Iron Man Turns 50: The Many Armors of Tony Stark

Though he wouldn’t make his live action debut until 2008’s Iron Man, the character has appeared numerous times in animated form in various cartoons.
The Marvel Super Heroes – 1966
For its time, this was probably a really great cartoon, but now its one of the most laughable things we’ve come across. The theme song for the series described Iron Man as “A two-fist-ic and electrically transistored superhero” which we’re not quite sure what that means, but those aren’t the words we’d use for Iron Man. It looks a lot like Iron Man’s comic book armor but seems to function a little differently. Watch that theme song by clicking here.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends – 1981
Iron Man made an appearance on another Marvel cartoon, “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Again, the design for the character hasn’t changed much in the transition to television but in this clip from the show you can see him flying around in space destroying what looks like very small asteroids. Kind of a waste of Iron Man’s abilities by the US Government to make him destroy things that would burn up in the atmosphere anyway.
Iron Man the Animated Series– 1994
As a part of the Marvel Action Hour programming block (which is such a great name they need to bring it back), the animated series saw Tony teaming up with Century, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman. Tony’s armor looked similar enough in the series but did feature more gold in the armor than usual. He also didn’t have a shortage of different types of armor including: Subterranean Drill armor, Samurai Armor, Bio-energy armor, Lava Armor, and the Stealth armor – gotta sell those toys somehow.
The Avengers: United They Stand – 1999
Though he wasn’t a primary member of the team, Iron Man did appear in the eighth episode of the series to help them stop a radioactive satellite from crashing on Earth. The most peculiar thing about this design for Iron Man (and the only real difference) is that he doesn’t have a mouth etched into the face plate.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures – 2009
This 3D CG cartoon was heavily influenced by the Iron Man films and the best clue to that was the design for Tony’s armor. Similar in build and color to what is used in the films, the primary difference is the helmet. The design features an illuminated mouth in addition to the eyes and smaller sections of gold than previous armors.
The Marvel Super Hero Squad Show – 2009
This version of Iron Man was meant to be enjoyed by pre-schoolers but it goes against every single design for the character in one way: the eyes. Tony’s eyes are uncovered and visible in this cartoon and his mouth moves when he speaks. Given that this is a show made for five year olds, we can’t be too upset about that. Many of the different types of armor appear in the cartoon as well.
Head to the final page for the Iron Man armors as seen in the films!
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