It’s been quite a while since RDJ retired from the MCU after the release of Avengers: Endgame. Even though Marvel Cinematic Universe continued with still active actors and characters in the franchise, many fans are still missing the hero that started it all — Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. The original ‘Iron Man’ movie kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the character in ten movies, including the uncredited cameo appearance in ‘The Incredible Hulk.’
He played the role for the last time in 2019’s ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ During those eleven years, Tony Stark developed countless Iron Man suits for his superhero missions, each of them more advanced than the other. Everything began with the improvised armor Stark built with Yinsen in a cave to escape captivity.
Seeing what his weapons could do in the wrong hands, Stark decided to stop manufacturing weapons and started a secret project to create a suit of armor that, in his hands, could do something good.
So, in this article, we will list all the Iron Man suits Tony Stark created in the MCU in order from the first prototype to the one he wore in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ FYI, we’re excluding James Rhodes’ War Machine suits and the suit Pepper Potts wore in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’
1. Mark I
Mark I is the first ever Iron Man suit, created by Tony Stark and Yinsen to escape captivity by the Ten Rings. This suit was created with limited resources, using scraps and old machine parts to put it together. It was powered by the first arc reactor, which could only power it for 15 minutes, which was enough for Stark to escape captivity.
Although it wasn’t built for a sustainable flight, the suit had thrusters that helped Stark escape the danger zone. Although he escaped captivity, Stark was forced to leave the suit behind, and it was later found by the Ten Rings and used by Obadiah Stane as a basis to create his own Iron Monger suit.
2. Mark II
After three months of captivity, Stark returned to the USA with a decision to help the world in some way that excluded manufacturing weapons for the army. Not knowing who to trust in his own company, Stark started his secret project to create more advanced armor than the improvised Mark I. For Mark II, Stark perfected thrusters and repulsors, making the suit better-looking and more aerodynamic.
This suit was used for one test flight, but due to the dangerous icing problem, Stark realized the suit needed to be even more advanced.
3. Mark III
We can say Mark III is the first official Iron Man suit after the first two prototype suits. Tony Stark didn’t use Mark II for long. After discovering a dangerous icing problem on Mark II, Stark immediately developed Mark III, which solved the icing problem and was also the first suit to have an advanced weapons system.
One more important thing, Mark III was the first Iron Man suit colored in the classic combination of red and gold. This was the definitive suit in the original Iron Man movie, as Tony Stark used it to fight Obadiah Stane, aka Iron Monger, in the movie’s third act.
4. Mark IV
While Mark I and Mark II served as the prototype suits, Mark III was the most important suit Tony Stark created in the original movie. Not only because all the suits that’ll follow it are mainly based on Mark III. Mark III has the foundation, and all the suits that followed it were built on that foundation.
After Mark III was severely damaged in a fight against Iron Monger, Stark created Mark IV, which is very similar to Mark IV, with only some minor changes and updates. Stark used this suit to make his cool entrance at the Stark Expo in ‘Iron Man 2.’
5. Mark V
Although technically advanced, it wasn’t easy for Tony Stark to get into the Iron Man suit initially since he needed a dozen robotic arms powered by AI to set up and assemble the suit around him.
As we all live in a time where many pieces of technology need to be portable and easy to access, Tony Stark created Mark V, the first portable Iron Man suit. Mark V was stored in a technical briefcase, allowing Stark to carry the suit wherever he went, although the number of weapons inside the suit needed to be reduced.
6. Mark VI
One of the subplots in Tony Stark’s character arc in ‘Iron Man 2’ was about him dealing with poisonous palladium that powered his arc reactor, saving and slowly killing him simultaneously. Thanks to his father’s research about the Tesseract, Tony created a new element that could power his arc reactor without poisoning his blood.
That new element improved the arc reactor with higher energy output, and therefore, Stark developed a new suit, Mark VI, which was the first Iron Man armor with a triangular chest piece. Stark used this suit in a final fight against Ivan Vanko, also known as Whiplash, and he also used it during the first two acts of The Avengers movie.
7. Mark VII
Mark VII was the suit Tony Stark used during the Battle of New York in The Avengers. Visually very similar to Mark IV, again with a circular chest piece, this was the first suit designed for automatic deployment and assembly, and the number of weapons wasn’t reduced like in Mark V’s case. This suit saved Tony’s life when Loki threw him off the Avengers tower, and he also used it to reroute a nuclear missile into space to save the people of New York.
8. Mark VIII – Mark XLI (The First Iron Legion)
After the Battle of New York, Tony Stark created a series of Iron Man suits, each with a different design, weapons, and upgrades. Stark himself didn’t wear those 33 suits, but they were collectively called the first Iron Legion.
