Tony Stark had quite the journey from genius playboy billionaire philanthropist to a married man who wants to build his own family and settle down in New York. Today we take a look at The Evolution Of Tony Stark: The Rise Of MCU.
A look back:
Tony Stark has well and truly undergone one of the biggest character transformations in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was first introduced as a chauvinistic douchebag who acts like every guy on the trust fund sitting at the back of your freshman lit class. However, he’s grown a lot since the first time everyone laid eyes on him in Iron Man back in 2008. And of course, it took 8 films to get to the point where he is today.
He is now a wise-cracking lovable arse who has become a father-figure to Peter Parker. He’s not out to chase the women anymore. He is spending much of his time trying to determine the correct course of action to take for the superheroes in the world. He has also been reflecting on his own past mistakes and trying hard to be a good partner to Pepper.
You are reading The Evolution Of Tony Stark: The Rise Of MCU.
Iron Man needed to pay off:
Iron Man is MCU’s baby. It is a concept of Marvel Studios Co-President Kevin Feige came up with in the hopes of building something bigger. Everything lied with Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark. And sure enough, Iron Man was an unsure bet and we were unsure whether this was the superhero we needed in our lives. The movie incorporated important and relevant topics into the movie like America’s position in Middle Eastern wars and the influential power technology companies hold. This made a direct impact on the mind of the audience. However, it was down to Robert Downey Jr. who sold the character quite brilliantly and made us all interested in a funny, peculiar, exhausting jerk. Iron Man turned Tony Stark into a character we can all care about.
That sense of adoration we got at the end of the first movie only grew with each Tony Stark appearance after that. His brief cameo in The Incredible Hulk gave us a reminder of how cool he can be. Then again, when he reprised his role as Iron Man in The Avengers, he also took on the role of leader that made everyone fall more in love with the character.
The Avengers represents one of the biggest turning points for Downey’s character. Earth was in danger, and it needed saving. Even though he had worked as a lone wolf up to this point, put aside the differences he had with the super-powered “people” and formed a mighty team to save Earth from Loki’s threat. It was then that an affirming moment came for the fans who spent four years watching this team come together. It all started with Iron Man in 2008 but by 2012, it had been Iron Man who caused the Marvel Cinematic Universe to take shape.
It’s not as if things had drastically changed with Stark at the end of the first Avengers movie. He was still a jerk, but he was a jerk who was trying to lead a superhero family and come up with a plan to become Earth’s mightiest defenders. He was no longer thinking just about himself.
The Evolution Of Tony Stark: The Rise Of MCU is spoiler free.
Growth as a character:
As Stark grew, it’s safe to say we grew right alongside him. Avengers: Age of Ultron was very much a forgetful movie for a lot of reasons but, even then Stark grew as a character. He started rallying people behind him just a bit better. But it was Captain America: Civil War that forever changed how we see Tony Stark- the person behind the Iron Man suit. Civil War set up the change for Tony from a girl- and fame-obsessed teenager into an adult who recognizes that actions have consequences.
Despite his best attempts at saving people, he was hurting dozens in the process. Cities were getting destroyed and he was partly to blame for it. He started to hate the person he’d become. So he sided with the government in the attempt that it would clean his conscience and in the process turned away from the family he found. The superhero aspect of this certain film is hardly relatable. But there is a familiarity of his growth that seemed to have resonated with the movie viewers. There are often crossroads we find in life, and we are bound by duty to make the decision we think best. And at times, it ends up costing us some friends. That is what happened in Civil War and it ultimately made Stark seem more like a relatable human being rather than a billionaire superhero.
At the end of Civil War, he’d finally become an adult after close to a decade. Now it was time to move onto the new challenges of life.
He, of course, finds a new role in Spiderman: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War– dad. He becomes a pseudo-father to Peter Parker in Homecoming, keeping an eye on him and literally treats him like a son in Infinity War. Stark does become an adult in Civil War but, he gets to explore what his future can look like in Homecoming and Infinity War.
So why is Tony’s evolution so important?
When Iron Man was released in 2008, many viewers across the World were teenagers. And with each movie, time passed by and as Stark grew up, so did we. Tony Stark is one of the rarest characters in a blockbuster movie who makes bad decisions, repeatedly and has to deal with the consequences in a believable way. This alone sets him apart from many other superhero characters.
Of course, all of the Avengers superheroes had to deal with growing up in a certain way. However, it was Downey’s Tony Stark who started it all off with Iron Man and ultimately paved the way for MCU to become what it is today.
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