Everyone knows Ironman, alias Tony Stark and his crazy life as a superhero/billionaire/tech genius. But which of these awesome facts didn’t you know? Below we’ve compiled 20 of the coolest facts about everyone’s favourite metal man!
1. Tony Stark is based on a real person
Stan Lee apparently based Tony Stark on Howard Hughes, a famous billionaire and aviator who was famous in the first half of the 20th century. Like Tony, Hughes was multitalented and had lots of money to spend on his extravagant life style, which included inventing, film directing, engineering and flying planes and being a bit of a ladies man. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that he also invented an iron super suit, but you never know!
2. The suit could be real
If you have about $100 million, you could theoretically build your own Iron man suit! You can certainly get replicas of the famous Ironman suit, though of course they don’t do anything but look cool. BUT, Adam Savage, from Mythbusters, claims to have actually built a real working Ironman suit! The suit is apparently bullet proof, made of titanium and able to fly! Or at least, to hover off the ground. It was printed using 3D technology. Other people have also built similar working suits, but these are also SUPER expense to make, costing millions of dollars!
3. Robert Downey Jnr. has played Iron Man 10 times
Yes, there are 10 films that feature Ironman in the MCU, starting of course with Ironman in 2008. Since then Robert has appeared an additional 9 times as Tony Stark, with his last appearance in Avengers Endgame. The first Ironman movie made nearly $600 million! He’s also the Marvel character with the most screen time to date, beating out Captain America and Thor
4. Iron Man’s suit can lift up to 100 tonnes
We’re not sure how this works, but apparently the suit lets Tony lift up to 100 tonnes of weight! For context, that’s about the weight of an average blue whale! In fact, the only MCU character who can lift more weight than Ironman is The Hulk, who can lift way more, but to be fair he is a super human.
5. Tony is a genius
According to his back story, Tony Stark went to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at aged just 15, showing just how brilliant he was. He then took over his father’s company, Stark Industries, at age just 21. Tony’s privileged upbringing meant he had access to all sorts of technology and gadgets that helped him to eventually create Ironman. The fact that Tony has no natural superpowers is even more proof of how amazing his brain is!
6. Iron Man originally debuted in 1963
Ironman was first seen in an issue of Tales of Suspense all the way back in 1963. Considering that the modern day Tony wasn’t even born until 1970, that’s a long time ago! Stan Lee wanted to create a superhero that was very tech-heavy during the height of the Cold War, just to see if he could. Larry Lieber was the one who actually wrote the first Ironman story, since Stan Lee was away at the time. Ironman ended up being one of the most popular Marvel characters of all time!
7. Tony Stark is adopted
In an alternative Universe, the Stark’s birth son, Arno is ill and has to live in hospital and they adopted Tony to replace him (weird). Arno can only walk using a specially designed suit. He has a whole other life as Ironman 2020 on Earth-616. However, in the MCU, Tony isn’t adopted, but born into his wealthy family.
8. Tony Stark is VERY rich
As a genius inventor, industrialist and son of wealthy parents, it’s no surprise that Tony Stark is very rich. In fact, he’s one of the richest super heroes of all time! Without his huge wealth, Tony Stark would never have been able to become Ironman. Forbes magazine do a Fictional 15 list, where they rank the richest fictional characters. In 2013 he came in at number 4 on the list, with an estimated wealth of $12. 4 billion! Scrooge McDuck still beats him though!
9. JARVIS was a person
Tony’s butler technology, J.A.R.V.I.S serves him in the films, but in the original comics Jarvis was actually a person. His name is Edwin Jarvis, and he does appear in human form in the film Endgame and TV series Agent Carter. He first appeared in the comics in the 1960s, and he was Tony’s butler as a child (You know, like we all have). After he passed away, Tony named his special AI assistant technology after him. And the acronym? Apparently it stands for ‘Just a Rather Very Intelligent System’. Of course.
10. Tom Cruise nearly played Tony Stark
Lots of different actors were considered for the Ironman role, including Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage and Rob Lowe. In fact, Cage was interested in the part in the 1990’s, which shows just how long Ironman has been around as a film idea! In the end, Cage was cast as Ghost Rider, another Marvel character, so he got to be a superhero anyway! We just can’t imagine it without Robert Downey Jnr though – it would be totally different!
