The cool thing about a hero in armor is the special effect. Obviously, a man in armor is easier to rendered than a man in flesh. We only have to look at Ironman, currently showing in cinema and the upcoming The Incredible Hulk to make a comparison.Shiny metal armor in gold and red - Easy.
Facial expression, accurate anatomy and skin complexion - Not so easy.
In the same context, it is also easier to translates the characters into action figure, making some really cool merchandises. I would choose the Stormtroopers figures over any of the leading characters in the Starwars saga anytime. Strangely though, I don't see any Ironman toys offered with any fastfood kiddie meal combo.
Let's make another quick comparison.
The original Ironman in the comic book is Tony Stark, genius inventor of his own weapons manufacturing Stark Enterprise. Wounded while he was in Vietnam, he must dons the suit of Ironman which ironically he considered his greatest failure, to continue living. And because the suit has a device that keep his heart beating, he must never remove it.
The movie Ironman is still Tony Stark, genius inventor of his own weapons manufacturing Stark Enterprise. Wounded while in Afghanistan, he was fitted with a electromagnet in his chest by the enemies' doctor, to prevented sharpnels he received in an explosion from slowly reaching his heart and killing him. Unfortunately, this electromagnet is powered by a bulky battery very much like the one that starts our car. He too turned to his greatest failure, a energy generator that was both bulky and cost-inefficient (since that project was started only as a publicity stunts) to create a small and powerful generator to power the magnet. Hence taking his first steps to becoming Ironman.
Heck.. they have to update the character. The original Ironman used to carry his armors in a briefcase. Would you have believe that?
The villains were updated too. I didn't read the Ironman comic books but I do know that the Mandarin and Titanium Man count amongt his enemies.
In the movie, the Mandarin goes by the moniker Ten Rings. We made the connection right away because the original Mandarain wears a ring on each of his finger. It wasn't vanity. Each ring is a weapon on its own. Ten Rings is a leader of a band of terrorists in Afghanistan that kidnapped Stark in the begining of the movie. Their attempt to force Stark to build powerful weapon for them led to the creation of Ironman which Stark used to escaped from his captivity. Without those rings weapons that the original Mandarin wore, Ten Rings is unable to reach the level of threat that his comic counterpart is able to do.
Titanium Man was supposed to be the Soviet equivalent to Ironman back during the Cold War. though not as advanced as the Ironman armor, it does boosts greater firepower and being built with titanium, is tougher than Ironman. In the movie, Titanium Man's other name, the Iron Monger was used instead. Here he is an upgraded model of the first armor Stark built in Afghanistan to make his escape. Here Monger overwhelm Ironman in both sheer brute force and Firepower. Afdterall, there is only so many weapons you can fit into a suit of armor. Monger is more than that as it was not worn but controlled electronically from within, making him a freaking robot. Ironically, it was Ironman which was built with gold titanium in the movie and that edge Stark used to defeat the Iron Monger. Not just titanium here.. it's gold titanium. Cool.
Everyone may wants to be in a superhero movie now but when you got a stellar cast the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow, you know there got to be something solid about the script. The film paced along very well, from the time Stark was kidnapped to his daring escape, from the creation of the clumsy first Ironman prototype to the final sleeks aerodynamic gold and red model and the personal development of Stark's character and the other supporting casts. Maybe not all of us will love Stark but we definitely respect his genius and resolute to set right what he has done wrong. A good script is one that can make the audiences feels what the movie requires them to feel toward its characters.
Personally, I always liked to have the main villain to appeared early in the film so we can see the kind of dangers he really posed. The iron Moner only appeared toward the end of the film but as a pilot movie, sometimes it is more vital to develop the hero first, as was done in "Batman Begins". As suggested from the trailer to its sequel titled "The Dark Knight", we will see Batman's archnemesis appearing fairly early and wreaking much havocs. I expect the same for Ironman but with two of his greatest enemies already out of the picture, who else can he fights?
Well.. I guess there is always the Hulk.