Tony Stark has gone through an insane number of suits in the years between Phase 1 and today. With one for every occasion, it is almost impossible to pick a favorite. That said, there's arguably no substitute for the one that started it all. As it turns out, an early design for the Mark 1 suit seen in Jon Favreau's first Iron Man movie shows a shockingly faithful commitment to the artwork of Jack Kirby. Check out Marvel artist Ryan Meinerding's original concept design below to see for yourself.
The silver Mark 1 suit used by Tony Stark to escape the Ten Rings (a now common group in the MCU) prison camp has become somewhat iconic in the decade since the film hit theaters. That said, Ryan Meinerding's design for the Mark 1 seems notable because it looks a bit more streamlined than the final product. In this way, the art echoes the somewhat more agile (yet still bulky and mechanical) design created by Jack Kirby (who would've celebrated his 100th birthday this week) in the character's Tales of Suspense run. The front side of the suit has an immaculate and streamlined appearance to it, and many visual cues would ultimately go on to become integral aspects of Obadiah Stane's Iron Monger armor later in the film.
Another thing worth noting about this first Iron Man concept art is the interesting choice to front-load the armor in the initial design. As Tony Stark and the ill-fated Yinsen would've continuously pushed forward through a cave in their escape, the backside of the suit is notably unprotected -- which allows the audience to see the gears, as well as the wearer from the back. Check out the art from that angle below.
In the end, although the Mark 1 suit seen in the original Iron Man movie indeed maintained the core design created by Jack Kirby in Tony Stark's first adventures, the final version of the suit has a much weightier look and feel to it. As a result, the armor seems more like a walking tank than a genuine suit of armor that it would eventually become -- take a look at the final product below.
Tony Stark only continues to upgrade his weapons and armor with each passing Marvel Cinematic Universe outing, so we will just have to wait and see what he comes up with next. Iron Man will make his next confirmed appearance in the MCU when Earth's mightiest heroes face off against Thanos in The Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018. Looking ahead to the rest of this year, check out our movie premiere guide for more information on 2017's biggest and best theatrical releases.
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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