The Iterations of Tony Stark and Ultimate Comics

The MCU has taken a lot of it’s inspiration specifically from the Ultimate line of comics. Thor’s Stormbreaker, Spider-Man being in high school again, and Tony Stark’s personality. Tony Stark has always been snarky, witty, and a pretty swollen ego, but a lot of the mainline comics’ Tony Stark’s rough edges have been sanded down. Stark was one of the founding members of the Illuminati, working for Kang the Conqueror, shooting Hulk into space, lots of his actions in both Civil War storylines, and not to mention his stint as Superior Iron Man, exploiting people and lots of other dubious actions.

My question is, have we lost something? Are the rough edges what make Iron Man so compelling in the comics? Has the MCU’s more palatable Iron Man worse or just different? What about other comic characters who’ve lost nuance like Wolverine in every movie besides Logan?

Further, how do we go about adapting these characters from these thousands of issues to hours of film? Is it even possible? Is the loss of some nuance a necessary evil?

  • Might be useful to include some examples of what Ultimate Iron Man did and how he was different from mainline Tony. – noahspud 1 year ago
  • I think that the rough edges in 616's Iron Man positioned him as more of an antagonist in many popular storylines. I think that the MCU definitely made conscious attempts to water down his actions, even in the Civil War storyline. Whereas in the Ultimate line of comics, he was definitely still snarky and narcissistic, but didn't make as many huge mistakes as 616 Tony, who's contributions to making the 'Thor' android lead to the death of Goliath in 'Civil War', who literally took Peter Parker in to Avengers tower and then sent a squad of villains after him who very nearly killed him. In the Ultimate Universe, Peter looks up to Tony, and I feel that the MCU very much ran with this idea, especially after Robert Downey Junior had endeared this character to so many people through the Iron Man and Avengers Films. I think that for this topic, it's worth considering the loss of the original characters' personality, and the replacement of something new — but not necessarily less palatable or less nuanced. I think that nuance depends greatly on the writer, director, and actor concerned with whatever iteration of Stark is present, whether in comics or film — such as with Logan, which you referenced. Adapting characters with nuance is definitely possible. It's all about going into the character with confidence, in my opinion. – Patrick 1 year ago

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