Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight

Published 7 years ago by , Updated October 8th, 2008 at 8:35 am,

obsessive iron man fan Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight
Heath McKnight: Obsessive Iron Man fan

Before I start my little op-ed about Iron Man and The Dark Knight, I want you all to know that Iron Man is indeed my favorite character. I had him tattooed on my right forearm almost five years ago, and Entertainment Weekly even featured me as their “Obsessive Fan of the Week” last year! I write for Advanced Iron (the #1 Iron Man fan site on the planet), and my love for the character stretches back over 20 years.

That said, Batman is my second favorite character (tied with Captain America), and Batman Begins was, for the longest time not only my favorite comic book movie, but one of my top 20 favorite films of all time. The Dark Knight somehow topped Batman Begins, and completely blew me away. It deserves all the money and (hopefully) awards it has (or will) earn.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I want to spend a little time talking about why, ultimately, I love Iron Man more than The Dark Knight. Understand that while I think TDK is a magnificent movie, and the musical score is infinitely better than the pedestrian soundtrack of Iron Man – ol’ Shell Head’s film wins the race (but only by a little bit).

So why do I love Iron Man more? I recently sat down, and thought about the best movies I’ve seen this past summer, and I was hard-pressed in deciding whether Iron Man or TDK was better – or if they were a tie for me. Due to a busy work schedule this summer, I could only see each movie once, but you know I’ll wear the DVDs out when they’re released. I could also watch only a handful of films, but I hear that Indiana Jones 4 stunk anyway.

So after thinking about both, even going so far as comparing stories (both are aces) and direction (two veteran indie filmmakers doing their best work).

  • Acting: Tie – you can’t get better than Robert Downey, Jr. and Heath Ledger.
  • Visual FX: Iron Man.
  • Music: The Dark Knight.
  • Villains: Sorry, Iron Monger, but Heath’s Joker scared the crap out of me, and he deserves an Oscar.
  • Cinematography: Matthew Libatique (Iron Man) and Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight) are both tops in their field, but I give the slight edge to Libatique.
  • Overall fun factor for me: Iron Man wins by the narrowest of margins.

After all that, I came to the conclusion that Iron Man was the best film.

What ultimately got me to that conclusion was my good friend, comic book creator Rich Koslowski. He is the creator of The 3 Geeks, and he recently commented on his blog:

“I did love it [The Dark Knight, but] I still liked Iron Man better. And the one main reason I think is that Iron Man was more well-rounded. Iron Man had the one thing the The Dark Knight did not… joy.”

That’s exactly what I was mulling over: joy. Don’t get Rich or I wrong, we both love the dark aspects of Batman (don’t EVER lose that and don’t EVER hire Joel Shumacher EVER again!), but we went for the “light” with Iron Man.

iron man tattoo Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark KnightSo there you have it. Even though I am a big-time Iron Maniac, had the movie stunk, or had it been just decent-to-good, TDK would’ve won, hands down. Trust me, I love Iron Man the character, but I don’t love being let down. I learned that years ago, when I’d get excited for upcoming movies, much like sports fans would get pumped up for the big game, only to be disappointed when the film opened (Jurassic Park being the exception). And believe me, I was obsessing about both of these films.

For me, ultimately, I just loved watching Iron Man fly around, dispatching bad guys. But don’t forget that I absolutely loved The Dark Knight. It and Iron Man are the top two best comic book movies I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to watch both films at least two dozen times on DVD before the year ends.

And one more thing: I think it’s great that TDK made over $520 million, and Iron Man, a minor, not-as-well-known Marvel superhero made more money than Indy 4. No one expected Iron Man to do as well as it did, but it certainly did.

I can’t wait for the next Iron Man and Batman films.

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  1. Vic

    I have some more thoughts, and if you want to continue this by e-mail, by all means. For now though, lets turn back to the issue of altruism in Iron Man and The Dark Knight and see what we can discover.

