Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor looks more like the Hulk himself in this Avengers: Age of Ultron concept art. Created by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as a way to combat the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) when he gets too frenzied, the Hulkbuster armor was first introduced in 2015’s Age of Ultron. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) uses her mental manipulation powers to overwhelm the Hulk’s mind, thus sending him on a rampage through Johannesberg. Tony calls down the Hulkbuster suit and gears up for a brutal fight with the Hulk. The ensuing property damage leads to backlash from the public, which further fuels the Sokovia Accords plot in Captain America: Civil War.
The Hulkbuster suit is next seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Bruce Banner finds himself incapable of turning into the Hulk for the battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his forces, so he must put on the Hulkbuster himself to contribute. Unsurprisingly, Bruce suffers a bit of a learning curve when he first puts it on; he trips on his way out to the battlefield, and it takes him a little while to adjust to the mechanics of the suit. Age of Ultron and Infinity War so far remain the only movies where the Hulkbuster is utilized.
Concept artist Phil Saunders shared an old design for the Hulkbuster armor from Age of Ultron, and it looks far closer to the Hulk’s actual shape than the version in the film does. As Saunders explained, he attempted to match the Hulk’s proportions and “interpret it as an #ironman suit.” An added detail: This suit includes floating panels that are meant to be shock-absorbing so Iron Man can withstand all the smashing Hulk does.
Considering how this armor is designed after a very bulky character, this Hulkbuster design is much sleeker than the final version. The Hulkbuster underwent several designs, including one that made the armor look more like Juggernaut. The final version from Age of Ultron still does the trick in protecting Tony from the Hulk’s blows, but it would’ve been cool to see a shape that more closely resembled the Hulk.
Tony made his MCU exit last year in Avengers: Endgame, and while that film also seemed to offer a proper ending for Bruce, there’s a chance he could stick around for longer. There are hopes that Ruffalo will bring his Bruce to the Disney+ series She-Hulk, though as of April this year, talks were still ongoing. As She-Hulk gets closer to production, there could be an official announcement. Still, Bruce had his final scenes with Tony in Endgame, and there was no Hulkbuster armor required.