Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man Armor Comics vs Movie Comparison Reveal 7 Times MCU Strayed Away from Source Material

There have been a plethora of times when Iron Man's armor was shown differently in the MCU, compared to the comics.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man Armor Comics vs Movie Comparison Reveal 7 Times MCU Strayed Away from Source Material

SUMMARY

  • Iron Man is one of the most popular and beloved characters in the MCU franchise.
  • MCU features a progression from the Mark I to the final Mark LXXXV model, with respect to Iron Man's suits.
  • The comic book versions revealed a far more diverse array of suits that never made their way to the movies.
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Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man is one of the MCU’s most popular and beloved characters. While it is no secret that the MCU adeptly steered away from some of the source material, his iconic armor also underwent notable transformations. The franchise features a progression from the Mark I to the final Mark LXXXV model.

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The most iconic scene of Iron Man and MCU
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man

However, the comic book versions revealed a far more diverse array of suits that never made their way to the MCU. The following list explores seven instances when the franchise stepped away from the source material, specifically when it came to the superhero’s armor.

Read More: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson Officially Replaced in New MCU Series

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Iron Man Armor Model 7 in Comics vs Mark VII in the MCU

The Iron Man Model 7, described as the Mark VII in the MCU, is significantly different in the comics and the franchise. In the comics, the Model 7 is called Stealth Armor, which was created to infiltrate a radar-equipped laboratory in East Germany. It features a radar-absorbing layer, ECM jamming, and a wave-modifying plasma layer for covert missions. The armor was initially defenseless but Tony Stark later modified it to have limited weapon capability.

Iron Man Model 7 and Mark VII
Iron Man Model 7 and Mark VII

Unlike the comics, Robert Downey Jr.’s Mark VII represents a significant leap in Iron Man technology, integrating the advances of the first six versions. It excels in in-flight systems, ordinances, and laser weapons, particularly in its portability and accessibility innovations. First introduced during the Battle of New York, it was also used by Tony Stark as his default armor while working on the Iron Legion armors in Iron Man 3.

Iron Man Model 23 in Comics vs MCU

Iron Man Model 23 is called Ablative Armor in the comics. It was a prototype space suit engineered for impact-heavy environments. Deployed to combat an alien nanoplasm, this advanced suit uses furnace-made honeycomb-shaped polymer tiles. These tiles, held in place by the force field, are replaced after impact and can serve as chaff or projectiles. It also includes refractors, a uni-beam, diamond-tipped blades for cutting samples, and a bio-containment zone to prevent contamination.

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Model 23 and Mark XXIII
Model 23 and Mark XXIII

Mark XXIII is codenamed Shades in the MCU. In contrast to comics, the Shades feature specific functionalities within the Iron Legion with an emphasis on heat resistance. The armor was featured in the third Iron Man film in the battle against Eldritch Killian and the Extremis Soldiers. Its heat-resistant armor layer prevents the suit from melting and ultimately burning the user inside it. However, it is also said to be designed for less intense combat scenarios.

Read More: Robert Downey Jr. Makes Valiant Return as Tony Stark in Iron Man 4: Resurrection Art

Iron Man Model 29 in Comics vs Mark XXIX Armor in the MCU

The Model 29, also known as the Extremis Armor, is considered one of Stark’s most advanced armors. Tony Stark created the suit to deal with the threat of the extremis-driven terrorist Mallen. He integrated Extremis into his body giving him control over the cutting-edge Iron Man armor. Along with standard weapons such as uni-beam, pulse bolt, sonic, cloaking, and gravity grip, it also allowed Tony Stark to remotely pilot multiple suits at once.

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Mark XXIX Armor and Model 29
Mark XXIX Armor and Model 29

Mark XXIX, however, was one of the suits within the Iron Legion. Designated for agility in construction zones, it featured a pneumatic jackhammer on its left arm, akin to the Fiddler Crab’s larger claw. It was called to help Tony Stark and James Rhodes during the fight against Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 and was later destroyed by the Clean Slate Protocol.

