Why we love Iron Man

What You Think You’re Watching
A superhero movie based on the comic book character Iron Man. In this sequel, Tony Stark faces an enemy who has built his own version of the Iron Man suit, as well as a douchey rival weapons manufacturer.

The Subtext
Iron Man is the ultimate objectivist hero, fighting for private property rights against the vulturelike thieves known as “the government.” In other words, Ayn Rand’s wet dream.

In Rand’s 1,200-page love letter to capitalism, Atlas Shrugged, you have a protagonist named Francisco d’Anconia, a brilliant businessman who runs his inherited family business. D’Anconia deliberately maintains an image as a worthless playboy in order to avoid the growing culture of government theft depicted in Rand’s novel.

The protagonist of the Iron Man series is Tony Stark, a brilliant businessman who has also inherited his father’s business. Until the end of the first Iron Man film, Stark deliberately maintains an image as a worthless playboy in order to hide his superhero identity.

Then in Rand’s novel we have Hank Rearden, another protagonist who got super-rich by inventing a valuable metal alloy whose formula he continues to keep secret. The government, sensing the metal’s usefulness, tries to forcibly take the rights to Rearden’s alloy away from him.

Stark also gains massive amounts power by inventing, among other things, a gold-titanium alloy for use in the Iron Man suit, whose design he continues to keep a secret. The government, sensing its usefulness, tries to take the rights to Stark’s suit.

In Atlas Shrugged, Rearden is hauled into court for breaking government regulations relating to his steel company. He gives a wildly popular speech in court about his property rights, telling his accusers: “I am fighting for my property!” He humiliates his opponents by winning over the crowd and concludes by telling them: “I work for nothing but my own profit.”

In Iron Man 2, Stark is hauled into a Senate hearing, during which a senator demands he hand over his designs.

Stark responds by giving a wildly popular speech about his property rights, telling his accusers: “You want my property? You can’t have it!” He humiliates his opponents by winning over the crowd and concludes by telling them: “I will serve this great nation at the pleasure of myself.”

The bad guys, too, are uncannily similar. Atlas Shrugged’s government lobbyist cozies up to the government in lieu of actual talent. Iron Man 2′s main antagonist keeps trying to steal Stark’s work with the help of substantial government contracts. There’s also Iron Man’s other nemesis in the film, Ivan Vanko, who is Russian. You know what else comes from Russia? Communism, that’s what.

Plus, in a documentary on the DVD for the first film, Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee flat out says that he created a capitalist, commie-fighting, industrialist, weapon-manufacturing superhero as a way to deliberately antagonize hippie-leaning comic book fans. Anti-military sentiment was high back in the 60s, and Lee wanted to challenge himself by creating a character he could force them to like.

Source: Cracked.com

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21 Responses to Why we love Iron Man

  1. Tel

    Iron Man was based on Howard Hughes, not Hank Rearden.

  2. tbh

    Saw the repeat of Iron Man 1 on telly the other night. I remember thinking when it first came out that it would be another fairly ho-hum comic book adaptation. I actually really enjoyed it in the end and the individualist message was not lost on me either. Rather surprising to say the least. The Incredibles was more or less the same way. Both are very entertaining.

  3. Entropy

    Compare and contrast with sappy pap like dunces with wolves

  4. jupes

    Robert Downey Jr is perfect for the role. Both Iron Man 1 and 2 were great movies.

    Iron Man 3 is due for release next year.

  5. Pedro

    I’ve said this before, but RDjr went into prison a dem and came out a republican

  6. Anne

    Iron Man was based on Howard Hughes, not Hank Rearden.

    Tel. You sure you’re not thinking of Howard Roark?

  7. Lloyd

    Marvel Comics decided to go into the filmmaking business rather than license out its intellectual property to the usual Hollywood film outfits. The end result has been a series of films which have remained true to its comic book origins instead of a bowdlerised version thereof.
    Perhaps there is another allegory there? If you’ve got a good product defy the establishment (whomever that may be: Government, monolithic corporates, whatever) and develop it yourself.

  8. Catfeesh?

    Compare and contrast with sappy pap like dunces with wolves

    Oops a typo

    No, you spelled ‘wolves’ correctly.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    The Marvel adaptations have been excellent. DC not so much – although the latest Batman movies have been good.

    The new Dredd is magnificent.

  10. wreckage

    although the latest Batman movies have been good.

    Wherein Batman was GWB. Loved it. Well done Frank Miller and Christopher Nolan.

  11. J.H.

    Batman is similar…. Rich playboy socialite by day. Avenger for the spirit of the law by night.

    Though I always get a bit uncomfortable with Superheroes… The Socialists love their cult of the celebrity. They can’t think for themselves so they flock to the worst public personalities hold up the least fit person for the job, and then reinforce their Narcissism….. and usually the rest is history.

    Plus, there is only a need for superheros when injustice is the norm, poverty and violence the result.

    There is no need of superhero’s in a functional society. When everyone is a superhero, Lycra goes outta fashion. ;-)

  12. C.L.

    I love Iron Man. Interestingly, Robert Downey Jr has himself made clear his abandonment of lefty statism as a guiding – in Hollywood, virtually compulsory – worldview.

    Batman has also been great. Excepting No.3.

  13. Lloyd

    Iron Man does not wear Lycra.

  14. C.L.

    The Dark Knight’s finale…

    … on George W. Bush:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL7PSlUuWPs

  15. Plus, in a documentary on the DVD for the first film, Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee flat out says that he created a capitalist, commie-fighting, industrialist, weapon-manufacturing superhero as a way to deliberately antagonize hippie-leaning comic book fans.

    Muaahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  16. Abu Chowdah

    The first Iron Man is the best super hero film ever made. The second batman comes close.

  17. Tator

    Yet we have Arrow coming out on Channel 9 next year which is based on DC comics the Green Arrow, who is a liberal in the US political terms. Always has been written that way in the comics too, wonder if Stark was written that way as an antithesis to Ollie Queen who predates him as well as well as to piss off the hippies. Then again, he was a partner with the liberal Green Lantern Hal Jordan, but I preferred the much more blunt Guy Gardner as my Green Lantern with Kilowog coming a close second.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    The only thing I’ve ever liked about the Green Arrow is his girlfriend.

  19. cohenite

    You want individualism against the corrupt system then this guy leaves IM for dead.

    IM is for clean energy which makes him a wimp in my book.

  20. Entropy

    I have been watching Arrow on channel BT. Yes, he definitely is fighting against the rich in favour of the people, but the rich are clearly crooks. At which point the lefty memes are a bit unclear, unless it is saying that all rich people are crooks. But Mr Queen is rich, and a vigilante, wears a cool hood and he has all the hot chicks, fast cars and motorbikes (not nec. In that order) he needs.

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