Top 10 Iron Man Moments
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Written by Jack O'Regan
It's time to honor everybody's favourite genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Iron Man moments.
For this list, we're looking at moments from the movies and comics books, ranking them on action, their impact on the wider Marvel universe and significance within their respective story arcs.
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It’s time to honor everybody’s favourite genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Iron Man moments.
For this list, we’re looking at moments from the movies and comics books, ranking them on action, their impact on the wider Marvel universe and significance within their respective story arcs.
#10: Iron Man vs. Whiplash
“Iron Man 2” (2010)
There are many reasons that “Iron Man 2” is generally considered the weakest of the trilogy, but our introduction to Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash isn’t one of them. He tracks Tony Stark to the Monaco Grand Prix, slicing through cars with his energy whips until he finds Tony’s. The scene combines everything we love about Iron Man. There is humour as Happy Hogan slams repeatedly into the bad guy with his car, there is new fight choreography to enjoy, and we are also introduced to the next suit design: the mark V, which folds right out of a suitcase.
#9: Saving New York
“The Avengers” (2012)
In the battle for New York, Tony shows the team once and for all that he is more than just a smart-talking billionaire. When the government sends a missile to drop on Manhattan, Iron Man pilots it through Loki’s wormhole, knowing that it’s pretty much a one-way trip. In the film’s most touching moment, he tries to call his girlfriend Pepper before his suit shuts down. After he survives the resulting fall, he asks for the nearest shawarma joint. It just goes to show that smart-talking and Avenging aren’t always mutually exclusive.
#8: The Mark II Test Flight
“Iron Man” (2008)
“Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.” Tony is at his reckless best in the original Iron Man, in this case weaving in and out of traffic and attempting to break the altitude record for fixed wing flight after a single suit upgrade. Tony almost falls 85,000 feet to his death, and makes absolutely no effort to hide himself from stunned civilians, in a true demonstration of his complete disregard for rules. It’s the first true Iron Man moment in the series – one that was built up in the first half of the movie, and certainly didn’t disappoint.
#7: Developing the ‘Extremis’ Armour
Iron Man Vol04 #05
After the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline, Marvel redefined Tony Stark by turning the man himself into a machine. When terrorist Mallen fatally injures Tony, he injects himself with super soldier serum Extremis, literally becoming a cyborg. The transformation is a pivotal moment for modern Iron Man readers, giving the character powers beyond the suit and a deadly virus that would form the basis of many future villains. Not only did the issue change the character’s future, it would also update his past, and Jon Favreau would use parts of the new origin story to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
#6: The First Suit
“Iron Man” (2008) and Tales of Suspense Vol01 #39
Held captive in Afghanistan, or Vietnam as it is in the comics, Tony joins forces with engineer Professor Ho Yinsen, and together they forge a suit of armour that not only saves Tony’s life, but changes it forever. Tony uses the bulky armour to escape the cave, but it comes at the cost of Yinsen’s life, and the movie hinges on Tony’s promise to avenge the man who had become his friend. The moment Tony creates that metal suit is the moment Iron Man is born, and it’s also the moment he becomes an Avenger.
#5: The Hulkbuster
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
It may seem like he doesn’t take things seriously, but don’t ever question Tony Stark’s forward thinking. In an iconic Marvel moment, Tony summons the Hulkbuster, a suit designed for increased power, maximum defence, and more specifically – to subdue a rampaging Hulk. After trying, and failing, to reason with Dr. Banner, Tony uses all of his wit and scientific knowhow to fight the Hulk, eventually knocking out the mind-controlled monster. All of this, and he still has time to prevent civilian casualties as the pair run through several buildings.
#4: Iron Man and Captain America vs. Thor
“The Avengers” (2012)
Avenger vs. Avenger. The moment all comic fans had been waiting for. In fact, add RDJ’s perfect timing to Joss Whedon’s witty dialogue, and this meeting of machine, super soldier and demi-god actually exceeds expectations. The battle climaxes when Thor’s hammer meets Cap’s shield, but as only Tony Stark can, he somehow makes it his moment, brushing aside Thor’s threats, and proving himself by going toe to toe with the god of thunder. IronMan became the heart of the Avengers from their very first coming together, and even through tough times, he’s stayed that way ever since.
#3: Saving the Village
“Iron Man” (2008)
In one scene, Tony nails a superhero landing, pulls a terrorist through a wall, survives a missile blast, dodges another, blows up a tank and walks away from the explosion without looking back. The only thing that could possibly make this scene more epic is a Black Sabbath song playing in the background. No wait, there’s that too. Jon Favreau does a brilliant job at letting the action flow without too much dialogue, and delivers everything you could want from a superhero in the space of two minutes.
#2: Defeating Alcoholism
Iron Man Vol01 #182
One issue barely touched on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Tony Stark’s long history of alcohol abuse. In one of his toughest story arcs, Tony is living on the streets during a snowstorm, when his friend and drinking buddy Gretl goes into labour. Her baby survives, but Gretl does not, and Tony is finally forced to confront his addiction. “Deliverance” is a turning point for Tony, his darkest hour and the beginning of a long road to recovery. It’s a definitive Iron Man moment, maybe the definitive Iron Man moment, and he never even wears the suit.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
Repairing the SHIELD Helicarrier
“The Avengers” (2012)
Relationship with Bruce Banner
“The Avengers” (2012) & “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
“Iron Man 3” (2013)
#1: Iron Man vs. Captain America and Bucky Barns
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
We know of the tragedies in Tony’s past from the very first “Iron Man”, and though he usually keeps them hidden behind his sarcastic exterior, all of those emotions come flooding to the surface when he finds out Bucky Barnes – aka the Winter Solder – assassinated his parents. This revelation alone is a turning point for Tony, but what follows is some of the best raw action in Marvel’s history. When Cap steps up to defend his brainwashed best friend, the light tone of their earlier battle is long forgotten, and the fate of the Avengers is ultimately left hanging in the balance.