Iron Man Turns 50: The Many Armors of Tony Stark

Fans of the Marvel Universe know that the ‘regular world’ (called Earth-616) isn’t the only world out there and as many alternate realities as there are a version of Iron Man usually appears in them.
Ultimate Iron Man
After Earth-616, the next most famous world is the Ultimate line. A modern retelling of Marvel’s heroes, this universe’s Iron Man is similar to the other designs as far as the color and weaponry goes, but where it differs is a whole team is needed to suit up Stark in the armor. It features more defensive weapons than many of the other suits in the 616 universe as well. Also much like the ‘real’ Tony Stark, the Ultimate Iron Man has several versions of the armor including variations on the Hulkbuster and Satellite Armor.
Iron Man Noir
Set in 1938, Iron Man Noir reimagined the character as a 1930s adventurer not unlike Indiana Jones. In the story, Stark finds and completes a set of armor that his father had been working on for many years, and what does he do with this armor? What else, destroy the Nazi army.
Iron Man 2020
Another set of armor that technically wasn’t Tony Stark, but instead his nephew in the far away future of 2020. Arno Stark purchased Stark Industries and began life as a mercenary in armor inspired by his late Uncle’s own. The armor contained similar weapons to the original Iron Man armor, but was also capable of working underground, under water, and in space.
Marvel 1602
Maintaining the namesake of the original Iron Man, the Anthony Stark of the Elizabethan era also has a similar origin story. Captured during the English/Spanish war, Anthony was forced into making weapons for David Banner. In doing so he creates his own set of armor which is powered by ‘lightning bottles.’ Though it doesn’t feature the kind of weapons we know Iron Man for, the suit is quite invulnerable, gave Anthony superior strength, and utilized lightning-based weapons. It is referred to as the Lord Iron Armor.
Sorcerer Armor
One of the most interesting titles from Marvel was their ‘Out-Of-Continuity’ title ‘What If…?’ It featured titles that posed bizarre questions and told self-contained stories that usually came out of left field. In ‘What If…’ #113 the question asked was “What if Tony Stark became the Master of Mystic Arts?” In the story, Stark is the one responsible for Stephen Strange’s hand injuries and becomes the Sorcerer Supreme instead of Dr. Strange. The armor is a combination of pieces from gathered from a number of different dimensions and is described as a perfect balance of science and magic.
Fantastic Four Armor
Another ‘What If’ story set up an idea of a new Fantastic Four composed of The Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man. Tony’s armor in the series doesn’t differ much from the regular armor in terms of its capabilities, but the cosmetic differences are in the color and that the Fantastic Four’s signature ‘4’ appears on his chest.
Go to page 7 for Iron Man’s TV appearances!
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