This page is copyright 2005, 2009 by Tim Rassbach.

Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.

The secret special feature on this suit: With all the recent trouble Tony Stark had had with living armors and time-shifting, mind-controlling alien overlords who cause him to be replaced by a teenage version of himself, he seemed truly focused keeping the world safe from a rouge Iron Man. To that end, Tony gave Pepper a small laser remote. Simply by pointing the remote at the armor, painting it with the beam, and pressing the button Pepper was able to disable the armor and trap Tony inside of it. (This feature didn't work out as Stark intended.)

Armaments: Repulsors were improved with the Model XXVI, although they were still based on Stark's original magnetic principles. The tunable beams worked as tight-focus repellors or as wide-arc stun repulsors to knock out an entire crowd. Stark figured out how to make them work underwater, but they still didn't perform in water as well as they work in the atmosphere (or in space for that matter). Other weapons included: Unibeam chest beam (w/ spotlight); AGO system, which produced pure sound as a weapon; armor could launch magnetic pulse beams.

Model XXVI, Mark II

Model XXVI, Mark II, debuted in IM #62, sporting mainly cosmetic upgrades. The cable-like weaves on the ribs and leg sections were replaced with solid armor plating. (Stark was forced to make more modifications later, upgrading the armor's stress points following his battle with Temugin (who used his mystical kung fu to shred the armor like tinfoil).

Status: Model XXVI was destroyed in IM #70 after the armor was infected and hijacked by alien nanoplasm (a blood-like fluid full of submircoscopic machine organsims). The ooze attacked the armor, converting the metal alloys and circuitry into muscles and nerves, turning the armor into a sentient killing machine Stark had to destroy. Tony was forced to activate the self-destruct device via his remote watch. Hitting the right switch on the control pad activiated 300 grams of C4-2 microcharges. The resulting explosion turned the TinMan into a pile of gooey slag.

Thanks to kokushishin over at the Iron Man board for nominating the name Tin Man Armor, which I made TinMan, 'cause it was cooler.

True 'bout the TinMan

Enter the . . . TinMan

After determining that his S.K.I.N Armor technology was compromised by Ultron, Tony Stark went into his traditional armor mode: working day and night to create yet another fantastic suit of steel mesh weaponry. The result was The TinMan Armor, Model XXVI, Mark I. Designed for any environment, the TinMan sprang to life in Iron Man #50 (Vol. III).

Stylistically, Model XXVI strayed little from previous designs. Clad in the traditional red and gold colors, it was familiar, yet distinctive. The tall hip-high boots and the cables wrapped around the legs and mid-sections were reminiscent of the Model XXII Prometheum Armor , while the armor plating that accented the rest of the armor made for an original, fearsome look.

The force-absoribing, armored plates on the shoulders, gauntlets, chest, and shins, resembling blades, provided protection but also gave the TinMan Armor a somewhat sinister appearance. Additionally, the helmet had a flaring fin or blade on it, too. (The mask itself lifted and then the entire helmet retracted away into the helmet piece [backwards]).

The armor itself was tougher and harder than the previous armor. Stark abandoned the S.K.I.N. material for a compound alloy, bonded on the molecular level. Individual pieces are cybernetically linked by direct nueral sensors that run throughout the skin. Strong but lightweight, the armor was polarized to iron toughness as in the past. (Of course in its unpolarized state it's little more than a metal tuxedo.) The TinMan suit was so strong that it absorbed the impact of a point-blank Howitzer blast and easily took direct strikes from multiple Hellfire missiles. (Iron Man would discover, however, that his mighty iron shell was not a defense against the anti-metal claws of the Black Panther, nor the Snikt-powered claws of Wolverine.)

In it's unpolarized state the TinMan Armor folded automatically for storage in Stark's trusty briefcase. As wih previous suits, "armoring-up" was automatic: the armor enveloped around Stark on command. (Tony even built into his watch a call signal that when activated, summoned the armor to him.)

The central power unit was housed in the chest piece. It included an emergency reserve power unit. Power cells distributed throughout the armor allowed an individual piece--such as the gauntlets--limited function. The suit's energy-uptake matrix is so efficient that it can recharge the armor from small portable appliances such as a defibulator.

The armor had limited underwater capability augmented by an internal oxygen supply fueled by liquid oxygen cells. (If the cells cut out, Iron Man had approximately ten minutes of breathable oxygen within the closed environment of the suit. If the cells ever exploded while inside the armor, they would have caused cascade failure throughout the armor as systems ruptured and crashed.)

The ECLS system pressurized the armor and regulated the fuel/air mix for the jet thrusters and other things, including a compressed CO2 mixture that propelled Iron Man when underwater. Without O2, the ECLS systems would crash. The boot turbines would still spin, but there'd be no thrust. The TinMan also had a back-up respirator/ionizer capable of drawing air into the armor when in an O2 atmosphere.

Model XXVI's systems (as in the past armors) were all controlled cybernetically. With just a thought, Tony Stark controlled all of his on-board computers--although most operations were automatic. A Heads-Up Display (HUD) showed adaptable information screens, controlled by a laser that tracked eye movement. (Without a functional
helmet several main systems--including weapons--cannot be used.)

The TinMan's on-board scanners represented some major technological advancements. For the first time Iron Man was able to get a read on the energy signatures of the Mandarin's rings and then erect a field to counter them. Additionally, he could emit an ionized mist containing billions of microscopic particles. Using a screen and a control pad mounted on his left wrist, Iron Man could then use his sensor array to track all of the particles, eventually focusing in on a single one--the one that had attached itself to the person or object Iron Man wanted to track. Other known scans include full-range thermal scans, infrared and UV sensors, as well as radar.

The armor also had a full-spectrum communications system (including a multi-band radio and an FM receiver specifically), which allowed it to remain in real-time contact with an assortment of SE satellites that orbit the earth. A round disc on the gauntlets popped up to allow the suit to interface with outside machines via tiny extensions.

Other features: a diagnostic software program with limited self-repair capabilities; integrated GPS software for navigation; and language translation software. The left gauntlet finger tips opened to reveal small tools--wire cutters, screw driver and so forth.

Defensive measures included a light force field that encased the entire armor surface. Rated at 2,364.3 lbs. per sq. inch, the field remodulated itself at random frequencies several times per second based on a wave algorithm. The algorithm chip for the field modulator was located in one of the suit's hip pods. A back-up force field could seal breaches in the armor, while within the actual armor composite was a layer of shielding to protect against electro-magnetic pulses. If Tony became unconscious while wearing the armor, there were automated self-defense mechanisms to protect him. Finally, Tony made sure that there would be no unauthorized use of his armor by encoding it to his mechanical heart.

The special feature on this suit: Having been trapped inside of his armor in need of medical care on more than a few occasions, Stark again installed an emergency medical treatment override system, entrusting the "key" to his trusty assistant Pepper Potts. In the event of his incapacitation, a combination of Pepper's voice, a secret password, and a retinal scan caused the armor to unsheath Tony, releasing him for medical care. (With his secret identity now known the world over, perhaps Stark finally felt confident that he could add this feature, since it wouldn't matter now if the world saw Tony Stark emerge from a high-tech battle suit.)