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Iron Man

Greatest Super-Hero Films
(chronological by time period and film title)
Introduction | Flash Gordon | Buck Rogers | Superman | Batman | Spider-Man | X-Men
Marvel Cinematic Universe | The DC Extended Universe
Iron Man | Hulk | Thor | Captain America | The Avengers | Guardians of the Galaxy
Others: A - F | Others: G - N | Others: O - Z

Greatest Super-Hero Films: Iron Man
(chronological by time period and film title)

Iron Man - was Marvel Comics' armored metal man of iron. The superhero was created by writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, and cover-artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Iron Man's alter-ego was billionaire industrialist Anthony "Tony" Stark (reportedly loosely based on Howard Hughes), the head of Stark Industries. After being injured in the Vietnam War, he created a iron-man suit for himself (originally orange and yellow-colored), with the powers of flight and invulnerability. The robotic-looking suit made him look like he was made of iron.

Iron Man first appeared in the comic book Tales of Suspense # 39 (March 1963), a year after the first appearance of Spider-Man. The character's original costume was a bulky gray armored suit, replaced by a golden version in the second issue, Tales of Suspense # 40 (April 1963). It would be a few more months before the costume was sleeker and with the familiar red-and-golden armor, in Tales of Suspense # 48 (December 1963).

Tales of Suspense # 39
March 1963

Tales of Suspense # 40
April 1963

Tales of Suspense # 48
December 1963

Iron Man's comic-book villains included Crimson Dynamo, Mandarin, Titanium Man, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, and Dreadknight.

Title Screen
Super-Hero Films

The Marvel Super-Heroes (1966) - TV animated series

In 1966, Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced this low-budget TV program. It was notable as Marvel's first TV series. There were three segments (about 7 minutes in length each) included in each half-hour program. There were 65 half-hour episodes, for a total of 195 segments that ran initially in broadcast syndication from September 1, 1966 to December 1, 1966.

It featured poorly-animated cartoon segments with five Marvel comic-book superheroes, including the Incredible Hulk (voice of Max Ferguson), the Sub-Mariner (voice of John Vernon), Captain America (voice of Sandy Becker), the Mighty Thor (voice of Chris Wiggins), and Iron Man (voice of John Vernon).

There were TV versions of Captain America (on Mondays), The Incredible Hulk (on Tuesdays), Iron Man (on Wednesdays), the Mighty Thor (on Thursdays) and the Sub-Mariner (on Fridays).

Iron Man: The Animated Series (1994-1996) - TV animated series

This was a two-season animated series (of a total of 26 episodes about 26 minutes in length), part of The Marvel Action Hour (with one half-hour segment about Iron Man, and another half-hour segment on the Fantastic Four).

Season 1: (1994) September 24, 1994 to December 17, 1994 (13 episodes)
Season 2: (1995-1996) September 23, 1995 to February 13, 1996 (13 episodes)

The main villain was Mandarin, who led a group of many other villains, including Dreadknight, Blizzard, Blacklash, Grey Gargoyle, and others. Robert Hayes provided the voice of Tony Stark, Ed Gilbert and Robert Ito the voices of Mandarin, and Neil Dickson was the voice of villainous Dreadknight.

The Invincible Iron Man (2007)

Liongate's animated feature film (with 3-D style animation) was the third entry in Marvel Animated Features' series (from 2006-2011) of eight, direct-to-video animated films. The content was based on the classic Marvel Universe comic book version of Iron Man by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

It was mostly about Tony Stark's/Iron Knight's battles against four mystical Elementals, and their leader Mandarin, unleashed in a lost Chinese city as he was rescuing his best friend Rhodey.

Marc Worden was the voice of Tony Stark, Elisa Gabrielli the voice of Pepper Potts, Rodney Saulsberry the voice of Rhodey, and Fred Tatasciore the voice of Mandarin.

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man was based on the Marvel comics superhero with the same name, and the first film in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was Marvel Studios' first in-house, self-financed production. It retained the origins story of the comics, except that now, the background war was not the Vietnam War, but the war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror.

Director Jon Favreau's and Paramount's Iron Man (2008) starred Robert Downey, Jr. in a comeback role as billionaire playboy, philanthropist, genius inventor and weapons mogul Tony Stark, suited up as a flying, rocket-firing superhero who was ready to protect the world.

It co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark's secretary Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Jeff Bridges as bad guy Obadiah Stane, and Samuel L. Jackson as the first African-American Nick Fury.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Director Favreau's sequel Iron Man 2 (2010), another superhero film set six months later, was the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It featured a Russian-Slavic arch-nemesis - the greasy-haired, rogue Russian scientist Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Mickey Rourke).

Other characters included Stark's corporate weapons manufacturer rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), Don Cheadle as "Rhodey," and Scarlett Johansson as sexy Natalie Rushman/Russian spy Black Widow.

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

A number of super-heroes appeared in Marvel's The Avengers (2012), including the appearance of narcissistic Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.).

It was the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3 (2013), directed and co-written by Shane Black, was a second sequel. It was the seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was Marvel's first film since the wildly-successful Marvel's The Avengers (2012).

It again starred Robert Downey, Jr. as the genius-billionaire-playboy inventor and his lady-love Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), battling a new villainous enemy - an anti-American terrorist known as Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

The character of Mandarin was created by Stan Lee and designed by Don Heck, and first appeared on the paneled page in 1964's "Tales of Suspense" No. 50. Another baddie character aligned with Mandarin was Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), an ex-geek scientist.

The story line also concerned a drug substance known as Extremis which could cure illness but had serious side effects.

In the original trilogy, Iron Man 3 (2013) was the highest-grossing (domestic) film.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) (aka The Avengers 2)

Writer/director Joss Whedon's sequel was Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - with all the major characters reprising their roles. Robert Downey Jr. again took the role of Tony Stark or Iron Man.

Additional characters included a twin brother-sister team:

  • Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), fast-moving
  • Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), a sorceress

It was the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

A third Captain America installment, again directed by Anthony and Joe Russo - a sequel to the previous film Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

Successful at the box-office, it was the highest-grossing film of 2016 (worldwide), at $1.153 billion (worldwide).

It was the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tony Stark (Iron Man) was again played by Robert Downey Jr. (his sixth major appearance as the superhero character).

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Director Jon Watts' superhero film, Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), was the second Spider-Man film reboot to Marc Webb's two films (from 2012 to 2014).

It was the 16th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Tom Holland starred as the young Spider-Man/Peter Parker character, fighting his main foe the Vulture/Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton). The character of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) was also reprised by Robert Downey Jr., portraying Peter Parker's mentor.

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