The final catch-up to Tony Stark's appearances in the MCU to date.
So, after all the sleepless nights of tinkering and inventing, Tony calms down a little bit. Maybe the “Clean Slate” protocol really was a brand new start for Stark. Thankfully, the next time we see Iron Man, he doesn’t have as many suits to add to his roster. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we only see two new suits. Of course, he’s also created the Iron Legion at this point for the help of the general populace.
MK XLIII. The Mark XLIII follows in the footsteps of the XLII. Although the forty-second suit was often described as a prototype, the forty-third is a completed version. It has been updated and follows much the same pattern as the last. In the birth of the Vision scene, Tony can be seen calling his armour to his defence, still retaining this ability from the last suit.
The Mark XLIII also features more durable armour as well as an improved weapons system, having used this suit to help raid various Hydra bases around the world. We also see this suit’s effectiveness in “Sentry Mode”, a new feature that allows Tony to exit the suit but keeps it fully functional and aware of its surroundings, especially enemies. J.A.R.V.I.S. also keeps the suit running and open to Tony’s commands.
MK XLIV. “Hulkbuster”. The forty-fourth suit in Stark’s arsenal was a measure created with the help of Bruce Banner. Thanks to the Veronica satellite, this armour can be deployed anywhere across the world just in case the Hulk ever decided to go on a rampage. Due to the sheer size and the thickness of the armour, this suit allows Tony Stark to wield a Hulk-like strength capable of rivalling the real thing.
Of course, due to the Hulk’s immense and unrivalled strength, it was inevitable that the he would tear apart pieces from the suit. Having a backup, Veronica could deploy spare parts and also alternative parts to repair the Hulkbuster. This allowed Tony to subdue the Hulk, and to also increase his power output in the form of systematic mechanical punches: “Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep.”
Though retaining the ability to fly, the Hulkbuster is the heaviest suit to date, acting as an add-on to Tony’s current suit, and thus is unable to fly either very fast or especially high. The thrusters are immensely powerful, however, not only able to lift the Hulkbuster off the ground, but also the Hulk’s added weight in addition.
Joss Whedon was itching to include the Hulkbuster into the MCU, arguing that it was one of the suits that fans most wanted to see. He also states that, “It makes sense because there’s no one who can really go up against Hulk, but more importantly, those guys are best friends, so what that battle is and what it means is fascinating to me” So, it was always important and meaningful to the audience that such good friends would have to resort to such measures.
MK XLV. The forty-fifth suit counts as the quickest wardrobe change on Tony’s part. So quick, in fact, that unless you weren’t paying close enough attention to Stark, you wouldn’t even have noticed this other suit included in the film. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice a slight colour change from the Mark XLIII. As well as a hexagonally shaped chest-cavity for the chest RT, this is the very first suit to feature a couple of new things.
Firstly, this is the suit to feature the new A.I. system, F.R.I.D.A.Y., as a replacement for J.A.R.V.I.S. who was reprogrammed into the Vision. She features an Irish accent and is capable of all the systems that Tony has become accustomed to.
Secondly, this is the very first suit to be made from vibranium. Having rediscovered the element and utilised it in his arc reactor technology, Tony is wasting no time in priding himself in its use. Of course, they came across a fair bit in Wakanda so he could have taken some from there. What’s more likely is that Tony had this vibranium before the incident in Wakanda. Perhaps he knew a certain person in Wakanda who utilises vibranium in their Panther-like suit? Nevertheless, this suit is more durable and completely shock-absorbent, so it’s useful in certain situations like destroying floating cities in the sky.
MK XLVI. Set to appear in Civil War, there is little that has been revealed about this suit other than speculation. Some have said that it looks similar to the “Bleeding Edge” suit from the comics. This is the suit that manifests itself from Tony’s very skin because Tony was getting more and more paranoid that he would need his suit on him at all times. It also features a unique energy sword.
And now we’re finally up to date. I hope you’ve been taking notes and have enjoyed increasing your knowledge about Tony’s repertoire. Perhaps we’ll see a couple of new suits in the new film, seeing as Stark usually has at least two suits in every film he’s been in.
Captain America: Civil War will be released in UK cinemas on 29th April 2016.