Every Sunday we bring you a new list of great scenes — we call this little series Scenes We Love. From the remembrance of Sundance’s of yesteryear to the best of Michael Bay’s movies, we’re always trying to share a bit of that movie-loving spirit through the moments that make these characters memorable. This week’s person of choice is Iron Man, a character that first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, Iron Man is the alter ego of billionaire Tony Stark. In his 50 years of existence, Mr. Stark has battled a lot of villains, wrestled with his own demons and had his share of feminine conquests (as any great playboy billionaire would). But his life on the silver screen has been only heating up as of late, propelled by Marvel Studios‘ choice to let Iron Man lead the way as their first film as an independent studio. They cast Robert Downey Jr., brought in Jon Favreau to direct, got Paramount to throw a good bit of money at it and the rest was history.
This week, Tony Stark will make his fifth film appearance since 2008. That is, if we include the post-credits scene in The Incredible Hulk. Of course we do. So even though it’s recent, his run on the big screen has been rather prolific and beyond entertaining. It’s the reason that we’ve chosen to single out the five scenes we love most from Iron Man’s five big screen appearances (and beyond) in a year when the metal-suited character turns 50.
5. The Jericho
Prior to any explosions or even Iron Man-ness in 2008’s Iron Man, Tony Stark walks into our life and flashes the kind of bravado that seemed to jump right off the page and into the body of Robert Downey Jr. It’s no wonder that director Jon Favreau used this scene to introduce 8,000 comic-loving nerds in Hall H at Comic-Con to Downey’s portrayal of Stark for the first time. They played the footage three times, at the crowd’s behest. Again, for good reason.
4. The Mark V Suit
Yes, Iron Man 2 was a bit of a bloated mess at times. But when it comes to Iron Man, what are we really looking for? The technology. The cool part of seeing Stark get into gear. All of that is captured perfectly on a race track in Monaco, where we meet our bad guy Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) for the first time. We also meet a classic piece of Iron Man tech: the Mark V suit that folds out of a suitcase.
3. Iron Man vs. Thor
Among the best things that director Joss Whedon accomplished with the spectacular Avengers film: finding a way to get all the characters to work well together on screen. He found a great path toward teamwork, an evolution that started with adversarial battles (as seen here between Iron Man and Thor) and ended with them banding together to save the world. This battle between Stark and the Thunder God delivers on many levels. There’s flashy effects, wit and strong character development. Also, how about Thor’s reaction to the head-butt, eh?
Only Tony Stark has the iron testicular fortitude to shit-talk a god.
1. Iron Man to the Rescue
It takes a little time for Iron Man to get moving with the action. We have to wade through Tony Stark’s imprisonment for a bit, see him go through the process of creating Iron Man’s iconic red suit and see him attend a few parties. But when it heats up, it heats up. It all culminates with him taking out a tank and pimping away. Now that’s an Iron Man scene.
Special Bonus: Iron Man of 1966
As a bonus, here’s a great find from our own Kevin Carr. A clip from Iron Man’s 1966 cartoon.
Double Special Bonus: The Ultimate Iron Man Trailer
From our friends at MovieClips.com, a trailer for the entire Iron Man film franchise. Excited for Iron Man 3? You should be.
What is your favorite scene from Iron Man’s big screen career?