Iron Man – The Hero’s journey breakdown


Iron Man 

Call to adventure

Iron man catured by terrorists

Refusal of the call

Instead of accepting his capture he resists by building a high tech suit of armour which he will use to escape.

Supernatural Aid

Tony meets his mentor, fellow prisoner Dr. Yinsen, who saves him by giving him a new heart and gives him a new perspective on the effect his weapons have on the world.

Crossing of the first Threshold

Tony uses the first Iron Man suit to escape but experiences an early Death of the Mentor moment. The Threshold guardians are his captors and he must defeat them to escape

Road of the trials

Building the Iron Man suit. And keeping it secret from Pepper, the government and Obediah.

Belly of the whale

He calls on Pepper to help ‘change his heart’ and in the process has a close call with death.

Meeting of the Godess

Initially, Tony doesn’t see Pepper Potts as a romantic interest, however, after the change that occurs in his priorities after his capture they become attracted to each other. She even gives him a gift ‘proof that Tony Stark has a heart’


Tony Stark Industries are getting hammered in the stock market. He is warned by Obadiah if he continues on this quest he will go broke.

Atonement with the father

Tony acknowledges Dr Yinsen was right. He suits up and returns to protect and liberate the oppressed people that Governments have abandoned.


“I shouldn’t be alive… unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right.”

The Ultimate boon

He’s learnt how to be Iron Man but before he can be completely free from his past he must defeat Obediah as Iron Monger

Refusal of the return

This stage is flipped onto Obediah – he doesn’t want Tony Stark or Iron Man and attempts to kill Tony with the paralysis ray.

Magic flight

Iron Man lures Iron Monger dangerously high into the sky so that he freezes and falls to the earth.

Crossing the Return Threshold

He fights as Iron Man trying to save Pepper and Stark Industries

Rescue from without

As his Iron Man suit breaks down he relies on Pepper to activate the reactor to help save him against Iron Monger

Master of two worlds

He can be both a hero and a billionaire

Freedom to live

“I am Iron Man”


Compare with Iron Man – Save the cat Beat Sheet

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