By Jim Beard
Are you as excited as we are about the "Iron Man" DVD?! Good! Because we've got a ton of Iron Man coverage coming at you every day until the DVD and Blu-ray hit stores Tuesday, Sept. 30! Can't wait until then? Preorder the Iron Man DVD now in a two-disc special edition, a single-disc edition or an ultimate two-disc Blu-ray edition
Each week we highlight a classic storyline told in full inside Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, the greatest collection of Marvel comics available online! This week we revisit one of the definitive Iron Man sagas, "Armor Wars!"
One could almost call Iron Man a "work-in-progress" super hero. Always updating and upgrading his fantastic armor, Tony Stark has created a long line of technological wonders that have given us years of thrilling adventures and wonders to behold.
Iron Man's suits of armor not only represent incredible advances in science and industry but also the cutting edge of super hero fashion—Tony's been as concerned about his protective gear's look as its operation!
Let's take a look at a few of our favorite Iron Man suits of the past and the fine features that made them great…
THE GOLDEN AVENGER
Tony's second suit of armor, this golden-plated version of his first suit debuted in TALES OF SUSPENSE #40. Ostensibly, the millionaire industrialist spruced Iron Man up to curry public favor—some thought the grey armor was "dull," even "terrifying"—but tinkering led to internal changes and a look good enough to help found the mighty Avengers in!
• Collapsible and made of lightweight alloy, but ultimately weighed half a ton when assembled
• Featured a utility belt with three "top-hat" transistorized magnets and built-in speakers for crowd control
• New boot jets allowed sustained flight but prolonged underwater exposure would cause rusting
• Discarded for less heavy armor after disastrous run-in with Mr. Doll
THE CLASSIC RED & GOLD
The fifth model in the line of Tony's continuing evolution as Iron Man, what's become known as his classic red and gold armor first appeared in IRON MAN v1 #3. The old transistors went out the window with the introduction of modern integrated circuits, and though the armor went through tough times against foes like Spymaster and the Gladiator, this famous symbol of justice remains for many the
Iron Man look.
• Utilized repulsor ray technology to fighting precision, as well as tractor-pressor beams and the vario-chestbeam
• Made from ultra-thin steel mesh and featured a refractory coating to defend against lasers and other energy armaments
• Worn by Happy Hogan, though not to any capable or proficient degree
• Cutting edge extension cord deployed from right hip pod allowed for sharing energy with others
THE SILVER CENTURION
Originally built for James "Rhodey" Rhodes and as a means of helping himself through alcoholism, Tony rolled out this famous armor in IRON MAN #200. It's one of those "where were you at when…?" moments for many fans. Outwardly, the suit's red and silver hues defined its radical nature but inwardly it kicked major butt and even took a few names while doing so.
• Contained a then-unheard of powerful energy matrix that augmented wearer's strength 90 times
• Advanced audio receptors could isolate individual human heartbeats
• "Chameleon effect" utilized holograms to cloak Iron Man but revealed outline when scrutinized closely
• Featured extensive underwater capabilities as well as space-faring abilities and the defensive augmentation to withstand direct missile hits
THE MODULAR LOOK
Anniversaries brought out the best in Tony Stark—and incredible advances in armor, as seen in IRON MAN #300. Sleek and stealthy, this armor bucked Tony's former design sense and was crafted around the modular approach: a multitude of plug-ins that allowed Iron Man the tools he needed for the trials and tribulations he faced.
• Modules included a railgun launcher, full-spectrum scanalyzer, energy dampening semi-fluid polymer compound, magnogravetic field generator, and a cryogenic blast
• Electro-magnetic attention circuits allowed suit to act as a gigantic magnet
• Took almost an entire optic blast from the creature designated "Ultimo"
• Medical capabilities included microsurgery, hypo-spray, and a downloadable copy of "Gray's Anatomy"
Sure, Tony Stark's sporting something he calls his "Extremis" armor these days, and it tessellates into and out of his own body and all that, but there's a kind of magic in the old-fashioned iron shells he used to prefer. Regardless, when the technological genius gets to playing in his lab, the world definitely benefits. It's all good.
"Iron Man" DVD and Blu-ray on sale Tuesday, Sept. 30. Preorder the Iron Man DVD now in a two-disc special edition, a single-disc edition or an ultimate two-disc Blu-ray edition. And be sure to head over to the official Iron Man movie site.
Want to catch up on your Iron Man reading? Check out this list of essential comic collections. And don't forget to head over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited for all the Shellhead stories you can handle!