A Tour of Tony Stark’s Greatest Armors
Take a look at some of Iron Man's all-time greatest armors!
You can't think about Iron Man without picturing your favorite version of his armor. Over the nearly 60-year history of the character, we've seen Tony Stark’s Iron Man creations evolve from a huge, hulking gray behemoth to some of the slickest pieces of machinery ever witnessed by humanity. As an inventor and scientist, Tony's constantly looking for new ways to improve his regular armors and also develop specialized versions to take on a particular threat.
In our efforts to continue celebrating Stark Week, we've compiled a list of some of the best, coolest, and most effective armors that Iron Man's ever donned in his mission to keep the world safe!
The armor Stark built in his first appearance — 1963’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 — came out fairly bulky and gray. But as soon as the inventor got his new toy back to the shop, he tricked his togs out with a less threatening gold paint job and extra bells and whistles that allowed for limited flight, increased durability, a variety of collapsible tools, and a concussive beam mounted in his chest.
Red and Yellow
Always looking to update his armor, Stark made another major change in TALES OF SUSPENSE #48 when he debuted the classic red-and-yellow color scheme that has become the standard. Lighter and more powerful, this suit went through little alterations here and there, often to the face mask or the various accouterments. Even huge technological leaps, like the Extremis armor, have used this same basic design, but with a lot more going on under the hood!
The Silver Centurion
After spending some time away from being Iron Man, Stark returned with an all new silver-and-red suit. Debuting in IRON MAN #200, this armor allowed him limited space travel, cloaking devices, disruptor field generators, and other new ideas. Though it has come back on more than one occasion, the Silver Centurion armor's regular tenure as his standard duds ended in issue #232 at the end of "Armor Wars."
Over the years, Tony built a number of armors to take on specific threats. He first donned the Hulkbuster back in IRON MAN #304 and has worn it since, but one of the most impressive versions debuted — and was destroyed — in WORLD WAR HULK #1. This enormous version looked like it could easily take on the Jade Giant, but Stark did not count on Hulk's extra layers of rage after being shot off planet by Iron Man and the Illuminati.
The Man of Iron
When Malekith decided to attain some of the Mandarin's rings, Iron Man responded by first attempting a stealth mission to Svartalfheim. After that went sideways, his magic consultant Dark Angel teleported in a suit made of actual iron, which is poisonous to the local Dark Elves. Sporting huge blades, blasters, and even tiny metal filings, this suit helped Stark take on his enemies and helped him get home, making it one of the more effective specialized suits of the bunch.
Though the Endo-Sym Armor debuted during a dark time in Tony's life — when he turned evil because of the events seen in AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS — it's still one of the flashiest ones around! While still dealing with the personality-reversing effects of that event, Stark built the Endo-Sym armor by utilizing basic aspects of the alien symbiotes to create a psionic bonding process instead of a mechanical one. The liquid metal suit could flow onto him and others at Tony's command. More importantly? It sure looked cool with all that shiny chrome!
The Fin Fang Foombuster
In the very first issue of TONY STARK: IRON MAN, our hero launched an experimental armor when the giant green dragon Fin Fang Foom started stomping towards Manhattan. Initially a series of different vehicles, they came together with Stark in the driver's seat. The two titans tussled and the 'buster took some damage leading to the Armored Avenger using alternate means. This exemplifies Stark's current methods of using whatever idea makes the most sense and also not being afraid to switch gears on the fly when necessary!
Considering the specific needs and purposes of each of Tony Stark’s armors, it’s probably safe to say that he doesn’t have a favorite. They’re all favorites, for one reason or another. But one thing is certain – seeing Tony Stark fly onto the scene as any version of Iron Man is a good sign!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Stark Week!
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