which I saw last night [*], is to recommend you all these two long, meaty, very well-written fanfics that are, in fact, genuinely transformative and critical of the source:
- "Concession," by obsession_inc, 28K words, PG-13 for strong language and implied violence. AU after the first movie: Tony and Pepper are both missing, and Christine Everhart slowly discovers just what went wrong.
- "Almost No One Makes It Out," atrata, 28K words, R for strong language. What the first movie would have been like if Tony hadn't been born rich.
I'd read both of these before watching Iron Man 2 [**], but collectively they embody my serious problems with that movie in a much more interesting, entertaining, and eloquent way than I could. Yes, despite being written before the movie came out. Go read them (but if you read both, read them in that order; there's a reason).
(But we can talk spoilers in comments if you want. I can always rant.)
[*] You might reasonably ask, "Kate, you didn't much like the first movie (spoilers), why did you bother going to see the sequel, which no-one is saying is better than the first?" To which I say, "Yes, but I had the rare opportunity to go out to dinner and a movie with Chad last night (thanks to SteelyKid's grandmother) and it was this or Robin Hood."
[**] You might reasonably ask, "Kate, why are you reading fanfics of a movie you didn't much like?" To which I say, "often the fics are better than the source, as here; also, it's cofax7's fault."