This suit of armor was created by Tony Stark, with the help of Ho Yinsen, when he was captured by a terrorist cell in Afghanistan while overseeing the testing of some weaponry.[5] It worked as a pacemaker to keep Stark's heart beating after shrapnel got lodged in his chest. The armor doubled as a means for Stark to escape captivity and avenge Yinsen's death at the hands of their captors.[6]

Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 39 004

The suit was later upgraded into its MK II version by Stark when he returned to the United States. The most notorious change was present in the chestplate. After realizing he would need to wear that piece of the suit at all times, Stark made it lighter and sleeker.[7] During one of his heroics, Tony soon realized the grey dull appearance of the armor not only terrified his enemies but also the innocent people he tried to protect. Stark decided to paint its shell gold, after his date Marion Rodgers commented how Iron Man would look better with a paintjob that could make him look like a knight in shining armor.[8] The gold plated version became the MK III.[4]

Tony was forced to create a partial duplicate of the suit after being kidnapped to Netherworld without access to the parts of original armor other than the chestplate that was keeping him alive.[9]

In order to specifically fight the Melter, Stark built a version of the armor that replaced any iron with aluminum, so the armor could resist the villain's Melting Ray. In a previous encounter with the Melter, the armor's left arm had been easily destroyed.[10]

Following a disastrous battle with Mister Doll which nearly killed him, Tony realized the suit was too heavy, something that caused the suit to consume more energy than necessary in order to sustain its own weight. Additionally, the chestplate appeared to need recharging more often. As soon as a new lighter armor finished being assembled, Stark ditched the Model 1.[11]

Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 40 003

The MK II version of this armor wasn't the only significant upgrade created by Stark. A version codenamed "MK 0" was secretly built later on, which incorporated repulsor weapons (a type of weaponry that wasn't implemented in Stark's suits until the Model 3). It was kept in Wong-Chu's abandoned base in case of emergency. When Tony Stark was on the run from Norman Osborn and was slowly wiping out his brain, he traveled to Afghanistan in order to recover the "MK 0," which was the only armor simple enough to be used in his state.[12]

Stark tried to get to Dubai, but he was intercepted in Iran by Norman Osborn, the Iron Patriot, who nearly destroyed the suit and almost killed Stark. However, Stark's allies managed to leak the coordinates of the fight to media outlets, granting the fight the media coverage necessary to force Osborn to not kill Stark in cold blood.[13] The "MK 0" was one of the only nine suits that were recovered after Norman Osborn's fall,[14] and its materials were ultimately scavenged to create the Rescue Armor Model 2 for Pepper Potts.[15]

Iron Man Armor Model 1 MK III

Model 1 Mark III (Gold version)

The Model 1 was recreated and kept in exposition in the different Halls of Armor owned by Stark. During the War of the Serpent, when the Stark Tower was struck down by Skadi, Protector tapped into Stark's mainframe and controlled an army of armor that had survived the collapse, including the Model 1, to fight against Skadi, but they were easily dealt with.[16]

Another Model 1 armor was kept in the Hall of Armor at the Avengers Mansion,[17] and one later at the rebuilt Stark Tower.[18] When Stark temporarily moved his base of operations to Stark Island, a Model 1 was displayed there.[19] The Hall of Armor in the Stark Tower remained there, and it even used one Model 1 as a security drone.[20]

A different Model 1 armor was brought to Petoskey Stone Diner by numerous LMDs in hopes of being reverse engineered.[21]

When a digital copy of Tony Stark confronted the real one, who had his morality inverted with magic, it commanded an army of Iron Man armor, including the Model 1 in both its MK II and MK III versions. Iron Man hacked into the MK III version in order to learn the location of the digital Stark's mainframe.[22]



The armor's primary function was to act as a pacemaker which electronically estimulated Tony Stark's heart to keep it beating after the shrapnel from a landmine had entered his chest.[6] This ability was achieved through the use of a defibrillator circuit and flat antenna that directly stimulated the S-A signal of Stark's vagus nerve as needed with the use of a supercutaneous high-frequency electric signal.[4] This function was made obsolete once Stark had been cured of his condition.[23]

