Having seen The Avengers, I decided that perhaps Tony Stark's alter-ego (with emphasis on the ego), wasn't such a bad character. So, in preparation for the release of Iron Man 3 later in April - or rather, because of the scheduling, last month - I figured now was a good time to catch up with what's been happening in Tony Stark's life.
I'd heard that Iron Man was a film - and a character - that provided far more laughs than many other comic book heroes, and during the introduction it is clear to see that this is the case. A multi-millionaire, Stark (Robert Downey Junior) develops advanced weapons systems for the military. On a demonstration of his latest missile, however, he is captured by the enemy and told to design the same missile for them.
Instead, Stark decides to build himself a way out of there and the first Iron Man design is created. Upon his return home he finds that his company's weapons have often been ending up in the wrong hands and he informs the media he no longer wants to manufacture weapons - much to the disgust of his second-in-command, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).
Alongside Downey Jr. are Gwyneth Paltrow as Iron Man's assistant, Pepper Pots, and Paul Bettany as Downey's artificially intelligent housekeeper JARVIS.
Unlike many other films of the genre, Iron Man doesn't seem to revolve around the supernatural. The fantastical suit is a concept that is clearly plausible with enough time or money - even if it uses an element (adamantium) that doesn't exist. The arc reactor could be created with some currently unknown power source. Perhaps it is these plausible theories that made Iron Man so easy for me to understand and laugh along with.
As the main man, Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic and his dry humour is comical. At the end of the film I thought to myself, "who else could play Iron Man?", and the answer is simply no-one. Even when he is inside the suit, you are fully aware of the man rather than the machine which makes it very easy for the character's human aspects comes through.
There is still an element of fad about the film - yes, it feels corny - but perhaps this is something that I am confusing with the fact that comic books now appear to have their own genre. Iron Man fits perfectly into this category as the nerdism cult hits an all time high.
In truth, Iron Man was a huge gamble for Marvel in that they chose to begin an unknown entity rather than reboot something more well known. They definitely stacked the odds in their favour with a huge budget and the signing of huge Oscar-nominated names and, thanks to Marvel's guts and gusto, Iron Man was - and still is - a resounding success.