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Every MCU Character Who Wore an Iron Man Suit


Every MCU Character Who Wore an Iron Man Suit


The Marvel Cinematic Universe has constantly reinvented itself over the decades. What started as a sprawling comic book universe has now exploded into a multi-billion dollar franchise and a pop culture phenomenon. At the heart of its success on the silver screen, however, are the heroes. Scratch that. One hero in particular — the billionaire philanthropist with a heart of cold and a suit of armor to match his wit and intellect.

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Tony Stark, and his superhero identity Iron Man, have captivated audiences from the very beginning. A technological revolution turned superhero signature, Stark has fans easily enamored over everything he does, says, and creates. The Iron Man Suit, with its awesome aesthetic and mind-blowing arsenal, represents humanity at its best and is a testament to Stark’s drive to invent, create, and better himself.

Over the years, as the MCU expanded its scope and introduced new characters, it was inevitable for some others to try on the Iron Man suit. While some sought to harness its powers against Tony, others stood in as champions, assisting the heroes in fighting impossible odds. In this list, we look back on all the MCU characters who briefly took control of the Iron Man suit and used its game-changing abilities across what became our favorite adventures.

10 Tony Stark

Naturally, the list begins with Tony Stark. The billionaire inventor was the original Iron Man, donning the prototype suit back in 2008’s Iron Man after he was held captive by the Ten Rings while on a business trip to Afghanistan. He created The Mark I with the help of Ho Yinsen, who was also imprisoned at the time. Crafted with whatever resources he had, like pieces of scrap metal, machine parts, and pieces of Jericho missiles, the suit helped him escape and fight the villains.

Tony Stark Is the Heart of the MCU

In a way, Stark is the reason the MCU even exists. The backing force, Stark’s technical genius, has saved humanity from extraterrestrial and supernatural threats more times than one can count. This is why only Tony Stark truly deserves the title of Iron Man. Having invented the revolutionary tech himself, he spent over a decade constantly improving the armor and making Mark 85, the ultimate arsenal he donned when facing villain Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.

9 President Matthew Ellis

As the leader of the free world as shown in Iron Man 3, President Matthew Ellis was an earnest man. He had the weight of millions of lives on his shoulders daily, and while he never impacted the overall cinematic universe greatly, he did share this one responsibility with the superheroes. He was no soldier, but he often took bold actions to protect humanity. In the same vein, he was giving a speech to the public, vowing to stop the attacks of the so-called Mandarin, when Ellis was nearly assassinated by Aldrich Killian.

Matthew Ellis Didn’t Wear the Suit Willingly

He wasn’t the center of attention immediately after, but Ellis made an appearance toward the end of the movie. Apparently, the president was forced inside the Iron Patriot suit and prepped to be executed by the fake Mandarin but was rescued by Tony and Rhodey. They were then seen facing Killian and his Extremis soldiers in a climactic confrontation.

8 Ultron

Following the events of The Avengers, where New York took a massive hit because of the alien invasion, Tony Stark grew doubtful of the teams’ ability to protect Earth. He resorted to technology, and with the help of Bruce Banner’s expert knowledge, Tony Stark designed artificial intelligence as part of a peacekeeping program. Born to help the Avengers, Ultron quickly develops a god complex and a desire to wipe out humanity.

Ultron Turned the Suit Into a Destructive Tool

Ultron believed he alone could bring peace, and thus, he crafted a body for himself using the partially functional shell of one of Tony’s Iron Legion drones. Out of the two villains in the MCU to ever wear an Iron Man suit, only Ultron could twist Tony Stark’s gift into such a destructive tool. After accessing the internet and trying to attack JARVIS, he gained a full hold over Tony’s prototype, powers, and database, which he later used to attack an entire city.

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7 Aldrich Killian

A charismatic businessman and CEO of Advanced Idea Mechanics, Aldrich Killian wanted Tony Stark to partner up with him and accomplish big goals to help all humankind. However, Tony’s rejection warped his mind and twisted his research. Killian assembled a group of Extremis-enhanced soldiers and unleashed them upon the world to generate chaos. All of these were mere stepping stones in Killian’s delusional scheme to destroy Tony Stark.

Aldrich Killian Wore the Suit Because of a Vendetta

All of these events occur in the third film in Tony Stark’s titular trilogy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the final battle in Iron Man 3, Killian forces Iron Man out of his suit, and his seething vendetta against Stark drives him to don Mark XLII and master enough of its functions to duel Tony in battle. However, before he could achieve any of it, Stark activated the suit’s self-destruct mode and Killian perished in the wreckage.

6 Obadiah Stane

As Tony Star’s former mentor and business partner, Obadiah Stane helped turn Stark Industry into a pioneering name in defense tech. However, once Stark came of age and took the business over, Stane grew jealous because he secretly craved fame and power. So when Tony drowned himself in work, Stane grew hostile and joined the Ten Rings in their plan to assassinate him.

