As Ben Parker once said, "with great power comes great responsibility." It sounds like Iron Man missed that lesson of super hero school. Over the course of his seven appearances in the MCU, and numerous comic appearances since 1963, Tony Stark has been the premiere billionaire playboy for Marvel. With his smarts and wallet positioning him as the Invincible Iron Man, he has been taking out evil in his metal suits. Whether he is working alongside The Avengers or as a solo act, he has the strength and abilities to take out whatever evil is in his path. There is just one problem - he is sometimes insufferable to work with.
Despite being one of the de facto leaders of the Avengers, Tony Stark is certainly not what most would consider a true leader. His brash behavior combined with his eccentricity take away some of the qualities that people associate with heroes. Especially when compared to other members of the Avengers like Captain America, Tony is in a league of his own. His attitude and personality are far from being welcoming, and he often comes off as mean-spirited with his humor. His heart (and arc reactor) may be in the right place, but not everyone connects well with him.
Over the years, Tony has remained likable to fans, despite his egomania, and has even maintained great relationships with other heroes. However, given his years of rubbing people the wrong way, it may only be a matter of time before he is finally kicked to the curb.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Iron Man We All Choose To Ignore.
20 War Profiteering
At the center of things, Tony Stark could be labelled as the largest war-profiteer in history. With an estimated net worth of $12.4 billion, Stark is one of the wealthiest superheroes of all time. How did he come by all of this money? While some is related to family equity from years of Stark Industries' creations, Stark's modern-day wealth was built on the back of military weapons contracts. In Iron Man, Tony is shipped to Afghanistan to show off his new Jericho missile to the US government.
He brags that it is one of the most powerful pieces of military technology.
All of the other weapons around him were also supplied by his company. Despite being in a war-torn country that is ravaged by his weapons, he was perfectly comfortable enjoying the fruits of his labor.
19 He Lies To Pepper Constantly
Tony does trust Pepper with his company and his heart, but he doesn't hesitate to lie to her any opportunity he gets. Whether it is keeping secrets in his lab, or not telling her the full truth about his plans with the Avengers, he consistently leaves Pepper in the dark. While the nature of being a superhero does include secrecy, it shouldn't give Tony a license to lie to Pepper whenever he wants.
Pepper is one the most resourceful allies that Iron Man has. By not including her in his decisions, he is hurting his own operation. Not only is she incredibly intelligent, but she is much more level-headed than Stark. This means she would be able to see when his plans are not fully thought-out and could improve on them. Instead, she is left feeling betrayed byTony's deceit.
18 No Repercussions For Creating Ultron
Some of Tony Stark's creations have given him the title of one of the brightest minds in the field of science. However, some of them should never have made it past the whiteboard stage.
While Tony did not intend to create a monster when he thought up Ultron, he did not think through the consequences either.
Initially envisioned as a global defense program capable of defeating any threat against the world, Ultron did not pan out as envisioned. In fact, his sentient robot brain believed that humankind needed to be destroyed in order to save itself. Ultron eventually becomes one of the strongest foes that The Avengers have ever faced. Why didn't Tony face any legal repercussions for creating such a monster? Shouldn't someone have reprimanded him to stop him from doing this again?
17 He Attacked Most Of His “Friends”
Captain America: Civil War saw most of the Avengers face off against each other. However, this is not the first time that Iron Man has come to fisticuffs with one of his allies. When Earth's Mightiest Heroes first got together in The Avengers, Tony was less than pleased to be working with some of the crew. He instantly became a target of both Thor and Captain America, and even fought both of them minutes after meeting them. He also leveled half of Johannesburg while trying to subdue the Hulk.
How close can he really be with his team members if he keeps fighting them? Given Tony's narcissistic personality, he is difficult to work with at the best of times. It also seems that most members of the Avengers have learned that firsthand.
16 He wouldn't give Rhodey a suit
Tony Stark has difficulty sharing with his friends. Just ask Colonel James Rhodes, who could not even get his own Iron Man suit from his best friend. After revealing himself as Iron Man to the world, the government was looking to weaponize his suits as a means of warfare. While Tony smartly refused to partake in the endeavor, his friend Rhodes was looking for his own suit.
Rhodes is a certified air-force Colonel and is likely even more qualified to yield the suit than Tony.
However, Stark refuses to give him the armor. Eventually, the two friends get in a battle over the suit, which results in Rhodes stealing one and being coined as the Iron Patriot. This eventually gives way to him becoming an Avenger as War Machine, but that does not change that he had to fight hard to even get a chance.
15 He Endangered A Teenage Peter Parker
"Mr. Stark, I don't feel so good." Those are lines that will be forever etched into the minds of everyone who saw Infinity War. While there are certainly signs that Peter Parker will return to the MCU, his demise was all Tony Stark's fault. Despite the fact that Peter Parker has earned his superhero status now, he had no business being a part of the Civil War.
