I definitely think the subject merited the extra time. Take a listen and see what you think.
NB: though Daddy Warpig delivered a brilliant meditation on the first Iron Man in light of themes common to Greek and Shakespearean drama, I'm confident that my original argument stands. It's interesting to note that nearly every counterargument from the many commenters who've attempted rebuttals fall into one of the following categories:
- Changing the subject from the films' objective merits to their subjective preferences
- Insisting that Obadiah Stane is an effective, well-motivated antagonist (Full disclosure: I never denied the first premise and DW brought me around to affirming the second. However, most of my interlocutors ended up confirming that Iron Monger doesn't work nearly as well, which was always my main point.)
- Armchair quarterbacking/fan saves: proposing complex script changes that would have improved Iron Man 2 as we find it no more proves the superiority of the first Iron Man than suggesting improvement to The Empire Strikes Back makes the original Star Wars the best entry in that franchise.
- Plot hole nitpicks: for every one you can point out in Iron Man 2, I can find you one in the first Iron Man. I never claimed that either film is perfect. In fact, they're both quite flawed by later MCU standards. Again, the point of the exercise was to find the best of three imperfect films. Iron Man 2 still takes the tarnished crown.
Consider that a more proper closing statement than we had time for. Anyway, read the post that started it all, listen to the debate, and draw your own conclusions.