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”
- “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.