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THE ODDLY SPECIFIC ARMORS
Sometimes the regular Iron Man armor isn't enough. Tony has had to expand the capabilities of what his suit can do hundreds of times throughout the continuity and sometimes that means making a suit of armor for a very specific purpose. These armors don't get used all that often but we'd be lying if we didn't say they were some of our favorites.
A recurring trend you'll see in many of these armors is that they've only appeared the one time that Stark used them. That of course goes for the Arctic Armor that Stark used to get himself to his secret Arctic Bunker (which wasn't really heard from again). No details were given about the suit other than it could presumably survive in subzero temperatures. It's rumored to contain repulsor rays as the ports can be seen on the armor's palms, it also featured a hexagonal shaped unibeam port.
The name might make you think Tony uses this armor to put out fires when in fact it was used to dive to extreme depths in the ocean. Tony's regular Iron Man armor does of course work in water but the Hydro Armor could go as deep as three miles into the ocean. His reasoning for creating the armor might surprise you though: Tony helps the government stop a terrorist force from opening a toxic gas tank at the wreckage of the Titanic which they were planning to use as a weapon. Not the best of storylines, but at least they got some cool armor out of it?
When Tony hears that a plant is making Gamma bombs for the US Government, he goes there knowing that the Hulk will probably turn it into rubble and he's not wrong. He uses the newly created Hulkbuster armor to take on the big green guy and it works until they cop out and decide to destroy the plant together. The Hulkbuster armor has become a fan favorite due to its design and it even saw an upgraded version reapper in the 'World War Hulk' storyline over a decade later.
Set up: A religion forms around Thor in Slovakia and all its members are executed. Hearing their cries, Thor goes to the country and beats the snot out of their army. The US asks Tony to intervene before the U.N. gets involved and he agrees. After a brainstorming session with Doctor Doom, Tony creates this set of armor which is powered by an Asgardian crystal gifted to him by Thor. Disgusted that Tony would use his gift as a weapon, Thor destroys it.
Marvel had a big event series last year that you may have heard of called 'Avengers vs. X-Men.' It wasn't the first (nor likely the last) time they've battled and the driving force behind their fisticuffs was the Phoenix Force. The entity that possessed Jean Grey all those years ago was headed back for Earth and Tony Stark of course thought he could handle it. Using his newly created armor, he went into space to destroy it but when he activated the armor's weapons it split the Phoenix force into five pieces which all found a different host on Earth, escalating the fight further.
Marvel published several Transformers comics throughout the '80s and '90s, but did you know there was an Avengers/Transformers crossover series just a few years ago? In 2007, the Autobots teamed up with the New Avengers to stop (who else?) Megatron, as a result of giant robots that can morph into cars Stark created a super-sized version of his armor to fight back. The armor met its end when Megatron cut its head off.
Head to page 4 for the Modern armors!