Iron Man Armor Model 34 in Comics vs Mark XXXIV

Model 34 is one of the suits that Iron Man never wore in comics. It remained inactive until remotely triggered in response to the death of Ho Yinsen’s son by S.H.I.E.L.D. The armor featured an active camouflage and radar-observing system and was specifically designed to be used as a satellite-destroying machine. Model 34 was later destroyed by Human Torch in comics.

Model 34 and Mark XXXIV
Model 34 and Mark XXXIV

Mark XXXIV, also known as Southpaw Armor, was also one of the armors in Iron Legion and was featured in the final battle in Iron Man 3. However, the suit originally served as a prototype design to address situations arising from natural disasters and offers protection against tornadoes, earthquakes, and similar calamities in the field. Mark XXXIV was also destroyed when Stark activated the Clean Slate Protocol to wipe out the Iron Legion.

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Read More: Infamous Iron Man 2 BTS Stories That Almost Made it a Cosmic Trainwreck

Armor Model 41 in Comics vs Mark XLI in the MCU

In the comics, Tony Stark created Model 41 after being held captive by the Mandarin. The armor was the result of Stark’s post-captivity depression and served the specific purpose of supporting the user in the harsh environment of space. It also focuses on recycling everything the user’s body needs, ensuring the ability to survive in space for many weeks.

Iron Man Armor Model 41 and Mark XLI
Iron Man Armor Model 41 and Mark XLI

Following the events of The Avengers, Tony Stark created a series of armor to meet different possible situations. One of them also included Mark XLI or Bones Armor. Designed for versatility in combat situations, the suit had a black and gold color scheme. It also has the unique ability to separate into several parts that can fly independently. Bones Armor was also destroyed with the Iron Legion.

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Iron Man Armor Model 48 vs Mark XLVIII

Iron Man has created everything for every situation, and the Model 48 in the comics was one of the many examples of this. Also known as Cold Iron Armor, it was designed for interaction with the magical realm. Transformed with the help of Dark Angel, it also can be worn over any other armor suit. It includes features such as immunity to magic along with releasing clouds of iron spikes, iron claws, and iron hooks. The armor also gives Tony Stark a deadly edge against the Dark Elves, as the cold iron composition is known to be lethal to them.

Model 48 and Hulkbuster Mark II
Model 48 and Hulkbuster Mark II

Mark XLVIII, aka Hulkbuster Mark II, made his on-screen debut in Avengers: Infinity War. Tony Stark designed the suit specifically to confront and control Bruce Banner’s alter-ego, the Hulk. It surpasses the regular Iron Man armor in both size and strength, featuring weapons and protection specifically designed to subdue the formidable Hulk with its remarkable superhuman strength, durability, and speed.

Read More: Iron Man’s Sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame Directly Sets Up Doctor Strange 3 Plot — Theory

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Model 49 in Comics vs Mark XLIX in the MCU

Unlike in the MCU, Model 49 serves as the Hulkbuster in comics. It is introduced when Tony Stark investigates the Gamma Bomb’s testing site to verify a vision he had related to Bruce Banner. It features a formidable ‘shock-and-awe’ barrage with repulsors and ultrasonics, along with additional weaponry such as gamma blades and a minefield, all designed specifically to combat the Hulk.

Model 49 and Mark XLIX in Avengers: Endgame
Model 49 and Mark XLIX in Avengers: Endgame

Tony Stark designed Mark XLIX as a Rescue Armor for his fiancée, Pepper Potts before the events of Infinity War. The armor gives her superhuman strength, durability, and the ability to unleash powerful repulsor blasts similar to Tony’s advanced armor during the Battle of Earth in Avengers: Endgame.

The MCU effectively brought the character of Tony Stark to life with multiple changes and innovations. Demonstrating the MCU’s dedication to creating a distinct narrative, these variations highlight the evolving storytelling across different mediums.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2367

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.