Will the New Iron Man movie Peddle or Decry the War Machine?
As propaganda is our bread and butter here, I just saw the trailer for the Iron Man movie, and was dismayed to see few arguments against the Military-Industrial complex within it. I haven’t seen the movie, but according to the book “Comic Book Nation” :
The most political of Marvel’s superheroes was Iron Man, a hero literally forged on the battlefields of Vietnam. In his first act as a superhero, he demolishes a Viet Cong military base and overthrows a sadistic Communist warlord. As Tony Stark, he serves a vital function in America’s military-industrial complex, both as a weapons inventor and a defense contractor. As Iron Man, he foils Communist agents and battles Soviet supervillains in symbolic Cold War contests of power and will….. The Iron Man series showed the extent to which Marvel endorsed Cold War assumptions. There was little room for dissent. As Iron Man once asserted, “No one has the right to defy the wishes of his government! Not even Iron Man!”
Now replace Vietnam with Afghanistan, Communist/Soviet with Terrorist, and Cold War with War on Terror and suddenly the film may be updated to modern times while pushing the same agenda.
In fairness, the comic did take a turn and begin to question the initial premises during the early seventies and the film may take a similar approach. Yet taking a peek at the trailer below, especially Iron Man flying “majestically” alongside high-tech products of the war industry, it doesn’t bode well that the film will be a critique of the Military-Industrial Complex. For that, I recommend Lord of War, Why We Fight (documentary) .
Robert Downey Jr. is one of my favourite actors who usually picks interesting roles, and it’d be a shame if he’s compromised himself to land the big paycheck.
Here’s Eisenhower’s warning on the Military Industrial Complex:
Here’s the Iron Man Trailer: