Stark Battle Armor




Built when the young inventor was just beginning his weapons design work, the Stark Battle Armor, Model I, was one of Stark's first forays into revolutionizing warfare. Meant to enhance a soldier's combat capabilities, the kevlar and titanium suit was combined with computer-aided reactive capabilities--target acquisition, telemetry monitoring, and certain chemical stimulants to enhance injury response and endurance--all to create the twenty-first-century soldier.

Part man, part machine, the Battle Armor was more of a combat rig than a true armored suit. Primitive compared to even his first Iron Man designs, the suit is a true exo-skeleton made of armored rods that protected and strengthened the wearer while aiding in movement as well. Most of the protection was provided by an inventive kevlar and titanium weave. (Even the computer circuits inside the rig were wrapped in a protective layers of titanium and kevlar to protect against damage.)

The combat suit's power supply was also revolutionary. Hyper-efficient, the system was powered by the electrical aura of the man who wore it. Boosted by a kinetic energy generator, the suit gained power through movement--the more activity, the more power the suit had.

The armor was run by a first-generation artificial intelligence program that was tasked with one simple command: Survive at all costs. To that end, the suit was built not just to protect the soldier wearing it, but to keep him fighting.

The armor ran most of its functions automatically. Information from assorted scanners was analyzed and reacted to by the AI. In the end, the armor could react--and fight--faster and better than the human inside could keep up with. Something had to be done. Drugs were the answer.

Telemetry readings were processed by the CPU, which controlled the delivery of a pharmaceutical cocktail designed to enhance reaction time, endurance, and pain resistance (e.g., adrenaline, amphetamines, morphine--whatever it took to speed up a soldier and keep him there). The suit could also release a chemical sutur to close wounds and distribute antibiotics to prevent infection.

But Stark's early AI lacked compassion. It didn't care about the man inside. (But then neither did its creator. Stark knew that the government planned to use the suit for all kinds of black-ops. He chose to focus on the technical applications, treating the suit as an intellectual challenge on paper, far removed from the real world.) Programmed to numb the pain and juice his system with whatever it took--no matter how bad his injuries--the Battle Armor kept fighting, often until the soldier died on his feet. Deadly efficiency, sure--but not something the Pentagon wanted to get involved in on a large scale. The suit raised too many ethical questions. So despite its technical achievements, the armor was a commercial failure.

Although full-scale production of the Stark Battle Armor never went forward, early prototypes were deployed to various hot spots around the world, and used by special forces and allied operators. Iron Man Tony Stark soon came face to face with his own creation in a former Eastern Bloc country.

While visiting the genocide torn country of Gen. Milos Radanovich, Iron Man had to square off the evil man's ethnic cleansing and found an ally in a young Muslim mother named Ayisha. She donned the Combat Armor, and became a killing machine. (She would soon come to haunt Tony as an enemy.)


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This page is copyright 2005 Tim Rassbach

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