Iron Man’s New Armor Upgrade Is the Perfect Look for an Evil Tony Stark

With a recently revamped stealth function that allows him to forego his normal luster, Marvel Comics’ Iron Man looks more ominous than ever, donning jet-black armor that would be a perfect fit for an evil Tony Stark. This aesthetic is dark and mechanical, with the type of glowing red eyes found in nightmares. It is a look that reinforces the most terrifying aspects of stealth technologies – namely, that a dangerous enemy could be lurking in the shadows, unseen and ready to strike.

When the stealth suit (or Model 7 Armor) made its debut in Iron Man #152 by David Michelinie, John Romita, Jr., Bob Layton, Joe Rosen, and Glynis Wein, it was far from intimidating. In fact, it quickly became apparent that this was Iron Man’s weakest armor, with a design that lacked firepower. Rather than applying his genius to take down a fearsome foe like Hulk or Thor, it was a barebones outfit, focused solely on technologies that would make Iron Man electronically invisible, lightweight, and nimble during a reconnaissance mission to rescue his romantic partner, Bethany Chase. Aside from these basics, and a color scheme that helped him blend into the night, it was poorly engineered and its weak defense systems and armor ultimately allowed Iron Man to sustain an uncharacteristic amount of damage at the conclusion of his mission. As someone who is always looking for ways to improve upon his suit designs, since even Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor is flawed in its functionality, Stark did successfully modify the stealth suit for a handful of later missions.

In Iron Man #22 by Christopher Cantwell and Angel Unzueta, however, it appears that Iron Man is suited up in the Model 70, with stealth capabilities added. Having his standard array of offensive firepower and gaining the ability to be largely hidden turns this armor into something that a more menacing version of Tony Stark would have a field day with. He could emerge from being virtually unseen to loom right in front of his foe. A variant cover for Iron Man #22 by Alexander Lozano captures why the stealth suit is something to be feared should it fall into the wrong hands, with a soulless, robotic gaze that even Ultron cannot match. The armor looks like it was chiseled from the darkest parts of a starless night.

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