Obadiah Stone Made a Bigger Suit

Iron Man saw Stark acquiring his first prototype armor, but it is the movie where Obadiah Stane wore an Iron Man suit as well. Stane used Stark’s Arc Reactor tech and plans from his initial design to remake a bigger version of the same and adopted the name Iron Monger. Although it had some flaws, Stane’s weaponry was crucial to the movie’s climax. In the end, however, he was outmatched by Tony’s intellect and died due to a massive explosion.

5 Pepper Potts

Pepper Potts is Tony Stark’s loyal friend and love interest, and she is the CEO of Stark Industries. Having handled the business aspects of his life, so he could let his genius thrive, she was always quick in her mind and was selfless when it came to saving lives. In Iron Man 3, during the crisis surrounding the Mandarin’s terrorist attacks, Potts is kidnapped by Aldrich Killian after his army destroys Tony’s home.

Tony Stark Made Pepper Potts Her Own Suit

Instead of saving himself, he sent his suit to safely get Pepper out of the mansion and then called it back to escape. Even in Avengers: Endgame, we learn that in the five-year blip, Stark made Potts her very own suit, a Mark XLIX inspired by her comic book character’s superhero identity Rescue. At the beginning of the movie, Morgan is seen holding a helmet of the same armor and Stark is heard complaining about how Pepper never uses it. But during the Battle of Earth, she arrives at the Avengers HQ to fight alongside the heroes.

4 Bruce Banner

The Hulk, as we all know him, may be a rampaging green giant, but Bruce Banner is relatively quiet and timid. He is a brilliant scientist who spent years trying to control his alter ego which came out every time he got angry. Banner helps the Avengers at crucial moments during battles by ‘Hulking out’ and smashing things. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner created the Hulkbuster using the same tech that went into the Iron Man suit as a backup.

Bruce Banner Uses a Suit During Hulk’s Inactivity

He doesn’t need it until the Battle of Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War when Hulk withdraws after being beaten up by Thanos. Shortly after, the Avengers got the Hulkbuster armor for Banner to take the lead and aid his allies on the frontlines by firing repulsor blasts and clearing the path. Banner skillfully piloted the armor throughout the rest of the fight.

3 Peter Parker

A high school student gifted with spider-like abilities, Peter Parker first made his appearance in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War after Tony Stark’s conflict with Steve Rogers over the Sokovia Accords got more intense and the two had to assemble their own teams and battle each other. With Uncle Ben being a missing component in Parker’s MCU narrative, it was natural for Stark to form a close bond with him.

Tony Stark Gave Peter Parker an Upgrade

While he had only been operating as a “friendly neighborhood” superhero until then, meeting Stark meant Peter would get access to Iron Man’s tech as well. Peter’s suit got three upgrades. The first was in Civil War itself, which Tony asked him to keep. The web-slinging character was then officially given a suit at the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and two years later, Tony gave him an Iron Spider suit, which was equipped with Stark technology and helped him function in space. Additionally, it gave Peter technologically advanced eye lenses and an onboard AI assistant, four retractable limbs, access to nanotechnology, and increased strength.

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2 Sam Wilson

After serving in the United States Air Force as a pararescue airman, Sam Wilson ventured into helping the Avengers protect Earth. His first EXO-7 Falcon suit was given to him by the U.S. Government, donning which he aided Captain America’s missions using aerial maneuverability and high-tech wings.

Sam Wilson’s Suit Was Made By Tony Stark

Flash forward to the present day, Wilson’s current Captain America suit was a gift from Wakanda, and it was laced with Wakandan technology. But somewhere in the middle, after Sam’s suit suffered massive damage in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Tony pitched in and made him a suit powered by an Arc Reactor, which Sam was seen wearing and fighting in later movies.

1 James “Rhodey” Rhodes

First introduced as an ally, James Rhodes is Tony Stark’s closest friend. He has long stood by his side and is the only person to spend the most time in armor, besides Stark himself. In Iron Man, when Stark was kidnapped by the Ten Rings, Rhodey led the rescue mission. But he only teased a suit-up back then. Fans got to see a full-fledged War Machine in Iron Man 2 after Stark’s tech was exposed to the government.

Rhodey Had Several Suit Upgrades

Although reluctantly, Rhodes put on Mark II with Justin Hammer. The armor was almost the same in appearance as the Iron Man suit, except it was striped with blacks and grays instead of reds and golds. It was loaded with intimidating firepower and could blast rockets and laser cannons endlessly. Over the years, War Machine got several upgrades in tech as he fought villains like Aldrich Killian, Whiplash, and the Mad Titan.

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