In the last couple of weeks it became official: Iron Man is one of the biggest and most popular superheroes of our time. Not so long ago the comic book heroes were resigned to live amongst the greasy thumbs and forefingers of the fanboys at Comic Kingdom, and flicker by the hypnotic stares of children every Superhero Saturday. For so long there was only room for Batman and Superman to rule the big screen, but new technologies paved the way for a web slinging teenager in a spider suit to make a lazy billion dollars every few years and it became only logical to give every hero and his superdog a chance at the big time. For every success – Bats, Spidey and the X-Men – there were more than a few misses; even Superman had a short lived revival. But in 2008 we had a new entry into the genre that would challenge the upper-echelons. Iron Man, well known in the comics but relying on the much more recognisable Robert Downey Jr to get the attention of the wider populace, starred in what was one of the best origins films ever made. And five years, three films and too many squillions of dollars later Tony Stark has become one of the most captivating, popular and simply entertaining characters out there. So what is it about this cocky, arrogant, entitled billionaire that makes him so great?
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