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Why Iron Man’s Most Powerful Armor Was Never in the MCU

Why Iron Man's Most Powerful Armor Was Never in the MCU


  • Iron Man’s Godkiller armor, a powerful suit from the comics, could have been a game-changer for the MCU, but was never introduced.
  • Marvel missed an opportunity to explore Tony Stark’s potential with the Godkiller suit, leaving fans wondering what could’ve been.
  • Rhodes may wield the Godkiller armor in the future, offering a new direction for Iron Man’s legacy in the MCU without Tony Stark.

It’s been almost five years since moviegoers said goodbye to Tony Stark’s Iron Man, one of the most prominent movie characters of the 2000s, responsible for making the MCU a dominant pop culture sensation and resurrecting Robert Downey Jr.’s career. And it’s safe to say that the once unstoppable MCU has faltered since Tony Stark’s heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. Tony was effectively the franchise’s main character and few of the remaining Avengers were able to fill his shoes.

By and large, Stark’s character arc was well-executed; there may have been some minor bumps in the road with his development, but on the whole, Marvel effectively sold his transformation from a self-centered playboy to a selfless savior. But it can’t help but feel like Marvel missed an opportunity to explore one of Stark’s most compelling comic-book storylines, which would’ve seen him don his most powerful suit of armor ever.

The Godkiller Armor in Marvel Comics

Tony Stark’s most unstoppable armor, the “Godkiller,” was surprisingly one he didn’t even create. The armor was featured in a 2013 comic book arc, “The Secret Origin of Tony Stark.” There, it was introduced as a prominent weapon for a race of aliens known as the Aspirants, and it had been prominently used in their battle against the Celestials. Centuries later, an alien robot known as Recorder 451 learned of the armor, and knowing that it could be used as a powerful tool to protect Earth, he genetically engineered an unborn child to be able to pilot it.

That child in question was supposedly none other than Tony Stark, and his parents reluctantly accepted 451’s plan, as he had a genetic disease in the womb, and they were willing to take this bargain if it meant saving his life. As an adult, Tony learned of his destiny upon meeting 451. However, when Iron Man tried to pilot the armor, things went wrong almost immediately; 451 directed the Godkiller’s autopilot to an alien planet, knowing Tony would have to take control if he wanted to stop its destruction. But the suit rejected him, and the planet was destroyed.


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Out of desperation, 451 directed the Godkiller’s coordinates to Earth, but upon realizing Tony was not actually the child he genetically engineered, he activated a mechanism that would transport the Godkiller to another dimension and rid the universe of its threat. However, Tony was still inside the armor, and he was ultimately forced to hack into the armor’s controls and escape before it left his dimension.

But this wasn’t the last of the Godkiller that the comics saw. Years later, Iron Man would invent the Godkiller MK II, specifically modeled after the original suit. This armor was prominently featured in the 2018 Avengers storyline, in which Tony piloted it when fending off an invasion from the villainous Dark Celestials. It was easily his most powerful suit of armor ever, with an engine powerful enough to let him fly from Earth to Mars in only a matter of minutes. Alas, the Godkiller MK II met its end soon after, as Tony was forced to eject and self-destruct it as Dark Celestials overwhelmed him.

How Could Marvel Have Used Godkiller?

There were certainly many options for how Marvel could’ve implemented the Godkiller armor into the movies. The first and most obvious option is that it could’ve been introduced in a more stripped-down form in Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame as a special armor prototype Tony prepares specifically to take on Thanos. Arguably, it could’ve even replaced the Hulkbuster, piloted by Bruce Banner to be able to fight while his Hulk persona refuses to cooperate with him.

That said, if Marvel wanted to stay accurate to the armor’s comic origins, they would’ve needed several earlier films to properly set it up. For one thing, Marvel didn’t properly introduce the Celestials until Phase Four, a good deal after Tony Stark had already died. And while they had technically been introduced as a concept in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy installments, the cosmic universe those movies inhabited had never intersected with Tony’s more grounded circle pre-Infinity War.

But could Marvel potentially still be able to adapt the Godkiller armor, even without Iron Man? It depends entirely on how they would go about doing so. At least for the time being, it seems unlikely that the cosmic origins would be explored, as the first film to fully delve into the Celestial mythology, Eternals, received a hugely divisive response from critics and fans alike and performed below expectations at the box office. But if they wanted to introduce the Godkiller as just another suit of armor from Tony Stark’s arsenal, there are still a few possibilities about how they could do so.

Obviously, Tony Stark wasn’t the only armored individual in the MCU, and indeed, his fellow armored comrade, Rhodey, is set to take center stage with Wakanda Forever breakout Ironheart in the upcoming Armor Wars, based on the popular comic storyline of the same name. That arc follows the theft and sale of Tony’s Iron Man tech to a horde of new threats, so it seems like a feasible plot to adapt even without Iron Man. Could the Godkiller armor finally debut in this film, either as a new suit for Rhodey or a tool for a new supervillain? We’ll just have to see.


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What Could Have Been for the Godkiller Armor in the MCU

All of this speculation aside, it does admittedly feel like Marvel would’ve already taken the opportunity to use the Godkiller, especially before Tony Stark was killed off. While we certainly won’t make many complaints over how Iron Man’s character arc was handled, particularly in his final films, a part of us can’t help but feel like Marvel may have missed an opportunity here. It would’ve been a huge crowd-pleasing moment to give him a suit of armor where he could’ve fought Thanos one-on-one without help from other Avengers. Alas, that never came to be, and while the Godkiller isn’t entirely out of the question going forward, it mostly remains a concept of what could’ve been. The MCU collection of films is available to stream on Disney+.

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