Iron Man Saved Marvel from Bankruptcy

By Abbey Kinzel, ’23

Staff Writer

Marvel had been great at producing superhero movies. (I think everyone can agree that statement belongs in the past tense; their movies and TV shows recently haven’t been the best.) But despite the acclaim Marvel received during phase one of the MCU, the company almost filed for bankruptcy in the late ’90s. What saved them was a little movie called Iron Man. When Iron Man came out, it was a huge hit, and Marvel began to create more movies to form a narrative for years to come, like Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy. So let’s take a look back at all three Iron Man movies and see how well they have done.

Iron Man (2008)

The movie starts with Tony Stark  almost dying, then a flashback to a few hours earlier to show he has a lot of money from the manufacture of weapons for the military. He is kidnapped and forced to make one of his most powerful weapons with all the parts he needs in a cave. With the help of this one engineer, they instead make a prototype of the Iron Man suit. Once Tony escapes, he makes more suits and has to battle a former colleague who comes into possession of the prototype suit. This was a good movie, obviously. There is nothing I particularly hate about it, which I’m typically good at. Some worried that casting Robert Downey Jr. as the leading role, and Jon Favreau as the director, were questionable choices. But all in all it’s a good movie. Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie a 94 percent.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

In Iron Man 2, everyone knows that Tony Stark is, get this, Iron Man. The military makes many attempts to make an Iron Man suit of its own so Tony isn’t the only one with a suit and they can control it however they like. The new villain is a guy named Whiplash who, get this, uses electrified whips. So the primary conflict is that Tony is being poisoned on the inside by his tiny arc reactor which is also, ironically, the thing that is keeping him alive. We get introduced to Black Widow – I’ll just keep it at that – and they switched the actor playing Rhodey for Don Cheadle. The movie’s plot is a mix of fighting Whiplash, people trying to obtain blueprints to the Iron Man suit and Tony having a midlife crisis. This movie received 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

After saving New York from being an alien attack in The Avengers, Tony begins to suffer hard. He gets insomnia and anxiety from some kid’s drawing of him going into space with a missile. Tony starts to rely on his Iron Man suits and even makes more of them so they can protect the world when aliens attack in the future. All of this puts a strain on his relationship with his girl, Pepper. With all that going on, a terrorist group called the 10 Rings begins to, guess what, terrorize America under the leadership of a man named the Mandarin. Tony also has to fight these guys that glow and explode. With all that, this movie earned 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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