  2. LOL, yeah, hows it look for the site owner to take a comment thread wildly off topic…


  3. Wow why am I not surprised that a post about Iron man and TDK turned in to why America and Christians are evil. I’m an atheists and I get tired of all the anti Christian bull.

  4. From Psychological point of view, I would have to support Robert on the Nature of Altruism. And it holds true for all Homo Sapiens all over the world, Not just America.

    I hope I don’t sound like a pessimist but a realist: The truth is, this world is just for the survival of the fittest. So a Man at the top of the food chain does not care much about altruism. He looks at altruism just as a De-Stresser/Ego-booster at the end of a hefty busy selfish business day. Just So that his mind does not go astray.

    Similarly, a guy at the bottom of the food chain looks at altruism just as a ego-booster. He knows he is just a trifle individual not much worthy or important for the world. So in order to boost his self-worth in his own eyes he practices altruism and thus prevents a depressive mood.


    (“If you think doing something that brings joy to your child is a self-serving act I hope you never have kids.”)

    I AM AN ATHEIST and here I would like to use some basic knowledge of Science(Biology). Each species of (Animal/plants) in this world desires that only its genes be carried forward for existence. So I hope I don’t offend any Religious sentiments (I am a born Hindu.) but Humans were made polygamous by nature. The basic sexual tendency in our minds is naturally to propagate our genes in into this world as much as possible via our Offsprings. So serving our own child to bring joy to him in turn makes us happy. Because we are …you guessed it…self-serving by serving our very own genetic offsprings.
    (I don’t have children, not even married.)But the Whole Scientific-Natural world runs on Selfishness in way (survival of the fittest, propagation of one’s genes AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE,polygamy, …many more issues).
    Vic, what you feel your children (JOY) is actually a subconscious feeling of JOY for yourselves because they are YOUR children, YOUR offsprings, YOUR genes.
    So you may have to re-think your above statement.

    Thanks Vic

    Batman: He’s an independent operator. Even though he is Altruistic he has his own selfish reasons. But he doesn’t need someone to hug him at night and tell him good work. In fact he probably resents it a little bit, because the job is never done. He doesn’t need a girlfriend or someone to make him feel good about himself. Deep down I think we all want to be able to be that independent where we don’t need that affirmation. We don’t hate getting it, or we even like it, but not needing it is the key.

  5. Imaginationland on crack !!!!

    Sheeesh, these Batman threads are dark and spooky.

  6. Wow, now I’m just confused all over again. So Amol IS serious? I was almost certain he was joking for a moment there…

  7. did anyone pick up on amols list. It had all 3 matrix and all 3 terminators in it granted the 1st 2 where awsome but none of the original star wars was there and all 3 of the rings was in it come on the second one was a filler.

  8. LMAO!!!

    Terminator 3 was atrocious, Matrix 2 and 3 were horrible as well…

    Maybe he liked Aliens 3 and 4 as well??

  9. @ Robert

    Dent’s Sense of altruism:

    “Either you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a Villain”

    This statement sums it up for him. Here he is point towards the way the people who are on the receiving end of your altruism are going to treat you EVENTUALLY.
    But I think at the beginning, his sense of Fearless altruism is genuine and cannot be questioned. After all, he portrays himself as The Batman and becomes a target of ire for the angry public as well as becomes a sitting duck for The Joker. But then his true love is for His Gotham City as a White Knight of the City.
    BUT…1. Then he is satisfying his inner sense of love for a city where he grew up and for the city that that gives him self –assuredness to his inner feeling of security, which is still a trait of self-centeredness.
    2. and then… at the end he understands, there is no sense in being decent in an indecent world. No sense in playing by the rules. No sense in bending the rules and not breaking them. NO SENSE IN OFFERING ALTRUISM TO A CRUEL WORLD.

  10. @Amol

    Your item #2. Wrong. Completely.


  11. @Amol

    Sorry for any confusion, I was referring to your seeming assertion that it’s true here in the real world.


  12. @ Vic

    (” Let’s talk about altruism and how it affects these two particular super hero flicks.”)- Robert

    I thought we started discussing altruism practiced by characters in IM and TDK movies after this statetment by Robert.

