Warning! This article contains spoilers for Iron Man #17

The MCU’s Iron Man paid the ultimate price to save the universe in the film Avengers: Endgame, but in the comics, Tony Stark completely disgraced his MCU sacrifice. Iron Man is more powerful in the comics now than he has ever been in the past. While battling the villainous Korvac, Iron Man was bathed in Galactus’ cosmic energy, granting him godlike powers and transforming him into Iron God. While Iron Man is a known hero, highlighted in the MCU when he sacrificed himself to defeat Thanos and save the universe, he is using his newfound powers to massage his cosmic ego. 


In Iron Man #17 by Christopher Cantwell, Ibraim Roberson and Angel Unzueta, Tony Stark is dealing with the fallout of his actions in the previous issue where he made everyone in New York City as smart as him. Being a literal god on Earth, local and even national government representatives are clamoring to get a word in with Tony Stark, offering him advice, and basically just trying to tell him what to do with his immense power. Iron Man has a clear plan for how he wants to make the world a better place, and while at first he was open to criticism, he quickly becomes annoyed with everyone around him. Stark’s annoyance leads him to use his powers for reasons that are less than heroic in a manner which ruins the impact of his MCU sacrifice.

When the many voices surrounding and criticizing him become too much, Iron Man snaps his fingers and uses his godlike powers to make everyone in the city agree with everything he is doing. Iron Man is so sure that his plan for achieving world peace is the right one that he doesn’t even want to hear anyone say otherwise and creates millions of ‘yes men’ rather than listening to their concerns which achieves nothing more than massaging his own cosmic ego. Iron Man’s selfish and egotistical use of his cosmic powers spits in the face of his MCU counterpart who snapped his fingers while wielding cosmic power for the exact opposite reason. In Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man gets a hold of the Infinity Stones from Thanos and eliminates the villain and his army with the snap of his fingers, killing him in the process. The fact that Iron Man snapped his fingers in the comics to manipulate millions of people while the MCU version did so to save trillions proves how insulting Iron Man’s latest actions were to his MCU sacrifice. 

The main difference between these two versions of Iron Man, aside from his intent while pulling off a cosmically-powered snap, is the source of that cosmic power between the comics and the movie. In the film, Iron Man wields the Infinity Stones whereas his comic book counterpart is imbued with cosmic energies. In the comics, Iron Man was effectively turned into a god which may have something to do with his infinitely heightened ego compared to his MCU version, one which only held godlike power in his hand for a short time rather than being transformed into a godlike being. 

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Despite Iron Man’s spiraling mental state due to his exposure to cosmic energies, his actions in this issue are borderline villainous. Not only that, but doing such an immoral thing like mind control with the snap of his fingers just for the sake of his own ego disgraces the heroism Iron Man displayed with his sacrifice in the MCU. Iron Man went from hero to borderline villain in the comics just as he went from a hero to a legend in the MCU: with the snap of his fingers.

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