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Marvel’s most unlikely triumph: Iron Man

May 11th, 2013 by Rick Marshall · No Comments ·

iron man comics

In the week leading up to the release of “Iron Man 3,” I wrote about a bajillion different articles about ol’ shellhead. (That’s what you get to call him when you’re pals with Tony Stark. We go way back.)

Among the editorial projects I churned out during that busy, busy time was a column for Movies.com in which I argue that the success of Iron Man as a comic-book character — and now one of the most popular mainstream superheroes in the world — is the most unexpected success story of all the characters in Marvel’s stable.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

Originally conceived as the “quintessential capitalist,” Tony Stark was introduced in 1963 as a billionaire industrialist who amassed considerable wealth by developing weapons for the military. Making his debut at a time when the Cold War had made readers tired of war and the greed that accompanied it, he was at a disadvantage from the very start as the comic book personification of everything his audience hated.

“I gave myself a dare,” Stan Lee said of the character’s origins in an interview found on the Iron Man DVD. “I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him.”

You can read the rest of the column at Movies.com.

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