So I got to thinking about Iron Man early yesterday morning. Didn't mean to, I just did.
I was flash-backing to this week's episode of Monday Night Raw where Dean Ambrose boldly proclaimed himself to be the "Iron Man" of the WWE.
And that's when I got to thinking about Iron Man and how Stan Lee challenged himself to make people care about an arms dealer, and right during the Vietnam War of all times.
But it worked. "The Man" worked his magic, and Marvel readers all over the world quickly warmed up to and firmly embraced the Howard Hughes of the Marvel Universe.
It really is pretty amazing when if you really think about it, it shouldn't have worked at all.
Think about it; Tony Stark started out as an arrogant, genius, trust fund baby millionaire who made his living selling weapons of mass destruction to the highest bidder.
If that doesn't sound like your typical, run-of-the-mill villain, I don't know what does.
It certainly doesn't sound like someone you or I would feel any sympathy for.
After his accident, Stark all of a sudden becomes a superhero. But why? Self-preservation is not a particularly heroic trait. It's a selfish, but totally necessary response when you're attacked.
But Stan and Marvel Comics proclaimed he was a hero. Why? The reason they gave was because he had a change of heart after nearly losing his. He re-evaluated his life and all of his previous actions and line of thinking up to that point. It's like he just magically changed and all of his previous sins were expected to be brushed aside.
But it doesn't work that way. Life doesn't work that way. Karma, doesn't work that way. You reap what you sow, and Stark had a lot coming his way to answer for.
That's why "villains" like The Living Laser, and former employees that were legitimately wronged by Stark in the past should've been seen in a more sympathetic light than they wound up being. Now sure, they went about getting revenge the wrong way, especially when it came to endangering the lives of former co-workers who were innocent. But they felt at the time that any attempts at legal recourse would've just been blocked by Stark and his army of lawyers. Can't say that wouldn't have happened at the time could you?
Essentially Stark was (and still is) literally his own worst enemy, karmically creating most of the villains and troublemakers that constantly came after him, from corporate raiders and hired guns to rival businessmen, some who Stark may have pissed off with any past questionable business decisions.
So really, kinda' hard to feel sorry for someone that brought all that shit on themselves right?
What doesn't help Tony's case is how various writers have portrayed him over the years. From alcohol addiction to Civil War to becoming "Superior" to betraying longtime friends during the road to Secret War, Tony's hallmark arrogance has definitely not helped him.
And again, despite his amazing altruism and truly heroic deeds (like founding and funding the Avengers) he's still an asshole.....but one we've all come to love, especially his toys(armors).