Iron Man has been one of Marvel’s best-known characters since his movie debut in 2008. His movie changed the way superhero movies were made. He had his best and last scene in the movie Avengers: Endgame, but Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark will be looked at in both the upcoming Disney Plus Armor Wars and Ironheart streaming shows.
When it comes to Iron Man’s movie legacy, it might take two whole shows to figure it out. Tony Stark has been a comic book hero for almost 60 years (that milestone will arrive in 1963).
Iron Man and his mythos have been a central part of the Marvel Universe for a long time, even though his popularity in the general public has fluctuated a lot over that time. Here are the 10 best Iron Man stories of all time. If you want to learn more about Tony Stark’s comic book history, this is the place to start.
1. The Five Nightmares of Tony Stark
He began his four and a half year run on Invincible Iron Man here. At the time, he was one of Marvel’s best writers.
New Iron Man movie Fraction was supposed to give Iron Man fans who saw the first Iron Man movie a new way to get into the movie. Fraction did more than just make Iron Man fight another bad guy in a different armor. If Tony Stark didn’t have the drive and compulsion to do good, what would be different about him? In this first arc, Ezekiel Stane was born. He has all the brains of Tony Stark, but no moral compass.
Also, Pepper Potts came back in a big way in this arc, which was the first time that the comic books started taking ideas from the Marvel movie world.
2. Enter the Mandarin
If Iron Man has a favorite bad guy, it has to be the Mandarin. A look at Iron Man’s history shows that they didn’t fight as often as you might think, and a lot of those fights would be considered bad by today’s standards.
It’s a good thing that Joe Casey and Eric Canete’s “Enter the Mandarin” limited series revisits and reframes the early battles, giving them more depth than readers had been given in the past.
But if you come to see the Mandarin, you’ll have to stay for the Eric Canete art that’s going to make you want to dance. As soon as you start reading, his work jumps off the page. He pays attention to how his work looked in the past, but adds his own unique twist.
3. The Mask in the Iron Man
The Iron Man concept is taken in a very different direction by Joe Quesada in this comic. A lot of changes have made it so powerful that it can think for itself. Tony has to keep it in check while also teaching it morality and what it means to be human.
This is a lot of Tony’s internal problems being put on the outside, like in a lot of the other stories on this list. It also puts Tony in a new role: father. In a way, this helps explain a lot of Tony’s story in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is about how he made the bad android. It really adds to Tony’s need to be in charge.
As long as this story has been around, it hasn’t changed much. Even though the Y2K bug seems silly now, it hasn’t changed much.
Getting addicted isn’t something that can be completely cured. It’s something that stays with you, and in your darkest times, it tries to get you back into its cold and suffocating grip. In Denny O’Neil’s “Deliverance,” Tony Stark sees that for himself.
Having lost a friend and having his life fall apart, Tony is looking for hope on a snowy New York night. But he doesn’t find it. However, he does have the strength and determination to fight back against his demons and, as we’ll see in our next post, put his life back together.
This isn’t a story about Iron Man because it doesn’t need it. I think it shows the everyday heroism of being a human being that we should all be able to find inside of us somewhere.
5. Iron Monger Saga
Denny O’Neil wanted Tony to hit rock bottom because he wanted him to reach new heights. The Iron Monger Saga shows that.
Obadiah Stane has ruined Tony Stark’s life, but he doesn’t let it get any worse. Instead, he decides to take charge. Silver Centurion: He makes the Silver Centurion suit to fight Stane’s Iron Monger armor. It’s one of the best comic book comebacks ever seen.
This is another story about Tony’s strength and perseverance, as well as one that serves as a guide for the first Iron Man movie.
Almost all of Tony Stark’s best work has been marked by sadness and tragedy. Doomquest shows that his publishing history hasn’t been all doom and gloom. A little Doom, maybe?
Iron Man and Doctor Doom use magic to go back in time. They find themselves on opposing sides of a fight between King Arthur and Morgan Le Fey. Until this point, Doom wasn’t really thought of as an Iron Man villain. David Micheline, Bob Layton, and John Romita Jr.’s work here changed that.
Here are some stories that aren’t as dark as the others on this list, but they’re still fun to read. This is not one of them.
7. John Byrne’s Run Is Responsible For One Of The Better Mandarin Appearances
From #258 to #277, John Byrne took on Iron Man. Afterwards, Dave Michelinie and Bob Layton stopped writing about Stark. John Byrne took over as the first long-term writer, and he gave us the sequel to Armor Wars, where Stark got stuck in his own armor. He also told the story of the return of the Mandarin, which changed the villain’s origin and made him a lot more powerful.
When Tony Stark and the Mandarin work together to defeat a group of dragons who want to rule the world, it’s hard to not like the story. His last two-parter with the Black Widow is a little like Rocky III, but this was a good run after one of the best Iron Man runs of all time.
8. Iron Man: Extremis Redefined The Character For The Post-9/11 Era
Warren Ellis and Adi Granov wrote a new story for Iron Man called “Extremis,” and that story changed how the character was seen in the post-9/11 world. In the Gulf War, he was hurt by bombs that were being used by Al Qaeda, which linked him to the War on Terror but didn’t make his origin too “new.” After getting hurt in a fight with a terrorist, Iron Man uses Extremis to completely change his DNA, making him a real superhuman. When Matt Fraction came along with Invincible Iron Man in 2008, this version of Iron Man would be the one that stayed the same for the next few years until then.
9. Tom Taylor Transformed The Character And Made Him Superior
When Marvel saw that Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man had been a hit, the next thought was, could they make it two for two? After Marvel’s AXIS event, Tony Stark’s personality was turned upside down and he became every bit the greedy businessman and mad scientist people thought he was. Tom Taylor was hired to write Superior Iron Man, and he did a great job.
The book was very interesting, because Tony became the bad guy in his own comic. Besides the Endo-Sym, Superior Iron Man also has one of Iron Man’s best-known suits. Pepper Potts is trying to stop her best friend from getting hurt. Because of the Secret War storyline, this run was only a few months old when it was over.
9. Brian Bendis Introduced Riri Williams And Had Tony Discover His Parentage
Bendis is often unfairly criticized for the way he talks, but he knows how to make some cool characters. Riri Williams, a young girl who was inspired by Tony Stark to become her own armored hero, was created by Bendis during his three-year run as Iron Man’s writer. She became a key part of the Iron Man mythology. As the Infamous Iron Man, Dr. Doom had a chance to show that he was a good person. Finally, he answered the question of who Iron Man’s birth parents are, which was first brought up in Kieron Gillen’s run of the comic. Isn’t it true that Tony Stark isn’t around for most of it? But he does get to give Riri advice on how to become a hero.