"The most successful superhero films have evoked Christian themes," said Graham. "They've focused on the battle between good and evil without many shades of gray. Themes such as self-sacrifice, redemption, and responsibility really explain the appeal of these films. It makes them stand out from other films with less noble heroes. While some films have focused on comic book anti-heroes, such as Watchmen and The Punisher, these films have not had nearly the wide-spread commercial appeal."
In terms of the film's moral and spiritual value, Graham remains cautious. "Iron Man 3 will be darker. What that means, we don't know. Tony Stark's dark side has been explored in the films, but to a lesser extent than in the comics. Stark's struggles with alcoholism have been well-known. In addition, the comic book version of Stark has been willing to lie, manipulate, and cross ethical lines in pursuit of what he wants. How Stark is portrayed will definitely be key to the film's success."