Currently, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the armour that continues to impress us ranges from Mark I to Mark XLVI (46). Mark I debuted in the 2008 hit Iron Man movie, while Mark XLVI debuted in the 2016 movie, Captain America: Civil War.
In this day and age, to bring a character to life we have spectacular CGI that creates immersive detail in order to intensify the awesomeness of the character. However, these epic designs were actually conceived many years’ prior in the comic series.The classic grey armour that Mark I is based on, first appeared in the character’s debut in 1963 Tales of Suspense #39. Mark I was armed with electromagnetic gloves, a flamethrower and a manually deployed rocket, that made this armour quite the force to be reckoned with. Although it’s aero capabilities were not polished yet, leading to the armour's destruction in the first Iron Man movie, it is hard to forget the roots of Iron Man. After all what more could you ask for from a man held prisoner in the middle of a desert?
In 1994 Iron Man #300, Modular Armour was debuted which saw each part of the armour becoming an independent component that allowed Tony to swap the pieces as needed depending on what his upcoming battle will need. Although we have not quite seen this concept applied to Iron Man that forms part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe today, we do see modularity applied to Mark 42. The first armour suit where each part was treated as an independent component and was controlled by microchips inside Tony’s body.
So we can see that many of the armour versions today in the marvel cinematic universe are based on the original comic series and have been brought to life by the incredible technology of today. Other notable armour depictions were the War Machine armour debuting in Iron Man #281 (1992). Used in the comic series by Tony initially to do battle with the Masters of Silence, where he is heavily outgunned and required a suit capable of destruction on a large scale. This differs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe where the War Machine armour was created by Tony but then modified by the U.S. military.
Hulkbuster Armour made its first appearance in Iron Man #304 (1994) an armour of immense strength that was needed in case there was a battle with the angry green giant himself, Hulk.
Now considering the armour concepts were conceived over a decade ago, there are a number of armour concepts that still have to debut on the big screen. This may be because the ideas are a little too far out there or maybe because we are just not there yet as in the cinematic story of Iron Man. Possible future concepts are Space Armour used when Iron Man joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, a concept, if applied to the Cinematic Universe, will create an interesting addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy team.
Extremis armour was created when Tony Stark injected the extremis super soldier virus into his body which changed his body chemistry allowing him to be physically linked to his armour and computer system. Therefore, he was able to control the suit with a single thought. An impressive upgrade that we may see in the future.
Bleeding Edge Armour was designed so the armour itself was able to be stored inside Tony’s bone marrow. This made it possible to have his armour with him at all times. The design effectively turned Tony into a cyborg of a sort. A far reaching concept that we doubt will ever make it to big screen but definitely one of the more intriguing armour versions the comic series has produced.
Lastly, we have the Marvel NOW! initiative, which falls into the more recent comics where we see Iron Man given a completely new colour scheme which is black and gold. The Marvel NOW! Armour has an interesting spin on it as its able to turn into a liquid that can be controlled by Tony’s mind in order to suit him up. Maybe not such a far out concept for the big screen.
Iron Man is an epic hero that is one of the superstars of the avengers and was an instant big screen hit. There is clearly a lot of concepts out there and we may see many new things to come in the upcoming additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.