#ComicBytes: Five things you didn't know about Iron Man
As Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. was the face of Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade before his tragic demise in Avengers: Endgame. However, many key details about this character are still unknown to the fans. To honor the legacy of this founding member of the Avengers, here are some interesting facts about Iron Man that would leave you surprised.
Tony Stark's 'genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist' persona is based on Howard Hughes, who was called 'one of the most colorful men of our time' by Stan Lee. Hughes was an inventor, an adventurer, a multi-billionaire, and a ladies' man before his mental health started to deteriorate. Interestingly, Tony's father was also named Howard in the comics and movies. Coincidence? I think not.
The world of comics is not free of propaganda, the biggest example being Captain America. Iron Man also served a similar purpose during the Cold War era where he represented the anti-communist stance. In fact, he made his debut in 1963 during the Cold War. Although Stan Lee didn't introduce the character, he did come up with the idea of a 'quintessential capitalist' hero.
The mystery around Area 51, the United States Air Force facility in Nevada, has always resulted in over-the-top conspiracy theories. Some mention aliens, others believe there are advanced weapons out there. But on Earth-616, Tony Stark owns the place. Weird, right? In Avengers #19, Stark revealed that he bought the place when the government quietly put it up for sale.
In Iron Man 2, there was a small glimpse of Tony's alcohol problems when he got drunk and almost destroyed his house. Then MCU never touched the topic again. But in comics, Stark is a raging alcoholic. In fact, his fight with addiction in the storyline, Demon In A Bottle, became quite revolutionary because it dealt with real issues instead of alien conflicts.
After the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, Iron Man was added to their roster during the re-launch of their comics series. Here, Tony amped up his game, built a Deep Space Suit, and took care of the conflicts in the Space, alongside the Guardians. Another fun fact: in 2007, Iron Man became the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D for a while.