“The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” are the two biggest superhero films of the past year, with the possible exception of “The Dark Knight Rises.” However, “The Dark Knight Rises” is a DC property involving Batman, whereas the other two are Marvel-based titles, both of which have been critically acclaimed and approved by fans. Despite the similarities between “Iron Man 3” and “The Avengers,” the films differ in many ways. It’s worth bearing in mind that all the Marvel films, except for the “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” franchises exist in the same shared universe, so the stories build on one another.
“The Avengers” is an ensemble film that blends drastically different heroes into a single story. Thor, the extradimensional Asgardian and Norse god of thunder, a super-soldier unfrozen from World War II, a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, and a scientist with a dark side are all expected to bring their different skillsets and backgrounds to the table. It works and makes a coherent storyline, but viewers familiar with the source material may not be amused with the changes. “I.M. 3,” meanwhile, features characters from a single continuity line who all have relatively similar backgrounds. Therefore, it doesn’t take too much character alteration to make the story work.
“The Avengers” is a great deal more action driven than is “Iron Man 3.” Although “The Avengers” offers character development, “Iron Man 3” showcases more character-based drama. It turns out that since “Iron Man 2,” Tony Stark has begun a relationship with Pepper Potts, his secretary. Tony’s been teaching her to better defend herself, and it’s clear that he cares a great deal about her, certainly more than he did any character in “The Avengers.”
In “The Avengers,” Tony Stark is practically invincible in the Iron Man suit, and he’s able to take on hordes of Chitauri. Therefore, in “I.M. 3,” the writers contrived more situations that required Tony to act and fight when not in his armor, giving him the chance to prove himself capable in this regard. He takes martial arts training, learns free-running skills, and makes some gadgets to use outside of his armor.
No superhero film can work without a quality villain. “The Avengers” has Loki, working with an alien race called the Chitauri, as the main villain. The aliens come across more like an extraterrestrial biker gang than anything, and they serve as adequate Mjolnir, shield, and arrow fodder. Loki, on the other hand, appears even more insane and menacing than he did in his debut in “The Mighty Thor.” His fall through space and encounter with aliens probably sped along his descent into madness. “Iron Man 3” features Iron Man’s iconic nemesis, the Mandarin. Rather than being a mysterious agent, this version of the Mandarin was once a CEO-like Tony Stark-before he became insane and superpowered from the Extremis formula that he helped develop. Instead of having explicitly supernatural or alien powers like Loki’s, the Mandarin has his powers, including healing and fire breathing, due to genetic engineering. He also has superb martial arts training.
The version of Tony Stark in “Iron Man 3” and the one in “The Avengers” have slightly different personalities. In “The Avengers,” Tony Stark is more flippant and sarcastic, especially when dealing with Captain America. However, Cap’s idealism and heroic attitude start to influence Tony. At the end of “The Avengers,” Tony has a near-death experience in the Iron Man suit. “I.M. 3” takes place after “The Avengers,” and Tony Stark is suffering from nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD from his near-death experience. He is notably more serious in “Iron Man 3” and attempts to think more highly of his colleagues and friends. “I.M. 3” also sees the end of Tony Stark’s career as Iron Man. He destroys all his armor and undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel from his chest. In “The Avengers,” Tony treats the threat to the world as just a job to take care of, whereas in the third “Iron Man” film, it’s more personal. The Mandarin has directly targeted Tony Stark for shunning his ideas and disfiguring him several years back. He ends up putting some of Tony’s subordinates in a coma and destroying his home.
Overall, both flicks are similar films, and they share the ultimate goal of bringing a superhero story to the big screen. However, where the former is an ensemble story with drastically different characters, the latter is more tightly knit. ” Iron Man 3 ” is faster paced but more focused on character development. “The Avengers” does, however, display some interpersonal dynamics, particularly in Captain American’s interactions with Thor and Iron Man. Ultimately, Marvel fans are sure to enjoy both films.