People talk about Iron Man not having the strongest rogues’ gallery like say, Spider-man and Batman (and there’s also a whole, valid discussion about Yellow Peril in there, fair enough), but I’d argue that it’s because the person he’s usually busy fighting is himself.  

I mean, Tony might get the Shocker trying it on a few times and the odd bank robbery, but if you look at the comics and ask who the main villain is, you’ll often get answers like:

  • “seven hours of paperwork”
  • “unwanted company buyouts”
  • “childhood abuse” 
  • “alcoholism”
  • “heavily-implied PTSD”
  • “the slow sapping of idealism”
  • “taking his friends for granted”
  • “chronic illness”
  • “the U.S. government”
  • “self-destructive and compulsive behaviour”
  • “stages of grief”
  • “the lack of privacy that comes with being a public figure”

Ah yes, and the old favourite, which makes a regular return in all his arcs:

  • “crippling self-loathing”

I mean, it’s kind of amazing some of the comics arcs are as gripping as they are. I just guess it’s catchier to put “IRON MAN VS. DOOM: THE FINAL SHOWDOWN” on a cover than to use titles like “TONY STARK VS. JUGGLING A POLITICAL CAREER AND PERSONAL ETHICS: THE RETURN YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR.” Um.

Tony Stark in Hawkeye (2012) #6

Things I love about this as a Tony Stark fan:

1. The fact that Clint saw tangled wires and assumed Tony would know what to do

2. The fact that Tony actually came to help him

3. The fact that Clint did not take his advice anyway

4. The fake drama and how Tony looks far more anxious about this than he is about most life-threatening situations

5. This is Tony’s only appearance in the entire series, except for the next few panels where he offers to buy Clint all new stuff (which ends on a surprisingly poignant note). Like this is it. He just shows up to fix the DVR and is never seen again

6. “Tony Stark Genius Superman”

You can tell itโ€™s a good Iron Man comic if Tony is naked and crying, possibly in the rain, because he thinks none of his friends love him. – Sineala
— 

Other signs of a good Iron Man comic:

- Tony thinks about how everyone would be better off if he was dead.

- Tony does a heartwarming charity-type thing that involves not just giving money but also time and energy (create and support a battered women’s shelter, visit small children in the hospital, etc.)

- Tony shuts himself in his lab/workshop and doesn’t come out (or sleep or eat) for multiple days. (Steve, Happy Hogan, Pepper, or Jarvis stopping by to go “WTF, Tony, eat some food and take a nap!” is optional, but most opt to include it)

- Tony has built a shiny new toy new piece of technology. He’s going to test it himself, right now. He already has ideas about how to improve it.

- Somebody else has designed/built a shiny new toy. Tony already has ideas about how to improve it.

- A piece of Tony’s technology comes to life. It loves him very much. It also wants to destroy him.

- Someone wants to steal Tony’s tech and use it for nefarious purposes/already has stolen it and is already using it for nefarious purposes. This is all Tony’s fault and he must stop them at any cost.

- Tony is suffering from some kind of injury/illness/other health issue (heart condition is the most common but far from the only life-threatening thing he’s suffered from). He puts on the armor and fights the villain anyway/puts on the expensive business attire and does the important Stark Industries-related thing anyway. Then he collapses from exhaustion/illness/bloodloss/concussion/the tech implanted in his chest that keeps him alive running out of power/a heart attack.

- Tony is suffering from the above-mentioned serious medical condition. He keeps it a secret from almost everyone so as not to upset/worry them and/or reveal his Iron Man identity.

- Tony is dealing with a serious personal problem of some kind. He keeps it secret from almost everyone so as not to upset/worry them and/or because he’s ashamed of it/afraid of their disapproval. It is his responsibility to fix it ALL BY HIMSELF.

