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The Great Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne Debate

by Tyler Barry about a year ago in superheroes
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You have 100% once in your life heard a comparison between the two fictional billionaires Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. Well, let me give you some insight on why exactly they ARE NOT the most easily comparable.

Known around the world in both the world of reality and their own fictional Earth (and, technically, galaxy), these two share the similarity of being insanely rich, corporate owning superheroes. In fact, some terminology of the initial ‘superhero’ may not even fit them, but that’s what people usually think of first. Two separate human beings apart of two different universes, though people compare them more times than two people have ever been compared before. Of course, specifying on their movie counterparts while also including bits of their comic verses. But, here’s the thing that no one has ever thought of, aside from the constant comparisons-- the two share more differences than ever. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne have constantly been brought to light as the same person through their own universe, but here’s the thing. They are more different than they are the same, and this essay is to prove exactly that, here to prove that their differences separate them more than a protagonist and their faithful, ever so faithful, antagonist (that made the story exactly what it needs to be).

Sure, the two share a large sum of money that was integrated into them through the legacy that their famous family and their well-known companies fatefully brought onto their souls, though that money altered the two in different ways. Tony Stark initially focused his work and money on being a rich weapons dealer, distributing that to his own military and whoever the government then assigned it to; using said money from that as any other person would. He bought a large house and a lot of cars, etc. He then, once he became Iron Man, spent it on his robots and his certain parts that he needed in order to make his Iron Man suits. Bruce Wayne spent his money initially all on the Batsuit, and most things that were related to Batman. He spent it on where he put all of that, and how he could keep it in secret. He focused his use on money more on the identity he put out for crime fighting in Gotham, leading to around 79.5 million dollars to spend on everything that has the word Bat in front of it. In one of the recent Justice League trailers, Barry Allen asks Bruce Wayne; ‘what’s your super power, again?’ and as he takes a few moments to respond, he eventually did, admitting ‘being rich’ was his super power. Which is definitely different from Tony. He spent his childhood training and figuring out ways to fight crime, not having time to focus on his expenses until he knew he needed more than just the 1.6 million on Wayne Manor, which then brings me to my next point. Why did they become superheroes?

These two both share the similarity of their parents being murdered and them having to live on after that fateful event occurred. Difference is that Bruce Wayne used the murder of his parents as a reason to start training and start focusing on his need to fight crime, his need to find who had murdered his parents along with those who had probably murdered the parents of numerous other people. He became a vigilante to Gotham, taking the law into his own hands with rarely too many setbacks by the actual government there. Tony Stark didn’t use the death of his parents as a reason to begin his occupation of superheroing, though it did come up in the future and he gained the closure that he always needed about it. Tony Stark became Iron Man because he needed something that could get him out of the cave prison he had been stuck in after his Jericho screening at the base in Afghanistan (with Ho Yinsen). He used his makeshift Iron Man suit as a way to slaughter the town and return to his rightful home, eventually getting picked up by Rhodey. He continued as Iron Man once he realized that more people needed him; more people needed to be saved from the weaponry that he had fatefully left in the hands of the terrorist organization he was captured by. An act of vigilantism, but an act of vigilantism that was bigger than he could ever be. An unhinged act of vigilantism that could never be contained, unlike Bruce Wayne.

Referencing the last sentence of the previous paragraph, Tony Stark initially had no rules and was rather erratic with his actions as a superhero, unlike Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne spent time learning how to do what he does, spent time learning how to fight and how to use that for the defense of others and not just because he would willingly kill another person. Bruce Wayne is organized, focused and doesn’t let his mentality overpower his willpower to do certain things within the gates of Gotham. All while, Tony Stark started as Iron Man with absolutely no training, and more importantly went against the words of the media and specifically Rhodey, doing things that he wasn’t supposed to as he let his mental problems take him over and ruin what he had planned. Staying up late at nights in his lab while he should be sleeping, leaving his girlfriend alone most nights to tend to keeping his mind focused on something he was trying to forget, going to Afghanistan after he had gotten home and people had specifically asked him not to do anything stupid, getting people killed and purposely killing people at the palms of his own. Basically, allowing his mistakes to contain him and take him over, while Bruce Wayne focused on one thing and one thing only. The crime in Gotham, and the crime in the world. Sure, he has his own problems, but he doesn’t allow them to consume him entirely as Tony mistakenly allowed himself to do. Tony Stark revealed his identity as soon as any word of it had gotten out, going against what Rhodey wanted him to say and doing his complete own thing, while Bruce Wayne would never dare to reveal his identity, knowing what the reveal was capable of doing to Gotham, and the world. Tony is reckless, only recently picking up his act, while Bruce Wayne has always done good for his act.

