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May 13, 2008



I'll have to double check, but I believe the gold armor was actually the grey clunker just ... painted. With a few modifications, that is (like those you noted, Mark).

Mark Engblom

I think some of the other improvements were more transistory power for his repulsor rays and stuff like that. Plus that nify little antenna sticking out of his shoulder (not pictured here). I don't recall that on the original gray armor (since receiving radio transmissions probably wasn't high on the options list when trying to escape from Wong Chu).


Dang, I think I lent my ESSENTIAL IM #1 to a pal so I can't double check. Advanced Iron's site notes the following about the gold armor:

Semi-rigid interior with 3D knitted metallic exterior of a lightweight iron alloy provided protection from physical attacks as well as heat, cold, some energy forms, and acid. Improved the suit surface with gold plating for early force field experiments.

John Nowak

I was looking at Essential Iron Man 1 the other day.

The gold armor was paint to make him look less frightening to civilians; the Repulsor Rays were a later addition, first used to knock one of Hawkeye's arrows out of the air.


I KNEW it! Thanks, John!


Essential Iron Man Volume 1 has a lot of fun stuff, and sometimes really, really oddball stuff. It's interesting to see how relatively limited Iron Man's armor was in many ways. Flight was quite limited, for instance. When Tony had to go to China and fight the Mandarin, he couldn't just take off in the armor and go from New York to China. Instead he, er, buys a Pan Am ticket for a, what, 12 hour flight? IN HIS FULL SUIT OF ARMOR! He wears the "big overcoat and hat" "disguise" that Ben Grimm occasionally wears and that ain't too convincing on *him*, but it's even less so for Iron Man's old armor!

Another thing that surprised me is how Iron Man's "roller-skate boots" (seen first by me in SECRET WARS) were actually not a recent innovation, but appear very early as Iron Man's way to get quickly from New York to Washington for a Senate hearing.

Mark Engblom


Wow....I've got to get me a copy of that Essential Iron-Man....those are some WACKY stories!

I recall seeing the roller-skates for the first time in the 70's and, if I'm not mistaken, there were also ice skates that popped out when he fought Blizzard.


The roller skates, on reflection, strike me as somewhat practical - it's a good idea for Iron Man to have some way to stay mobile even if there's a major systems failure, or he needs to conserve power.


IM's roller skates saw their debut way back in TALES OF SUSPENSE, as a matter of fact. Since my ESSENTIAL IM #1 is currently in another's hands, I'm gonna guess it was around TOS #43-44 where the skates made their first-ever appearance -- when IM actually used 'em on his back as a sort of "roller luge."

If you discount this instance (since they weren't on his feet), they still appeared in the pages of TOS. I was perusing through ESSENTIAL IM #2 the other day, and IM uses 'em against the Titanium Man a couple times.

John Nowak

You're welcome -- I've been chatting about the film with a friend, and reference material was needed.

There's also an early story where Tony admits his armor would be shredded by a Soviet heavy machinegun -- they used a bullet slightly bigger and more powerful than the .50 caliber used by NATO.

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