Thanks to the astonishing performance of Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man has become one of Earth’s most beloved superheroes, stepping into the rarefied air generally reserved for heroes like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. While the MCU version of the character takes a lot of cues from the comics, they aren’t close to being the same character.

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Iron Man in the comics has been defined as much by his vices as by his virtues and his time as Iron Man has caused him a lot of trouble. The comic version of Iron Man is definitely a unique character, one with some big differences from what fans see on the big screen.

10 His special armor

iron man armor

Iron Man in the comics has been around for a long time and has changed his armor many times over the years, which makes sense to an engineer like Tony Stark. He is constantly tweaking and adding armor, making it better and becoming a better hero. However, he also has a ton of special armors, which suit all kinds of occasions.

While MCU Iron Man has some special armor, for example the MCU Hulkbuster, which also performs much better than the suit that once worked in the comics, doesn’t have as many as the comic version and his armor designs are basically the same, while the costumes of the comic version have gone through many design aesthetics.

9 Not always the smartest person in the room

Mr Fantastic, Iron Man and Doctor Doom

In the MCU, Iron Man is almost always the smartest wherever he is, using his vast knowledge base for everything from hacking to time travel. While the Iron Man comic is very smart, there are many heroes and villains who are much smarter than him. He’s not even the smartest Avenger.

He is a great engineer and can design weapons and similar technology very well, but something like a time machine would definitely be beyond him. You would also find it impossible to create AI at the level of Jarvis or Friday.

8 Turns around

In the movies, Iron Man was a playboy but would settle with Pepper Potts. In the comics, this is not something that happened; in fact, Pepper broke up with Happy Hogan, Iron Man’s best friend. Comic Iron Man never found a lasting love, but he did have many relationships, especially with his fellow superheroes.

Iron Man has dated or slept with members of the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men. Rarely, if ever, did he show any inclination to settle down, concentrating more on being a superhero than having a satisfying love life.

7 It’s not that funny

Iron Man

In The MCU, Iron Man is a joke machine, his mile-a-minute delivery of sarcastic jokes and concise comments become the template the writers used for almost every MCU character that came after him. While Iron Man in the comics is not averse to humor, he is not as funny as the MCU version.

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There are many reasons for this: he has lived a very different life and is a much more serious person for it. The amount of threats and battles he has gotten into has transformed him, making him a less jovial man.

6 He was the villain of the civil war

People watching Captain America: Civil War and then picking up the comic hoping Iron Man is sympathetic in some way, you will be met with a very rude awakening. In the comic, Iron Man is pretty much the worst person imaginable, working with villains, incarcerating his friends, and building a secret prison in the Negative Zone, a place known for messing with the minds of humans.

Iron man on Civil war He betrayed his friends, ostensibly to save the day, but enjoyed the power and prestige of his position too much to be considered completely altruistic. He soured legions of readers on the character for a long time.

5 Is adopted

Tony Stark adopted Marvel

In the comics, Tony Stark was adopted by the Starks. His parents were actually agents of SHIELD, and his father was a double agent for Hydra. When he revealed this to Tony’s mother, she killed him and turned to Nick Fury for help. After Tony was born, he was left in a Bulgarian orphanage and when Fury’s friend Howard Stark found out about the whole situation, he adopted the baby.

Tony was meant to be a healthy alternative to the Starks’ royal son Arno, whose gestation was quite troublesome and meddlesome by the alien robot Rigellian Recorder 451. Tony would grow up knowing nothing about his brother or that he was adopted.

4 He founded the Illuminati

Iron Man was always concerned about threats to Earth and knew that no matter how good the Avengers were at defending Earth, there would be some threats that would need a different and more proactive approach. So, he brought together the leaders of the superhero community – Mr Fantastic, Professor X, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, and Namor – and they formed the Illuminati.

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The Illuminati would meet and secretly deal with the greatest threats to Earth, going further than other heroes would be comfortable with. They made tough decisions and did things they were not proud of in the name of protecting Earth.

3 He held high-level government jobs

In the movies, Iron Man played the tough industrialist, avoiding the government and its role in their business. He worked with SHIELD but tried to subvert them whenever possible. In the comics, Iron Man acted similarly for a time, but would eventually embrace the government.

For a time, he was Secretary of Defense, helping the president and cabinet make high-level decisions about how to keep America safe. Then Civil war, Iron Man would become Director of SHIELD, becoming the de facto leader of all registered superheroes in the country. However, he was pretty bad at both jobs and lost them.

two Has been replaced more than once

Iron Man’s death in Avengers Endgame has blown a massive hole in the MCU, but in the comics, there is a precedent for replacing the character. The first time he was replaced was by his friend James Rhodes, who was as good as Iron Man that Stark would build him the War Machine armor so he could continue to be a superhero.

In more recent years, would be replaced by two different people at once: the young genius Riri Williams and a reformed Doctor Doom. When it comes down to it, Iron Man is just a suit and just about anyone could be in it.

1 Not as nice as the MCU version

Iron Man Tony Stark flying

When Iron Man abandoned, the comic version of the character was probably at least popular. This was in the wake of Civil war, where Iron Man was portrayed as a power-mad fascist who betrayed his friends for a seat at the table. Robert Downey Jr.’s performance redeemed the character in the eyes of many people, but the comic version was still quite distasteful.

However, every time the comics have tried to bring the character closer to the movie version, it doesn’t really sound true to who he is. While he’s not as terrible as he has been in the past, Iron Man is simply not a super nice character. That doesn’t make it bad, but anyone hoping for the lovable version of RDJ in the comics will be in for a rude awakening.

NEXT: Iron Man’s 5 Best Personality Traits (& 5 Worst)


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