Iron Man Armor Model 1 from Marvel Fact Files Vol 1 48

Cutaway of the suit

The suit's shell is made of threads of mono-crystaline iron coated with tetrafluorethene plastic, knitted together using a 3D mechanical loom. Integrated circuits called "micro-modules" were created from sheets of silicon using an e-beam writer, this circuitry that placed 200 transitors in a square inch with wiring and associated compontents could be used both as a switch and amplifier. This allowed the creation of tiny power amplifiers that could generate the amounts of electricity needed for the DC motors that provided the suit with mobility. Each small motor generated around a horsepower of power. The use of pure iron protected with tetraflurethene allowed a 200-inch per second speed. A gauntlet alone, for example, required a dozen of motors.[4] The circuits of the armor are coordinated with its user's brain waves, which allow for the suit to duplicate every action of the human body, the system is not perfect and it requires some time to get used to it.[6] It also employed a negative feedback body motion sensing.[4]

The armor's first versions were powered by a flat array of miniature batteries built into its chest plate. The batteries could be recharged by plugging the chestplate into any electrical source.[6] Additional high-density storage batteries were later molded into shapes that fit almost all over the interior surface.[4] The "MK 0" version was powered by a R.T. node.[12] An automatic lubricating system was built into the armor, it could be used to squirt low pressure streams of oil.[6] The suit also possessed an internal air supply.[24]

To help with the armor's comfortability, lamb wool was used for interior padding. The wool was later replaced by a foamed plastic that wicked moisture away from the skin and osmotically pumped it into collection cells. There it was cooled and recirculated around the outside of the body to transport heat away from any hot spots.[4]

The combination of hard and soft parts allowed the bulky armor to be folded and unfolded like clothes, without losing its durability.[8] However, it mandated a certain procedure in unpacking the suit in order to fit in Tony Stark's Briefcase.[4] The armor's alloy prevented the suit from being magnetized.[25]

Iron Man Armor Model 1 from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 39 001

Interior of the armor's chestplate

Jet boots were the armor's main transportation system. The boot turbines made use of ordinary air, drawn in through a loose weave of iron fabric, which was highly compressed and created a jet that enabled its user to fly,[4][6] or make assisted leaps.[6] The Model 1 Mark III featured the first successful sub-2-inch diameter turbine. However, the thrust-to-mass ratio was so low, that the suit couldn't hover if its user carried something as insignificant as pocket change. The size of the turbine compressor produced an ear-splitting high-frequency noise which was "about a notch higher than a mosquito and millions of times as loud," making the suit gain the nickname of "Screaming Mimi."[4] A series of small silicon levers allowed the armor to keep fliying straight and level. Steering while flying was accomplished by body English.[4]

Other transporation systems included jet-powered roller skates for fast travel by land at 200 mph,[26] a miniature jet engine and four casters that could be adhered magnetically to the armor to allow for a horizontal aerodynamic travel, like a luger,[27] and a propeller which could be clamped into the boots for travelling on water.[27]

When he returned to the United States, Stark modified the suit into what is known as the MK II version of the Model 1 Armor. The new version included onboard O.S. (with a translator program), lenses, and heating and cooling systems.[12] Most of these changes were also featured in the "MK 0" version of the suit.[12] A MK III added improvement in the surface with gold plating and a metal kilt to cover groin segments. Communication systems were also improved.[4]

The helmet of the armor was made of solid iron, because of this it wasn't very flexible. Its wearer couldn't breathe hard, shout due to reduced jaw movement, or even puff their cheeks. The MK II version of the helmet added water-cooled padding, directional speakers which fed sounds to its user from wherever they impinged on the suit sensors, and a head-up display (referred by Stark as "Enviroment+Information"). The neck piece was a very complex assembly. A series of flat, circular motors were stacked around the user's neck, and they were surrounded by thin metal sheeting which would follow their motion. Having several motors in each neck segment motivated helical screws that allowed for very quick movements and still be very strong.[4]

