Iron Man (2008)
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Terrence Howard (Jim Rhodes), Jeff Bridges (Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
Honestly. I am self-confessed Superhero junkie, and I did not read much of Iron Man. It was Superman all the way. And, Spider-Man, and believe and faint, The Phantom. And oh, yes, there was Flash Gordon and the irresistible Ming the Merciless. That's why this disclaimer: This discussion on Iron Man is largely based on the recent film starring Robert Downey Jr., and hence, other Superheroes that we are going to mention are too based on their movie avatars.Yes. I liked the Iron Man movie. I have always liked Robert Downey Jr., his drug addict image notwithstanding, probably because of it. I even liked him in 'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,' especially the scene when Nicole Kidman shaves his body hair and his poses for a portrait; there was such vulnerability in those eyes that you have no other option but to love him and accept him as he is. Reviewing Iron Man in Salon.com, Stephanie Zacharek mentions the same effect of Downey Jr's eyes. So, it's not very difficult to understand why Pepper Pots is so star-struck to Mr Tony Stark...
But let's not get into love stories right away, but deal with the super-hero persona. The film ends with Tony Stark announcing to a packed audience of journalists that he, in fact, is Iron Man. How cool is that, and how daring!! Could Superman and Spider-Man could ever do that, especially when both of them are involved in newspaper business? (This is interesting how Sperheroes are so closely linked with newspaper.) But then, if we have to compare Tony Stark, we have to compare him with Batman Bruce Wayne. Both of them are rich, big-time industrialists, and both are 'Super' not due to some outside 'endowment' (I cannot find a better word right now; ) but because of their own sweet self-will. Another interesting aspect, both Stark and Wayne decide to fight crime not because they are forced to, but want to. (Yes, revenge is another motivation; that's the subject of another discussion!). Back to the fascinating Mr Tony Stark. He is so sure of himself. This is one thing that makes him stand apart from his counterparts. Take Spider-Man, he is a meek-geek, cannot even propose to his girlfriend, and is always bullied by his boss. So is the case with Mr Superman, or shall we say Clerk Kent... In this respect, Stark is personality personified, he is a party man, a flirt, and has lived the life on his own terms. When he becomes Iron Man, there is no conflict between his two personas. In fact, unlike the other supers, he is all ready to boast about his new found power. Actually he has not found the powers, he has made them himself.
Therefore, it would be interesting to see what he does in the second film in the series. Titanium Man, are you ready??
Other Superheroes in film
Starring: Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man / Peter Parker), Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin / Norman Osborn), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson), James Franco (Harry Osborn) Superman (1978)
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Marlon Brando (Jor-El), Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor), Chris-topher Reeve (Superman / Clark Kent), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane)
Superman Returns (2006)
Starring: Brandon Routh (Clark Kent / Superman), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), James Marsden (Richard White) Batman (1989)
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Jack Nicholson (Joker / Jack Napier), Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale)
Batman Begins (2005)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Michael Caine (Alfred), Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard), Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon)