Unlike the Silver Surfer who was cosmic or Thor who was a god, Iron Man was relatable because he was just like you and me . . . kinda. Granted, he was far more wealthy. Probably smarter. And, sure, better looking. And, now that Robert Downey Jr. is playing Tony Stark, funnier and more witty as well. But, you get the point.
The reason Iron Man made it to my arguable number 2, but not number 1, was because of the one thing that made him Iron Man: his suit. A thing of engineering beauty, it offered full body protection, yet it was flexible and not bulky, and had an array of weaponry that would make a M1 Abrams tank jealous. Of course, its very complexity was also its weakness. Too many circuits, too many moving parts, and when you’re out just getting a few things at the grocery store . . . nada protection.
Drawbacks aside though, the Iron Man suits (and there are over 50 different versions according to some) are an engineering geeks dream. And, for those who take these things far more seriously than I do, quite expensive as well:
But for those of us who just like to geek out on the fictitious engineering Marvel (pun intended) that is Iron Man, here’s a video of the various on-screen versions of the Iron Man suit, both “suit ups” and “suit downs”: