There is no other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has been more integral to its success than Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man. One could argue that Captain America is the moral core of the entire franchise, but without Iron Man there quite frankly wouldn't be an MCU, or at the very least it would look way different. Quite an impressive feat, considering that Iron Man was once considered a B-list hero in the Marvel Universe. The critical and financial success of the original Iron Man in 2008 ensured that Marvel could clear the path for Captain America, Thor, and all the other heroes who never had a real shot at capturing giant audiences like only movies can.
But while Iron Man's power over our real world is strong, his power in the fictional worlds of Marvel is insane. Not even the most advanced scientists in the world could come close to even the most primitive of Iron Man's armors. Their durability, firepower, and mobility are all off the charts to the point where Tony Stark, a human being without any natural superpowers, can take on foes far above his weight class. Tony Stark will do what he has to do to take them down. As I'll show here, Tony Stark is plenty dangerous even without a suit of metal. Pulling from both the comic books and the MCU, here are 17 things that make Iron Man TOO powerful.
17 He Can See The Future
Now, now, don't get me wrong. Iron Man is not sitting inside a tent with a crystal ball predicting the future of every Marvel character. But in terms of combat, Iron Man can predict what his opponents are about to do. If he has had enough time to record them that is. Tony Stark IS a futurist, after all.
MCU fans might remember in the climax of Captain America: Civil War, Captain America was dominating Stark in hand to hand combat before Tony's armor analyzed his fight pattern in order to predict his next attack. But in the original comic, it goes one step further. In that comic, Stark says that his armor has recorded every punch Cap has thrown since they've been partnered. Exaggeration? Maybe, but this is paranoid Tony Stark. I wouldn't put it past him.
16 He Once Ran S.H.I.E.L.D.
Tony Stark obviously loves being the center of attention and controlling the most amount of power possible. He truly believes that he's the best answer to solve the world's problems, and at one point in the comics, he was put into the role where he was given a chance to prove it.
The aftermath of the original comic Civil War was quite different than the film. In the comic, Captain America is captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tony Stark is named the director of the organization. Stark's time was anything but smooth, as The Incredible Hulk came back to Earth after being sent away by Stark himself and wreaked havoc on New York City. Stark's failure to prevent an invasion by the Skrulls led to none other than Norman Osborn becoming director. Guess Stark can fail in leadership after all.
15 Runs On 100% Clean Energy
While it is debatable whether or not Iron Man is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, he certainly is in the discussion. This is largely because he has invented things that other brilliant minds, including Black Panther and Hank Pym, couldn't wrap their head around. I'm talking, of course, about Tony's arc reactor technology.
Okay, so technically it wasn't Tony who invented the technology (that was his father Howard). But it was Tony who adapted and miniaturized it. Since its creation, Tony has used it to power his armors and now recent armors have used multiple reactor cores. For comparisons' sake, even Doctor Doom in the regular Marvel Universe still uses nuclear power. Iron Man is so smart that he is decades ahead of everyone else.
14 Keeping Up With A God
Wow... the first Avengers movie is now six years old. After breathing that in for a second, let's revisit a classic fight from the early days of the MCU that many people might have forgotten about; Thor vs Iron Man, A.K.A. Shakespeare in the Park. Leave it up to Stark to duel a god and live.
Now to be fair to the God of Thunder, there are a couple of advantages that Tony had in his fight with Thor. After Thor hit Iron Man with lightning from his Mjolnir, Tony's power capacity rose up to 400%. With this newfound power, Tony was able to keep up with a god who has spent centuries becoming the finest warrior in all of Asgard. While he never came close to beating Thor, Stark was able to get a few good hits on him and dodge some devastating strikes.
13 One Man, Many Suits
Casual fans might not have realized it, but in every movie featuring Iron Man, there has been at least one new armor shown off. In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony will be in the high 40s with the number of suits he's built. While most of them were destroyed at the end of Iron Man 3, let's take a second here and analyze just how crazy those suits were.