    Anyway, I told you my opinion on altruism in the real world before.
    (Altruism for a man on the top of the food chain… and all).

    Nobody is altruistic. Other wise this world won’t progress/develop.
    A miniature example of the world: If a Company does not hire the best candidate for itself, will it progress?

    Here ‘Best’ means:The guy who will work for MINimum wages, will work for MAXimum hours and provides a MAXimum output.

    See the selfishness, non-altruism ? See the concept of survival of the Fittest.

    If the Best guy is not hired, then that company will become incompetitive same day and will be gobbled by a bigger better company.

    See the selfishness, non-altruism ? See the concept of survival of the Fittest ?

    It is the way of Nature and it SHOULD be.

    Even when a drop of a liquid (Physics again) is dropped from a height, it is non-altruistic or is selfish enough to acquire a shape of a sphere while falling, so as to occupy Space and expose its Surface Area both as MINIMUM as possible.

    THAT is selfishness.

  13. @Vic, @Robert

    The Joker’s Sense of Altruism:

    “If you are good at something never do it for free.”

    This line by The Joker sums up altruism for The Joker. Should we even discuss it further?

    Robert, you are correct. Altruism is scarce.
    OK. All the Theories The Joker tells his Victims regarding the sense of Altruism(???) that he received from his father and his wife received from the gambling Sharks are enough to prove The Joker is NOT altruistic.

    Scene 2: (Interrogation Cell)
    The Joker To Batman:
    You let Five People die. Then you let Dent Take your place. Even to a Guy like me that’s …COLD –

    There’s no going back. You have changed things forever.

    HERE: Of course, the cunning intelligent Psychopath that The Joker is, he is trying to manipulate and break the psyche of Batman down into making him believe that the latter is a Killer (which is his first principle – he will NEVER Kill.) and making further attempt to convince him that the impact was indelible on those involved.

    (Just Similar to the intelligent Psychopath Hannibal Lecter who was manipulating Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs(1991)” when he was diagnosing her about the screams of lambs that she heard in her dreams.)

    Yep, The Joker was not being altruistic towards those Five people but was trying to make The Batman … self-destruct.

    Because, The Joker then believes about the same people(public in general) that their morals and code hold no water. And they would drop their morals at the first hint of trouble.
    And he believes: “When the chips are down, these civilized people…they will eat each other.”
    (I really love this dialogue.)

  14. @Amol, just curious, (since your a Robot Scientist) your not working on a Cybernetic system called Cyberdine or Skynet are you ?

  15. Amol, do you feel like you’re the only person to have ever went to a university and earned a degree? And do you think that just because of that fact it somehow makes your opinions more valid and more factual than those of other people? You sound like you have a serious chip on your shoulder. I think maybe if you spend some more time with real people and less time in front of your computer writing code that maybe you can speak to others without seeming like you’re trying real hard to prove your superiority and perhaps not get on the defensive as easily…

    Would be good for the health and the social life.

    BTW, I’m an agnostic. I choose not to be an atheist because you simply cannot prove a negative. Even if you can prove evolution (which I believe in), you can’t prove that there wasn’t a god involved in the process in order to make it appear as if it was natural. I’m not saying that I believe this, but like I said, you cannot prove a negative.

    I think it is just as foolish to believe in not believing…

  16. Ok, you really have to learn to cut to the chase. Or be more entertaining. I don’t mind reading as long as it keeps me engaged, and I got bored of reading what you wrote about 2 paragraphs in… Cliff notes please so I know, in summary, what you just said.

  17. @Ken, @Heath

    While I was relaxing a bit just now, it suddenly struck like lightening to me.
    In my obsessive fervor, to proclaim my justification for a particular passion (here TDK),
    I took it in a wrong perspective.

    It is not actually about some clash between somebody’s passion and mine.

    It is not about a some intellectual debate.


    And he has the whole right to celebrate it that way.

    And he has to justify to nobody.

