Welcome to the first installment of The Marvel Report’s MCU Retrospective! We’re just months away from the highly anticipated film, Doctor Strange. This weekly article series will cover every MCU film in order as a countdown, all the way to Doctor Strange’s November 4th release. To get you ready, TMR is using the Time Gem to travel back in time to where it all started! So strap yourselves in and join us.
My connection to comics and the MCU is a journey that started many years ago. Like anyone who reads Marvel comics, the idea of seeing the characters make the leap from the colorful pages to the big screen was merely a dream. Flash-forward to present day and we now have numerous major and minor characters in not one, but several movies.
In 2008, The MCU (before it actually became known as the MCU) took a huge risk in launching what would later be known as one of the best Marvel movies in history: Iron Man. Jon Favreau’s 2008 blockbuster hit, Iron Man not only catapulted Robert Downey Jr’s career to new heights but also paved the way for other superhero flicks of its kind. The latter is quite impressive considering at the time, there weren’t a whole lot of superhero films.
Like many comic book heroes, the character Iron Man was barely on anyone’s radar before Favreau’s movie. Aside from the moderately successful 1994 cartoon series, the snarky billionaire playboy wasn’t well-known to audiences who haven’t who haven’t read the comics. Nonetheless, his importance in Marvel’s ingenious plan was still crucial.
Iron Man was created way back in 1963. As one of the founding members of the Avengers, his popularity only continued to grow in the comics world. But again, outside of the comics, not many people knew of him and because of this. Favreau had the difficult task of how to introduce the character to a wider audience.
The film had a lot to carry on its shoulders. Not only was it an origin story but also a film that would set an ambitious plan in motion for many years down the line. Iron Man was intended to be one-part stand-alone while also laying out the groundwork for a much larger cinematic universe. Fortunately for Marvel (and its many fans), it succeeded on both fronts.
The plot of the flick itself was far from extraordinary but it still gained success at the box office thanks to one man: Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. The backbone of Iron Man is RDJ’s magnificent performances. Unlike other superheroes on the silver screen, Downey added more depth to Tony Stark and vice-versa. You could say both quirky, wise cracking personalities are intrinsically connected. This won over even the most skeptical of critics. Iron Man’s success later spawned two more sequels as well as cameos in several other Marvel Studios films. To this day, RDJ remains one of Marvel Studios’ popular actors and will once again be seen in Spider-Man Homecoming before coming back in Avengers: Infinity War and we cannot wait to see how those films expand the universe.