder of Avengers. Stan Lee incorporated Iron Man in the first issue of The Avengers. However, it didn’t take long for that to change, so Iron Man stepped down and let Captain America take control.
Part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Team
Before making the movie, Marvel thought that the the Guardians of the Galaxy needed to have a major name superhero close by them, so they added Iron Man. But he didn’t stick around for long with the team.
53 Iron Man Suits
In Earth-616 Marvel Comics progression, Tony Stark has made 53 diverse Iron Man suits. With the suits made for other characters, the number equals to 68 suits total.
Trained by Captain America
Tony Stark is just an ordinary man without the suit. He’s trained with many diverse individuals throughout the years to make sure he’s not powerless when he is without the suit. During the training, he had a fighting session with Steve Rogers, in the exemplary Demon in a Bottle storyline.
Graduated with a Master’s from MIT at the age of 17
Tony Stark, a boy genius, entered MIT at the age of 15, and left with a Master’s degree in chemical engineering at the age of 17.
He Was In The Forbes
Forbes put Tony Stark as the fourth wealthiest anecdotal character ever in their “Anecdotal 15” list with an expected worth of around $9 billion.
He owns Area 51
We know he is an extremely rich man with many possessions. However, one of his most shocking acquisitions, shown in Avengers #19, was that he bought Area 51 from the military. But there was any kind of follow up.
In one of the uncommon hybrids of Marvel and DC Comics, the characters of Iron Man and Green Lantern were joined to make the formation of Hal Stark. He uses bits of outsider innovation from an adjacent accident arriving to manufacture a suit of protection that is fueled by a light like battery. This gave him the capacity of the Green Lantern.
In the comics, there is a universe where Tony is born as a woman named Natasha Stark that will later be known as Iron Woman. And to make things interesting, she ends up falling in love and marrying Steve Rogers AKA Captain America.
The first Iron Man movie was a huge gamble
Marvel actually filed for bankruptcy in 1996. They weren’t able to get any profit from their products, but they took a chance, made their own movie studio and financed Iron Man themselves, which gave them $500 million and a whole cinematic universe to develop.
Choosing the actor
Before Marvel chose Robert Downey Jr. for this role, many other actors were in contention. The most famous actors to be considered were Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage.
Why Robert Downey Jr was chosen
Feige and Favreau wanted to see Downey as the character of Tony Stark, both because of his talent and because his personal demons could mirror those of Tony Stark himself.
Improvising in the movie
A lot of the scenes that include Iron Man in the movies were improvisations done by Robert Downey Jr. himself.
The Mandarin as the villain in the first movie
Speaking of the movies and the characters, Marvel wanted to put the Iron Man’s arch-nemesis as the main villain of the first movie. There is even a little easter egg indicating this – the pinkie ring The Mandarin wears in the Iron Man 3 is the very same one Raza (the terrorist in the first movie) wears.