January 02, 2009

Worst Iron Man armors

To add to this post, here are what I consider to be the worst of Iron Man's various armors over the years:

Ultimate Iron Man. Designed as part of Marvel's "reboot" of various characters (in this case, The Avengers as "The Ultimates"), this armor obviously stresses realism but the dorky helmet and ponderous boots make it highly unpleasing aesthetically. The color scheme sucks, too.

Thorbuster Armor. Tony Stark has noted myriad times how much he hates magic. So what does he do? He creates an armor powered by it! Yep, this ridiculous armor utilizes an "Asgardian mystic element" as a power source. The question is, what the hell does master of science Tony Stark even know about magic? Enough to build a suit of armor around it, I guess.

Iron Kid. Back in the mid-90s, the powers that be at Marvel had an "idea": Let's make Tony Stark/Iron Man "hip" by turning him into ... a teenager! It failed miserably, but nevertheless, when the young Stark (who was plucked from an alternate timeline by the Avengers) met his older counterpart (whom Marvel "wisely" turned into a madman), he picked out a manga-ish Ultra Man-lookin' outfit from [older] Stark's armory which also happened to be one of the weaker armors he could have chosen. Nice. Older Stark took the lad apart, tearing out his heart in the process. Not that it mattered much; Teen Stark's adventures were over a mere six issues later as "Heroes Reborn" Iron Man (volume 2 Iron Man) debuted, courtesy of Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld.

The S.K.I.N. Armor. The premise behind this novel idea was sound; SKIN stands for "Synth-Kinetic Interface Nano-fluid" which was a liquid, adamantium-strength alloy that essentially replaced the gold areas of Iron Man's armor. But the overall design of the armor sucked, probably in part due to the cartoony style of artist Keron Grant.

Space Armor Mark 2. Bob Layton's original design was a bulky lump -- but it made sense. What else would you expect "space" armor to look like? This newer version was more streamlined, but the helmet is a disaster. It looks like Iron Man has a bad hairstyle (kinda hard to see in the above pic), not to mention a square uni-beam should be anathema to any Iron Man design.

Posted by Hube at January 2, 2009 10:13 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

"this armor obviously stresses realism..."

You mean apart from the ridiculously narrow waist? Maybe it's just the perspective, but his stomach looks like Nicole Ritchie's.

Posted by: G Rex at January 2, 2009 12:20 PM

It's the perspective, Rex.

Posted by: Hube at January 2, 2009 12:50 PM

Considering the circles he runs in, I would think a suit that can fight gods wouldn't be a bad idea. Obviously he wouldn't use it much, either due to it being a bit too powerful or his anti-magic biased (he could just see the artifact as a battery), and I wouldn't want to see him in it all the time, but it's still wise to have.

And yes, the SKIN armor is the ugliest thing ever, and the art at the time had what I call a "fish-eye lens" look that was just horrid (one issue had him using a classic armor, but darned if I know which one) but did anything good come out of the "Hogan Potts" arc?

Posted by: ShadowWing Tronix at January 2, 2009 07:45 PM

OK Hube, I'm pissed that you left out my favorite Iron Man armor, and so I have retaliated. Well, sort of.


Posted by: steve Newton at January 2, 2009 10:40 PM