Iron Man is a fictional superhero who appears in comic book published by Marvel Comics. The character debuted in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963), and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby.
Born Anthony Edward Stark, and usually called Tony, he is an industrialist playboy and ingenious engineer who suffers a severe heart injury during a kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. He later uses the suit to protect the world as Iron Man. Through his multinational corporation ― Stark Industries ― Tony has created many military weapons, some of which, along with other technological devices of his making, have been integrated into his suit, helping him fight crime. Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American technology and business in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have gradually removed the Cold War themes, replacing them with more contemporary concerns such as corporate crime and terrorism.
Throughout most of the character's publication history, Iron Man has been a member of the superhero team the Avengers and has been featured in several incarnations of his own various comic book series. Iron Man has been adapted for several animated TV shows and films. The character is portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in the live action film Iron Man (2008), which was a box office success. Downey reprised the role in the sequel, Iron Man 2 (2010), and also played the character in a cameo in The Incredible Hulk (2008). Downey will also play the role in the upcoming film The Avengers (2012) and the planned Iron Man 3.
Iron Man's premiere was a collaboration among editor and story-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, story-artist Don Heck, and cover-artist and character-designer Jack Kirby. In 1963, Lee had been toying with the idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the "quintessential capitalist", a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel's readership. Lee said, "I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military ... So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist ... I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him ... And he became very popular."
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Official Site: Marvel Comics
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