Imagine, if you will, that you are having one of your typical days at work. The phone calls won't stop and your boss is on your case pretty hard. The lunch you packed yourself this morning is waiting for you to eat it, in solitude, as you always do. Ordinary is about to become your legacy...
Just as you are about to leave for said lunch, a package is dropped on your desk, the return address labeled STARK Industries. You start to chuckle at yourself thinking this has to be a prank. Then you open the package, prank or not, because, let's face it, you've been pranked before.
A letter from Tony Stark himself greets you as you unload the contents of the package. You can confirm the authenticity of this letter because of the attached business card that reads, Anthony Edward Stark, CEO, Lead Designer, Super Hero.
In his letter Mr. Stark summarizes the additional contents of the package and his desire to share this information with you, yes you.
A small history lesson is the first section of the package. It includes everything from birth to the creation of the first suit of powered armor (including your very own copy of his MIT degree). Here you find out just what it means to be a genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist. You are even given one stock in the company.
Small biographies of the people closest to Mr. Stark follow, including an introduction to his long lost brother Arno Stark. This section also includes a dossier on all STARK Industries enemies (which is good to know since you have now been associated with Tony Stark).
After that dose of heaviness, you unwrap the details on Mr. Stark's love life, his high price expenditures (including all homes and methods of transport) and even receive an invite to a NYE party at the AVENGERS Headquarters.
Not feeling so ordinary right about now, are you?
The next section of information is all about the suit of powered armor, the iron of the man. Blueprints, sketches and a 3D pop-out cover everything from inception, to how it works, from armor evolution to combat training. You begin to imagine being in the suit, becoming the hero.
The self professed "leader" of the Avengers then re-introduces you to each member of the team and lays out very specific instructions on how you should interact with them, you know, if you are ever in his shoes.
The package goes on to reveal Mr. Stark's toughest foes (and some of the toughest weapons) as well as his most trusted friends/colleagues. You learn what it means to be an Avenger, to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. , to get inside the mind of a mad man/machine and to truly lead your team into combat.
As you reach the end of the package you feel the heaviness of the armor and begin to ask yourself why you even bothered engaging yourself with the fantasy of putting it on when you read these words from Tony Stark's closing letter:
There are tons of ways to make the world a better place. The moment we start limiting ourselves is the moment we start admitting defeat.
Take away the brains, the money, the lifestyle, the charity and even the heroics and what do you have? A guy who is trying his hardest everyday to leave the world slightly better than it was before he got here. That's something I think we can all relate to.
And there it is, the reason that you were chosen to receive this package. You feel so ordinary, so unimportant but here is Tony freakin' Stark telling you that even the most average of person can "be something," something of value to the world around them and that the most extravagant person can be reduced to simply what he/she is willing to do for their fellow man/woman.
Now you are encouraged and inspired to find ways you can change the world around you. So, you start with going to lunch, sitting, not by yourself, but with a table of your co-workers and beginning a conversation everyone can be a part of...Iron Man.
The idea for the above story was inspired by my reading of The World According to Iron Man by Insight Editions, written by Larry Hama/Marc Sumerak and illustrated by Mirco Pierfederici. Make sure to get your copy now!
It is Tony Stark's account of what it is like to walk in his shoes and it includes all of the awesome pull outs mentioned in the story (as well as MORE).
Here's to making our world a better place,