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Every other Tuesday in Storied, K. B. Hoyle explores the ways our cultural narratives act on us individually and in society as a whole.
Note from the Editor: This piece contains for real spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. It’s a wonderful article, but don’t complain to me if it spoils things for you.
Iron - Man
“I am Iron Man.”
These are famous words. They kicked off a 22-movie (and counting) franchise, they broke the mold of superhero storytelling, and they left a new generation of movie-goers anticipating the lives and actions of a universe of fictional characters. But for as many heroes as have been added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for all the important contributions these characters have made to the larger narrative, Tony Stark’s journey to embody Iron Man has remained the driving force behind the films. And now, after eleven years of intricately crafted Marvel storytelling, “I am Iron Man” have become famous words again—famous for being the last words spoken by Tony Stark as he takes the Infinity Stones onto himself and snaps Thanos and all his wicked works out of existence. Avengers: Endgame is a resurrection movie that hinges on the redemption saga of Tony Stark, and when he takes death onto himself so that everyone else may live, his words cause us to reflect on not just the end of his journey, but the beginning.
Tony - Stark - Robert - Downey - Jr
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) first speaks the words “I am Iron Man” in Iron Man 1 at a press conference. In doing so, he declares for himself a new identity and publicly takes on the mantle of the red-suited hero who, at that point in the story, is only known for smashing up a roadway and his own factory. Publicly, nobody in his world really knows who Iron Man is, and no one...
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