Judgment Day Proved Iron Man Greatest Strength

Tony Stark has always been one of Marvel’s most complicated characters. A man with good intentions, yet enough flaws that they offset his attempts at good. A hero to many, but to those who know him, easily one of the most narcissistic and self-destructive people they’ve ever met. Yet, AX Avengers #1 (by Kieron Gillen, Federico Vicentini, Dean White, and VC’s Cory Petit) provided a bit more context on what truly makes him a hero.


A forced trip through the worst memories of his life analyzed why Tony Stark keeps trying. Eventually, it revealed that, despite everything he’s suffered, he will always keep trying because at the core of his being, he will never give up. That fact is what convinced the Progenitor that Tony passed his test, and more importantly, shines a light on a part of Iron Man that has long needed some credit.

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Iron Man Finally Faced Judgment

Tony Stark is arrogant at times, but it’s often countered by his desire to do good. The only problem is that a lot of the time he believes he is the only one capable of doing so. This has come back to haunt him more than once, most recently in the form of the Progenitor. While it is not entirely his fault this time around, he still had a hand in creating a god that is judging the entire Earth. It was only a matter of time then before the Progenitor turned its sights on Tony. As time passed during the test though, it became clear that the memories it was forcing Tony to relive weren’t just for the sake of sadism, it was a test of his character.

In judging someone, the Progenitor needs to see the choices they’ve made and how that informs the choices they made now. By forcing Tony to relive his worst memories, he wants to see if the machine can truly be broken. Despite all the horrific reminders of his failures, mistakes, and losses, Tony endured, and kept pushing through. He even gained a moment of closure, recognizing that he has flaws, but gaining greater context about where they come from. Most importantly, it helped solidify the one part of Tony that was always true: He never gives up.

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Tony Stark’s Greatest Strength

All the suits he’s made, all the attempts to protect and fix the world, right up until this moment, no matter how badly he screws up he learns from his mistakes and tries to do better. Tony may have arrogance and a huge ego, but it is tempered by his desire to build a better world for everyone than the one that forgot him. If he could turn out as well as he did in the turbulent upbringing he had, then he can only imagine the potential of those who would grow up in a better world.

It is this determination that convinced the Progenitor of Tony’s worthiness. This trait, however, is something that has always been true to Iron Man, but so rarely gets any acknowledgment. At the risk of sounding cliché, Tony’s greatest gift is that he never gives up. In the face of overwhelming odds where most people would surrender, Tony always helps find a way to fix things. He may not get it right every time, but he’s the only one willing to keep trying when everyone else has given up.

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