The story of Iron Man’s origin is a classic and cherished one. Tony Stark, a wealthy, arrogant weapons manufacturer, is badly injured in Afghanistan and captured by terrorists. He has some shrapnel in his heart that is killing him, but his fellow captive, the genius scientist Yinsen, grafts an electromagnet to his chest to stop the shrapnel, and together they build the Iron Man suit so that Stark can escape. Stark then turns from greed and avarice and towards justice and philanthropy.
Or does he?
You see, while Yinsen died in the cave in Afghanistan, it is very likely that Tony Stark did as well. What emerged from that cave was not Tony Stark, but a robot that Yinsen had created to replace Tony, who had died from his severe injuries. There is actually some compelling evidence to prove this case.
- Magnets simply don’t work that way: if Tony Stark has a piece of shrapnel in his heart, then a magnet that is constantly turned on will slowly pull it out of him. The magnet is only on his chest, so there would be an outward motion – the magnet would need to be on his back as well to create a field to hold it in place. Is it really likely that Yinsen, a scientific genius, would create a Rube-Goldberg-like device instead of performing a procedure that is relatively simple in comparison. It is much more likely that this was part of the robot that Yinsen was unable to fit inside the main body, so created a story to make the robot believe it was human.
- Before going to Afghanistan, Tony Stark was an infamous womaniser and playboy, interested in making money from human misery via creating and selling weapons. Upon his return he is more concerned with peace. It is almost like they are two different men.
- Tony Stark is clever, but his genius is limited to the creation of conventional weapons. Somehow being in a cave turns him into a super genius. He even creates JARVIS, a super intelligent AI just to be his butler. Where did he get this expert knowledge of computer AIs from, unless he was an AI himself? His creation of Ultron in the upcoming 'Age of Ultron' film shows the ease in which he is familiar with artificial intelligence.
- Flying about in the Iron Man armour exposes Tony Stark to incredible pressures. He often plummets from the sky and crashes into buildings, with barely a scratch on him. Even with padding, this should be lethal for a flesh and blood human.
- Tony Stark has superhuman networking abilities. In Iron Man 3 he is somehow able to control an army of Iron Men. Impossible for a human being, but simple for a computer.
- Tony Stark is suspiciously reluctant to have the operation on his chest to remove the shrapnel. He avoids all opportunities for surgeons to look inside his body. It is only in Iron Man 3, where he finally accepted who he was, that he let the surgeons touch him.
- After the events of The Avengers, Stark travels into space and is exposed to space radiation. He immediately begins to malfunction in Iron Man 3, experiencing blackouts and memory loss, both classic symptoms of machinery that has been affected by the electromagnetic radiation of space.
- Before he goes to Afghanistan, Tony Stark is a heavy womaniser. On his return, he is very reluctant to even get close to a woman, choosing instead the asexual Pepper Potts.
- Clearly, Tony Stark requires a high degree of alcohol-based solvent to function on a day to day basis. Perhaps this is some sort of fuel.
- Of course, this could all be wrong. Perhaps Stark did die, but Yinsen used the Arc Reactor embedded in Stark's body's chest to animate his corpse, just like scientists can make frog legs twitch when electric currents are passed through them.