11. Iron Man has over 50 Iron suits
He has 53 suits for all different occasions and environments, including Iron Legion, War Machine Armour and dozens of upgrades to the original suit. Some powers of different suits include: restraining the Hulk, stealth mode, and a special version for Pepper Potts to wear as Rescue. Considering most of us don’t own 50 pairs of underpants, it’s pretty impressive, though we wonder where he has space to keep them all – the garage?
12. Iron Man was once an Iron Woman
Yup, in the Earth-3490 universe, Tony was a woman called Natasha Stark, who became Ironwoman. What’s more, Natasha ends up falling for Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and they get married! Aw! The closest thing we get in MCU is Pepper Potts donning the suit and becoming a female Ironman, but Natasha sounds cool!
13. Tony’s tongue did a lot of work
Tony can do loads by simply telling his suit what he wants. But once upon a time, there was no such technology! In earlier instalments of the Ironman stories, Tony had to resort to using his tongue to work the helmet from the inside! The helmet had switches which Tony could flick with his mouth! Not quite as cool as AI, is it? We imagine the helmet must have needed cleaning constantly!
14. Tony is part robot
As part of Ironman’s origin story, Tony was hit in the heart with a piece of shrapnel whilst doing business abroad. Captured by a foreign warlord, Tony is only kept alive by the skills of a fellow prisoner. Because of injuries he’s sustained and the tech repairs made to them, Tony is technically part cyborg!
15. One of his suits is stored INSIDE his body!
Yup, you read that right. The suit, also known as ‘Bleeding Edge Armour’ or Armour Model 37, is a suit that is kept INSIDE Tony’s body. Tony can control the armour with mental commands, and can transform into lots of different things. Unlike the original Ironman suit, it’s safe to say this probably isn’t possible in real life. Sadly, Tony eventually has to get rid of the armour, with the help of Mr. Fantastic, though we’re not really sure how that would work…let’s hope he doesn’t have to pee it out!
16. Stan Lee appears in Iron Man
Marvel Creator Stan Lee is known for popping up in Marvel films in small cameos, as well as other comic book themed movies. Stan Lee usually has a small part as a bystander or passer by. His first Marvel cameo was in Ironman; Stan Lee is seen in a cameo playing a playboy millionaire, a bit like Tony, and is credited as ‘himself’ in the credits. His last MCU appearance was in Endgame, released after his death, where he appears de-aged in 1970. How many times have you spotted Stan Lee in Marvel films?
17. Stark Industries, Tony Stark’s company, makes weapons and and other technology
Stark Industries is Tony’s company, inherited from his father, and is worth billions of (fictional) dollars. According to its backstory, it was founded in 1940 for the outbreak of WW2. Stark Industries has buildings all over the USA, including New York and California. The company designs and makes weapons, a controversial field for a superhero to be involved in – Stan Lee said he wanted to make his hero very different to the other heroes of the time. The company is criticised in universe for its failings to protect America, and in fairness, considering the amount of problems, health and safety issues and dodgy employees, it’s a wonder it hasn’t been shut down!
18. Pepper Potts wasn’t always Tony’s assistant.
Pepper Potts first made an appearance in comics in1963, the same as Tony. She first got her job at Stark Industries by fixing a error Tony makes in accounting. Before then, she was a secretary for the company. Tony must have liked her confidence, because he hires her as his assistant. At first she’s a bit star struck by Tony, but she wasn’t so pleased by the amount of his work she ended up doing!
19. Tony Stark has to wear a magnetic chest plate
Remember that piece of shrapnel Tony got stuck in his chest? Well, it’s still there! Tony has a specially developed magnetic chest plate called the Arc Reactor that keeps the shrapnel from getting too close to his heart. Clever, huh? Over the years he’s gone through lots of different versions of it, and if he takes it off for too long, he’ll die. You can see it glowing in his chest throughout the movies, and it has other abilities which make Ironman more powerful.
20. One of the Ironman suits turns into a flying car!
Yes, Tony Stark likes to have fun once in a while, and apparently once created a version of the suit that turns into a flying car! It’s never appeared in the movies, only the comics, but it looks pretty cool. Apparently he used it to pick up Captain America after an accident. Imagine if one of your friends turned up in that! We have to wonder where you keep snacks in it though.