Celebrating His Birthday: Robert Downey Jr’s Best Iron Man Moments

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F E A T U R E – E N T E R T A I N M E N T

Tasnia Shahrin

Can you imagine Tom Cruise or Hugh Jackman as Tony Stark as they were initially considered to play the role of Iron Man in MCU? I cannot. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you know how absurd it is for us to imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man. As one of the most well-known and talented actors in Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr. has taken on many amazing roles and Iron Man is one of them. All thanks to Jon Favreau, who saw something in him that made him fit for the role, RDJ has made this witty superhero one of our most favourites.

Marvel’s Avengers is one of the most successful film franchises in the world, and being the first one to kick-off its journey was no trivial task! All thanks to Robert Downey Jr.’s striking charisma and outstanding performance that made Iron Man has become one of today’s most recognisable superheroes. Since Iron Man has been a part of this franchise from the beginning, his character arc has had many opportunities to develop and it can also be claimed that the hero, in many ways, has been the glue that has held the whole franchise together.

On the occasion of Robert Downey Jr.’s birthday, we have listed down some of the Iron Man’s iconic moments in the MCU.

  1. “I am Iron Man”

Iron Man is a highly satisfying origin story where something epic happens at the end. Stark was given the choice by S.H.E.I.L.D to keep his super powers a secret, yet Tony Stark does the most Tony Stark thing of all time: he tells the world outright that he is Iron Man. This obviously makes it a jaw-dropping moment to close the first chapter of the MCU.

2. Building the first Iron Man suit

The moment when Tony reveals his plans for the first Iron Man suit is quite iconic as the audience finally gets to imagine it with him. In the cave, even if he prepared the Jericho Missile for the attackers, he still would not be able to escape and that led him to think beyond the moment. He realised when he got out of the cave alive, he had a responsibility to change how his creations were impacting the world — which led to the birth of the first Iron Man suit.

3. Flying into space with a nuclear weapon for the sake of Earth’s survival

In Avengers, Tony’s life-risking sacrifice towards the end is definitely one of his many hero-moments. Remember when Steve said:

“I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I’ve seen the footage. The only thing you really fight for is yourself. You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.” 

Yeah well, Stark made him eat his words as he lets Captain America lead the team and prepares himself to give up his life for the safety of everyone.

For genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist who used to only care about himself, this was a pretty big deal. And this is just a glimpse of his level of sacrifice — as we all know, in the end of the phase 3, it gets more intense! 

4. The first trip to space

While the first Iron Man suit, constructed from a box of scraps in a cave was surely a triumph, it was the second suit that took things to the next level. Regarding this RDJ even stated in an interview,

“If the first suit was a tool, the Mark II was an identity, and when Tony took to the skies, everything changed.”

5. Fighting with the Winter Soldier AND Captain America at the same time

I do not know about you, but I was on Tony’s side during the whole Civil War fiasco. All Tony wanted to do was ensure that there was some sort of control and discipline, otherwise the Avengers, who were just a super-powerful group of individuals with no accountability, could do whatever they wanted to do. This eventually led him to battle with two super powered characters, which were also fan-favourites, and hence this scene is iconic.

6. “I just want peace”

The seizing of the shield from Captain America at the end of Civil War finally established the lurking animosity between Stark and Rogers. However, after returning the shield in Endgame, they forgave each other, and were once again able to work together as friends. 

7. Reunited with Peter

There are many Spiderman and Iron Man moments in the MCU that made our hearts melt. Tony was an excellent mentor to young Peter Parker. It was his memory that made Tony actually consider the proposed time-heist and help create the whole time-traveling machine in the first place. Hence, when he saw Peter again at the final battle, the hug they shared made all of us emotional.

Also, remember in Civil War, where Peter tried to hug him for the first time and Tony rejected the hug and said, That’s not a hug, I’m just grabbing the door for you?” Well, once they reunited, Tony was the one who initiated the hug which makes this moment really powerful.

8. Thanos vs Iron Man

Almost all the MCU characters had their moments with Thanos trying to take him down. But it was Stark who spent the longest time in the planet Titan fighting with him. The scene was thrilling as we saw Tony defending himself from the power of already acquired five infinity stones as well as the suns and moons thrown at him by the mad Titan! 

9. “I…am…Iron Man”

Starting and ending this article with Iron Man’s same dialogue said in two completely different situations, aim to show how unique his character arc was and how much he evolved. Iron Man’s bravest moment was the final snap. Using the infinity gauntlet against Thanos would result in certain death – yet he did it to save the whole world by sacrificing himself. His final speech revealed his true intentions from the beginning, as he said,

“I hope families are reunited. I hope we get it back, in somewhat like a normal version of the planet has been restored, if there ever was such a thing.”  

To conclude, everybody wants a happy ending, right? But it doesn’t always roll that way. Maybe this time. I’m hoping if you play this back… it’s in celebration. Happy 56th RDJ! Thank you for giving us Iron Man. We love you 3000.


Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time. She is also a part of TDA Editorial Team.


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