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The Best Iron Man Storylines in Comics

List RulesVote up the Iron Man comic book story arcs every fan must read

Before 2008, Iron Man comic books weren't all that popular, or at least Iron Man was not a stand out. Well, after RDJ got his hands on him that changed in a big way. There are a ton of great Iron Man storylines, some of which have been realized on the big screen, like Extremis and Iron Monger, but some of the best Iron Man story arcs can only be found in the books.

If you find yourself Iron Man-curious, but don't know where to jump in, you're not alone. It can be very overwhelming to try to figure out where to begin with 50+ years of history, and who wants to start at the very beginning? That's a lot of work.

Fortunately for you, what follows is a list of the 20 best Iron Man stories, a number of which are good starting points, as Tony, like all characters has had no shortage of reboots.

You might also enjoy the top War Machine comic books!

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  • Photo: Marvel Comics / Marvel Comic Store

    Demon in a Bottle is, not surprisingly, a tale of Tony's struggle with alcoholism. When this was written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton in the '70s, it was absolutely groundbreaking for taking on such a monumental issue in the panels of a comic book. Today, it remains quintessential to the character, and much of the storyline was adapted to Iron Man 2, including the introduction of Justin Hammer. It is a seminal work in Tony Stark's canon.

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  • 2
    188 VOTES
    Photo: Marvel Comics / Marvel Comic Store

    The Confession is one of the best storylines within Civil War. A repentant Tony laments the actions he took in his pursuit of Superhero Registration that resulted in the death of his friend Steve Rogers. There is even a little redemption for Tony in this, whose actions throughout Civil War were sometimes questionable. Written by comic book superstar Brian Michael Bendis, The Confession is a must read.

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  • 3
    56 VOTES
    Photo: Marvel Comics / Marvel Comic Store

    Bob Layton and David Michelinie's Doomquest falls somewhere between Armor Wars and Demon in a Bottle - more substantive than the former, but a lot wackier than the latter. Iron Man and Doctor Doom are sent back in time (because magic) where they take opposite sides of a legendary battle, Tony joining forces with King Arthur and Doom with the sorceress Morgan le Fay. That's probably all you need to hear to appreciate the totally nanners nature of this story arc, but it's so fun that it must be read. Plus, it establishes the rivalry between Iron Man and Doctor Doom more so than any other storyline.

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  • 4
    91 VOTES
    Photo: Marvel Comics / Marvel Comic Store

    Deliverance is a very interesting and unique comic book tale because there's very little comic book-y-ness in it. Tony doesn't put on the Iron Man armor at any point in this story arc as his foe is addiction. (Don't worry, Rhodey dons the suit so there is still action.) In this story, Tony finds himself drinking on the snowy streets of New York with a homeless pregnant woman who dies shortly after he helps her give birth. It's an intense story at the end of which Tony makes the heroic decision to fight his addiction. Deliverance was a courageous piece of work by Denny O'Neil, and it paid off.

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