Peter did not fully understand his powers, and therefore was only put in danger by going up against some of the most powerful heroes on Earth. By recruiting him to be a part of Team Iron Man, Tony only put a teenager in serious harm's way. While fans are pleased that Spider-Man was finally introduced in to the MCU, there is no mistaking that Tony was wrong in bringing a child to support him in a dangerous situation.
14 Irresponsibly Getting Hammered
One of the last things that Tony Stark will ever be confused with is a responsible adult. In fact, despite having the means to become one of the greatest superheroes in history, he constantly sets himself back with him immature behavior. One of the greatest examples of Tony's immaturity is his wild birthday party in Iron Man 2. While coming to terms with his own mortality, Tony decides to get crunk while wearing his Iron Man armor.
Iron Man DJ-ing in his suit is a hilarious sight, but he puts a lot of people in danger.
A dancing Iron Man may be funny, but one that shoots irresponsibly while off his head. Considering how many people look up to Tony, he really should take a lesson in humility and learn tp keep himself under control.
13 He Became Evil
Even though his egomania can make him difficult to deal with, Tony does try to put his best food forward most of the time. However, Iron Man has not always been the good guy that MCU fans know him to be.
The Iron Man comic Superior Iron Man explored what would happen if Stark turned evil, due to a spell by Scarlet Witch which inadvertently exacerbates Tony's megalomania. He begins using Extremis (as seen in Iron Man 3) to create a Utopia filled with people in his vision. In fact, he becomes so evil to the point that he is looking to "cleanse" the world of people that do not fit his image. This is a far cry from the Iron Man that MCU fans know, but sometimes even the greatest men can turn evil.
12 He Should Never Have Been In Afghanistan
It is strange to think about Tony Stark in a vulnerable position, but he was not always Iron Man. When the armor is stripped away, he is still a billionaire, playboy philanthropist, but he is certainly at the mercy of evil-doers.Upon his debut in the MCU, Stark is visiting Afghanistan to show off his new weapons to the military. However, he is ambushed by a group of criminals and abducted. While modern-day Tony Stark would have had an Iron Man suit available to fight, this took place before his first suit was made. Tony had a long way to go before becoming the powerhouse he is now.
Looking back on it, he had no business taking the trip out to a war-ravaged country.
In fact, he was likely much more in the way of the soldiers than anything else.
11 The MCU Forgot He Was Adopted
Having two timelines for Tony Stark could get very confusing for MCU fans. Casual Iron Man fans know that Tony Stark was born into the wealthy Stark family of Howard and Maria. In fact, most of his franchise has centered around his relationship with his father, and his thirst to continue his legacy. Meanwhile in 2013, the Marvel comics threw out everything that fans thought they know about Stark's past.
The Secret Origin of Tony Stark storyline revealed that Stark had actually been adopted in to the family. Considering how much Tony identifies with the famous Stark family name, this was surprising, to say the least. Furthermore, it was also revealed that Howard and Maria had a biological son named Arno Stark. With so much history in the MCU, it would be difficult to change it now. This also leaves many fans uneducated about their favorite superhero's past.
10 He Has Started Two Civil Wars
While Captain America: Civil War explored the most famous conflict between the Avengers, it is not the first time Tony has made waves in the group. Whether fans were Team Iron Man or Team Captain America, the Civil War story was both exciting and upsetting. Seeing the most powerful heroes fight was incredibly epic, but it also forced people to choose sides. As of Infinity War, the conflict has not been fully resolved, but has been set aside to tackle bigger problems. However, Tony has created rifts in his groups before.
Tony obviously has a problem with authority, but he needs to learn to work with his friends.
The Iron Man comics explored Tony fighting with Captain Marvel over the Inhuman race. While Tony was a proponent of teaming with the group, Carol Danvers was against it. This resulted in another split of the group, causing both fans and heroes to choose sides.
9 Marriage Proposal As A Publicity Stunt
If there is one thing that Tony should mess with, it is the relationship he has with Pepper Potts. Despite all of his faults, Pepper has stuck by his side and remained a loyal ally. The worst thing that Tony Stark could do is damage the best thing in his life. In fact, he has come close many times, but most recently he did something pretty scummy.
Following the adventures in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker leaves Tony behind at a press conference where he was to be unveiled as a new hero. With a room full of press waiting for a big announcement, Tony suggests that he propose to Pepper. Positioning their relationship to be a publicity stunt is very insulting to Pepper. In fact, she deserves much more better than that.