    It was more about Heath and less about IM vs. TDK.

    Heath, Ken, Friends, NO HARD FEELINGS. I was WRONG in my way to bulldoze like that.

    Let’s just be good friends.

    Love you Heath, Love you Ken.

  18. @Amol

    In regards to your last post: Hallelujah! You finally got it! :-)

    However in regards to this:

    “Nobody is altruistic.”


    It may be more rare than not, but there ARE certainly altruistic people. People who self-sacrifice for others expecting nothing in return.

    As to your analysis of Agnostics, I disagree. That’s not a “life view,” it’s only a view about the existance (or not) of God.

    I still think it’s ridiculous to be an atheist – how can you know for sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is no God? Do you know everything there is to be known in the universe? Has mankind unraveled every mystery of the universe? Are there no more unknowns to be discovered/explored? If so, how the heck can you KNOW there is no God?

    Someone saying they know for a fact is a ridiculous conceit and displays and incredible amount of hubris IMHO.

    You can choose to believe that there’s little difference between yourself and a monkey or a pig, but I do not.

    It’s incredible to me that anyone who can sit in front of the technology we’ve created, typing on a keyboard, staring at a 1″ thick LCD screen, connected to the internet via fiber optic cables, debating something on an intellectual and philosophical level can not see how very different we are from other species.

    I mean, seriously. Why aren’t we just scrabbling in the dirt for our next meal, still living in caves if we’re “just mammals?”

    I know you’ll reply with another 500 word response and remain unconvinced, but I just had to express my opinion on this.


  19. Hey Amol, that’s the point I’ve been trying to make this whole time, since he’s only proclaiming his opinion, his reasons for feeling that way only need to make sense to him and nobody else.

    @ Vic

    Well, I’m agnostic. Which means I don’t specifically believe in god or any religion, but at the same time, I don’t specifically believe against any of them either. I feel that religion is something based on faith and is something you can never really “prove.” So I feel I won’t know the absolute truth until I die. So why bother guessing what might be true until then? I fully believe in science, physics, nature, evolution, etc. etc. but like I’ve said and like you said in your last post, you cannot PROVE a negative. No matter how much science you prove, you cannot say with absolute certainty that it proves there is no god. God could be pulling the strings of science and physics for all we know. I don’t know and I don’t really care to guess.

    For some people, religion is really important to them in shaping their lives and setting their moral values. For me whether there is a god or not makes little difference in the way I will conduct my life. I live by the “golden rule” of do not do unto others what I would not like done to me. I feel this is a honorable way to live no matter what religion you are. I don’t need there to be a god to “inspire” me to be a good person, I will aspire for that regardless.

    But what I notice is that few people live in such a manner. I see so many people doing some awfully inconsiderate things all the time. It’s like they think they are the only person in the world and that their needs are more important than anyone else’s… Pretty annoying…

  20. @ amol

    the reason people may have come across like they were insulting you is because you’re so intelligent the your opinion is final. have you ever heard of an opinion on an opinion, i was in disbelief that you such a clever person could like a film like matrix 2 and 3 plus it doesn’t need explaining, the problem with the film is it was over done, they tried to be too complicated and it was weak in my opinion is that ok with you?? and by you proclaiming your degrees is your insecurity you have no idea what anyones education, stature or job is on this site.

    and your messages are far too long keep it short, i have other things to do than read your essays.

  21. lol bats > shellhead lol!!1!


