I've never been a big comic book fan, but in college I worked in a comic shop and got to know the big names, and I'd go to whatever comic book movie came out to support the industry. Iron Man was a B-list superhero in Marvel's comics. Rich, smart, kinda like Batman without the dark brooding angst. Kind of like if there wasn't a Batman, just Bruce Wayne. What a great choice to kick off the MCU!
Because he's FUN!
And this movie is FUN!
Which is interesting, because much of the movie is Tony building and testing his stuff. Kind of a training montage. Plus it builds up the anticipation to seeing that flashy suit in action. On top of that are all the hints to the wider universe
Now, I've watched the original Iron Man movie probably... once a year since it's come out? It's fun, and it's fresh and unburdened with the weight of everything that comes after it. He isn't the first superhero, but he's the first that the public really gets to know. It opens up the universe for the first time.
"I am Iron Man" The theater cheered opening night. And even with my most recent viewing, I was just waiting for that line.
Plus... plus there's the end credit scene. Only one... While during the movie we had Agent Phil Coulson from the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division (SHIELD), in the post credits scene we finally, we get Director Nick Fury played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson!
And the Avenger Initiative!
Now, a decade later, we know where that's going to go... but back in 2008? We had no idea, and just hearing that was exciting.
And that's me, a non-comic nerd, being excited.