In a move that very few could’ve predicted would actually pay off for the company, Marvel Studios decided to kick off a Cinematic Universe by employing Robert Downey Jr. to take the lead as the character “Iron Man.” While Iron Man in the comics has never quite been on the same level of popularity as say Spider-Man, the move proved to be a fortuitous one for the company, and nearly a decade later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains one of the driving forces in Hollywood. The Iron Man series alone has three separate films, all of which had incredibly impressive runs at the box office. Thanks to Iron Man being featured in other movies such as Captain America: Civil War and this year Spider-Man: Homecoming, those films as well received a massive boost when it came to box-office returns. Robert Downey Jr. completely resurrected his career thanks to taking on the role of Iron Man, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t looked back since.
Despite receiving a ton of fanfare and adoration now that he’s become such a prominent character, Iron Man is not without his faults, and today, we’re here to take this egocentric character down a peg or two. All characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are very flawed people, and because of this, it makes them very relatable. Tony Stark, on the other hand, is typically the one responsible for making poor decisions that have very negative connotations in the grand scheme of things, and these 15 moments are shining examples of how terrible a person he can be.
15. Being A Hypocrite
After years of trying to acquire the rights, Marvel and Disney were finally able to get Spider Man to make his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his first appearance came in the film Captain America: Civil War. We saw Spider-Man thanks to the convincing of Tony Stark, and he was able to join his side and an attempt to stop those who opposed the Sokovia Accords. Continuing with their story, Spider-Man: Homecoming was released the following year and has since racked up an enormous haul at the box office. One of the more interesting aspects of the film was seeing the dynamic between Tony and Peter Parker, and one scene, in particular, left us really scratching our heads.
Of course, as we saw, Peter Parker got himself into a world of trouble, and Tony Stark quickly came to his aid. Now, after the scene concluded, Stark began ripping into Peter Parker, and he let him know that if he’s nothing without the suit, then he doesn’t deserve it. While this was meant to be an inspiring speech given by Stark, it was also a huge reason why we had a problem with him. This is a hypocritical statement because, without his suit, Tony Stark is simply a rich, egotistical man
14. He Humiliated Killian
Heading into the theaters to see Iron Man 3, admittedly, I wasn’t too excited. Sure, the prospect of seeing the Mandarin on the big screen was enticing enough to get me to go see the film, but I thought that its predecessor wasn’t nearly as good as the original film in the trilogy. During the film, we learn that Tony Stark, once upon a time, decided to blow off Killian, and in turn, gave way to the birth of the Mandarin. Now, Stark was much younger then, but his ego still got the better of him, and it caused a world of complications. If you’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you know that Tony Stark is responsible for getting his team in a lot of trouble, and while, more often than not, he comes through in the clutch, we can’t help but once again pin this one on a good ole Shell-Head.
13. Shipping The Hulk To Outer Space
Technically, Tony Stark wasn’t the only person to take part in this scenario, but, given his involvement, we can’t help but put some blame on everyone’s favorite Avenger. It was decided between Stark and several others, including Doctor Strange and the rest of the Illuminati, that the Hulk needed to be removed from the earth. So, in an attempt to protect the planet from the unruly Hulk, the members of the Illuminati decided to ship him off into outer space. Now, in the films, we saw the Hulk did this on his own accord, but in the comics, it didn’t play out this way, and the events of this eventually gave way to Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, which completely blew up in Stark’s face. Had the Hulk continued with his actions, he very well could’ve conquered the earth permanently, but luckily for Stark and his colleagues, this wasn’t the case.
12. Antagonizing Bruce Banner
Sure, this moment was meant to be in jest, but Tony Stark intentionally trying to aggravate and antagonize Bruce Banner to turn into the Hulk while on the Helicarrier was a poor choice on his part. Tony Stark is renowned for being one of the most intelligent people on Earth, though he’s not nearly as intelligent as say Lex Luthor or Brainiac, but that’s another company entirely. Stark’s decision to aggravate the Hulk could’ve ended with pure disaster for him and his teammates. Think about it — the Hulk on the loose on a Helicarrier and ripping everything to shreds would’ve been a quick demise for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Thankfully, there were some other super-powered individuals who weren’t on board during this time, and Earth would still have some protectors from the forces of evil. We’re just glad that we didn’t have to witness such a terrible event take place.