- Tony is dealing with a dangerous threat to the entire Avengers team/entire city/entire planet/entire universe. He keeps it secret from almost everyone (including people who really REALLY ought to be told about it ASAP because it directly involves them) so as not to upset/worry them and/or because he knows they’ll disapprove of his methods for dealing with it/he doesn’t want them to have to dirty their hands dealing with it. It is his responsibility to fix it ALL BY HIMSELF.

- One of the other Avengers/one of Tony’s employees is dealing with a personal problem or superhero-related problem of some kind. Tony wants to make sure they know that they don’t have to deal with it alone.

- Tony performs a Grand Romantic Gesture for his current love interest and/or performs a similar Grand Gesture (ex: “I’ll give away my beloved childhood home to Luke Cage for a dollar for the good of the Avengers”/“You dropped your shield in the ocean so I used my billionaire resources to search the entire ocean for it in my spare time”/etc.) for an Avengers teammate

- Tony like someone/thinks he owes someone something/feels bad for someone, so he immediately offers them a job with Stark Industries, buys them a house/car/fancy piece of tech/etc., or invites them to join the Avengers, even though he’s only just met them in this very issue.

- Something bad happens involving SI or his tech. Tony blames himself for causing it/not preventing it/not forseeing it and having a plan for it/existing.

- Something bad happens involving the Avengers. Tony blames himself for causing it/not preventing it/not forseeing it and having a plan for it/existing.

- Something bad happens in his general vicinity and/or that even tangentially involves him in any way. Tony blames himself for causing it/not preventing it/not forseeing it and having a plan for it/existing.

6

It got…weird.

Although, to be totally fair I’m pretty sure anyone with half a brain cell knew. Jan told me no one ever said anything because they were all trying to respect my privacy. Whatever privacy a billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist has anyway.

Clap your hands ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
  • <p> <b></b> IF YOUUUU'RREEEE<p/><b></b> STILL REALLY SALTY ABOUT THE FACT THAT TONY IS BEING TREATED LIKE A VILLAIN WHEN HE HAS DONE NOTHING BUT TRY TO HELP PEOPLE AND SAVE THE WORLD EVER SINCE HE LEFT THE CAVE AND CLOSED DOWN THE WEAPONS PROJECT WHICH WAS THE MAIN LINE OF INCOME TO HIS COMPANY<p/><b></b> CLAP YOU'RE HANDS<p/><b></b> ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘<p/></p>

ladies gentlemen and others, I have come to introduce you to the avengers youtube channel

tony created the whole thing and and the bio reads: robin hood, uncle sam, ginger snaps, goldilocks, jolly green and the tin man’s chill room

there are videos of natasha teaching self defense moves for women, using the boys as props. her showing tips to learn other languages and “five things you didn’t know you could turn into a weapon”. her filming twenty minute long videos answering questions and giving advice to young girls about everything, from safety, mental health, recognizing abusive behavior in men, self confidence, and how to safely get out of risky situations

thor has a series of videos that go from “things of midgard I (Thor) do not understand” and “thor tries things” of his tasting foods from all over the globe because he is deeply fascinated and respectful of other cultures

bruce does a video series of him teaching yoga and meditation, and every once in a while he asks another member of the team to participate, and by far the most viewed one is of him trying to teach tony to stay still and not say anything and tony does try, but fails miserably while bruce sighs. bruce showing recipes from all the places he’s been. “how to create a stress free environment” videos

tony being the science dad™ making videos of “cool shit you can do with useless eletronics you haven’t used since the 90s but haven’t thrown out yet”. he has short videos of “easier ways to physics” and “math for things you will actually use on your day to day life”. he makes thirty minute long videos of him showing pop culture to steve and thor. so. many. storytime. videos. “that time we tried to lift thor’s hammer”, “steve and the 21st century”, “I watched natasha castrate a man with a plastic spoon”, “clint making the mistakes again”, “reasons why I love bruce banner”. “how to handle anxiety like a boss” videos

