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14 Reasons Why Iron Man Is The Most Overrated Avenger

Updated April 14, 2020 12.7k votes 1.9k voters 53.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the things you're most likely to bring up in an argument with a hardcore fan.

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.

  • 5

    He Plays God Often, Never Learns His Lesson

    Tony Stark is a brilliant inventor. That cannot be denied. His technological genius is unparalleled in the Marvel universe and, for the most part, he generally uses his gift for good. However, Tony Stark is also one of the most arrogant and driven characters in the Marvel universe, and for that reason, he always pushes his technology too far.

    While Stark didn’t create Ultron in comic continuity, he’s had a suspicious number former suits gain sentience and rise against him. Seriously, after the like five of your outfits try to kill you, you'd think one would stop giving them the ability to think. Then there's his Extremis technology, which make his suit easier to access for him. It also has the unfortunate side effect of endangering all of humanity on numerous occasions. Just a minor setback for Iron Man, the worst Avenger ever.

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  • 6

    He Has A History Of Psychotic Breaks

    Believe it or not, Tony Stark is not the most... stable personality on the Avengers. While his struggles with alcoholism were a major problem in the past, Stark seems to have overcome them. However, this doesn’t mean he’s entirely psychologically healthy.

    He’s been known to snap on multiple different occasions. He dipped into fervent despotism in both the Civil War and Time Runs Out storylines, and he infamously tried to murder the Avengers and kill his teenaged self in The Crossing. Overall, Stark is pretty much a hot mess, clinically speaking. 

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  • 7

    Most Of His Villains Are Lame

    Almost every popular Marvel character has a strong rogues gallery, with the exception of Iron Man. Spider-Man has Doctor Octopus, Venom, and the Green Goblin. The X-Men battle Magneto, Apocalypse, and the Hellfire Club. Even Captain America has the Red Skull and Baron Zemo. 

    Iron Man, meanwhile, mostly faces off against Soviet versions of himself or racist caricatures like the Mandarin. Perhaps his greatest rival, the Iron Monger, was literally just a poorly-made knockoff of his own suit. Tony Stark is his own greatest enemy for multiple reasons. The most prominent, probably, is that all of his actual villains are super lame. 

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  • 8

    He Was A Part Of The Illuminati

    Almost every world leader (and rapper, for some reason) gets accused of being a part of the Illuminati at some point, but Tony Stark actually is. Even worse, he’s a founding member! Tony Stark, along with Reed Richards, Professor Xavier, and some other Marvel universe elites, formed the Illuminati in order to secretly and benevolently manipulate the world from behind the scenes.

    These world-shakers made some massive decisions without consulting anyone else, like declaring war on an alien race and shooting the Hulk into space to get rid of him (spoiler: neither of those things ended well). Is it any wonder the rest of the superhero community was pissed off when they found out about this secret, boys-only club? And was there ever any doubt that the ever-arrogant Tony Stark would fail to learn his lesson and start the group right back up again?

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