COMIC BOOK REFERENCES: IRON MAN TRILOGY
PART ONE: IRON MAN
While historically Tony is portrayed as a much more serious character, the sassy attitude that he has in the movie is similar to his Ultimate version.
The opening sequence in the movie with military convoy getting attacked by the terrorists was inspired by Iron Man vol.3 #80.
Tony Stark gets injured by his own weapons.
The change of setting from Vietnam to Middle-East was taken from Warren Ellis’ Extremis story arc.
Tony Stark acting as an arrogant party man is from Iron Man: Iron Age.
The conversation between Tony and Christine Everhart is taken from Iron Man vol. 3. #75.
The arc reactor was inspired by the concept of an artificial heart that Tony received in Iron Man: The Mask of Iron Man.
Cleopatra at casino may (or may not) be a reference towards Tales of Suspense #44, where Iron Man goes back in time to ancient Egypt where meets actual Cleopatra.
Jarvis is both a reference to the actual Jarvis from the comics, who was indeed a butler, and an A.I. called H.O.M.E.R., which served the same function as the movie version of Jarvis.
The terrorist leader, Raza, serves the same function as Wong-Chu, who in the comics was a Vietcong guerrilla. Similar to Wong-Chu from the comics, Raza also gets disfigured.
Raza has a ring on his finger, and he later on speaks about Genghis Khan. Both are references that imply that he was either going to become the Mandarin (the actor have talked about such possibility) in the future or that he was working for the Mandarin and the ring was given to him by the Mandarin himself for his loyalty. The later seems more plausible, because Wong-Chu was Mandarin’s servant in the comics and Mandarin was giving his rings to his henchmen if they were extremely loyal to him. (Oppositely, Wong-Chu was actually not loyal and he wanted to betray Mandarin, so Mandarin turned him into a bug.)
The Ten Rings flag can be viewed as a direct reference to the Mandarin, but also can viewed as a reference towards the actual flag that Wong-Chu and his crew had in comics.
The Ten Rings as an organization may insinuate that Mandarin has infrastructure of dedicated henchmen under his control all over the world. Which is similar to the comics, where Mandarin had dozens of international agents working for him and he himself was part of international crime syndicates like Hand and Tong.
Mandarin being responsible for Stark’s and Yinsen’s captivity is from Iron Man vol.1 #268.
Yinsen tries to buy Stark some time but it costs him his life.
Tony Stark destroying the enemy’s camp while escaping.
Jim Rhodes was the first person Tony met after he escaped captivity.
The golden version of Mark 2 suit that briefly appears on the monitor is a reference to the early comics where Tony repainted his original gray suit into bright gold.
SHIELD has always played big part in Iron Man comics, with Tony even being the head of SHIELD in the comics when the first movie was being released.
Tony having a chit-chat with a woman on a charity event is from Iron Man vol. 3 #1.
Tony and Pepper were romantically involved with each other for years.
Tony suits up.
The finalized version of the suit is inspired by Adi Granov’s art from the Extremis, who was brought up as a concept artist for the movie.
Tony Stark’s quest to destroy his weapons is the plot of the iconic Armor Wars story arc.
Tony Stark fighting terrorists who hold people hostage is inspired by Iron Man vol. 3. #1.
Iron Man flying alongside military planes has been a very popular image in comics.
The chess on Stane’s desk is a reference to the comics, in which Stane was obsessed with chess and he viewed everything in his life as a chess match.
Tony Stark regretting his past as a weapon manufacturer was first brought up in Iron Man vol.1 #78.
Obadiah Stane wanted to have Iron Man armor.
Obadiah Stane’s turn into Iron Monger is technically the same, albeit, Stane’s actual reasoning for doing so had completely different connotations and outcome in the comics.
Rhodey as Iron Man.
Tony Stark reveals his secret identity to the public.