The first installment of the Iron Man movie came out in 2008 and it started the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the character Tony Stark. Since then Tony Stark aka Iron Man has become one of the most popular and celebrated superheroes in the world. Tony Stark has been charming the hardcore comic book fans since it first appeared in comics in 1963. There is no doubt that Iron Man is nothing like the other comic book heroes. It is one of the reasons for its growing popularity. Now if you haven’t got the chance to read the comics, here are a few lesser known facts about the great billionaire, philanthropist and playboy superhero, Mr. Stark.
- Rich And Richer
Just like their list of wealthiest people on Earth, Forbes also has a list that ranks fictional characters according to their wealth, the Fictional 15 List. Iron Man has appeared in that list many times. In 2013, he has ranked the 4rth wealthiest fictional character with an estimated worth of $12.4 billion. Which made him richer than Bruce Wayne. The first two spots of the list were dominated by Scrooge McDuck and Richie Rich. There was also a battle of the billionaires between superheroes, which the Wayne Enterprises, Bruce Wayne’s company won. It was based on the annual revenue of the companies. While the Stark Industries collects a cool $20 billion annually, the Wayne Enterprises collects even a cooler $31 billion.
2. Civil War II
In the comic books, there’s a second Civil War which also has stark at the forefront. But this time Stark loses to Captain America and gets severely injured. His body was in such bad shape that he goes into a coma. But in spite of that, the genius did find a way to keep his mind intact. It was revealed that he was able to put his consciousness into a mainframe. Which turned him into an AI system alike J.A.R.V.I.S.
3. Battle With Alcoholism
Another fact that differs Tony Stark is that he is not always perfect. This also makes the character relatable to Robert Downy Jr.’s real life. They both have a history of substance abuse. In 1978’s Demon In A Bottle storyline, Stark’s battle with alcoholism was brought into the limelight. It was revealed that because of his new life Stark was facing a lot of stress. Which made him turned into an alcoholic. At that time, it was revolutionary of a superhero battling with such a human problem. The makers did want to incorporate that side of Stark’s character in the movie but the idea was rejected by Disney due to the majority of the audience being children. Although in Iron Man 2 there was a scene where Stark gets drunk at his birthday party, which was loosely inspired by this.
4. Inspired By A Millionaire- Playboy
Stan Lee based Iron Man’s character on real-life American business magnate, actor, engineer, philanthropist, and playboy Howard Hughes. And just like Hughes, Tony Stark is also very much popular among women in the comics and in real life. Lee once revealed that among all the Iron Man fan emails that he used received, a lot of were from women. Where in the case of other superheroes most of the fan mails were from men.
5. The Mind Of Tony Stark
Once in the comics, Stark rebooted his mind and wiped it clean. When the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D Norman Osborn tried to get into Tony’s mind to find out the secret identities of the other superheroes, Tony rebooted it. Because of this, he experienced several brain damages.
6. The Hated Superhero
While Creating the character of Tony Stark, Stan Lee knew there’s a chance that he will become the most hated superhero. But Lee wanted to challenge, Lee wanted the liberal readers to fall in love with a superhero that has all the characteristics they hate. When Stark first made his appearance in the comics, he was a arms dealer and was profiting off the war in Vietnam. It was a time in history when readers’ opposition to the Vietnam war was growing. In Marvel’s Civil War, in the comics, Stark was among one of the main antagonists. He helped the government to track down the superheroes who refused to register with the government. This also made the fans unlike him. Although Lee’s plan worked, Stark has become one of the most loved heroes over the years.
7. The Genius
As we all know, Stark is one of the most brilliant characters ever. In the comics, Stark enters the MIT when he was just 15 and graduates after only 2 years with a Master’s degree in chemical engineering. When he was 21, Tony’s parents died in a car crash & he inherited the Stark Industries.
On a totally different note, later in his career stark buys the mysterious Area 51 from the military. And in the comics, there is no specific explanation about why he bought this place.
8. Ms Stark
In another universe in the Marvel comics, Tony is born as a woman named Natasha stark, the Iron Woman. Later in the comics she fells in love with Captain America aka Steve Rogers and they end up marrying each other.
We all know how witty Tony Stark can be. And while we all would have thought that the AI system, J.A.R.V.I.S. would stand for something really clever that would totally go over our heads, the name only stands for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.”
Now like all other families, the Stark family is also full of secrets. It was revealed in the comics that Howard and Maria Stark adopted Tony. The Starks had a son before Tony, named Arno who has been in hiding since his parents’ death. Tony’s biological parents were Amanda Armstrong and Jude who were agents of the organization S.H.I.E.L.D.
Also at a point of his superhero life Stark stepped down from being Iron Man and handed the torch over to Riri Williams. A 15-year-old kid genius named who also graduated from MIT at a young age as Stark and went by the name Ironheart. Williams even managed built her own Iron Man suit.