Iron Man made his debut a little over 55 years ago in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963). Then, 45 years after that, on May 2nd, 2008, Iron Man debuted on screen with Robert Downey Jr. as the genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character also garnered his own animated series in the 90s and had multiple series of his own in the comics throughout the years.
Even with all of this rich history surrounding Tony Stark and Iron Man, there’s still a lot of unknowns about the character, or rather misunderstandings. This is especially true when we consider all of the casual fans out there who know of him but don’t really know the man behind the suit. We wanted to take some time to clear up some pretty common misconceptions about him.
Stan Lee’s Involvement
Yes, Stan Lee helped with the creation of Iron Man, but when writing Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963, Lee had an emergency deadline and could not script the issue. Subsequently, Larry Lieber wrote the story from Stan’s synopsis, with artwork by Jack Kirby and Don Heck.
Making Him Unlikeable
When creating Iron Man, Stan Lee wanted to make the character unlikeable in the beginning, and then have fans grow to love him. Stan has proven time and time again that he knew what he was doing, and you can tell that once again by looking at Iron Man’s popularity today.
Based On Howard Hughes
Stan Lee based a lot of Tony Stark’s life on the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, and because the films came so long after, Robert Downey Jr. went more modern and based his character around Elon Musk.