by James Howard

Marvel characters from the famous comic books have been seized up by Hollywood and made into multimillion dollar blockbuster productions such as the Captain America and the X-Men films. Despite their massive popularity, many die-hard fans of the comic books feel that the films failed to accurately depict their favourite Marvel characters on the big screen. Because of this Gala Casino, have put together some comparisons that look at the main differences between the comic and movie portrayals of the most popular characters. As a result we have decided to take a closer look at Iron Man in more detail and compare the comic book version to the movie adaption of Iron Man.

Iron Man, who is one of the most popular Marvel characters given the widespread success of the Trilogy, is played by actor Robert Downey Jrin the film adaptation. The character’s real name is Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark and he was born in Long Island, New York. Stark is also sometimes known as Hogan Potts, the Iron Knight, Shellhead, Tetsujin, Spare Parts Man, Golden Avenger and impersonated Cobalt Man (Ralph Roberts). Tony Stark took control of the Stark Enterprises after his adopted parents passed away. He used this fortune to have a good time that is, until a weapons test ended with him being captured by terrorist who forced him to build a weapon for them. However Stark used this time to build the first ever Iron Man suit which he used to help him escape. After this a chest-plate was used to keep him alive after suffering from injuries. Stark pilots the suit to fight evil and soon becomes a hero. Iron Man’s main attributes and physical abilities include being a genius inventor and billionaire entrepreneur as well as his Iron Man suit which enables him to fly, use enhanced strength and on-board projectile weapons. His main enemies are The Mandarin, Obadiah Stane and Whiplash.

 iron man

Image from

According to the film adaption of Iron Man, Tony’s on-board computer is called J.A.R.V.I.S and this computer runs not only Iron Man’s suit but also Stark’s lab and household. However, the comic books state that “Jarvis” is the butler for the Stark family. The comics depict Obadiah Stane as having less than friendly feelings toward Tony and even attempted to seize Stark International by using physical attacks and some dirty tactics. The Hollywood version of Iron Man plays Stane as a close friend of Stark’s parents and as one of the people who helped raise Tony. One of the main aspects to the film adaption of Iron Man is the romantic chemistry between Stark and Pepper. In the movies, this chemistry develops during the first and second films before they finally begin a relationship at the end of Iron Man 2. This however is nothing like the comics. Pepper was only a romantic admirer Tony from a distance as she fell in love and married his chauffeur and assistant Happy Hogan who is played by Jon Favreau in the movies. The Iron Man films have become hot favourites and Tony Stark has also played prominent roles in the two Avengers films where other Marvel characters made an appearance such as The Hulk and Captain America.

iron man in the movies                                                                                      Image from

Translating Marvel comics into films is extremely difficult because each character has a detailed backstory which is often hard to depict on the big screen. Gala’s list  looks at how some of the Marvel characters have been portrayed on the big screen in comparison to their comic book originals. Factors such as budgets, time constraints and artistic licence all need to be taken into consideration by film makers which is why it can be increasingly difficult to stick to every detail of the comic books when translated to the silver screen.

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  1. While this is a nice infodrop, it might be better to present the comparisons between the comic book & film versions at/prior to the films’ debuts, and then examine how the film versions have directly influenced the directions taken with the comic book versions.

    For example, one contrast made above centers on the Tony-Pepper romance, which at best was a distant thing prior to the films, but has since the first film’s release has become an active element in the comic book stories.

    If you want to take this influence analysis a step further, you could look at how the films’ elements first influenced the comic book stories, and then which/how the comic book stories have moved away from that film influence (e.g. Tony going into space, Cap losing his SSSerum, etc.).

    This could be an interesting analytic series. Thanks!

  2. It also might be more interesting to present in a non-comics forum. Pretty much everybody here probably already knows most of that stuff.

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