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A Foe He Can’t Fight: Tony Stark, Addiction, and PTSD
Abstract: This article investigates the manifestation of the character Tony Stark’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how he attempts to cope with his traumatic past throughout the Iron Man film trilogy and The Avengers ensemble movie. I analyze how Tony’s traditionally masculine superhero traits affect his PTSD, its management, and how his inability to cope with trauma develops into an addiction to his Iron Man suits. This article challenges traditional notions of masculinity and investigates how Tony’s character refutes the stereotypes of the male American hero. In the end, the focus on trauma and addiction in the Iron Man movies proves to be helpful in beginning conversations about mental illness.