Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, has been a mainstay of Marvel’s ever-expanding roster of superheroes since his introduction way back in 1963. A billionaire playboy who uses his genius and resources to fight bad guys and make the world a safer place, he was the comic book hero around whom Marvel Studios decided to build their sprawling cinematic universe.
Stark has had all kinds of adventures both on the page and on the screen, and the last time moviegoers saw him, he was sacrificing his own life to finally defeat Thanos the Mad Titan. It was an archetypal Christ-like conclusion to his decade-long arc, one which wrapped up up the story of a selfish rich man who learned to become a hero.
Over in the comics, meanwhile, the absolute opposite is happening: Stark has just learned that he is the literal Antichrist.
The current Avengers run has seen Tony Stark embarking on an adventure through time, trying to unravel the mystery of an Iron Man helmet that appears to be thousands of years old. In Avengers #31, Stark encountered Mephisto, the Marvel Comics equivalent of the Devil himself, who revealed that Stark’s father, Howard, made a pact with him years ago. He promised Mephisto that once he had become the most intelligent human being on Earth, he would give him his firstborn son.
Shaken by this news, Stark then returned to the present day, where he told Mephisto to “kiss my iron ass”, seemingly rejecting any claim the Devil might have over him.
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