With the revelation that the Skrull virus had nuked Tony’s Extremis upgrades, rendering his current suit a nightmare to control, and now his self-inflicted lobotomy (and the idea of him rebooting his brain from an old backup actually suggests Tony may not have any memories of anything post-Extremis), it was always a given that the opportunity was in place for Tony to update his armour once again, however rather than wait for it to be revealed in the book, Marvel have instead released this image to all the news sites.
I’m not really overwhelmed to be honest, but it looks nice enough. I notice that the helmet looks to borrow from the movie version rather than the previous Extremis suit (which suits me, there was an angular, serpentine (for want of a better word) quality to that helmet that I never liked). I’m not sure about all the smaller lights up from the unibeam as I feel they distract a bit from the unibeam itself (making the unibeam just a larger piece in a series rather than a specific piece of the look in itself). The upper part of the legs again remind me of the movie look, although the lower parts look more streamlined.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with it save for a few quibbles. I do feel for artists who have to design a new suit though, as its gotten increasingly tricky over the years. The iconic look remains the original 60s red and gold, and moves to redesign the armour too radically never stick, which means the artist can be quite limited in what they can do versus, say giving Kyle Rayner a new look.
A pity as one of my favourite suits remains the Silver Centurion, although I’m aware of the complaints that suit got at the time for getting rid of the gold colouring, that have pretty much ensured that every suit since now sticks with the red and gold colour-scheme. Another favourite for me remains the mouthless suit from the 90s and its a pity it didn’t stick around for longer (despite making it into the spin-off cartoons at the time). I thought it did a pretty good job of sticking to the basic feel of the Iron Man look while actually changing a fair bit, although its certainly arguable that it perhaps felt like more of a superhero costume and less of an actual armour, which is a feel the Extremis suit definitely gave off.
Designing the armour is something I actually feel the movie did a really good job of. There’s definite routes that can be traced to the (then current) Extremis suit while toning back some of its elements to be more like the classic look (at the simplest, changing the unibeam back to a circle, and adopting more normal-shaped boots).
Iron Man getting a new suit is always a big moment in his comics, so I’m looking forward to seeing how its approached in the story. In many ways the Extremis technology was such a jump that it’ll be interesting to see how Matt Fraction makes this suit seem even more advanced, despite Tony no longer having the Extremis benefits available to him. However given the sterling work Fraction has done this far with Tony, I’m willing to bet it’ll be believable (infact, with Tony being the futurist he is, it won’t surprise me if this suit is something that Tony actually designed around the same time he put in place the rest of the World’s Most Wanted plan).