Newly-emerged Iron Man concept art reveals an alternate set up for Tony Stark’s suiting mechanism. As the first MCU offering, the Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau movie mostly focused on Tony Stark’s heroic journey, effectively endearing the character to a lot of fans. The film remains to be the gold standard to the universe’s origin story, not to mention setting a solid foundation to the successful franchise.
After returning from being held captive by the Ten Rings in Afghanistan, Tony continues developing his metal suit. With a brand new world perspective, he decides to devote the rest of his life using his intellect and resources to helping other people – a 180 degree turn from being the a war profiteer. In the comfort of his lab with significantly better conditions and access to his technology, Iron Man devotes a considerable amount of time to Tony in his workshop. However, whether it was him back home or in that cave in Afghanistan with Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub), seeing Tony working on his suit was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the movie.
Shared by Marvel Studios head of visual development Ryan Meinerding is his unused concept art for Iron Man. The artist didn’t give much context about his creation. Nevertheless, fans are still enamored having a peek at the creative process of making the film which launched the enormous MCU now. Check out the image below:
Since Meinerding didn’t reveal much about this illustration, it’s unclear at which exact point in Iron Man was this supposed to be. In the caption, he called it the “travel suit” so it’s possible that this was going to be set in the cave, as he and Yinsen work together to get him in the Mark I. The contraption is also similar to what ultimately ended up in the film so this is a plausible take. All that being said, looking at the main body of the armor, it’s slim fitting – opposite of the first armor which was bulky and clunky. Given that last point, some are theorizing that this was when Iron Man is back in his lab, during the first time he actually suits up to go to Gulmira. Unfortunately, the headpiece can’t be seen which would’ve helped people crack this mystery.
Over the years, Marvel Studios continued to improve upon Tony’s suiting up mechanism after Iron Man. Granted, there was less focus on it as his suits became increasingly accessible, they still tried to highlight this in every film he appeared in. Admittedly, Avengers: Endgame didn’t get to focus much on his Mark 85 suit since everyone technically got their own versions via the Quantum Realm armor. Fans real last treat on seeing a significant level up on his suit mechanism was in Avengers: Infinity War where he first debuted his nano-armor.