  22. @Vic, @Ken

    I am not a proficient writer. I can speak only in examples that life has shown to me.
    When I said “Nobody is Altruistic”, I meant this:
    Let’s say there are only four guys left in the world. And ONE LAST morsel of food on earth.
    All are hungry.
    All happen to see the morsel at the same time somewhere.
    Now two of those guys immediately pounce on the morsel and start fighting for it.
    One of the remaining two guys (the third guy) just thinks its wise not to be so selfish enough as to fight with somebody to acquire something even if it’s the last morsel of food.
    The Last guy thinks: Hey! What is this going on? I don’t like these two selfish guys are fighting on. And that poor guy is just standing there not demanding his share. Let me give him a portion of this other morsel in my pocket that I saved for this day to this poor guy.
    HERE: The fighting guys are selfish because they think that if they eat that tiny morsel they will be SATISFIED IN THEIR MIND and Body for that particular temporary moment. (which MAY latter become a mini pride-Booster that THEY were the ONLY ones to get their hands on the morsel. Exactly the type of winners that Nature NEEDS in this World of the Fittest and World of Survival)
    The third guy is selfish in a way that he FEELS SATISFACTION IN HIS MIND that he was at least not cheap like the fighting two. (which MAY become a mini pride-Booster latter)
    The fourth guy is selfish in a way because he FEELS SATISFACTION IN HIS MIND by feeding the unselfish poor third guy who was being trampled by the other dominating two. He developed a feeling of pity for the third. He felt GOOD IN HIS MIND that he followed the non-violent way and did a favor for the third guy (which MAY latter become a mini pride-Booster that he was not cheap like the fighting two and played God for the third guy)
    Each guy had the main aim of SELF-SATISFACTION / CONSOLATION of their own minds that was fulfilled in different ways for each.
    NOW imagine that: 1. the first two fighting guys are from some under developed tribe from a desert area where food is scarce. 2. The second inert guy is a rich businessman who does not have to struggle much to fulfill basic necessities. 3. Fourth guy is from some human rights organization. The story will work. And the picture becomes clearer.
    You can see that their Mind has EVOLVED to behave that way.
    Don’t we vote for a particular good candidate on a reality show on the TV just because he behaved good ? That is a sort of Self-Satisfaction for us and MAY BE a latter a mini pride-booster for us that we played God for somebody.
    Ask yourself: Of the Two guys, where One who does a favor (a good Deed) for the other, who would you rather be ? Of course you would want to be the First Guy regardless of the Second guy being the one who has an CLEAR advantage because he is at the receiving end of the good deed. That is the sort of good-deed (Altruism) which is a sort of Self-satisfactory/Self-Justifying in the primary stage and a pride-booster in the secondary stage.
    If you have watched Se7en(1995) the David Fincher/Morgan Freeman movie,
    the villain in it kills a prostitute JUSTIFYING HIMSELF that he cleaned some kind of dirt off the world.
    On the other hand the Detectives, JUSTIFY THEMSELVES that if they catch/prosecute that guy they will be SELF-SATISFIED because they will have caught a murderer.
    According to Science the first aim of the World is : TO SURVIVE. And to do that it has to SURVIVE Physically and PSYCHOLOGICALLY both and KEEP EVOLVING TO MAINTAIN THAT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY for the whole life-time. Each Species in the world has its own way to achieve that. The only difference is Homo Sapiens have developed significantly in the Mental Field as compared to other species. AND ALTRUISM IS JUST ONE OF THOSE WAYS FOR HUMANS.
    After all, the Mind is more powerful than the Body. Our main aim is to satisfy our Mind by commanding our Body to follow the way that the Mind orders it to follow depending on the GENETIC-MAKE UP OF THE MIND WHICH KEEPS EVOLVING. (Remember the Mind is in the Brain and Evolution decides how a particular Mind of a man will behave. I has It’s own ways of selfish self-justification.) Recalled the Morsel Story?
    CONCLUSION: So (SELF–SATISFACTION / SELF -JUSTIFICATION / PRIDE IN MODERATE AMOUNTS/ A FEEL-GOOD EFFECT) are the Keys and basic necessities for the SURVIVAL of any species WHATEVER way it acquires them. And I think, ALL these keys are non-altruistic. It has nothing to do with the good deeds we do in the material world (Previous example: the morsel in the pocket).
    Think of it in a psychological and NOT a material-world type of way.

    Yes, this May be 500 words or perhaps more ! =)

  23. I do not think that i said
    “the is something wrong with being an Atheist”

    i Just wanted to know why some one would or would not be one, that is all…
    (kind of Harmless, i might add)