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Saturday November 22, 2008 8:50 pm

Iron Man: Warmonger or American Hero?

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, Movies, Marvel Comics,


I finally got Iron Man on DVD the other day.  Whenever I get a DVD of a comic book movie I ALWAYS get the double disc set because of the extras.  I saw when I was ordering it online that this DVD had a history of the character in comics.  I love comics and I love history so this was a win-win situation. 

So I sat down one night and began watching the extras first before I even watched the film.  I saw the film in the theater, so I could wait until I saw the extras first.

The seven-part feature opened with Iron Man’s creator Stan Lee. He was talking about the origins of the character and he said that he wanted to create a super-hero that no one would like at first and then grow to love. He said he wanted to make him a weapons dealer and at that time with the Vietnam War, this type of job wasn’t popular.

With all due respect to Stan Lee, he truly is, as his nickname states “The Man”. The guy created numerous superheroes over the years and wrote tons of classic stories that are the basis for why we still read stories about these characters to this day. However, I don’t look upon a weapons dealer or maker as anything evil.

There has been a debate going on this country about whether guns kill people or people kill people. I tend to believe in the latter part of that sentence. I think a man will always find a way to kill another man. If someone truly wants to kill someone, they will use a gun, a knife, poison, a bomb, a bat, their car - whatever they can use or think of using. Some have used their bare hands to kill another human being. It’s sad, but I think that is the way it will always be. So to protect yourself and the ones you love, I believe in using the best weapon to protect yourself with.

In the “Iron Man” film, Tony Stark makes weapons. He soon discovers after he’s been captured by Islamic terrorists and that some of his weapons are making there way into the hands of terrorists and they are using them to kill innocent people. When Tony returns from captivity, he announces that Stark Industries will no longer be making weapons. Now, if I were in that situation, maybe I would have the same reaction as Tony, but it was not Tony’s fault that the terrorists got his weapons. In the movie, we find out that his partner Obadiah Stane was selling weapons to both the U.S. government and Islamic terrorists. But before he discovered that, Tony should not have felt that he was responsible for the deaths of innocent people.

Since the invention of the automobile, there have been millions of automobile accidents that have killed innocent people. Millions of people have died for years as a result of alcohol. Sometimes people have combined the two products and have caused death. Should the creators or makers of cars and alcohol feel guilty because people are not responsible when they drink or drive?

But war is not the answer. Violence never solved anything. War, what is it good for?  I say to you that war has given us as U.S. citizens freedom. We gained our freedom and created our own government after fighting a long and costly war with Great Britain. A civil war was fought in this country that resulted in the abolition of slavery. A war was fought that ended the threat of Nazism and imperial Japan. War and violence is unfortunately sometimes necessary.

So the character of Tony Stark, inventor and seller of weapons is a good man and not a warmonger just because he creates weapons.  The guy may be a jerk because of other things, but making a better weapon to kill more bad guys is a good thing.  In the end, he’s saving the lives of many innocent people. 



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