The Subtle Iron Man Detail MCU Fans May Have Missed In Spider-Man: Homecoming, According To A Visual Artist

Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s been nearly three years since audiences last saw Iron Man fly across the skies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony Stark met a heroic demise in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and fans are still missing the character. At the same time though, they’re still learning things about the character’s development and past appearances. The latest tidbit of information comes from one of the visual artists that worked on 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Apparently, there’s a small detail regarding the costume the Armored Avenger wore in that film that may have been missed by some viewers. 

Tony Stark typically sported a new Iron Man suit in each of his MCU appearances and, in the first film in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy, the billionaire was equipped with the Mark 47. Many fans were excited when they first glimpsed the armor, because it matched a certain costume from the comics. But Homecoming artist Phil Saunders recently revealed that though the outfit included a fresh paint job, the armor itself had already been used in the movies:

Those with a keen eye will realize this model is just a recolor of my Mk XLVI from #captainamericacivilwar. Sony didn’t have the VFX budget for a whole new suit, so Kevin Feige requested a nod to the Ultimate Iron Man in the repaint. And after a few variations, the Mk XLVII was born!

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never realized this. That’s probably because, like so many, I was too enamored with the Ultimates-inspired visual design. It’s surprising to hear that Sony didn’t have the funds to build a new suit from scratch but, hey, even the largest productions have monetary constraints. Though it probably doesn’t matter, as the finished product still turned out quite nicely. Those who need a refresher regarding Tony Stark’s duds in the Spidey flick can check out out Phil Saunders original Instagram post down below:

It was interesting to watch the evolution of Iron Man’s equipment, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. In the MCU, the fictional billionaire refined his tech over the years, upping the ante with each of his appearances. I can still remember watching the original 2008 film and seeing him go through the strenuous process of removing his armor. By Endgame though, the suits had become more powerful but also more practical when it came to getting in and out of them. Changes also occurred from a production standpoint, as the costume (which eventually became a purely CG creation), originally required practical elements. While effective, there were pitfalls to that, as Robert Downey Jr. was once “blinded” by LED lights within the costume.

There are so many cool outfits to choose from, making it difficult for a fan to pick a favorite. I’m fond of the Mark 7, introduced in 2012’s The Avengers, and also enjoyed the Mark 85, the final suit of armor, which appears in Endgame. But of course, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for something like the Mark 3. Though ranking them all can be a challenge, many would agree that each brings something unique to any superhero proceedings. 

While Robert Downey Jr.’s tenure as Tony Stark is done, the character’s legacy will live on specifically in the Disney+ series Armor Wars and Ironheart, the latter which will feature Riri Williams. So rest assured, as there are plenty of other armored looks making their way to the MCU in the near future. And I can’t wait to see them in action! 

If you want to check out the Mark 47 in Spider-Man: Homecoming, you can stream the film with a Hulu subscription. You can also use a Disney+ subscription to check out other Marvel movies.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.