Originally Posted by xeno000
Ironically enough, the original Iron Man series suffered from low sales and was on the cancellation bubble more than once back in the day. Stark was rather boring and his villains were just as bland for some reason. Even keeping Stark five seconds from a heart attack for years on end didn't make his title exciting, though it did lead him to be horribly self-pitying most of the time.
This is all very true. In the comics, Tony is portrayed as being self-destructive quite often, emotionally empty and needy to the point where he defines himself and gains self-worth through his relationships with women. At one low point, Stane was able to drive Stark into a depressive spiral by hiring a woman to romance and then dump Tony. That was part of the genesis of the classic "Demon in a Bottle" story arc. The movie version of Tony Stark draws on the emotionally-stunted, needy, insecure, obsessive aspects of Tony's comics persona and brilliantly combines them with charm, wit and manic energy to come up with a character that the audience can connect to and enjoy.
At SDCC Joe Quesada admitted that before the Iron Man movie came out in 2008, Tony Stark was the most hated character in the comics universe because of the way he was portrayed in the Civil War series. They had essentially turned Stark into the comics worst villain by having him betray most of the other heroes and lead the government efforts to hunt down anyone who refused registration. The character was essentially rehabilitated by Downey, Favreau and the writers of Iron Man.
No it wasn't. You're wrong there. Demon in a Bottle is specifically Iron Man issues #120-128, with #128 titled "Demon in a Bottle". That was several years before Stane even entered the picture. Demon in a Bottle was brought about by 2 things:
1) SHIELD trying a hostile take over of Stark International, causing Tony to start drinking.
2) Justin Hammer framing Iron Man for murder of a UN ambassador.
The Stane storyline wasn't until the mid to late #160s when, after a period of strength and success in Tony's life, Stane entered and began using chess tactics on him, first with the Chessmen, and then Indries Moomji, as you mentioned, who was specifically brought in to toy with his emotions and then dump him.
The Stane storyline where Tony lost Stark International and gave up being Iron Man (handing it over to Rhodey) and became a wandering bum lasted several years, with Tony hitting rock bottom around the #180s before he began the road to recovery. The whole story wasn't handled by David Michellinie or Bob Layton, and was definitely not considered classic at the time that readers were experiencing it. Most readers thought it went on for too long, thought Stark was past his sell-by date, and there were mixed reactions to Rhodey (with some wanting him to stay on permanently as IM because he was more laid back and less serious, and others wanting Stark back).
It was only when it culminated in Iron Man #200 and the confrontation between Silver Centurion Iron Man and Iron Monger that it put the whole thing in a new light and it was more highly considered because of the dramatic battle and turning point for Stark.
But that story is definitely NOT the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline and certainly not the genesis of it. The DIAB title specifically refers to IM #120-128.