MCU Monday: Iron Man - Deny and Embrace
This is where we pick-up our look at the theology of Iron Man:
And, of course, no Iron Man review would be complete without an obligatory glance at the tank missile scene:
If Tony spent the days since his escape working out some of the particulars of his newfound identity, here he takes the bull by the horns and owns both his new identity and his responsibility to finish-off the remnants of his old self (a la Rom. 6:6). Watching the fantastic fireworks of Iron Man working to grind out the consequences of Tony’s earlier days and thinking about the philosophical ideas behind it reminded me of Jesus’ admonition in Mark 8 that following Him (i.e. being reborn) came at the cost of self and self’s desires.
Actually, the entire final act of Iron Man runs parallel with Mark 8:34-38:
We all saw the holy angels at the end of Iron Man, right?
Angels aside, Iron Man does end with a fairly intense dust-up between Iron Man and Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane’s nefarious attempt at a weaponized armor), followed by a scene in which Tony fully embraces his new identity as Iron Man. In this sense, the final act of the movie consists of Tony denying himself, taking up his cross, and then finally, refusing to be ashamed of the man he has become.
Side Note (a long one): While I was revisiting this film over the course of the study, I was struck by the parallels that exist between Tony’s cave escape and Obadiah’s break-out from Sector 16. Both are downloading files to their suit as their enemy shows up, but lurk in the shadows for a moment before revealing themselves.
What struck me as the key difference was that Tony was trying to escape the darkness and Obadiah was bringing it out with him. Tony wanted to live. Obadiah wanted to kill. Tony had someone die as a catalyst in his escape and Obadiah did not. And I wonder if Yinsen isn’t the key to unlocking it all, if he isn’t the one who redeemed Tony out of all his troubles, as it were.
Tony’s rebirth was through the life and blood of one who gave his life so that Tony might live, ultimately paving the way for Tony to become a new man. Obadiah’s rebirth, on the other hand, was one entirely of his own making and by his own efforts. Iron Man was born as a result of grace and Iron Monger was the by-product of human effort combined with ungodly power.