Going back to what had just been said, about Tony Stark picking up his act? Why? At the beginning of Civil War, he was brought upon the news that people blamed him for the death of numerous people he had gotten killed or killed himself. He was brought upon the idea that he was even worse of a person than he initially believed. And of course, that was a major reason as to why, but one of the bigger reasons was the taking in of Peter Parker. Spiderman. Peter Parker, a fifteen year old boy that Tony Stark wanted to recruit. He found him through the internet, the infamous Spiderman of New York City, and tracked down his true identity in order to bring him in for the fight in Germany. Everyone doubted him when taking in the kid, but Tony always believed in him and always was there for him. Tony Stark was more of a mentor to the boy, telling him what not to do and what to do while not focusing on him entirely and always having him nearby. Tony Stark watched over him, making sure he was doing what was right and making sure he wasn’t going to die. Tony Stark became a father to Peter Parker, while Bruce Wayne took in Robin as a sidekick, using his abilities to the better of himself and the rest of Gotham. Robin doesn’t have any super powers either, while Spider Man used his fate of being bitten by a spider and acquiring those similar spider senses as a reason to fight crime for the better of his city. Robin is always with Bruce, he is always fighting with him and acting as if he were nothing more than just a helpful sidekick. But most importantly, when you think about Tony Stark and Peter Parker, you think of a father/son, mentor relationship. But when you think about Bruce Wayne and Robin, you think about a sidekick/hero relationship.

Returning to the aforementioned topic of where their secrecy lies and whether or not one or the other is more willing to be revealed. Bruce Wayne is incredibly set within the idea of having no one find out about the fact that he is Batman, about the fact that he doesn’t want anyone to go in depth of trying to figure out exactly who he is. He refuses to share his identity with anyone, sometimes even the people that he fights side by side with, never allowing one soul who questions such to know. He refuses to share his whereabouts with majorly everyone, unless he, of course, is working with them in some kind of way. He refuses to let anyone know where the Batcave is and if he does, they’re probably Robin or Alfred. He couldn’t ever let the whereabouts of where all his important vehicles, weaponry and tricks are, and god forbid it ever got out. All while Bruce is stuck within the safety of the unknown, Tony Stark was letting his home address be spread across the entirety of America and the World after saying it himself to the face of the paparazzi that left nothing but hardened harassment left in his mind. Tony Stark had identified himself as Ironman as soon as he possibly could, unable to keep it in after Rhodey told him to do so. He is in tune with the media and allows it to question; and if those questions gained a correct answer, he’d probably confirm it.

Finally returning to the basis on where their super-heroness stands. Does it? Does it stand? The two don’t share physical superpowers that were invested in them by their genetic mutation, what the Gods have invested in them, their other worldly essences, a spider bite, amongst numerous other things. They have superpowers based on their intellect, and what intellect shares superiority in their own mind complex. Tony Stark’s power comes from the way he is incredibly intelligent in the ways of science. He can build his own robots and computers in the matter of days, he can read numerous different languages and in fact, his own computer keyboard has a separate language that is perfected for the keyboard and the odd way that he had made it fit the way his fingers moved. Tony Stark can design weapons in the matter of hours and have them sent out to the military in physical form the next day. Tony Stark can design seventy sets of the Ironman suit within a year. Tony Stark can build a makeshift Ironman suit with limited supplies in a torture cave in Afghanistan. Tony Stark has made his own element, Palladium. The guy made his own element. His power is the power of science, while Bruce Wayne is much better when it comes to figure out a situation, using his wit and ease of patience, being somewhat like an agent that figures out situations when no one can. That’s what made it so good for him to become a vigilante, because he’d be able to figure out the situation on his own without any help from outside sources; which is exactly what he doesn’t work with. He doesn’t usually work with people at all, he keeps to himself and tends to the time that it takes to focus on the mysteries of Gotham. He’s good at figuring things out quickly and seeing through the lies that certain people make up for themselves. He’s good at lying, himself, as well as hiding. Amongst other things. The two have completely different set out abilities that make them who they are.

This brings me to my conclusion. As the message was to show how these two are different despite their ultimate similarities at the the general description of one another, it finishes off swiftly. Tony Stark is too out about who he is, he’s advanced with technology, amongst other things that set him different from the mystery solving, identity-hiding Bruce Wayne. Though both are indefinitely rich superheroes, they are ultimately different when it comes to looking underneath the umbrella term of similarity. Plus, there’s also the fact that Batman has gone through practically dozens of actors while one has always stuck with Iron Man (except..1980s Iron Man….)

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About the author

Tyler Barry

I am an avid writer and have been in the writing game since I was very young... I hope to be able to share my expertise with more people.

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