I grew up a fan of Tony Stark/Iron Man. What's not to like? The guy is mega-rich, always has a super-model on his arm, and in his "down" time he flies around in a pimped out suit of armor! Like I said, I was a fan of Tony, but he was never one of my favorite characters as a kid. Back then, it was Captain America, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Magneto, and yes, I'll admit, even Gambit... What, Gambit was cool in the 1990's! Anyway, when I started reading comics again back in 2002 or so, once again, I became a fan of Tony, but I still admired/respected/enjoyed Captain America way more. Then Ed Brubaker took over the writing duties of Captain America, and Steve Rogers became my FAVORITE comic book character during the mid 2000's, hands down. No disrespect to Jack Kirby and Mark Gruenwald's brilliant runs on Captain America, but Ed took Steve Rogers to new heights. Every issue of Captain America was a must read, and I'd wait with bated breath to read the next issue of Cap monthly.
During this time, I also read and enjoyed New Avengers, which had both Cap and Iron Man on the roster. Everything was great... Until Civil War came around. Captain America, in true form, fought for what he thought was right, basic human rights, while Tony Stark sold out and basically became a mercenary for the government, hunting down his former allies and arresting them in the name of the insane Super-Human Registration Act. During Civil War, Tony did some pretty sucky things, including acting as a father figure to Peter Parker expressly to get Peter to unmask in support of the Registration Act, and most egregiously, he cloned the God of Thunder himself, Thor. Thor's clone wound up going insane in the heat of battle and killed Black Goliath, and to me, with the blood of Black Goliath on his hands, Tony had gone from misguided hero to borderline villain. Eventually, Tony's pro-Registration forces met Steve's anti-Registration forces in an epic battle on the streets of New York City. Eventually, upon realizing that they were causing more damage and harm than good, Steve surrendered and was promptly arrested by Tony and his pro-Registration forces.
While on his way to court for his arraignment, Steve, still wearing his uniform, the symbol of America, was being led around in handcuffs... The scene of Steve Rogers, Captain America, being led around in HANDCUFFS still bugs me to this day. Of course, we all know that Steve never made it into the courtroom, thanks to the machinations of Steve's longtime enemy, the Red Skull. Steve Rogers, Captain America, wound up dying, while he attempted to shield the body of police officer, while still in handcuffs...
As I stated earlier, Steve Rogers had always been a favorite character of mine, and his death hurt. Of course, Ed Brubaker continued the Captain America series with amazing issue after amazing issue, so although Steve was dead and gone, his title was still going strong. Ultimately, Red Skull and his cronies wound up paying for their hand in the death of Steve Rogers, however, one man to this day has escaped punishment for his involvement in Cap's death. That man is Tony Stark. As far as I'm concerned, Tony Stark is as culpable for Steve's death as anyone else, since it was Tony who locked Steve up. The death of Steve Rogers, to me, crystallized my belief that Tony Stark was NO hero, he was a villain, through and through.
With that stated, I began to look at older issues of "Iron Man", as well as various Avengers comics I had amongst my collection, and I came to the startling realization that Tony didn't suddenly become an asshole during the events of Civil War, he's ALWAYS been an asshole! Over the course of the next several nights, I plan on posting proof of that very accusation. It began yesterday, and I plan on digging through my old issues of Iron Man and Avengers to prove that Tony Stark is now and has always been a sleazy, greedy, manipulative, scummy, jackass. By the time I'm through with him, hopefully, anyone who reads this blog will realize that Tony Stark is no hero, he is a corrupt man who cares only about himself and his money.