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.