Re: Tony Stark is not Iron Man
Tony Stark, and thereby Iron Man, doesn't exist in this sort of vacuum cage match world. Tony Stark exists in a world where at any time, he can put together an offense. This ability, which is an ability, is one that he always possesses. With a large amount of time and unlimited resources he can put together an army of mechanical suits and take down an army of genetically modified bio-ovens. With a small amount of time and a couple hundred bucks, he can put together a set of weapons and take out a group of men that are superior to him in every other aspect. It is the same ability, just with different time constraints, and it is that superior ability that makes him Iron Man all the time. When Iron Man is fixing the Helicarrier, or crossing-the-streams to beat Whiplash, or coaching Pepper to detonate the reactor to defeat Stane, Iron Man's technical know how and inventive resourcefulness is what saves the day. His physical abilities, forged from that same know how, are simply the fun part.
If Bruce Wayne, without his flight, ranged attack and fear inducing abilities is still Batman, if Captain America, without any of his world-class defense or America-ness is still Captain America, then Tony Stark, in a cave "with scraps" is still Iron Man. His ability to overcome superior forces is very much intact, that is the point, of the statement, and it is a sound one.
Now, is he anywhere near as potent as he is with his equipment... no, he's not. Neither is Captain America, Batman, Thor, Hawkeye, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman... the list is extensive. The exceptions are people like Superman.
Now, if you're talking about some world where scraps don't exist... then yeah, Tony Stark is just a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist... but in any any modern day setting, Iron Man resides *in* Tony Stark and it's just a question of how much time Tony has to see how powerfully he manifests Iron Man. This is not true of other heroes, without other people to give Captain America his shield or Batman his gadgets, those heroes would never gain their abilities back, but with Tony Stark... it's just a matter of time before he makes the Mark 43 which will be badder than all the marks before it. In that way, Tony Stark is more Iron Man than Bruce Wayne is Batman.