Downey is an excellent talent and, IMO, should absolutely reap whatever benefits his performances garner. However, I will not go quite so far as to say that he "carried" The Avengers. Every so often, there is production where all of the elements gel in such a way that results in unexplained phenomenon. There was such an absolute balance with the Avengers that I got sucked into each individual storyline/back story. And the production elements were excellent as well and the talents of the actors bring it all to fruition. And as far as Iron Man is concerned, let's face it, even if he weren't a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthopist (LOL), it's the suit. Who couldn't relate when Rhody said "Next Time"? And "the suit" get's cooler each platform. Walking and having "the suit" removed? Are you kidding me?! The fact is, RDJ or not, the production equally is responsible for the success of Iron Man. So from my perspective, it's the perfect storm so to speak.