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Don’t Make Iron Man the Center of Your Universe, Marvel

All-New All-Different Marvel. Spider-Man as a mascot is out! Iron Man is IN! He’s the center of the universe, but now like for real! He’s front and center in the new promo images, he’s got a top writer on his flagship book. It’s a big deal.

And I think it’s horrible.

Yes, I know they’re doing it because he’s the most recognizable character in the MCU, the editor-and-chief said as much. Don’t get me wrong, I like Iron Man enough. He’s a solid character chock-full of potential story ideas, but I wouldn’t base the universe around him. Here’s why.

Why not just make Iron Spider the mascot? Problem solved.

He’s a Dick

He’s a dick! I mean, yes, in his heart of hearts he wants to be a good guy, but he’s a dick! It’s the core of his character, just as Cap is the “ideal” man of super moral fiber. It’s that dichotomy that makes their “friendship” so interesting. You can’t un-dick Tony, that just wouldn’t be Tony.

So is this really the character you want to base a universe on? I mean, it’s fine to have him in it, but to make him the foundation? The corner stone? That’s the tone you want to set for your everything? It’s a bit of an odd choice because it’s more than his dickishness, it’s…

He’s Not that Inspiring

DC is built on the back of Superman. Sure, Batman is more marketable, but the universe has Superman as its base. You think Superman you think DC. Sure, he’s not the most compelling, but he’s inspiring. He’s the original, base concept of a superhero.


Spider-Man, for all his shenanigans, is approximately the same way. He represents the desire to strive forward, to fix past by building a better future. And, as corny as it sounds, to “not give up”. Yick, I know, but it’s true. It’s the message.

Tony is building a better future, by infinite progress no matter the cost. It’s an interesting character study, but not really an ideal to have represent your company. If it’s money that you’re worried about, well I’ve got some bad news for you there too.

Iron Man isn’t that Relatable

So a guy with vague spider-ish powers is more relatable than a smart guy? Yeah buddy. See, while Peter Parker is no longer that naive, idealistic teenager, he still speaks to all of us. He still deals with money issues, he still gets the flu, he still struggles with relationships and with his job. Sure, he’s got all these spidery power-related troubles, but at the end of the day he’s still one of us. He’s still human.

This basically sums it up

Tony Stark is, more than most other superheroes, a power fantasy. We love to see him outwit someone. We love to see his plan come together, to see what else he builds next. He’s always the most clever, the most smooth, the ideal “cool guy”. We want to be Iron Man. We are Spider-Man.

This is different than Superman, DC’s mascot and another “ideal” character. Superman is something to strive for. Time and time again we’re shown what actually being Iron Man would be less than ideal. So we basically have this witty, ambitious, dick-ish character, the kind of guy you’d like to hang out with, but could never really see yourself becoming friends with, as the face of your new universe. Great.

Look. Marvel. I get that there’s money involved, “brand synergy” whatever, but the comics have been here long before the MCU and they’ll be here long after. Think long term. Take a chance. Please.

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  • Kevin Dempsey

    I completely agree.

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