The vast majority of comic heroes have pretty attractive alter egos. Superman and Batman have all been played by hotties on-screen, even if one’s alter ego is sort of a nerd and the other one is a billionaire playboy. When the first Iron Man movie came out, it was the
first time Tony Stark, the man behind Iron Man had ever been seen in the flesh.
The Tony Stark of the comics wasn’t anyone to write your mom about; he didn’t really have to be, either, since his face was covered while in his superhero form and the suit gave him all his physical strength. But a lot of time was spent with Tony Stark in the film, and Robert Downey Jr. clearly defined the role as confident, witty, and with sex appeal.