Those eyes, man. Robert Downey Jr.’s eye acting (in tandem with Gwenyth Paltrowe’s ironic and iconic sense of aplomb) was my favorite part of The Avengers and its affiliated franchises.
I know, it means I’m not a comic book fan. I gave up on Volume II of the series because the opening action sequence ran too long and there was literally no eye acting or dialogue to be found anywhere in the first 15 minutes – just fight scene after fight scene. Not my cup of tea.
But I will never forget the looks he turned in Iron Man. The screencap above really says it all. So here’s a bit of fan poetry for Robert Downey Jr.’s unforgettable Tony Stark.
(This is a revision of a poem I posted elsewhere. The spirit animal I gave Tony comes from a fairytale in which a princess, seeking her lost love “east of the sun and west of the moon,” consults a wise salamander living magically in the heart of a volcano for the secret of her prince’s disappearance and captivity.)
To look upon the flashing stage
of Being and Illusion as a man
regards a prayer half-trusted once
but less so now, without enchantment
and yet longing for a disenchantment, too,
for a return to backlit hopes
that threaten to erupt in livid claims
on our most stolid sense, Reason,
with their Escheresque geometries
is to negotiate a poem of force
with salamander gravitas –
limpid at the heart
of a volcano – always dancing,
especially in the dark.