Let's start with Mark 40, a.k.a "Shotgun." This armor was designed for traveling at tremendous speed and as such can go up to over Mach 5 speed. This remains, to date (this is before Infinity War, mind you), his fastest suit. Next up is the Mark 37 armor codenamed "Hammerhead." This suit was made for underwater exploration and can withstand the pressures of the deepest water systems on the planet. Say what you will about him, but Iron Man had a plan for everything.
12 Bleeding Edge Armor
The threat of Thanos and his Black Order in Avengers: Infinity War means that everybody has to be at the top of their game in order to save the universe from his giant purple hands. You know what that means for Tony Stark: a brand new armor. This one is called the "Bleeding Edge" armor. Allow me to explain why.
After Thanos punches Iron Man down in the trailer, this armor looks like it won't help a bit. Unlike other Iron Man armors, the Bleeding Edge is stored inside of Tony Stark himself. This the evolution of the Mark 42 armor which allowed Tony to summon his suit from anywhere. Not only that, but if the suit sticks to its comic counterpart it means that there are cameras all around his body and that he has new weaponry not seen in other armors.
11 Endo Syn Armor
Tony Stark means well and truly wants to help the planet, but in reality, he often makes decisions that endanger the lives of everybody. And that's him when he's trying to help! What happens when you take those morals off and let an evil Tony Stark loose on the world? You get the ridiculously overpowered Endosym armor.
Let's list off the advantages of this armor. Stark can summon this suit in parts from anywhere via the power of thought, it can buff up its mass to become a Hulkbuster like size, and most insanely of all, it can also fire repulsor blasts so powerful they can knock out Havok. Keep in mind that Havok's whole thing is absorbing energy and is REALLY good at it. It can also tank lightning blasts from Storm.
10 Can Never Truly Perish (Lives As An A.I.)
For as advanced as his engineering prowess is, Tony Stark, as far as I know, has not been able to achieve immortality. However, he has ensured that he won't ever perish in a certain sense. For you see, Tony Stark will always live on as an A.I. This seems like something that could easily happen in the MCU as well.
At the end of Civil War II, Tony Stark was left in a coma at the hands of Captain Marvel. But always having a backup plan, Tony uploaded his consciousness onto a device that was sent to Riri Williams. This teenage woman had a knack for engineering and Tony wanted to mentor her and ensure that she was doing things the right way (according to him at least).
9 Beat The Forces Of Magic
The beauty of superhero comic books is that they often interject themselves into classic mythological stories to varying degrees of success. One of the most successful times that this was pulled was in the 1980s in the Doomquest storyline, where Iron Man and Doctor Doom traveled back in time to Camelot and the time of King Arthur.
In this storyline, Iron Man sided with King Arthur to take down the sorceress Morgan La Fey and Doctor Doom. Iron Man leads King Arthur's knights into battle against the Doom-led army of undead soldiers and comes out on top even managing to defeat the ultra-powerful La Fey. The story then concludes with Iron Man and Doom combining their tech to form a time machine which sends them home. Aren't comics fun?
8 Can Deal With The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk is the most physically dominant Avenger in the MCU. It also is a giant problem then that when he gets out of control he is near impossible to stop. Thor is the only one who has a prayer against him without any "help." But when he isn't available, Tony Stark is ready to do the unenviable job of bringing down the Hulk.
As the name implies, this armor is made to deal with the Jade Goliath himself. He can do this, of course, thanks to one of his most impressive inventions the Hulkbuster armor. Although much slower than his other armors, its immense strength and durability allowed Tony to subdue the Hulk. I don't know where you stand on the Sokovia Accords, but I sure want Iron Man protecting me more than any other Avenger with that armor.
7 Create The Best Virtual Reality
While Tony Stark made his name and fortune on military weaponry, it isn't the only thing he knows. Yes, he has made dozens of mechanical armor suits that can take down the most dangerous of foes, but when he puts his mind to it, he can build one heck of an augmented reality system.
People often misremember memories from long ago. A potential flaw with this program perhaps?
Codenamed B.A.R.F. (he is still working on the name), this technology allows the wearer to sync up the section of your brain that stores long-term memories to a pair of glasses. The purpose behind the technology is for people to deal with traumatic memories. Not everybody would do this in front of their alma mater, but Tony Stark never does anything small.
