Golden Armor

The Great Golden Armor

... his golden deeds."

In Iron Man's second incarnation, The Golden Armor, Model I, Mark II, most of the changes were cosmetic, a saavy PR move as Tony Stark added invention after invention to make Iron Man even mightier.

When he returned to civilization in Tales of Suspense #40, Tony Stark soon realized that Iron Man's original armor rightly struck fear into his enemies, but it also terrified the general public. He made the brilliant PR move of painting his armor, coating every visible part with untarnishable gold paint. Iron Man now looked like a hero, a shining knight in armor, an impressive corporate symbol for Stark Industries, not to mention an impressive body guard for the image conscious millionaire playboy.

Fully collapsible, it was constructed of a lightweight iron alloy and eventually gold-plated, for Stark's early Force Field experiments. Fully assembled and activated the armor reportedly weighed in at half a ton. By twisting a small rheostat, Stark can turn up the electrical currency of the metal body-Electrifying the outer shell. This armor model is capable of limited underwater activity, but remaining in the water too long would rust the iron shell.

The armor was attuned to electrical energy, allowing Iron Man to track power sources. In addition, while this armor still required frequent power charges, its efficiency must have been increased dramatically, considering that Iron Man once used two dry cell flashlight batteries to revive his dying armor.

Always the stylish playboy, Tony added a kilt covered groin segment and made other refinements that gave this armor a more streamlined appearance, but its practical functionality and links to the first generation armor were still readily apparent.

Since Stark had to worry about keeping his dual identities secret, Model II was built to be flexible enough that it could be collapsed and hidden in a secret briefcase compartment, still allowing for quick access. In addition, the chestplate (which still had to be worn at all times to keep him alive) was slimmed down so that Stark could conceal it under his clothing.

The helmet itself was made of solid iron. It was made almost comfortable with water-cooled padding. Still, it was hard to hear inside that dome so directional speakers inside the helmet fed Tony sounds from whatever direction the sounds--picked up by external sensors--came from.

Key developments were the installation of simple computers and new boot jets, capable of actual flight, jet-powered roller skates, and a search light in the chestplate. Improved communications equipment, in the form of a telescoping antenna, was also added. Tiny Jet Blowers that can clean gunk and mud off of the armor. Improved movement was made possible by upgraded flat solenoids, Stark employing electronics when solid state was still the hot new technology.

The Special Feature On This Suit: The key development was a utility belt and accessory compartments that housed a myriad of weapons and special Stark inventions such as tiny speakers that can be plugged into the armor's belt, allowing Iron Man to broadcast to large crowds. The compartments also held various spare parts from which Stark could construct new gizmos on the spot, like a tiny, but powerful furnace.

Armaments: Top-Hat Transistorized Magnets (often thrown in sets of three); Reverse Energy Beam pistol; Pellets of Concentrated Chemical Crystals (can turn flame to ice); Mirrors (to create multiple illusions electronically); Minitature Tear Gas Bombs (in belt compartment); Chest-Mounted Proton Beam Generator (short range of only several yards), Chest Beam Search Light (can be modified to produce a heat ray); Early Repulsor (based on reverse magnetism).

Model I, Mark III:In Tales of Suspense 43 Stark built a second golden suit while being held captive in the subteranean kingdom of the Netherworld. For the most part Mark II is a duplicate of Model I, but it evolved like all of Stark's armors.

Stark started with two improvements to his power pack. A back-up, a solar battery, that while it was slower than transistors, lasted longer and was more efficient, finally allowing Iron Man to fly cross-country. Stark continued to use regular transistorized AC current (from wall units and the like), but the solar battery provided a way for him to save his main charge. Another efficiency added to the power pack was a special propulsion battery used to enable flight. This improvement allowed Shellhead to fly as high and as fast as a jetliner. (The new system allowed Iron Man to levitate or hover more efficiently and for longer period of time.) All of these changes to the power core helped to take pressure off his transistor-powered heart activator.

Mark II had improved magnetics as well. In fact, with Stark's new design his powers of transistorized magnetism allowed him to hurl steel objects with pinpoint accuracy. Refining of the underlying electrical systems allowed Iron Man to send low-voltage electrical chares out through his fingers.

With this model Stark improved the armor itself. A chest control panel featured a switch that allowed him to make the suit rigid, enabling him to absorb great blows. The improved armor also provided Iron Man with his first protection from radiation--although not much. Improved as it was, a torrential rain or deluge could actually rust the armor--or at least gum up the moving parts.

Other notable improvements include: Built-in RADAR (with early warning capability); Updated radio reciever; Nuclear-Powered clippers; Diamond drills for each hand; Unfoldable Tiny Propeller (fits on to one boot, turning Iron Man into a speedboat); Anchor Transistors (stick IM to the ground) while his boots were also able to magnetize, allowing him to stick to metal floors or walls.

Inside his hidden accessory compartment Iron Man hid all sorts of gadgets, like an expanding device that allowed him to build stuff on the spot (like a powerful hammer). He also kept range of Electronic Probing devices like tiny Fluroscope Goggles.

The Special Feature On This Suit: The boots house retractable Jet Powered Skates capable of reaching 200 M.P.H. The skates were an improvement of an earlier design built into this model, a kind of armor-as-car scheme. Although it seems ridiculous--Four wheels attached to the back of his armor, while placing a jet engine on the top of his head, allowed Iron Man to shoot down the road while lying flat on his back--Iron Man's rocket luge only seems to prove that Stark invented the sport of street luge.

Armaments:Repulsors (including a special palm attachment, a high-intensity magnetic repulsor capable of deflecting even Thor's hammer); Jet Stream Discs (can create mini-tornadoes around the objects it's aimed at).

Model I, Mark IV: In Tales of Suspense 47, Stark was forced to redesign the armor when The Melter developed his iron-melting ray. Mark III was made entirely out of tough extruded aluminum. The armor has an Impact Control Switch, utilized to withstand blows. When used later to combat his own Proto-Classic Armor (worn by Weasel Wills) Iron Man withstood 10 tons of weight dropped on him while wearing the Mark III.

How much do you know about Iron Man and his suits of armor? Wikis are a great way to get information and share theories with other fans. If there isn't a wiki for your favorite comic book yet, you can make your own!

This page is copyright 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 Tim Rassbach.

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

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