I think it’s safe to say that Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is the darling of Marvel’s booming film franchise. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor may be adorable, but he’s far from suave, while Chris Evans plays Captain America pretty much straight. Downey Jr., on the other hand, brings charm and levity to the role of Iron Man. The Iron Man concept, too, strikes a bell with audiences in the way only a rocket-powered robotic suit can. 1940s super-soldiers and displaced Norse deities take note.
The films so far have shown us a great deal in the way of Stark tech: the original Iron Man film showed us Stark’s initial imperfect effort cobbled together in an insurgent prison-come-workshop. Later on, we saw the iconic red-and-yellow, and the gargantuan Iron Monger suit created from tech stolen by Stark’s partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). Iron Man 2 continued the tradition of Tony’s incredible failure to safeguard his tech from prying hands, and we soon saw the “Mark 2” armour piloted by Don Cheadle, and the appearance of War Machine.
Now, if leads are to be followed and leaks are to be believed, I’m set to see the Space Armour make its appearance in Iron Man 3… though as I have yet to see the film, I’m still in the dark here. To keep me going (not to mention those poor Americans relegated to another day for the US release), here are the 10 coolest Iron Man Armours, from Stark’s long history of brilliant combat and poor patent protection!
10. Neuromimetic Telepresence Armour
In truth, I’m kicking off this list with a bit of a cheat; Tony Stark does not wear the Neuromimetic Telepresence Armour, though on occasion, he’s fooled his opponents into believing that he’s inside (a trick I seem to remember him pulling on Magneto and others during the Avengers VS X-Men storyline). The suit is remote-controlled by head-set, with Tony safely hidden away!
It seems a remarkably logical solution to a remarkably obvious problem, when you come to think of it. Stark puts himself in immense danger, vulnerable to EMP or any number of unforeseeable attacks, often hundreds of feet in the air. Even more so than with Batman, it’s incredible that Stark still lives. “Telepresence”, or “remote control” for those of us without Stark’s Masters in Physics, seems a simple and elegant solution: if he is able to be fully, interactively in control of the “armour”, doesn’t a robot convey all the benefits of a robotic suit without any real drawbacks?
In truth, of course, the drawback relates to storytelling; a heroic Tony Stark risking his life to save the innocent is far more thrilling to watch than a Tony Stark at a safe distance, controlling a disposable robot.