To me as a non-native to the English language, it reminds funny, geeky, nerdy hero, like Tony Stark (Iron Man) excluding his riches and Iron Man suit.
But what are the nuances of "intellectual bad ass" to a native speaker of English?
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"intellectual bad ass" juxtaposes "intellectual" or high-brow language with "bad ass" which is slang, or a low-brow language. Thus it achieves a kind of paradoxical effect. This works for Iron Man as a guy who both has "book smarts" and "street smarts" (which is what many of the geeks want).
David Foster Wallace uses this style a lot.