It’s October, and there’s only a few weeks before Halloween is upon us. In countdown to the holiday, Watcher Wednesday will be dedicated to the costumes of the Marvel universe. But, this is not about a fashion show. The uniforms of the characters are much more than just a covering. They are often the fuel for the powerful heroes and villains of the comics. So, to kick it off, here’s Wizard Victor’s take on one of the most famous costumes of all…Iron Man’s armor….
Tony Stark. There was a time when nobody knew who he was, he was an underplayed character that everyone glossed over because he didn’t have any super powers and was not a man of high moral standards. After the 2008 movie, we’ve all begun to look at Tony in a different direction. He’s the bad boy that everyone loves, who hides emotional scars underneath all that alcoholism and pomposity. Like Stark, his suit hides his insecurities.
Back in the 60s, Tony Stark had three Iron Man suits. The first one, known as Iron Man Armor MK I, was the simple, grey one he used to escape the terrorists in Vietnam. It was made in simple iron and prevented a piece of shrapnel from travelling to his heart and killing him. This would be the prototype and would include features such as a mini hacksaw, air pressure jets chest-mounted proton beam generators and other such things. His next armor, the MK II, was a golden version of MK I that he made so the general public wouldn’t be as frightened of him. It was light and could be folded up into his briefcase.
Finally, the red and gold armor arrived after a fight with a villain called Mr. Doll, who could control Stark’s MK II. This MK III would eventually be the true prototype of Iron Man’s future armors as they all resembled this one in one way or another.
During the 80s, Stark came to realize that his regular red and gold suit wasn’t enough for specific situations, like fighting in space or underwater. He needed specialized suits for specific missions that call upon them. There were many different armors during the 80s including Space Armor MK I, Stealth Armor MK I, Silver Centurion, Hydro Armor, and finally his new Iron Man MK VIII armor.
The 90s were basically a continuation of these upgraded armors of the 80s and included armors such as the Modular Armor, Hulkbuster Armor (yes, really), Artic Armor, Renaissance Armor and many more.
Though the start of the 2000s were similar to the 80s and 90s, in terms of newer and cooler armors, one stood out as Tony’s default. The Extremis Armor. After being critically injured in a battle, Stark had to inject himself with a modified virus to save his life. This fused his armor to his body, allowing him to store the armor in his bones and control it through brain impulses. Iron Man became, essentially, a cyborg. The armor was now sleeker, lighter, but even more powerful. It gave Tony the famous Marvel healing factor and his cells regenerated at a faster rate.
And then we come to 2010. The Bleeding Edge Armor. In Invincible Iron Man #25, Tony creates a new version of his Extremis Armor. This version is the most powerful, has the most features, and looks the coolest. Why? Because it was based off the suit from the 2008 film. Everything from the cheekbones to the glowing blue eyes.
Here’s to Iron Man’s not-so-iron armors!
- Iron Man Armory Visual Guide (Volume I)
- Iron Man Armory Visual Guide (Volume II)
- Iron Man Armory Visual Guide (Volume III)