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Journal Articles Santé mentale au Québec Year : 2017

Iron Man: Between Confusion of Identity and Addiction to Technology

Iron Man : entre confusion identitaire et addiction à la technologie


The fascination surrounding a successful artwork is linked to the fact it faces the viewer to unknown aspects of his/her own psychic life. The same applies to the comics Iron Man. Behind the armour is hiding a man caught up in the traumatic incidences of life. The hero demonstrates a psychic weakness which, despite being deep, is, however, showing universal aspects. The analysis of his misfortunes reveals a narcissistic disorder. The article intends to set out the identity confusion the Marvel’s protagonist is trapped in while highlighting the addictive troublesome linking him to his high-tech armour. This article also seeks to attest the fact the symbiosis between Tony Stark and Iron Man is anticipating the evolution of our behaviour with regard to new technologies. To this end, the authors are recalling the episodes of the series. Through the analysis of the confrontational dialogue the hero is maintaining with his iron armour, they explore how the internal experiment related to the sense of identity disorder is figured out. Thus, going through the key moments of the saga, the authors raise the ambiguity of his hero. The metapsychological analysis of the actions undertaken by Iron Man reflects a little-known facet of his personality, revealing a character more tormented than he really looks. However, the point is not to “treat” a fictional man, but to observe how he can help us to understand the internal behaviour of our patients, and also our own. The Faustian drama this comic leads to is hence understood as a living testimony of our own psychic conflicts. Furthermore, the analysis gives rise to a questioning as to the risk of identity confusion the technological progress can create at a time when the Human is more and more depending on the machines he creates himself.
L’engouement que suscite une oeuvre d’art réussie est lié au fait qu’elle renvoie le spectateur à des aspects méconnus de sa propre vie psychique. Il en va ainsi de la bande dessinée Iron Man. Derrière l’armure se cache un homme pris dans les incidences traumatiques de la vie. L’analyse des mésaventures de ce personnage de comics dévoile une problématique narcissique très intense. Le dialogue conflictuel qu’il entretient avec son armure de fer questionne l’expérience interne liée au trouble du sentiment d’identité. De surcroît, cette bande dessinée fait émerger un questionnement quant aux conséquences de l’évolution de notre lien aux objets technologiques, à l’heure où notre dépendance à eux ne cesse de s’accentuer.

Dates and versions

hal-02443720 , version 1 (17-01-2020)



Sébastien Chapellon, Florian Houssier. Iron Man : entre confusion identitaire et addiction à la technologie. Santé mentale au Québec, 2017, 42 (2), pp.245-261. ⟨10.7202/1041926ar⟩. ⟨hal-02443720⟩
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