Those who know the comic books know that Tony Start is not just a playboy billionaire but also someone with a terrible past who is having a drinking issue. On comic number 128 Tony was not able to save the day anymore.
Once, in 1963 this was Stan Lee's quote about the creation of Iron man.
He wanted to create the "quintessential capitalist", a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel's readership. Lee said,
I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military....So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist....I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him....And he became very popular. - Stan Lee
Being drunk in his armour the whole time has made him do a lot of unforgettable mistakes he could't perform anymore as he used to be. Alcohol took its toll and to give up his armour of super hero to his close friend Rhodes was the best option he had to save the reputation of the hero he created. He been ofter driven into a split personality insanity by thinking Iron man was better than Him (Tony) It was a premiere that a super hero was giving up and handing over his armour to someone else. But it made one of the best stories made by Stan Lee in the Avengers history.
Its what the 40yrs + generation remember the most about Tony Stark Someone who has lost control of his ego. Also not forgeting his past in Vietnam where the Forces of Wong Chu has captured him with a wired trap. He been a P.O.W and he actually spend more time with Yinsen creating the armor. The death of Yinsen was something more profound to him. On his way out he rescue a wounded officer who will later be knowed by James (Rhodey) Rhodes.