steve does the whole thing, from homemade remedies for sick kids that he learned when times were rough and sarah couldn’t afford the real ones. workout tips. and of course, educational yet ranting videos of basic human decency things that should’ve changed in 70 years but haven’t. “it’s ok to ask for help, it doesn’t make you weak” videos

clint being that bitch, trolling everyone in everyway imaginable. changing thor’s shampoo bottle for pink hair dye? check. coloring all of steve’s clothes red blue and white? check. changing the sugar of bruce’s tea for salt? check. making jarvis play everyone a different theme song for when they walk into the room? check. and of course, tony. there are several hour long compilation videos of him scaring the shit out of tony

all of them reading fanfiction about each other. stony, clintasha, ironhawk, ironwidow, romanogers, thor/everyone, loving all the combinations they can find. yes to poliamory and everyone loving each other

jarvis livestreams a night of them drinking asgardian ale and playing mario kart and singing high school musical songs on karaoke. it breaks youtube viewing records

I literally just ship Tony with happiness like yes I have a favorite pairing with him but i really just want him to be HAPPY. LIKE HE IS MY FAVORITE LITTLE GENIUS SUPERHERO LET HIM BE HAPPY.

I adore the duality of Tony Stark. Not the secret identity thing, but this idea, one that you get to see more of in the comics than the films (though IM1 did this a lot): the idea that there’s this aloof, cold businessman who puts on perfectly-tailored suits and snarks his way through a room and destroys opponents without a thought using an offhand quip, and resorts to pragmatism when nobody else will, and wears his playboy persona on his sleeve, and knows all the easiest ways to blow up a person or a world, and has a bit of a god complex, and used to be called the Merchant of Death -

- but he’s also the guy who wanders around like a zombie before the first coffee of the day, and works with his hands, and spends his time with mad-scientist hair and wearing scruffy vests covered in oil because he got caught up in his hard work and his passion for creation. He’s the guy who will do anything for his friends and makes silly jokes over breakfast and wholeheartedly, dorkily loves the Avengers, from the concept of it to the people in it. He falls hard for the people he loves, and is incredibly lonely. He’s the guy who goes to orphanages and holds babies when he can’t sleep, and adores kids. He’s the guy who cries easily, never thinks he’s doing enough, struggles with alcoholism and chronic illnesses, and desperately doesn’t want to be his father, no matter how much the media pins the opposite on him. He loves the world and the people in it, even when he kind of hates them, and is constantly working to make things better. He remembers his employees’ names and asks after their families. He tries to see the good in people and goes for rehabilitative over punitive justice wherever possible, even when it comes to villains who have actively tried to kill him. He’s known for how much he cares, exhaustingly, about everything. He’s the man who honestly has a good heart and is constantly trying to reach out, and often gets laughed at for his idealism. He’s a man who’s so often in pain, but tries to use it to improve the world rather than letting it destroy him.

Sure, I like his ruthlessness and some of his coolness, but I also love the guy who unironically adores classic Star Trek and makes absentminded Dune and Arthurian references and thinks equations are cool; who makes mental notes of his friends’ favourite breakfasts and takes young heroes under his wing and is semi-jokingly horrified when one doesn’t have a file system. Who goes “but why does that do that?” and wants to take everything apart and fix it so it can help people, and honest to god believes in a better future. 

(The movies are subtler about that side of him, but it’s still there. I mean, as a little thing, I’m always grateful they let RDJ put some of his own love of classic and sometimes silly rock into Tony Stark. Not just because I share that music taste, but I always like characters who are nerdy and wholehearted about at least something. But the bigger stuff, too: the between-the-lines moments: the naming his bots, the “here, have my whole R&D lab/my company/my home/my heart if you want it, why do you look so surprised?” That’s all straight from the comics. It’s just done slightly more snarkily and with a slightly shorter, brown-eyed Tony rather than a tall, blue-eyed one.)

But it’s still a very bad idea to piss him off.

He’s both. I love that he’s both.