The greatest lesson Iron Man ever learned in the MCU didn't do much for Tony Stark in the comics, but it sure made an impact on Green Arrow. A retcon for Oliver Queen's early days gives him the origin that should have been Earth 616's Tony Stark.

The beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Jon Faverau's Iron Man. After demonstrating his newly designed weapons overseas, Tony Stark is ambushed and kidnapped by a terrorist organization that uses weapons that have been designed by him. While the hostage of the Ten Rings, Tony builds his first Iron Man armor and uses it to escape. After making it home, the experience has impacted Stark so much that he decides to stop manufacturing weapons and use his armor to become a hero. He does so by trying to undo the damage he did to the world with his war profiteering.


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Interestingly enough, Green Arrow went through a very similar growth in the Dennis O'Neil and Greg Land's "Peacemakers" storyline of Legends of the DC Universe. Set in the early days of Oliver Queen’s superhero career, the vigilante heads to Asia to investigate the thievery of weapons his company had sent overseas. The historically left-leaning Green Arrow is concerned that he’s losing money from rebel factions stealing the weapons he intends to sell. But after heading to an occupied war zone, Green Arrow is accidentally injured by a landmine. He's taken to a rebel camp to recover where he meets a nun who helps him empathize with the rebel faction. As Oliver begins to fall for the nun, she's also injured by a landmine and, unlike the hero, does not survive. Green Arrow tragically realizes that the landmines that have caused him so much grief were actually supplied by his own company.

For Green Arrow, being a hero didn’t absolve Oliver for the part he played in the militarized conflict, so he sold off his stake in Queen Industries and donated the money to war relief efforts. Much like Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie, Oliver saw the consequences of his war profiteering up close and it had a huge effect on his character. Strangely enough, the one character who didn't experience the same kind of development, but probably should have, is Marvel Comics' Tony Stark.

Like the movie, Tony was taken hostage and the experience did inspire him to become the Marvel Comics’ hero Iron Man. But unlike the movie, the 616 version of Stark continued making and selling weapons. He provided SHIELD with a number of weapons and even helped create the Sentinels. It's a shame because the origin that served Tony so well in Iron Man did wonders for Green Arrow. It was an incident that opened Queen's eyes to how his actions were hurting the world, paving way for him to become the socially conscious hero he is. The Iron Man moment may not have done much for Tony Stark, but Green Arrow certainly took a page out of the MCU's book.

Next: Green Arrow’s Return Is The CW’s Biggest Missed Opportunity

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