Warning! This article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #3 Iron Man isn’t just one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters in recent memory, he’s also one of the most significant to the wider Marvel mythos. And now, that level of significance has just been increased, as his new title exposes Iron Man’s real importance to Marvel lore.

Tony Stark became Iron Man out of necessity, as it was either build an iron suit to both keep himself alive and escape from his imprisonment, or die. However, remaining Iron Man was a choice, one that redefined the entire landscape of the Marvel Universe. Iron Man was a founding member of the Avengers, he was a director of SHIELD, and he even helped write a new chapter in Marvel Comics canon by effectively starting the first superhuman Civil War. Iron Man shapes the world around him with every passing storyline and universe-wide event, both in-canon and in real life. And, according to Captain Marvel, Iron Man’s just done so again, as he’s just been named ‘the original transhuman’.

Iron Man Is A Critical Step In Human Evolution In Marvel Lore

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In a preview for Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #3 by Ann Nocenti and Paolo Villanelli, Carol Danvers finds herself trapped within a pocket dimension, in which she encounters some kind of unidentifiable life form that seems to be a human/machine hybrid. When Captain Marvel begins to question that hypothesis, she notes that she has a friend who’s a mix of man and machine: Iron Man. Then, upon thinking about it further, Captain Marvel outwardly asserts that Iron Man is the first ‘transhuman’, essentially calling him Marvel’s first cyborg and the bedrock on which the evolutionary structure that led to this character’s existence was built.

In terms of Marvel’s in-canon history, it’s arguable that Iron Man was the first ‘transhuman’ in existence. However, what’s unarguable is the fact that he was the first ‘transhuman’ in Marvel Comics’ real-world history. This is incredibly interesting, as it posits Iron Man as a key step in human evolution, even arguably as a precursor to the likes of Vision’s true AI, or even the Children of the Vault’s artificially manipulated hyper-evolution. Tony Stark originally merged his flesh with mechanics to keep himself alive, and then continued to integrate more and more aspects of ‘Iron Man’ into his human form. He’s not fully merged with mechanics the way DC’s Cyborg is, but Iron Man is definitely the first step in that evolutionary direction in Marvel canon, making his new title incredibly fitting.

This new title brands Tony Stark as a step on the ‘evolution of man’ diagram for the Marvel Universe, which is something that’s infinitely more important to the wider mythos than simply being a superhero, which is why Iron Man’s new title exposes his real importance to Marvel lore.

Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #3 by Marvel Comics is available September 13, 2023.

By mrtrv