Iron Man might be a one-of-a-kind hero in the Marvel Universe, but several major Justice League heroes have some striking similarities to the Avenger.
Thanks in no small part to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man has become one of the most popular superheroes in the world. While the DC Universe have characters like Batman or other members of the Justice League who share several qualities with Tony Stark, none of them are exactly the same as Iron Man.
After all, as a genius inventor, billionaire playboy, bleeding edge futurist and hi-tech superhero, Tony Stark has it all--but he's far from the only hero to which those titles could apply. Now, we're taking a look at some of the DC Universe's closest Tony Stark counterparts and what makes them similar to the Armored Avenger.
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Debuting in 1939s Detective Comics #27 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, it's hard to think of Batman as filling any archetype other than the one that he originated. But upon closer inspection, its not hard to see the similarities between the Caped Crusader and Iron Man. After all, both characters are genius, billionaire playboy, philanthropists with a knack for inventing all sorts of crazy gadgets, and the similarities between them is especially apparent in their respective cinematic outigns.
Batman has even developed a few of his own Iron Man-esque suits for all sorts of occasions, like the Justice Buster seen in Endgame during Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Danny Miki's Batman run, or the Hellbat armor that debuted in the Robin Rises story arc of Batman and Robin by Peter Tomasi, Pat Gleason, and Mick Gray. Though, with Batman's more extensive history, an argument could be made that Iron Man could be Marvel's version of the Dark Knight.
Even though he starred in his own movie, one of the lesser known entries on this list isJohn Henry Irons, a.k.a. Steel, created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove in Adventures of Superman #500. Much like Tony Stark, Irons is a genius-level engineer and former weapons designer who became disillusioned with the damage his inventions caused on innocent lives.
After his life was saved by Superman, he saw it as his duty to make his life mean something, especially in the wake of Supermans death at the hands of Doomsday. Designing a state of the art suit of armor, including homages to both the Last Son of Krypton and his own namesake, the legendary John Henry, this Man of Steel used his tech to protect his community and the world many times over, both on his own and as a member of the JLA.
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Created by Steve Ditko and first appearing in Charlton Comics Captain Atom #83 in a backup story by Ditko and Gary Friedrich, Ted Kord is the second character to operate as the Blue Beetle in comics history. While the other holders of the Blue Beetle mantle may have fantastic powers of their own, Ted is one of the smartest characters in the DC Universe and a self-made hero who used his intelligence and his wealth to make it as a crime-fighter.
Like Iron Man, Ted is an incredible inventor with a genius-level intellect that is often said to at least equal, if not surpass, that of Batman himself. His company, Kord Enterprises, is also one of the most prominent R&D companies in the DC Universe, rivaling other corporations like WayneTech or S.T.A.R. Labs. Plus, his bromance with Booster Gold could give the the MCU's Science Bros a serious run for their money.
The only non-genius on this list, Green Arrow, created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp in 1941s More Fun Comics #73, earned his spot as a worthy inclusion more for his personality and motivations than anything else. Like Tony Stark, Oliver was a selfish billionaire industrialist who went through a traumatic period of isolation--on an island, not a cave--that inspired him to make a difference in the world.
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Using a bow and high-tech arrows as opposed to a suit of armor, there is also something to be said for Green Arrows ingenuity when it comes to designing his weapons. And while the playboy schtick may only be an act for other characters, its an aspect of Olivers personality, much like Iron Man, that has gotten him into trouble more time than he can count.
The second man to call himself Mister Terrific, Michael Holt, created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake in The Spectre #54, is an Olympic decathlete, a self-made multi-millionaire, and the third smartest man on the planet. As a Tony Stark-level polymath with 14 different degrees in engineering, physics, mathematics, and more, Holts intellect makes him one of the most formidable heroes in the DC Universe and one of the JSAs most valuable members.
While he may not use that intellect to build suits like Iron Man or some of the other entries on this list, his skills as an inventor should not go unstated. His T-Spheres are so advanced that even Batman once stole his designs and the state-of-the-art mask of his own invention renders him completely undetectable and unrecordable to all times of machinery, which is an achievement that would even impress Tony Stark.
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Tristan Benns is a freelance writer, grad student, and lifelong geek. He's worked as a tutor, an editor, and even a salesman in a comic book store. If he isn't asking you about your feelings on the Oxford comma, he's probably asking you to name your favorite Green Lantern. Then he'll tell you why it should be Hal Jordan.
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