11. Giving Pepper Pots Strawberries
Gentlemen, if you’re looking to make amends with your lover, we all know that typically, chocolate or maybe some jewelry is a quick way to fix things, assuming that you haven’t done something unforgivable. While trying to get back in the good graces of his true love, Pepper Potts, Tony Stark decided to follow this time-old tradition of getting to a woman’s heart through her stomach, but unfortunately, he put very little thought into what he was actually giving her. Stark giving Pepper Potts strawberries may have seemed nice on the surface, but anyone who actually follows the story knows that Pepper Potts is allergic to strawberries. That’s right, folks — dear old Tony Stark gave her something that she was allergic to, and it potentially could’ve landed her in the hospital as opposed to fixing their relationship. We all make mistakes, but I can’t say that I’ve almost put my partner in the hospital due to complete and utter negligence.
10. Updating Sentinels
Those of you who are followers of the X-Men series are very well informed on the fact that Sentinels are wretched machines sent to take out mutants. Now, in the event of Civil War, Tony Stark, in an attempt to stop those opposing him and the deal that he struck with the government, decided to create his very own brand of Sentinel, and he used them to hunt down and track mutants and opposing superheroes. It goes without saying that this was a rotten idea and that Stark should really be upset with himself for having done such a terrible thing. Mutants, in particular, have long suffered at the hands of Sentinels, and Stark’s decision to use this technology against them just shows you how low this man will go in order to get what he wants. It was one of the few times that most people really hated Stark, and the events of Civil War, in general, were a rough time for many heroes.
9. Creating Ultron
Who could possibly forget the time that Tony Stark thought that he was the most important member of the Avengers and, in an attempt to completely protect the world, created a killer robot program named “Ultron.” While the idea of completing Ultron stemmed from a vision that he had from the Scarlet Witch, Tony’s decision to pursue creating artificial intelligence, much to the dismay of co-worker Bruce Banner, ultimately led to the events that transpired in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron. Due to Stark’s arrogance, the team was forced to deal with this program that was nearly successful in wiping out the Earth thanks to its ability to do virtually anything that it wanted.
Of course, because we’re dealing with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers were eventually able to band together with the help of Scarlet Witch and her brother, who met an untimely demise, to take out Ultron. Despite being successful, we can’t help but blame Stark for the events that transpired in the film.
8. Hitting On Aunt May
Okay, so truthfully, this was actually pretty to watch unfold, and it did give the audience a few laughs. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, we saw Tony Stark head out to Queens, New York in an attempt to convince a young Peter Parker to join his side. Tony had been learning about his endeavors for some time now, and he was ultimately able to figure out the secret identity of the young man who called himself Spider-Man. While Peter was walking into the door, Tony Stark was sitting in his living room, talking and flirting up a storm with his very attractive Aunt May. Now, people have been very outspoken about the fact that Aunt May keeps getting younger, but let’s be honest — Marisa Tomei was an excellent choice for the role. While it was funny seeing Tony Stark hit on Peter Parker aunt, in reality, it was a total low blow.
7. Incarcerating Other Heroes
Once Tony Stark made the decision to side with the government in the event of Civil War, all hell was sure to break loose. He and Captain America were pitted against one another, and superheroes quickly formed sides. Given that Tony Stark was siding with the government, he and his other Heroes had the ability to incarcerate other superheroes, and they utilized Reed Richard’s Negative Zone to house these people. Seeing Tony Stark go to such great lengths to take out his former friends was truly horrible to see, but as we all know, this ended up blowing up in his face as the heroes were eventually able to escape the Negative Zone thanks to some trickery. Stark and his team were able to corral an impressive list of superheroes while the events of Civil War were raging on, showing that Stark is a truly formidable presence in the sphere of heroes.