8 Insensitive Jokes about Coulson
While his passing did not last long to the inception of Agents of SHIELD, Phil Coulson's demise was one of the saddest moments of the early MCU films. To make a joke about a character everyone loved demonstrates poor taste. Following the tragic end to Coulson's life, the group is thinking about his sacrifice following an encounter with Loki.
While discussing his life, Tony abrasively refers to him as an "idiot" for taking on Loki alone without help.
Even though the entire group is mourning, Tony's words are crass and uncalled for. Coulson was an innocent human bravely fighting the same fight as the Avengers, just without any powers. He deserved everyone's respect, not their insults.
7 He Leaves Pepper To Run Stark Industries
Without Tony's focus on the Avengers Initiative, the battles on Earth would have gone much differently. While everyone is thankful for his support, he did leave behind a massive organization for someone else to run for him. Following his reveal as Iron Man, Stark reverts the title of CEO of Stark Industries to Pepper Potts. While Pepper had arguably been running the show for much longer than that, this was a massive undertaking for her. Though her business acumen and attention to detail has allowed her to perform admirably, this role was thrust on her without preparation.
Prior to her becoming CEO, she was covering Tony's duties off for him without the pay or recognition.
Even though the fate of Earth was at stake, Tony should have taken care of his affairs much earlier.
6 His ignored addiction
While the MCU has not tackled the internal demons that Tony Stark fights, the comics certainly have. On the surface, Tony Stark is a fun-loving billionaire whose eccentricity makes him entertaining to be around. However, deep below the surface he is fighting a battle inside that he has lost on more than one occasion.
The Demon in a Bottle storyline focused on Tony's battle with addiction, and how it began to impact his ability to be Iron Man. Following a misfire which results in an innocent bystander losing his life, Tony turns to drinking to numb his guilt. By the end of the series, he begins to turn things around, but fans will always wonder if his disease will return.
5 He harasses Natasha
Tony Stark is not only known for being Iron Man, but also for being one of the worlds biggest playboys. His reputation for womanizing precedes him, leaving women very wary about becoming involved with him. It's surprising that he hits on women in front of his own girlfriend. Before fans know her as Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff is working under the guise as Tony's new secretary.
Within mere moments of being introduced to her, Tony flirts with her.
Not only does he flirt with an employee, but he is fawning over her directly in front of Pepper Potts. Though he now knows that Natasha is not one to be messed with, hopefully he would never treat another secretary this way.
4 Calls Out Mandarin; Doesn’t Count On Retaliation
In retaliation for an attack on Happy Hogan, Stark challenges The Mandarin to a fight. Despite knowing that The Mandarin is responsible for numerous attacks across the world, Tony does not expect him to retaliate. To no one's surprise but Tony's, The Mandarin responds by blowing up Tony's house with missiles.
This is not the first (or the last) time that Tony's cockiness puts himself and others in danger. While he feels confident that he could take out The Mandarin in a fair fight, the villain is not interested in playing by Tony's rules. This is also not the last time that Tony will enter a fight without a game plan.
3 He gives Peter a dangerous, hackable suit
The young and impressionable Peter Parker has the ability to learn from one of the top superheroes in the world. On the other hand, perhaps Tony's influence is not the best thing for a young hero in training.
After supporting Tony during the Civil War, Parker is given a weaponized Spider-suit to use.
However, Tony has locked most of the features under a "training mode." After finding a way to bypass the locks, Parker is able to see all the features his suit can do, including a fatality mode. It is understandable that Stark is trying to groom Parker in to a first-class hero, but he needs to remember that Parker is only sixteen years old! Why would he think it is a good idea to give a teenager such a dangerous weapon, even if it was locked at first?
2 He creates his own villains
While Aldrich Killian was likely going to turn out evil the entire time, Tony did not try and help him. In Tony's youth, he was more brash and egocentric-- believe it, or not. After being approached by Killian to develop his company, Stark brushes him off. In doing so, he sets Killian on the pathway to becoming a formidable supervillain.
Considering his influence on the world of science and robotics, Stark could have helped set Killian on a path away from evil. In a similar manner to how he is mentoring Peter Parker, he could have turned Killian in to an ally.
1 He Goes After Thanos Without A Solid Plan
Tony's hero complex may have been what doomed the Avengers during their battle with Thanos. With so much going on during Infinity War, some fans did not catch on to the fact that Iron Man was the only Avenger to not have a plan before embarking to fight Thanos.
While Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy have a clear strategy, Stark just shoots off in to space to begin the fight.
Many fans have theorized on why the Avengers lost: if they did not go to Titan, they never would have fallen in to Thanos' trap. Instead, Stark should have brought his group back to Earth, and made Thanos face the Earth's Mightiest Heroes there. Perhaps this would have saved them a lot of issues, and a lot of lives.
Do you know of any other things we all ignore about Iron Man? Let us know in the comments!