Why Iron Man’s most controversial story was too dark for MCU

Marvel’s Armored Avenger Iron Man had a classic story that defined him for years in the comics, but which was considered too dark for MCU.

Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Iron Man in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe helped make the actor the face of the franchise. The early critical and economic success Iron Man films, as well as the subsequent films that led to Avengers, helped usher in the adaptation of several other Marvel characters and laid the foundation for what was to become the golden age of superhero movies.

The way the MCU did this was by sticking to a tried and tested formula to dominate the block office for more than a decade, and never straying too far away from what had worked in the past. While this has worked for many characters, including Iron Man, it has led to the exclusion of one of the character’s defining stories: “Demon in a Bottle” (by David Michelinie and Bob Layton and illustrated by John Romita, Jr., Bob Layton, and Carmine Infantino). The story centered on Tony Stark’s struggle with alcoholism, a serious topic that would not fit into the family-friendly appeal that MCU sought.


Related: How Runaways’ evil parents shut down Iron Man’s second company


“Demon in a Bottle” revolves around Tony Stark’s fight against alcoholism. The story spanned nine topics and saw Stark hit rock bottom after a series of malfunctions in the Iron Man armor caused several tragedies, including the death of an ambassador, and Tony was forced to resign as leader of the Avengers. The stress caused Stark to drink his problems away, even after the main villain of the story, Justin Hammer, was defeated. When his loyal butler Jarvis confronted him with his problems, Stark struck out, prompting the butler to resign and sell his shares in Stark International to SHIELD. Tony eventually got help from his girlfriend Bethany Cable, who helped him beat his addiction and reconcile with Jarvis, becoming both a better man and a stronger hero in the process.


“Demon in a Bottle” was a milestone for Tony Stark as a character and a significant development in the superhero genre as it tackled a very controversial and mature theme: addiction. Many great Iron Man stories would later refer to the classic tale as it would add a dimension to Tony’s character, and the threat of a further relapse is a more dangerous threat to him than any villain. The significance of the arc and how it defined Iron Man in the years to come makes it even more surprising that the arc was not adapted to the MCU. The speculation that the story was eventually made for the silver screen was ripe before the first Iron Man the film was released, especially when Robert Downey Jr. was cast in the title role back in 2008. Before kl. Iron Man, Downey had a very public battle with drug abuse that damaged his career before MCU threw him back into the Hollywood spotlight. The news of his cast over a decade ago made it seem very likely that the actor had taken the role out of kinship for Tony Stark’s own struggle with addiction, yet this aspect of the character was only hinted at on the screen.


Related: Captain America revealed the one thing Iron Man got right during Marvel’s Civil War


Downey’s Stark is seen drinking through the first two Iron Man film, and when we first see the character, he casually enjoys several glasses of Scottish. IN Iron Man 2 (who has Justin Hammer as the villain), there is a scene where Stark holds a house party with several guests while drunk and wearing the Iron Man armor before being confronted by James Rhodes, who takes the suit off him. But despite a scene where Stark enjoys a glass of Scottish while confronting Loki in 2012’s The Avengers, Disney’s acquisition of Marvel seemed to roll back on that Stark was a great drinker. In an interview, Shane Black hinted that he was thinking about the possibility of exploring Tony’s descent into alcoholism in the third film, but was persuaded by Disney to sway away from that direction and instead let Tony be an eccentric genius suffering from PTSD. .


“Demon in a Bottle” is a classic Marvel story and has defined Iron Man’s character in comics for decades. However, the mature themes of the story would create a conflict with the family-friendly character of the mainstream MCU and could easily have been abused in the early days of the cinematic universe. Still, the adaptation of the story could have been a bold attempt to offer the audience something other than the usual superhero award on the big screen. Given that the MCU has been met with criticism from some for being too “formal”, to see it experiment and take risks with a story that revolves around a real addiction that millions around the world suffer would with in all likelihood have pushed the boundaries of what stories the MCU can tell.


Keep reading: Marvel is proving why Ultron is not its most dangerous killer robot

Marvel's Captain America and Iron Man attack

Marvel proved why SHIELD’s worst mistake was … Captain America and Iron Man?


About the author

Follow us on Google News

Disclaimers for mcutimes.com

All the information on this website – https://mcutimes.com – is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. mcutimes.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (mcutimes.com), is strictly at your own risk. mcutimes.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.

Give a Comment