Iron Man Armor Model 1 from Iron Manual TPB Vol 1 1 006

Helmet schematics

Stark and Yinsen provided it with additional offensive and defensive capabilities in order to double the armor's use as a means to escape captivity.[6]

Miscellaneous equipment includes miniature versions of different handy tools, including a buzz saw[6] and a drill,[8] public-address speakers,[8] powerful magnets,[8] detachable suction cups that allowed to adhere to smooth surfaces and are strong enough to support the weight of the armor for a few moments,[6] an "electronic reverse-energy beam" that could redirect rays of energy,[28] chemical crystals that could change the composition of substances,[28] image inducers,[28] nuclear-powered clippers,[28] diamond-edged digging tools,[27] a miniature "furnace" that generates heat waves,[26] a fluroscope,[27] audio recorders,[24] radio communications (enhanced by a telescoping antenna[2]),[26] ear plugs,[24] and miniature jet blowers.[10] Some of these items appear to be stored in the suit's accessory belt,[6][8] while others such as the buzz saw appear to be incorporated into the armor's fingers.[6] Using the belt's panel, the armor could access to the systems of Stark Industries.[10]

Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 43 003

Offensive Powers

The suit enhances its user's strength, allowing them to easily pick up a man in the air,[6] to break through metal doors,[8] simply destroy brick walls by walking into them,[8] crush a cannonball with ease,[9] tear a wall of two floors of height with one hand,[9] and break the fall of a missile.[24] Tony Stark also stated that the suit is capable of performing such feats like ripping the bottom of a ship with ease, knocking supersonic-speed bombers with a single punch, and breaking apart space missiles. However, the veracity of that statement is dubious, as Tony was trying to intimidate Queen Kala of Netherworld to prevent her from invading the Earth.[28]

Weaponry in the armor includes a miniature flamethrower[6] and tear gas bombs.[27] The armor can also redirect its electrical currency to its shell, being capable of electrocuting objects by touch.[8]

A circular device in the center of the chest was known as the "Monobeam," a portable proton beam[4] that served the purpose of a powerful search light,[8] but it could also be adapted for a heat ray.[26] It only had a useful range of several yards.[4]

The "MK 0" version of the suit, an armor hidden in Wong-Chu's abandoned base in case of emergency, included repulsor weaponry.[12]

Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 47 002

Defensive Powers

The armor's shell is strong enough to resist gunfire,[6] the bite of animals like wild felines,[8] the impact of a cannonball,[9] heat, cold, energy and acidic attacks.[2] However, it is not protected against potential rusting from sea water.[9] The suit is also equipped with an array of miniature electromagnetic generators that allow its user to manipulate magnetic fields for a variety of effects, including: jamming and disruption of electrical equipment,[29] and reverse magnetism, to repel metallic objects like bullets and enemy weaponry.[6] An electrical force field could also be created to protect the armor from energy damage.[24]

Alternate Realities

Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)

Iron Man Armor MK I (Earth-1610) 001

In this universe, the first Iron Man armor (or a suit simply similar in appearance) was being displayed in Tony Stark's office.[30]

A version of the suit was stolen by the vampire named Anthony, who used the armor to protect himself from sunlight. When Anthony died at the hands of his subordinate the "Nerd Hulk",[31] Stick started wearing the armor up until his death.[32]

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)

Iron Man Armor MK I (Earth-199999)

Similarly to its Marvel Universe counterpart, the first Iron Man armor was created by Tony Stark with the help of Ho Yinsen when both inventors were captured by the Ten Rings in Afghanistan.

Instead of a 3D knitted surface, the suit's shell was composed of scrap metal, making it more crude. The suit was powered by a miniature arc reactor instead of simple batteries, and said arc reactor also powered an electromagnet that kept shrapnel from reaching Stark's heart. Offensive capabilities included increased strength, flamethrower and a single-fire missile launcher.

