Summary

  • The opening convoy scene in Iron Man is mostly accurate, but suffers from a mistake by one of the soldiers.
  • Vehicle ambushes were common in Afghanistan due to limited road options and mountainous terrain.
  • Tony Stark should have stayed in the vehicle during the attack because it can act as a safe spot with supplies.


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An Afghan war expert explains how accurate the opening convoy scene from Iron Man is in a new video. Iron Man kicked off the MCU with a bang by starting with a scene where Tony Stark is attacked and kidnapped while riding with an American military convoy in Afghanistan. The attack, initiated by the Ten Rings, led to an arc reactor being placed in his chest, keeping shrapnel away from his heart and beginning Tony Stark’s timeline as Iron Man.

The moment is well-remembered today from one of the MCU’s best movies, but it may not be entirely accurate to what combat was like in Afghanistan. In a video from Insider, Afghan war veteran Eric Terashima breaks down several movie scenes that portray the war in Afghanistan, including Iron Man at the 6:10 mark.

For the opening convoy scene in Iron Man, Terashima gives it an 8/10, with points taken away for a serious mistake made by one of the soldiers.

Vehicle ambushes were very common in Afghanistan because you’re confined to roads that can handle that kind of load and because of this kind of terrain, it’s up in the mountains. Everything is canalized. You must go through that road. That makes it a lot easier to ambush vehicles.

Contact left means that if I’m here in the driver’s seat, that means I’m receiving fire from my left-hand side. Yelling contact left and rolling out that door is remarkably stupid. You don’t go on contact left, you go out the other side.

Stark should have stayed in the vehicle because what usually will happen is as you’re forming defenses during an ambush, the vehicle actually becomes a safe spot. That’s where your food is. That’s where your water is, that’s where your pack is, you know, your supplies and other things, so yeah, the vehicle’s absolutely central.

That does happen sometimes where you’ll have a nearby exploding piece of ordinance and next to nothing happens to you, as opposed to you could just get like utterly destroyed depending on where you show up in the frag pattern is how that works and this is just dumb luck. I think I’d give this one an eight.

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How Iron Man’s Origin Story Was Updated From The Marvel Comics

Iron Man

Release Date
May 2, 2008

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
126 minutes

Tony Stark’s experience in Afghanistan is essential to his origins and his eventual arc in the MCU, but it’s a significant update from what happens in the comics. Iron Man debuted in the comics in the 1960s and his origin was close to the film’s version, but it took place during the Vietnam War. Since the MCU needed to modernize the character, Tony’s origins took place during the war in Afghanistan, allowing the universe to take place in a more current setting.

In both versions, Tony is still asked to build a weapon for a terrorist organization but secretly builds an Iron Man suit, so they contain most of the same story. However, it appears the Iron Man movie was largely successful in adapting an Afghan war scenario to the movie, with the exception of the “contact left” moment. It no doubt helped Iron Man to become a more grounded and, ultimitely, integral movie in the MCU.

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