This page is copyright 2010 by Tim Rassbach.

Parts of this tech write-up are taken from Iron Man Annual 2 written by Eliot R. Brown copyright Marvel Comics.  Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.

The lattice assembly is a stress-compression truss with powered interstitial joints.  This can surround the PPL material and guide it through Stark’s body.  This steerable, motile lattice framework is commanded by the PPL molecule computational mentality.  The metallic component to the lattice is a controlled mimetic artifact that can take on the characteristics of most elements.  Even unusual combinations of behaviors such as extreme hardness and flexibility.

The combination of the two nano-scale materials allows for a very dense non-traditional computer that can change the fabric of its design in very powerful ways. The incorporation of the Undersheath in Stark's entire nervous system renders reflex-level computer responses to pan-spectrum stimuli.


Extremis Armor, part 1

Anthony Stark’s Bio/Metalo-Mimetic Material concept is a radical departure from the traditional solid-state underpinnings of his prior Iron Man suit designs.  Making use of nano-scale assembly technology, “smart” molecules can be made atom by atom. The design allows for simple computers to be linked into a massive parallel computer that synthesizes human thought protocols.


Stark’s skin is now a part of the suit, when engaged.  Comfort is relative because the suit rapidly responds to any discomfort, from impacts to high temperatures, from itching to scratching.  The suit’s protocols include semi-autonomy when needed.  Where Stark ends and the suit begins is flexible.  The exact nature of the artificial Extremis Virus is not known (especially because Stark recompiled the dose, then tweaked the nutrients and suspended metals, radically altering Maya Hansen’s formulations).  The effect it has had on Stark’s body is to allow the presence of so much alien material within his body without trauma. 

Because of the bio-interface between Tony and the armor, he could utilize the suit to its fullest potential and also instantly access computers and any digital system worldwide at the speed of thought.  He was biologically integrated with his armor, one with it, imbued with unprecedented powers and abilities.  He channeled and processed data, emergency signals, and satellite reconnaissance from every law enforcement, military, and intelligence service in the world--in his head.  He could send electronic signals and make phone calls with his mind.  He could see through satellites.  Plus he had the ability to transmit whatever he saw (from his visual cortex) to other people’s display screens.  The computer’s cybernetic link enables him to operate all of the armor’s functions, as well as providing a remote link to other computers (as Stark is now part of the armor this connection is seamless).  The armor’s system was connected to the global mainframe via StarkTech servers. 

Stark could fly/control the armor even when not in it.  Because the armor was wired directly to his brain, he controlled it by thought like it was another limb.  It was part of him.  In fact, he could control whole groups of his armors effortlessly.  He even had a team deployed as Earth’s space defense.  (Also see the Argo Armors of Project Argonaut, a plan to have a peacekeeping team running around the clock via his subconscious.)  This control was much better than past software-driven capabilities that allowed him to control many armors at once; it was even beyond the Telepresence system he once used.  With Extremis, Stark was in several places at once, fully capable and in control of multiple actions at once.)  

Extremis blended with the armor to give Stark enormous physical power as well, resulting in the strongest armor to date.  Iron Man could lift up to 100 tons.  His punch was as strong as a solid steel ball traveling at 3,500 ft./sec.  And the armor’s boot jets could propel him at speeds up to Mach 8.7. 

Iron Man had highly increased reaction times under Extremis and moved much faster too.  The armor allowed him to out-move even Spider-Man, anticipating the wall crawler’s movements.  (He could also trick Spidey into a false spider-sense warning due to a built-in neural net that replicated Spidey’s pheromone-based defenses.  So he created his own spider sense but could also trick Spider-Man by sending out false positives.)

At its core, the suit has an atomic battery but also collects solar power.  The unique properties of the Savage Land caused problems for the armor as they do all technology.  A full system shutdown--cutting the primary power source--was very hard on Tony now since the technology was biologically integrated into him.  It would seem that his body needed the energy to do all this incredible stuff.

When a bio-tech weapon of mass destruction was unleashed, Tony Stark threw himself onto the bleeding edge between science and alchemy, combining nanotechnology and his Iron Man armor.  The result, which debuted in Iron Man, Vol. IV, issue 5, was the Extremis Armor, Model XXXII, Mark I, which made him the most powerful hero in the world--but not without a price.

But before there was the Extremis Armor, there was the PreExtremis Armor.

Faced with a threat from a murderous terrorist, Stark didn’t have time for a clean sheet design.  (That or the artist was unimaginative.)  In any case, Model XXXII looks strikingly similar to the Pentagon Armor.  The “look” has fewer segments in the chest area, softer aerodynamic lines, and no nipple ports like the previous armor, but it was a close near copy.

There were two key parts to this Extremis-enhanced suit.  The first part is the golden Undersheath, the protective interface between Stark’s nervous system and the second chief part, the External Suit Devices (ESDs), a.k.a. the red armor plating.

The Undersheath to the Iron Man suit components was super-compressed and stored in the hollows of Stark’s bones.  The sheath material exited through skeletal pores and slid between all cells to self-assemble a new “skin” around him.  This skin provides a complete interface to the Iron Man suit components and can perform numerous other functions.  (The process in reverse withdrew the Undersheath back into these specially modified areas of Tony Stark’s bone marrow tissue.)

The External Suit Devices (ESDs), the red armor plates, were made via mega-nano technology that has assembled atoms into large, discreet effectors.  This allows for the plates to be collapsable to very small volumes for easy storage and carried in Stark’s briefcase.   The ESDs were commanded by the Undersheath and were self-powered by high-capacity Kasimer plates.  They were equipped with large arrays of nano-fans that allow flight.  Armoring-up was done by drawing the suit to Stark via a vectored repulsor field, just lightly pushing them from different angles.

The armor’s memory-metal technology renders it lightweight and flexible while not in use, but extremely durable when polarized.  The armor was strong, of course, but it could be made even stronger by rerouting repulsor input to reinforce the armor’s mass.

Extremis Armor in detail

Known sensors in Model 30 include radar/lidar, night vision, and physiological/medical scans that allowed Iron Man to take the vitals of other people, including heart and brain scans and monitors.  These scans also provided Stark with real-time personal physiological data.  An all-environmental scan for atmospheric content or life forms--including astral energy projections--often came in handy.  It should be noted that the armor scans, radars, and environmental sensors were running at all times, recording everything Iron Man came in contact with. A magnometer was installed in the left wrist, while both gauntlets had atomic-force microscopes installed in the thumbs and index fingers that were capable of seeing to the nano scale. 

The Extremis Armor’s computer included an autopilot, targeting sensors, and programmable combat styles, features that Tony had little use for under Extremis.  The communications array was built around a sophisticated subspace/satellite radio that included the ability to receive local radio signals and a universal translator.  MORE on the next page.

Click here to continue reading the technical specs of the Extremis Armor.

The Undersheath is a nano-network that incorporates peptide-peptide logic (PPL), a molecular computational system made of superconducting plastic impregnated molecular chains.  The PPL handles, among other things: memory, critical logic paths, comparative “truth” tables, automatic response look-up tables, data storage, communication, and external sensing material interface.

Project Argonaut Armors

Read about the Argo Armors.