Boost thrusters could catapult Stark into the air, but not sustain flight, for which the armor shattered upon crash-landing into a sand dune after escaping the Ten Rings. The remains of the armor were recovered by the terrorist, and later retrieved by Obadiah Stane. The rebuilt suit was used by Stane as a base to create his own armor.[33]

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (Earth-8096)

When Ultron hacked into Iron Man's suits to confront the Avengers, Tony Stark was forced to don his first and most primitive armor, the MK I.

Tony first used it to assist his teammates against the rogue armory, and later to confront Ultron in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The MK I was heavily damaged and subsequently destroyed in the ensuing battle.[34]

When the Enchantress magically depowered Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, Iron Man's armor was turned into the MK I. While the armor was not too complex to control, Tony's intellect had also been magically diminished. When the spell was broken, the armor returned to its advanced form.[35]

Marvel's Avengers Assemble (Earth-12041)

Iron Man Armor MK I (Earth-12041) 001

In order to fight the forces of the Cabal, Iron Man assembled the Iron Legion, an army of his past suits, with the MK I being one of them.[36]

The Invincible Iron Man (Earth-199673)

In this universe, rather than being the first armor he built, the suit Tony Stark used to escape captivity from the Jade Dragons was a crude recreation of Stark's most advanced suits that he had created as part of a secret project.[37]

Bullet Points (Earth-70105)

Steven Rogers (Earth-70105) from Bullet Points Vol 1 1 0001

On Earth-70105, a suit similar to the Iron Man Armor Model 1 was developed to supplement the loss of the Super Solder Program under Dr. Erskine. Steve Rogers was selected to undergo a long painful surgery to integrate the operating systems of the armor with his body.[38]

Ruins (Earth-9591)

Anthony Stark (Earth-9591) from Ruins Vol 1 1 0001

Tony Stark's first armor, built in Vietnam to survive injuries during a visit to help end the war, it earned him the name "The Man in the Iron Mask" yet was eventually replaced by a new suit of armor when Stark formed the Avengers.[39]

Doc Iron's Reality (Earth-200781)

Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four Vol 1 25 page 05 Victor von Doom (Earth-200781)

In this reality, a suit almost identical to the Iron Man Armor Model 1 was created by Victor von Doom. The young inventor built this protective suit of armor in order to counteract the abilities of the Frightful Four, and he became Doc Iron.[40]


  • While the addition of a metallic kilt is attributed to the golden version of this armor, Iron Man is seeing wearing one before painting the armor.[8]


  • The process of suiting up without any mechanical aid takes 90 seconds.[4]

See Also

Links and References


  1. Iron Manual #1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Iron Man: Beneath the Armor #1
  3. Iron Man #18
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Iron Manual TPB #1
  5. The place and moment when Tony Stark became Iron Man has changed over the years due to Marvel's sliding timescale, it was originally during the Vietnam War in Vietnam, it was later changed to the Persian Gulf, and more recently to an unnamed conflict in Afghanistan
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 Tales of Suspense #39
  7. Iron Man #244
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Tales of Suspense #40
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Tales of Suspense #41
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Tales of Suspense #47
  11. Tales of Suspense #48
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Invincible Iron Man #18
  13. Invincible Iron Man #19
  14. Invincible Iron Man #26
  15. Invincible Iron Man #29
  16. Avengers Vol 4 #17
  17. Avengers Vol 4 #24.1
  18. A + X #17
  19. Superior Iron Man #5
  20. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2
  21. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #20.NOW
  22. Superior Iron Man #8-9
  23. Iron Man #19
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Tales of Suspense #46
  25. Tales of Suspense #42
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Tales of Suspense #45
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Tales of Suspense #44
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Tales of Suspense #43
  29. Tales of Suspense #39-40
  30. Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #1
  31. Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #4
  32. Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #5
  33. Iron Man (film)
  34. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Animated Series) Season 1 18
  35. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Animated Series) Season 2 21
  36. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 1 25
  37. The Invincible Iron Man (film)
  38. Bullet Points #1
  39. Ruins #1
  40. Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #25