Iron Man was so unpopular in the 90s that he was left out of nearly every major story, including a massive crossover fight with the DC universe.
Today, Iron Man is one of the most well-known superheroes in the Marvel Universe – but in the 90s, the character was so unpopular that he missed out on the single biggest crossover event of the decade. The 1990s, sometimes known as the Dark Age of Comics, saw a series of stories that sought to shake-up the status quo (killing Superman, revealing Spider-Man as a clone, etc). But in 1996’s Marvel vs. DC, written by Ron Marz and Peter David with art by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini, nearly every Marvel hero took part in the battle to save the universe – except Tony Stark.
In Marvel vs. DC, the two biggest comic book universes merge without warning. The Joker escapes Spider-Man, Bane attempts to break Captain America’s back, Wolverine steals the Batmobile, and a dozen other superhero encounters ensue across the Earth. The reason behind the merge is frightening: two “Brothers”, each representing the Marvel and DC universes, wish to fight one another. Since a fight between these two powerful entities would result in the destruction of both universes, each Brother chooses champions to fight in their stead. The side that loses the most battles loses their universe forever.