Osbourne vs. Downey


Hey, now another dissolute drug abuser can truthfully proclaim "I am Iron Man!" Robert Downey Jr. suits up to play the occasionally alcoholism-weakened Marvel superhero Iron Man. I kid because I hope I can love, as I do with every Marvel movie project, and am usually disappointed. (But not by Spider-Man 2.)

Obligatory libertoid reference: Iron Man is one of the rare superheroes who is a direct product of the military-industrial complex, as his alter-ego Tony Stark is a gajillionaire inventor and manufacturer of (mostly) high-tech military tools. Captain America, of course, is a direct result of a military drug experiment on a soldier--Stark is just a contractor. And, according to some, the two now fighting it out in Marvel's political metaphor Civil War series, are respectively Roosevelt Dem and modern Republican.

One is a product of World War II, the other of Vietnam. Which has all sorts of interesting political/metaphorical implications, with Cap as a living synecdoche of post-New Deal America--his alter ego Steve Rogers as a dupe allowing himself to be manipulated by dangerous big-state experiments intended more for protecting its own turf than helping young Pvt. Rogers, who finds himself for decades grappling with all the benefits, responsibilities, and dilemmas that arose from what the state has done to/for him. And Iron Man, blindly developing weapons to fight an enemy he barely understands, far from his home--eventually because of his own bad decisions encased eternally in the weaponized product of his own folly, driven to self-abuse and self-hate…..

But, hey, Downey as Stark, fightin' and smitin' with repulsor rays. Cool. I hope.