6 Created Ultron
This entire slide is sort of a backhanded compliment because it came out from Tony Stark's ego and paranoia, but it still is an impressive feat. Unlike in the original source material where it was Hank Pym that created this robotic foe, Iron Man, in fact, was the one responsible for creating the menace known as Ultron.
If only Ultron wasn't a psychopath with no regard for life, it would be Stark's greatest invention.
Designed initially to be a global peacekeeping robot, Ultron came to the realization that the Avengers were the biggest problem that needed to be removed from the equation. Ultron was powerful enough to break JARVIS into pieces, project his code into other bodies, and built an entire Vibranium body for himself. Too bad he's dang-nasty evil.
5 He Can Survive In A Vacuum
As cool as it would be to fly through space, if you do it without any superpowers you would perish from lack of oxygen and the pressure of space expanding your body to immensely painful proportions. Thankfully, if you're Tony Stark, you're prepared to even go out in outer space.
In both the original Marvel Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Stark has created suits to allow him to travel through space just like the Silver Surfer or other cosmic heroes. In the MCU, he developed the Mark 39 "Starboost" armor designed for traveling in deep space. And in the comics, Stark joins the Guardians of the Galaxy at some point and develops a suit to travel through space in. This suit even has a "Saturn V" extension which allows him to land on moons and is massive. Space is simply Stark's next laboratory.
4 A Skilled Martial Artist
Everybody remembers the classic scene in the Avengers where Captain America confronts Tony Stark and questions who he is without the suit. Stark of course retorts with "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist." It turns out that Stark was underselling himself because he's actually a decent martial artist as well. I'm sort of surprised that Tony Stark didn't invent his own martial art.
In the original comic universe, Stark realizes that it'd probably be wise for him to learn some hand to hand combat skills. As a result, he receives combat training from Captain America, Black Widow, and Black Panther. In the MCU, he hasn't had quite the teachers as those heroes, but he did get training from Phil Coulson and Happy Hogan. He's not going to be beating Winter Soldier sans armor anytime soon, but Tony Stark is still plenty strong without the armor.
Realistically, Tony Stark could probably develop software that would be able to translate any language on the planet with 100% accuracy if he wanted to. However, as Iron Man 3 showed us, he is Iron Man with or without the armor. To that end, Tony Stark can be his charming ball of ego and intelligence in multiple languages.
No matter where he is in the world, Stark needs to brag about himself.
Stark, through his time traveling the world, would have picked up knowledge in a few other languages aside from his native English. In Iron Man 2, we see him speak French to a prison guard who is keeping an eye on Whiplash. In the comics, Stark has also shown the ability to speak Japanese, Russian, German, and others.
2 Reaction Time (Mark III Tank Shot)
Back in 2008's Iron Man, Tony Stark's suits had yet to reach a point of ridiculous overpowered levels as they are now. Sure they were powerful, but it was much more reliant on Stark's own input and skill in the armor. That's where we get one of the original iconic scenes in the MCU where takes down some troublemakers in the Middle East.
After he handily takes care of some people threatening innocents, Stark is all set to leave when he gets blasted out of the sky by a tank. Once he lands, the tank readies up for another shot, but Tony manages to dodge out of the way once it was already fired. Tank shells fire at about one mile per second, so the fact that Tony was able to dodge that shows just how insane the mind of Stark acts.
1 Can Survive Nuclear Blasts
One of the greatest fears that people have had since World War II is getting obliterated by a nuclear bomb. Despite what films in the 1950s may have said, no amount of duck and cover is going to protect you from these poisonous scorchers. But Iron Man? Well, he thinks about beautiful women and fishnet stockings when he's going through a thermonuclear explosion.
As we can see from the panel above in 2008 comic storyline called "With Iron Hands," Iron Man was able to survive a nuclear explosion. The crazier part? He was the one who made the call to set it off in the first place. You have to have some giant cahones in order to think that your war suit is going to survive that. But as we saw and will continue to see, Tony Stark is always supremely confident in his abilities.
There's a lot of great stories about Spider-Man the MCU could pull from, but you can't tell them until he's older.