6. Cloning Thor
The events of Civil War in the comic books are nothing like the events of Civil War that took place on the big screen, but hey… you can’t always get what you want, comic fans. Needless to say, the event that transpired in the books that inspired the big-screen adaptation is wonderfully written by author Mark Millar, and in that story, Tony Stark takes part in a cloning process in an attempt to create his very own Thor. Now, he did team up on this project with Reed Richards and Hank Pym, so they deserve equal blame, but this list isn’t about them. Thanks to Tony Stark and the boys creating this character known as Ragnarok, one of the more shocking deaths in the Civil War story took place during a battle between Heroes, and Stark played a huge role in his opposition losing a friend. Even he saw that what he had done was terrible, and though he did what he felt was right, you know that this ate him up inside.
5. Spying On Spider-Man
This is an event that, in the movies, took place during the film Spider-Man: Homecoming, but in the comics, can be traced back to Civil War. Once Tony Stark is able to convince Peter Parker to join his side, one of the most shocking moments in comic book history occurred when Peter Parker revealed his identity to the public. This, of course. immediately put a massive target on his back and put his family in grave danger almost immediately. Spider-Man also came to find out that while he was still fighting on Stark’s side, he was being monitored by Tony Stark the entire time. After being gifted the Iron Spider suit in Homecoming, we saw a similar situation like that play out when Peter Parker learns that Tony Stark is able to track all of his movements, effectively keeping a leash on his young ward. While we understand where Stark is coming from, you have to give people some privacy, and his decision to spy on Peter Parker in both the comics and the film had a negative impact on their relationship.
4. Manufacturing Weapons
You had to know that this was going to be on the list, and of course, this was one of the driving points behind the very first film. Tony Stark, prior to taking up the mantle of Iron Man, was a rich, egotistical arms dealer who had made a fortune off of creating and distributing weapons. What Stark didn’t realize, nor cared to realize, was that his weapons weren’t just in the hands of the good guys. After he’s captured, he creates the very first markup of the Iron Man suit, and he’s able to try and right his wrongs. Nevertheless, Stark, as an arms dealer, was a pretty rotten human being, and we’re glad to see that he came around full circle to eventually become one of the most popular characters in superhero film history. The thought of Iron Man anchoring a movie franchise seemed impossible, but his compelling story was a game changer.
3. Superior Iron Man
Now, despite coming full circle from being an absolutely ruthless businessman and civilian, Tony Stark, for the most part, has been a pretty great guy, but even he isn’t impervious to slipping up at times in his life. Take, for example, the comic run of superior Iron Man. In this comic series, Tony Stark is simply obsessed with trying to preserve his life. He developed a program called Extremis, which, when used by a regular person, can help give them enhancements that are beyond their wildest dreams. While initially, this was offered for free, Stark decided to jack up the price. This would be like Bruce Wayne charging for the most mundane thing. It’s not like he doesn’t have enough money already.
2. Terrorizing The Maximoff Siblings
While Tony Stark wasn’t directly responsible for this particular entry, he still holds blame for being the person that supplied the weapons that caused so much terror in these poor kids’ lives. We learn in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron that the Maximoff siblings, who eventually become the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, spent several days trapped inside the building, waiting for a grenade to go off, effectively taking their lives. It’s at this crucial moment that they reveal that the name on the grenade was in fact “Stark.” Due to their experience with Tony Stark in the past, they were quick to team up with Ultron in an attempt to rip the Avengers apart from the inside. Of course, as we know, Scarlet Witch Is now part of the Avengers, and her brother gave his life in an attempt to save Hawkeye. During the events of Civil War, we saw that Scarlet Witch was on Stark’s side, meaning that she’s ultimately put any hostility she has towards him aside for the betterment of the team.
1. He Faked His Death
Our world is filled with conspiracy theories about people faking their own deaths, including Elvis and Tupac. People out there actually think that these men are still alive, and that, for whatever reason, they just don’t want to be in the public eye. Comic books know virtually no bounds, and years ago, Tony Stark did, in fact, fake his own death. Now, his battles with alcoholism are well documented, and it’s been a major flaw in the character during his time in the comics. At a point when Tony was trying to really fix his life and get things together, he decided to leave the mantle of Iron Man to his dear pal Rhodey, and he even made him the CEO of his company as well. Many thought that Stark had died, but lo and behold, it all turned out to be a ruse. Needless to say, this had a very negative impact on his relationship with Rhodey and was an incredibly shocking moment in the comics.
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