Young Meet Old
The Moment: The Avengers pluck Tony’s younger self out of the past and bring him to the present when they discover that Iron Man has been corrupted by Kang the Conqueror.
As Seen In: The Crossing storyline
Why It's Cool: It’s two Tonies! Together!
If It Had Been Batman: Batman would refuse to listen to his younger self – who values the opinion of a spoiled rich bat, ahem, brat ?
Iron Man Vs Obadiah
The Moment: Iron Man scraps with Iron Monger in the streets, in the sky and on rooftops in a bruising fight scene that’s as much about the iron fisticuffs as it is the relationship between the guys throwing the punches.
As Seen In: Iron Man (2008)
Why It's Cool: It’s a moment right out of the comics, brought to thrilling Technicolor life by some Hollywood clever clogs.
If It Had Been Batman: There would probably be less car-crunching – Batman can’t lift cars over his head like this, can he?
The Moment: SHIELD seizes control of Stark Industries, while three hostile agents decide to bump off Tony.
As Seen In: ‘ At the Mercy of My Foes Friends!’ Iron Man #118
Why It's Cool: The stakes are seriously high in this vintage issue – not least when the agents turn on Nick Fury himself.
If It Had Been Batman: Batman against the Justice League? Bring it.
The Moment: Things don’t look good for Tony when Obadiah (Jeff Bridges) walks into his home, stuns him with an ultrasonic buzzer, then steals his arc reactor right out of his chest.
As Seen In : Iron Man (2008)
Why It's Cool : It’s a disturbing example of just how reliant Tony is on his chest-piece.
Plus Bridges gets the chance to do a bit of villainous gloating. Win.
If It Had Been Batman: Obadiah would steal Alfred instead.
The Moment: Things don’t get rougher or darker (apart from maybe the Demon In A Bottle arc) for Tony, who’s armour-less and alone after his drinking buddy unexpectedly dies.
Bleak as hell.
As Seen In: ‘Deliverance’ Iron Man #182
Why It's Cool: Watching Tony Stark getting kicked into the mud shouldn’t be this entertaining, but seeing him so downtrodden is exactly what we need to remember that this playboy isn’t always about the jokes.
If It Had Been Batman: It would be a storyline in which lover Julie Madison carks it and Bruce Wayne turns to the drink in grief.
The Moment: War Machine (Don Cheadle) crashes Tony Stark’s increasingly-out-of-control party.
See, the playboy’s drunk and wearing his Iron Man armour…
As Seen In: Iron Man 2 (2010)
Why It's Cool: Not only is it a tense stand-off between Iron Man and War Machine, it also involves destroying half of Tony’s house. Nice.
If It Had Been Batman: We’d be watching the end of Batman Begins, where Wayne Manor is turned into a smoking ruin.
The Moment: Iron Man breaks up Loki’s assault on German civilians, making an entrance (naturally) to the sounds of AC/DC.
His opening line? “Make your move, Reindeer Games.”
As Seen In: Avengers Assemble (2012)
Why It's Cool: It’s Tony, AC/DC and a guffaw-inducing one-liner all within the space of a few seconds.
If It Had Been Batman: He’d have ridden in to the tune of ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’.
The Moment: Stark’s Iron Man designs are pinched and sold on the black market, forcing him to break international law and go after them – no matter what the cost.
As Seen In: ‘The Armour Wars’ Iron Man Vol. 1 #215-232
Why It's Cool: It heavily influenced the plot of Iron Man 2 (to varying degrees of success) and kick-started one of the Iron Man comics’ most important storylines – the danger of Stark’s design if it falls into the wrong hands.
If It Had Been Batman: Forget Batman, this is more Spider-Man’s territory: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Out Of Control
The Moment: Stark’s sentient Iron Man suit goes on the run from the military (stay with us), leading to some of the coolest Iron Man battles ever put down on the page.
As Seen In: Iron Man: Hypervelocity #1-6
Why It's Cool: It’s basically a Hulk comic starring Iron Man – that’s how big-scale the carnage is. Epic.
If It Had Been Batman: Batman’s attempt to bring down his own suit would result in an existential crisis and lots of grumbly musings over his identity. Does the suit maketh the man?
The Moment: Stark’s father speaks from beyond the grave on an old reel of film.
“My greatest creation is you,” he says. Pass a tissue, won’t you?
As Seen In: Iron Man 2 (2010)
Why It's Cool : It’s a touching little moment that reminds us Tony’s a human, at the bottom of it all.
If It Had Been Batman: There would be far more tears.