Saturday, January 16, 2016

Top Ten Armors of Iron Man 3

The attack of the Iron Legion. One of the most fist-pumpingly-awesome moments in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. About thirty armors on screen at once, each one with a unique look and function. Well, actually, that’s a bit of a lie. Several armors are variations on the same theme. There are a couple armors with arm attachments, a couple meant for withstanding radiation, a couple meant for stealth, et cetera.

But still, when I first took it upon myself to go through the MCU wiki and look at each and every armor, this was my reaction.

Like my own metallic children
But alas, I have to play favorites. So without further ado, I present to you my Top 10 Armors in Iron Man 3.

10: Mark XV/Sneaky

Because sometimes, the placeholder names stick.
An armor with a working cloaking device. I am absolutely sold on the idea. There were two armors that were supposed to have cloaking capabilities, and I like the look of this one better. In fact, this armor’s unique look is the only reason it’s on the list at all.  The cloaking devices are never used. Dang ol’ Treaty of Algeron.

9: Mark XXII/Hot Rod

A little hot rod red in there.
Flames make everything cooler. Even a War Machine 2.0 prototype. The unique paint job puts this otherwise unremarkable armor at the number 9 slot, because it certainly didn’t do anything worth ranking it higher.

You have failed us.
8: Mark XXXVIII/Igor

Looks more like Frankenstein.
The Hulkbuster armor is a fan-favorite; one that people were clamoring to see on screen. So when the brief clip of Igor in the Iron Man 3 trailer came along, people flocked to the message boards and screamed “OH MY GOD IT’S THE HULKBUSTER!” To which others replied, “No it’s not. It’s blue and shaped wrong.”

In the end, Igor… is not the Hulkbuster. Its official purpose is heavy lifting, not busting Hulks. But Igor was still the closest thing to the Hulkbuster armor until Age of Ultron brought along the actual Hulkbuster, which I have to admit I like better than Igor. I don’t know, I just like the so-called “sumo-helmet” better, and Igor just seems a little too much like construction equipment than armor. Though I guess that’s the point.

While I still think Igor was a cool addition, I'm not marking it any higher than this because it was little more than a knockoff of the armor we really wanted to see.

7: Mark XXVIII/Jack

The Jack of one trade.
Out of all the radiation suits Tony built, I like the coloring on this one the best, making it look like a biohazard symbol. That’s the kind of goofy thing you’d see in the comics, and I love it.

6: Mark XXXVI/Peacemaker

You got legs, hon.
It's basically the "Red Snapper" armor without the distinctive claws. But... I don't know, I like the idea of anti-riot armor. And I think the armors with the gigantic tools on them like Jackhammer and Red Snapper look a little bit unwieldy, like they’re going to knock something over.

An armor that practically screams “No. You move.”

5: Mark XXXIX/Starboost

AKA "Gemini." I don't know why it has two names.
The one that he was going to wear to go visit the Guardians of the Galaxy... according to a false rumor. But even so, it's a sharp-looking armor that draws on our current ideas of what spaceships and spacesuits look like. And it makes sense that he’d build this armor after his little escapade into space. And it also makes sense that he’d build other armors before it; I imagine Tony built this in the hopes that he could face his fears of space and get some sleep. Then he decided that sleep was for dorks and kept building armors.

4: Mark XXXIII/Silver Centurion

Hello, sweetie.
My favorite armor from the comics, updated well. I’ve always liked the red/silver color scheme, as well as the triangular shoulder pads, so it was really nice to see the classic elements of the armor kept while updating it to fit in with the film’s style.

You beautiful thing, you.
And the addition of the blade is a really cool way to make it a true "Centurion." So yes, seeing this suit used prominently in the finale to slice off Killian’s hand was wonderful.

I could watch this gif forever.
3: Mark XLI/Bones

"Dammit, Jim, I'm an armor, not a doctor!"
The Mark XLI armor is the one that immediately predates the one he spends most of Iron Man 3 using. As we find out during the big Extremis fight, it was the prototype for Tony's new split-and-combine armor approach, and its barebones look looks really cool. One wonders what sort of mix-and-match armor plans Tony may have had.

2: Mark XLII (Fan Nickname: "Mustard Man")

I await the inevitable rebuttals.
Yeah, I'll admit it. I liked the mostly-gold armor. Sure, it’s a lemon that’s still in beta, but it’s got a unique color scheme that makes it visually distinct and its break-apart-and-recombine gimmick matches where the armors in the comics started going after the Extremis storyline. And its slim design marks a transition from the bulky, boxy armor of the 2008 comics to the more current “Bleeding Edge” design.

You know, the one that was replaced a while back.
1: Mark XVII/Heartbreaker

Tony Stark broke my heart when he blew it up.
Everybody seems to love the Heartbreaker armor, except for the people sick of the hype. Personally, I think it's an awesome-looking update of my second-favorite comic book armor, the Ultimate Iron Man armor.

This is always the skin I always use in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
And other than that, I'm afraid I can't really explain why I like it the best. Aesthetics, I guess? Maybe that it's a happy medium between the armor's usual size and a bulkier version, keeping the classic color scheme and reinforcing the chestpiece to emphasize the unibeam? I dunno. I just like it. A lot.

At least it does something different, unlike the dishonorable mentions....

Least Favorite: Mark VIII-XI

I'm glad they're labeled, because I wouldn't be able to tell them apart otherwise.
Just minor changes with the usual color scheme. Ho hum. On the one hand, I like that they represent how Tony’s descent into building specialized armors happened gradually. On the other hand, they’re over shadowed by the more unique armors in the bunch. As in… all the other armors.

Well, there it is, my Top 10 armors. So what about you? Which armor was your favorite? Least favorite? What do you hope to see from future armors? Roller skates? Liquid metal? Feel free to leave a comment below!


  1. Oh, I remember this one well. My brother is always avoiding spoilers for Marvel movies, in fact whenever trailer shows up in cinema, I have to tell him when its over because he closes his eyes and sticks fingers in his ears. He never looked at poster long enough to spot Iron Legion so he didn't know the thing. Until after normal trailers, some last minute I-don't-even-remember-what commercial sponsored by Marvel quickly showed us Legion right before movie started. Boy, was he ticked off.

    Anyway, my opinions...I like Tank Armor, don't care to pick bad one and hopes for future....Aside for Phoenix/Galactus/Transformer-Buster armors and obvious perks that could come with their existance? The awesome beauty of Asgardian armor, made of Uru, based on Destroyer himself: Thorbuster.

    - Faceless Enigma

    1. I'm hoping for some kind of Thorbuster or Galactusbuster-inspired armor for fighting Thanos, eventually.

  2. Piloting airships, using Iron Man armors... why do we even need Tony Stark again?
    ... That sound familiar?

    1. Indeed, it does. And I think I've finally answered my own question: To solve all the problems he creates by having AI pilot things.