Despite being just human with no superpowers, Iron Man has played a large part in the continuity of the Marvel Universe as one of its most enduring heroes. His introduction in 2008’s Iron Man and his involvement in other subsequent MCU films has only solidified his place as one of the most beloved characters of all time. That said, Tony Stark is also famous for being a notorious playboy. In a world synonymous with differences in sexual orientation, one can’t help but wonder whether a pivotal character such as he is gay, bisexual, or straight.
Iron Man is straight. In the comics, Tony Stark was involved with various women including Pepper Potts, Black Widow, The Wasp, She-Hulk, Whitney Frost, and others. In the MCU, he was only ever involved with Pepper Potts. Though there have been teasers that he could be interested in men too, this has never been officially confirmed.
This article will investigate the sexual orientation of Iron Man by analyzing his romantic involvements in the comics as well as on the big screen. So, if you’d like to delve deeper into our favorite genius playboy’s somewhat rich romantic history, be sure to stick with me till the end!
What is Iron Man’s Sexual Orientation in the Comics?
Ever since his first appearance in 1963’s Tales of Suspense #39, Tony Stark has displayed how much of a playboy he truly is. In his entire comic book history, Tony has proved himself to be a chronic womanizer and this has endured as an essential part of his identity. As such, he’s been romantically involved with numerous women.
From one-night stands to flings while on the job to genuine romances, Tony boasts it all. Be it blondes, brunettes, or his personal favorite, redheads, Tony has had the luxury of entertaining various ladies including:
Pepper Potts- Tony and Pepper had a fleeting relationship in the comics and nothing quite as substantial as we’ve seen in the MCU. She would end up marrying Happy Hogan.
Whitney Frost- One of Tony’s most complicated relationships is with Whitney Frost aka Madame Masque. Their relationship wasn’t that long-lived and ended when she tried to force Tony to cure her ill father leading to a fight that destroyed the equipment that was keeping him alive. The two would end things and Madame Masque would become a villain after this turn of events.
She-Hulk- Iron Man and She-Hulk also shared a relationship that would see them hook up on several occasions without them ever explicitly being in a serious relationship.
Janet Van Dyne aka The Wasp- Janet was married to Hank Pym in the comics. After she got divorced, she and Tony got together and even the discovery that Tony was Iron Man wasn’t enough to keep the two lovebirds apart.
Natasha Romanoff- Tony first encountered and fell for Natasha when she was still in the employ of the Russian Government. After he finds out she’s a spy, he breaks things off. Eventually, Natasha defects to the U.S. and becomes an Avenger and they maintain a cordial friendship.
Bethany Cabe- Bethany was a member of Tony’s security team and the two became involved when Tony was going through hard times and had become a heavy drinker. She was already married by then but thought her husband was dead. However, after finding out her husband is alive, she breaks things off with Tony.
Some other women Iron Man has had in his life include Indries Moomji, Joanna Nivena, Kathy Dare, Rumiko Fujikawa, and others.
If his history in the comics is anything to go by, then I’d say that Iron Man is straight. He was only ever involved with or had flings with women. The writers of the comics haven’t ever depicted him as being anything but straight, although they do like to toy with readers a lot.
For instance, in Invincible Iron Man #14, one panel explains that Tony and James Rhodes were possibly more than friends. This revelation comes after the death of James Rhodes which deeply affects Tony. There’s also the incident in Superior Iron Man #8 where there’s a panel showing the aftermath of a party with several men and women in Tony’s bed and bedroom.
These, however, are just teasers and it was never really confirmed that Tony was bisexual. For the most part, his involvement with various women over his almost 60-year history point to the fact that he’s straight.
What is Iron Man’s Sexual Orientation in the MCU?
Iron Man’s portrayal by Robert Downey Jr. is quite possibly the best superhero portrayal we’ve ever seen in movies. We got to see Iron Man on the silver screen in 2008’s Iron Man movie and this is mainly what catapulted the character to mainstream fan appeal. The movie arguably kick-started the MCU franchise and established Iron Man as an important part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He would go on to appear in eight other movies.
So, that said, throughout his history in the MCU, what is Iron Man’s sexual orientation?
In the MCU, Tony Stark has only been portrayed as straight. Throughout his run, his main love interest was always Pepper Potts.
Originally, Tony and Pepper shared a cordial work relationship as Pepper was Tony’s personal assistant, responsible for his schedule and other tasks he could only entrust to her. They become good friends and even develop romantic feelings for each other but neither of them is willing to act on their feelings.
Things changed after Tony returned from his capture in Afghanistan. He shares his new piece of technology with Pepper and together they take down Obadiah Stane. Afterward, Tony would step down from Stark Industries and appoint Pepper as CEO in his place. This showed just how much he trusted her.
After Tony defeats Whiplash, the two finally admitted their attraction to each other and become an item. This began one of MCU’s most notable relationships. They did have their ups and downs, breaking up and getting back together, but that was mostly due to Tony’s dangerous job description as an Avenger.
Their engagement was teased in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It isn’t until Avengers: Endgame which is set five years after Thanos’ snap that we learn that they got married and had a daughter named Morgan.
We all know how Endgame ended which makes the conclusion of Tony and Pepper’s love story all the more tragic. Still, their love story is one of the most noteworthy in the entire MCU.
The Bottom Line: Is Iron Man Gay, Bisex, or Straight?
If we analyze Iron Man’s romantic interests over the years, then it only makes sense to assert that he is straight. He was only ever truly involved with women in both the comics and MCU.
Comic writers like to toy with readers which is why we get teasers of a possible bisexual Iron Man. For example, we’ve seen Iron Man call Thor and Black Panther handsome, openly admiring Captain Britain’s biceps, and leading on Loki who was hitting on him. However, no romantic involvement between Iron Man and any male figure in the comics was ever quite explored. His main love interests were women.
In the MCU, Tony is shown to be straight. In the first movie, he was a chronic womanizer, and soon after he would become involved with the love of his life and the future mother of his daughter Pepper Potts.
So, if the comics and MCU are anything to go by, Iron Man is straight.