One of the most important superhero films of all time, 2008’s Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and laid the groundwork for The Avengers. The 2008 film also reinvigorated Robert Downey Jr.’s career and proved that a lessor known superhero could become a huge box office commodity. Its post-credits scene, in which Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury mentions the Avengers Initiative, perfectly topped off the more than satisfying franchise launcher.
The Incredible Hulk
After Samuel L. Jackson’s electrifying Iron Man cameo, Tony Stark followed suit later that summer. Sauntering into the post-credit scene in The Incredible Hulk, Stark shows interest in General Ross’ (William Hurt) work with enhanced humans.
Iron Man 2
Considered a rare misfire for Marvel Studios, 2010’s Iron Man 2 out grossed its predecessor but failed to endear itself to moviegoers in the same way as the original. A side plot about Stark's father, a shoehorned in Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and various Easter eggs led to some observers to malign the film as more an advertisement for The Avengers than a movie in its own right.
Marvel Studios' big gamble all began with Iron Man, and in many ways Tony Stark anchored the supersized Avengers, as both a foil for Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo’s) brand of mad genius and Captain America’s (Chris Evans) Depression era heroics. In the end, Stark makes a sacrifice play and saves the day -- and the team enjoys shawarma to celebrate.
Iron Man 3
Shane Black takes over directing duties from Jon Favreau in Iron Man 3. It finds Tony Stark battling arch villain from the comics, the Mandarin, played menacingly by Ben Kingsley.
The Marvel Super Heroes
Just three years after making his comic book debut, Iron Man appeared onscreen in 1966’s cartoon series The Marvel Super Heroes. The show’s narrator describes Tony Stark as a “handsome, mysterious millionaire,” and says Iron Man’s electronic power gives him “strength of 100 men” and the power to withstand “destructive forces almost beyond measure.”
Tin-head got his own cartoon series in 1994, in which Tony Stark was constantly doing battle with a goblin-esque Mandarin. The show was notable for the team element, with Iron Man working alongside Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, War Machine and others.
Iron Man appears several times in the classic ‘90s Spider-Man animated series, most notably in an episode introducing Carnage and later participating in the epic Secret Wars crossover.
Based on the acclaimed Ultimates comic book series by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, Iron Man (Marc Worden) and the other Avengers stave off an alien invasion with roots in World War II. The home release animated film spawned a sequel that year.
The Invincible Iron Man
In this origin tale, Tony Stark (Marc Worden) uses his billions to unearth an ancient Chinese city. The only problem? He also unleashes some ancient Chinese bad guys as well, and must build a suit of armor to combat them in this 2007 direct-to-DVD film.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Tony Stark goes back to high school in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, the super fun take on the hero that aired from 2009 to 20012.
The Super Hero Squad Show (2009)
Iron Man has never cracked so many jokes -- and that’s saying quite a bit -- as in The Super Hero Squad Show. The uber-cartoonified versions of Marvel heroes find themselves in funny and lighthearted situations in the series, which began airing in 2009.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Iron Man takes the lead in the Disney XD series, which sees him track down escaped supervillians with the help of Ant-Man/Giant-Man, Thor, the Hulk, and the Wasp, and other heroes. The show ran from 2010-2012.
Iron Man showed up in Ultimate Spider-Man to give the young web head his own suit of armor (pictured). That’s what friends are for, if your friends happen to be billionaire inventors.
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
Iron Man (Matthew Mercer) goes rogue and is hunted by the likes of Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye in the 2013 home animated release. But not to worry – he’s got his good pals on his side such as War Machine, Pepper Potts … and the Punisher? Hey, he’ll take allies where he can get them -- even when they are vigilante vets.
Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
Iron Man may have famously created Hulkbuster armor, but that doesn't mean he and the Hulk can't be buddies. The two team up for this 2013 animated film. Usually Hulk’s friends are cleaning up after his messes, but in this story the green monster helps Tony Stark defeat Iron Man tech run amok.
Every July San Diego becomes a geek mecca as lovers of film, television, comics and more all convene for Comic-Con. Here's some of the best costumes we spotted — from celebrities and fans alike. View gallery