Controlled by JARVIS, the entire Iron Legion was activated with House Party Protocol, and they all arrived to help Stark in a fight against Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3. A few of them were destroyed during the battle, but after coming out of the battle victorious, Stark activated the Clean Slate Protocol, which instantly obliterated every single suit of the first Iron Legion.
9. Mark XLII
Tony Stark created Mark XLII to be his main suit after the Battle of New York and the construction of the Iron Legion. Stark wanted to create a suit constructed of parts that could fly to the suit’s owner and automatically assemble.
This suit was never finalized as Stark was forced to use it while it was still in a testing phase, but this suit is notable because it was Stark’s main suit during Iron Man 3, and it was the first suit worn by Stark’s love interest and later wife Pepper Potts.
10. Mark XLIII
Tony Stark’s 43rd suit, Mark XLIII, was the first suit created after the destruction of the Iron Legion. Stark used it during the Avengers’ attack on the HYDRA research base and the Battle at the Salvage Yard against Ultron in Africa. This suit was later upgraded by the orbital tracking platform Veronica to create Mark XLIV, commonly known as the Hulkbuster.
11. Mark XLIV
The Hulkbuster is a modular suit that Stark can wear while wearing regular Iron Man armor. Using an orbital tracking platform known as Veronica, additional parts were assembled around Mark XLIII, creating Mark XlIV, better known as the Hulkbuster, which was designed specifically to stop the Hulk when he becomes too dangerous.
Stark used this suit only during his fight against the Hulk, who went wild in Johannesburg after Scarlet Witch messed up his mind. Stark ultimately defeated the Hulk but with a large material and collateral damage.
12. Mark XLV
After Mark XLIII and the Hulkbaster were damaged in the fight against the Hulk, Stark needed a new suit for the Battle of Sokovia, the ultimate showdown against Ultron. Mark XLV is the first suit in which Stark installed a new AI called FRIDAY after JARVIS’s mainframe was installed into the arc cradle to create Vision. The suit was ultimately used to destroy Sokovia’s capital city, Novi Grad, mid-air after Ultron planned to use it as a meteor to destroy humankind.
13. Mark XLVI
Following the Battle of Sokovia, Stark created another suit, Mark XLVI. This suit is notable because Stark used it during the ‘Civil War’ against Captain America. Stark first used it during the Clash of the Avengers at the airport in Leipzig, and after that, in HYDRA’s base in Siberia, where he tried to kill Bucky Barnes, leading to the second confrontation against Captain America. Steve Rogers ultimately defeated Iron Man by using his shield to destroy the arc reactor and depower the suit.
14. Mark XLVII
After Captain America damaged Mark XLVI, Stark created Mark XLVII. This suit was used in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ when Stark sent it remotely controlled to get Spider-Man out of the lake after his first confrontation with the Vulture. Stark also used it to repair the ferry that was split in half after another fight between Spider-Man and the Vulture. Mark XLVII was only seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it was later replaced by Stark when he discovered how to create a suit using nano-technology.
15. Mark XLVIII
Mark XLVIII is one of those Iron Man suits that Tony Stark didn’t wear. Mark XLVIII is known as Hulkbuster 2.0, originally created, as its name tells, as the second suit that could restrain the Hulk when he becomes too dangerous. However, following Hulk’s confrontation with Thanos, Bruce Banner repurposed the suit to use it himself in the Battle of Wakanda in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and the Attack on Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Bruce Banner later managed to merge his mind and Hulk’s strength into Smart Hulk, so the suit wasn’t needed anymore.
16. Mark L
Mark L was the most advanced Iron Man suit ever created at the time of its creation. Mark L is the first suit created using nano-technology, allowing Tony Stark to assemble it immediately thanks to nanoparticles inside the detachable arc reactor. Nanoparticles also allowed the creation of various weapons to adapt Iron Man to every situation, and the suit immediately fixes itself from any damage as long as there are reserve nanoparticles inside the housing unit. Stark used this suit during the first fight against the Black Order and during the Battle of Titan in ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
17. Mark LXXXV
After he returned from Titan, where Thanos destroyed Mark L, Tony Stark kept creating new suits during the five years before the main events of ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ He created 35 new suits, and the 85th suit, Mark LXXXV, was the most advanced suit. Stark used it during the Time Heist in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ultimately in the final showdown against Thanos in the Battle of Earth.
We all know how that battle finished, so Mark LXXXV is the final suit Tony Stark created. During eleven long years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark created 85 Iron Man suits in total.
What do you think is the best Iron Man Suit in the MCU? Feel free to comment below!