Before the theatrical release of Iron Man in 2008, Tony Stark was a bit of an also-ran when it came to Avengers. Sure, he was a founding member of the famous superteam, but his individual comics never sold particularly well. Frankly, he was pretty far down the list of popular Marvel characters. He was more Dazzler than Wolverine, if you catch the meaning. Great Iron Man storylines were few and far between, and almost no one would call him a fan favorite. Then, Robert Downey Jr. happened, and everything changed.
While Iron Man is now firmly entrenched as one of the faces of Marvel, that hasn’t necessarily changed anything in the world of comic books. Tony Stark is certainly featured more prominently in Marvel’s publishing (and marketing material), but that still doesn’t mean anyone actually likes him. Most comic fans still like to root against Tony, and with good reason. He’s easily one of the least likeable Avengers when it comes down to it, and his comic book iteration remains consistently egotistical and obnoxious. It’s time for fans to stop letting Iron Man coast on Robert Downey Jr’s affability and face what he really is: the most overrated Avenger of all time.
He's Super Arrogant
Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark is popular because of he is able to toe the line between lovable and frustrating. Sure he's arrogant, but he manages to make it endearing. While RDJ manages that fine distinction with precision, the comic book version of Iron Man falls firmly on the "annoying douchebag" side.
Tony Stark always thinks he knows best, not just for himself, but for pretty much everyone on the planet. He often tries to enforce his will on others and refuses to listen to anyone’s feedback, mostly because he sees himself as smarter than everyone else. He has an entire team of dedicated and compassionate superheroes to help him out, yet Tony insists on doing everything himself. He's basically Dr. Doom with a slightly better skincare regimen.
He's Frequently A D*ck To His Teammates
Although he helped found the team, Tony Stark has been mistreating his fellow Avengers pretty much since the beginning. Iron Man is bossy and controlling to the extreme, often frustrating his teammates with his constant need to be in charge of everything. It's doubly annoying since he almost never knows how to lead effectively once he takes power.
But honestly, that's kind of the best-case scenario. When he isn't trying to lead, Stark is outright mistreating his teammates by insulting their intelligence and meddling in their personal lives. Sure, Tony Stark lest the Avengers live in his mansion, but he also felt comfortable monitoring their every move. Not exactly “trusted leader” material.
He's Totally A Murderer
Superheroes aren’t really supposed to kill, as a rule. It kind of goes against the whole "good guy" thing. Sure, Captain America killed some Nazis, but that was war, and those were Nazis! While Iron Man generally preaches non-lethal intervention, he’s crossed the line himself on numerous occasions.
After all, you don't build a suit with rocket launchers and deadly lasers if you're not planning on using them. Most famously, Iron Man led a faction of Avengers that revenge-murdered the leader of the Kree after Operation: Galactic Storm. This, of course, led to one of the many schisms between Captain America and Iron Man. Iron Man just can't keep his murder-boner in his shiny metal pants.
He's Kind Of Terrible With Money
If we were to play a word association game with "Tony Stark," chances are that “rich” would be one of the first responses. Stark is nothing without his money, as it actually takes a lot of disposable income to maintain and upgrade a fleet of fighting robot suits. Who knew?
Despite this - and the fact that he basically solely funds the Avengers - Tony isn’t exactly careful when it comes to his finances or his company. Stark Industries, and Stark himself, have filed for bankruptcy on numerous occasions, and Tony has been the victim of more than a few hostile takeovers. He's just a guy that just keeps telling everyone how rich and great he is, while the reality is he's a terrible businessman with no idea how to spend money properly. To be fair though, that's apparently a legitimate path to success.