12. Iron Man
Iron Man is a no-brainer, right? First created in 1963, Iron Man is now known better as Robert Downey Jr.
The billionaire Tony Stark is both a playboy and philanthropist. He’s the Batman of Marvel in a way and was the character Stan Lee developed when he thought of creating a capitalist superhero to touch on Cold War themes. This was the guy who showed that money could create power, but it should always be used wisely.
Tony Stark wasn’t just a ladies’ man in the comics. His issues were mostly read by females, which was surprising since most comic book fans have always been male. It’s not surprising that the movies have continued the pattern, with many women following the enigmatic billionaire.
Yet, Iron Man isn’t perfect. After all, Tony Stark is still human. The comics explore some of the more contemporary themes with this character. While it all started with the Cold War, it’s moved onto terrorism and corporate crime. It shouldn’t be surprising that the 2008 movie with Downey Jr. developed the initial Cold War setting and changed it to a Middle East War setting.
If you don’t like Tony Stark, that’s okay. Stan Lee knew that people wouldn’t like him. He was mean enough to push him onto people so much that they’d be forced to love him. And that’s what’s happened with many.