Superheroes. Generally self-entitled, overly dramatic and extremely bloated (in their pocketbooks and their egos). Who the hell asked Batman to just start wasting trillions of dollars he could be putting towards cancer research and adopting homeless puppies into this idea that if someone is rich enough, and think they have good morals, then they can be above the law? Does anyone realize the sheer amount of damage these supposed superheroes create whenever they fight? Literally catastrophic damage that not only levels cities into cement dust, but also creates a catastrophic hole in the economy. Who pays when a superhero accidentally destroys a building or two during his pursuit of the bad guy? Something tells me Batman does not just have a quaint little mailbox with a bat logo on the side for the city to send all his bills to. So what does that mean? If I put on some spandex, get myself a cool name, and suddenly inherit $40 million, I can start saving the world, and ignore every law under the sun? You may think I hate superheroes, and that I go to every Marvel movie armed with rotten tomatoes to throw, but that is not true! I really do enjoy the idea of extraordinary humans who, whether from accidental science experiments, freak accidents, ancient mythology, or just pure athletic ability, are able to rise above the average and take into their own hands saving the lives of others.
But there is one.
One man, who, unlike the others who still have their issues (believe me, Batman really is no hero), is so completely unworthy of the title “hero” that he may no longer be allowed to stand on the glorious pedestal of effervescent praise. And that man is Anthony Edward Stark, also known as Iron Man. Not only is he mainly operating out of personal gain in everything he does (for example, letting Marvel film his personal life in order to get some product placement in), but he also manipulates everyone he meets. Look at poor Peter Parker, trying desperately to find a father figure in this supposed man of great accomplishment, but reduced to merely another puppet to demonstrate the vast abilities of Stark’s creations with the invention of the “spider” iron suit. But, not only is this man so extremely full of himself that even the other rich egomaniacs find it hard to work with him, but he is also truly someone who can never become a hero. And that is because of all the superheroes in Marvel, Iron Man/Tony Stark has the largest ecological footprint. A problem with the superhero identity is a person can start to leave all the consequences of their actions, all the long-term effects of certain choices they make, back on the ground while they blast off to go shoot a gregiosaurus. For example, Tony Stark knows full well (if he is as smart as everyone supposedly says he is) that the resources he is using to power and create everything that is “super” about him are all from non-renewable sources. Think about it – in one fight it is likely Stark takes significant damage to the suit he is wearing. Also, many of the extending pieces of his suit are ripped off by attackers, or have pieces that detach like tracking missiles. That means, first of all, that his suits need to be replaced at a very high rate, and second, that he is constantly littering debris from his various suits during battles. Also, as a man notorious for constantly trying to improve his inventions, Stark is constantly scrapping models of suits and their various parts as he is defeated over and over and needs suits with new defensive measures built in. And where do the various metals and synthetic materials found in these suits come from? Non-renewable resources. And how are these suits made? In high-tech labs that are so well-funded they can afford to scrap entire suits for the sake of creating one with a better cup holder. And oh, who are the majority of these suits built for? Oh yes, one specific man and his specific measurements. Also he hates sharing to begin with, but with regards to the Iron Man suits, Stark made it very clear he would not be sharing these designs with the government, much less anyone else. So then the idea of recycling these suits that are first of all made to fit one specific man, and second of all made in a hidden lab that is not just going to ship them to a local Goodwill, is completely preposterous. Tony Stark thinks he can continue to pollute and contaminate his earth, using materials that have zero renewable energy sources, and heading a company that not only supports, but greatly funds a mindset that does not take the future of our earth into consideration. Tony Stark truly is the all-encompassing rich playboy (sorry Pepper Potts) – oblivious to the cycle of waste and obsolescence he is instigating within his own inventions, showing not compassion, but blatant egocentrism as he goes about his days, thinking he can do whatever he wants because he is a “superhero.”
You may argue that without Tony Stark’s help, there would not even be an earth to save from the clutches of industries like coal and oil. But, how much did Iron Man really help? He is a man with no special talent, no special or unique physical or mental ability, merely a lot of money and an idea to combine artificial intelligence with an animatronic body armor. Sure he has aged extremely well and he could take me on a date in one of his fancy cars anytime, but does a man who acts purely out of self interest strike you as the hero type? How can someone who uses the excuse that “they save the world from supervillains, isn’t that enough?” truly save this planet, unless they start to think about the long-term effects of their apparent “superpower?”