Researching Elon Musk, I started to ask myself if this guy is the real Lex Luthor or Tony Stark? Privately, he’s building several robotic rockets that will allow him to colonize on Mars. He also wants to detonate nuclear weapons over Mar’s ice caps in order to activate a greenhouse effect and allow Mars to return to it’s original state when it was closer to the climate of earth. While explaining this to TV show host Stephen Colbert, Colbert said to Musk, “You’re a super-villain. That’s what a super-villain does. Superman doesn’t say ‘Drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles!’ That’s Lex Luthor, man.”
There can be an argument that Musk is too focused on making the world better and can’t be a super-villain. however, I would like to point out that the original comic book Lex Luthor is only a villain to Superman. He wants to take Superman down because he fears the idea that Superman has too much power and can turn on society at any moment. But frankly, Batman shares this same fear of Superman’s powers. Plus, there are versions of Luthor where he’s actually a part of the Justice League.
With that said, there are a lot of similarities across the comic book pond as well with Tony Stark. Stan Lee’s original Tony Stark was actually based off of Howard Hughes. Hughes was also an inventor and playboy of the 1960s. Since the current Avengers franchise has been focused on making the comic storylines more modern, Director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. decided to base the movie version of Tony Stark on Elon Musk. Keep in mind that Musk was only getting started comparably, in 2008 during the release of Iron Man. Musk even had a small cameo in Iron Man 2 for good measure.
Elon is a paragon of enthusiasm, good humor and curiosity… a Renaissance man in an era that needs them”.
– Jon Favreau
Here is a simple chart that breaks down the parallels of similarities and differences between Musk and Stark.