A Notion, Rooted in Cross-Dressing
Something that would be super-cool to see in the upcoming Iron Man movie...
A conceit from the movie Tootsie.
Tony Stark, a boy genius grown up, an alcoholic womanizer, and a multimillionare munitions magnate, is forced by circumstances to assemble a mechanized battlesuit. He uses the suit to fight monsters and do good deeds. This public-spiritedness is supremely out of character for the arrogant Boy Wonder. Even he is a little mystified by it.
It has a parallel with Michael Dorsey in Tootsie, an actor who masquerades as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, to get an acting job. Dorsey, to his surprise, finds himself acting differently when pretending to be a woman. Midway through the movie, Dorsey relates to his roommate a difficulty he'd had that day on the job. "If it were me, I would have bawled the guy out," Dorsey explains. "But she didn't." Michael then has a minor epiphany. "I think Dorothy is smarter than I am."
Imagine a scene where Stark's on-again, off-again girlfriend, Whitney Frost, finds him in the armor, sans helmet. She asks, "Tony...really? Fighting bad guys and saving kittens in trees? You?"
Stark sputters for a minute, confused. He stares at his helmet and then blurts "Iron Man is better than I am!" He pauses again, confused at what he just said.
Once freed from expectations and his past, Stark discovers that he isn't the petty bastard he always thought he was, or that he at least has the potential to be a good man.
(...okay, okay, the movie is almost certainly centered around this very idea. It's kinda obvious. I just wanted to work in the "I think Dorothy is smarter than I am" quote into a post. I think it translates well to the world of superheroes and the nature of the secret identity. Plus, I don't work in enough references to cross-dressing in my blog. Have to work on that.)
A bonus picture: Abraham Lincoln at RFK Stadium, working the crowd during a Washington Nationals game. He'd just participated in the "Presidents' Race" down the first base line.