Why Is The Iron Man 3 Suit So Gold?

In May 2013, we will all be seeing a brand new Iron Man movie in theaters; it will have a new director, a new plot, and, of course, because Tony Stark loves his toys, a brand new suit. That’s not the surprise that Marvel just unveiled to fans at the San Diego ComicCon this Saturday afternoon. The surprise was all of the gold. Here’s a great picture of the suit, on loan from the film’s set in North Carolina, as shared by CinemaBlend:Iron Man 3 GOLD

As this new suit stands, mid-stage, in front of all of the suits of the past, it is hard to ignore its distinguishing characteristic.While no other news beyond the cosmetic have been revealed at this point, there will be a Marvel panel later on in the day which will hopefully shed some more light on the topic. Katey Rich who reported for CinemaBlend also added these observable cosmetic details from her perspective at the Con, “ it’s got some strange vents that look like abs on the front, not to mention some seriously 80s style shoulder pads.” Which aren’t too dramatic, so that brings me back to the gold.

Iron Man Has Been Gold Before

Iron Man Armor MK II
Iron Man Armor MK II

It’s deep in Iron Man’s history, but he did have a gold suit before. It was the  MK II armor, a “slightly modified version of the MK I armor [by] painting it in gold to make its appearance not as creepy when Stark realized that the MK I’s appearance was frightening to everyone around him.” Why was the suit painted gold then? I really love this, “His date Marion who went with Stark [to] a circus suggested the armor be painted gold like a knight in shining armor which Stark conveniently did.” While I think it would be awesome for Pepper Potts to suddenly inform Tony he’s looked creepy all these years, I highly doubt audiences worldwide would find this endearing.

What We Know About Iron Man 3 So Far

According to Variety, the “plot will borrow elements from Warren Ellis’ six-issue Iron Man: Extremis” and we will be seeing Firepower as one of the villains in the film. Firepower “is the pilot of an experimental armored suit under the secret mission dubbed Project: Firepower.” Add that to what we know about Extremis, and perhaps we can start pulling some pieces together:

The Extremis virus has fused Stark’s armor to his body. Initially the inner layers of the Iron Man armor were stored in the hollows of his bones, but later his entire exo-armor would be contained within carbon nanotubes. He is able to manifest and control the armor through direct brain impulses and even utilize some of its powers when unsurfaced. He has direct, cyberpathic control over the communication devices, scanning equipment, and recording devices located in his helmet.

Bleeding Edge Armor
Bleeding Edge Armor Suit Up

My (Probably Ridiculous) Theory

You can nerd-slap me when I am completely wrong after today’s Marvel panel at the ComicCon reveals the real deal, but here’s what I’m thinking: Tony Stark is infected with Extremis, which ends up being insanely painful and/or life-threatening until Stark comes up with this gem: gold is soft! He, therefore, is able to redesign his suit attached to his body by somehow using the experimental technology that created Firepower’s suit and viola! A gold suit is made!

No? You think that’s silly… alright maybe, but it’s all I’ve got right now. I need better theories! Lay ’em on me! Is this just a cosmetic change, or is there some awesome property of gold that Stark is planning to use to his advantage? Put your theory in the comments and let’s see who wins the nerd-knowledge challenge of the moment!



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Nicole Rivera


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  • My theory? Tony is just trying to be a pimp, and the big fuzzy hat doesn’t quite match the rest of the suit.

  • I think the “bling” theory should always be on the back burner when dealing with a flashy billionaire like Tony Stark.As for the big fuzzy hat? I say you start you photoshop that one in, Mark, and get the jump on the meme!

  • Not fond of the newest one. I like the shape of the armor and if the colours were right I would love it. Even with fixed colours though, it still isn’t as awesome as Mark 7 from the Avengers. I hope this isn’t the final suit.

  • I agree with you 100%, Will, although I never considered this being a “final” suit! That wouldn’t be ok for me at all. I had dismissed the idea entirely that they would ever settle on to one suit for Iron Man! Now you have me scared… This gold case can not be the lasting image we keep. I REFUSE to sign off on that.

    I envision this gold suit as the one crazy, all out, trendiest outfit you ever wore: you looked great when you put it on, everyone noticed you and commented on your fabulous style, but don’t you DARE try to wear that same outfit in a year. It was too flashy and fantastic on its first run and now everyone’s seen you in it already. In fact, after a year, it’s terribly outdated and you look ridiculous. With outfits like these, you can’t settle; you HAVE to keep getting something new.

    Now, with that thinking, I think the suit from The Avengers was classicly cool and probably could have stayed around for a long time! Who knows why they have to keep changing the suit? My only guess is that they are trying to mirror the tech world’s insane turnover rate of new devices year after year. (Well… That AND the fact that every new suit counts as a whole new set of toys and other merch that go along with it!)

  • It’s not gold. It’s sandstone/beige. I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to be fighting in the desert again in this one. Maybe it’s just a suit to make him more tactical. I dunno. I agree that it might not be the final suit given they are doing the Extremis storyline and this looks nothing like the Extremis armor. Seeing how flashy they make these suits how could hollywood resist creating the Extremis armor with all those lights and flashy awesomeness? It is the Lamborghini of the suits, afterall.

  • Josher!! I like this camouflage idea! That makes a ton of sense – the red is quite ridiculous in a situation where you are trying for the least bit of stealth. Also, it would be really smart of them to reveal this suit now, get everyone all excited about it, but then save the Extremis armor for an on-screen reveal (or at least closer to the release date of the film).

  • Josher is probably on the right track. It looks like it could also be some sort of ceramic suit, maybe Tony plans on visiting a very hot location or would like to be less conductive. Which would also be nice for fighting the Crimson Dynamo and Dr. Doom respectively

    • Whoa! Near brain-implosion for me here, Eric! Here’s a little note of my ignorance before reading your comment: when I heard “ceramics” I thought of ceramics class! Any time “ceramics” have ever been mentioned around me I would instantly think of the delicate nature in which I have always treated any ceramic item I have ever come into contact with. In my mind ceramics = fragile!
      Upon reading your comment, I dug a little deeper and started reading about ALL OF THE CERAMICS TECH I HAVE MISSED! All I can say is “Whoa!” …and, also, COOL!!

      Now that I have been reeducated, I can definitely back your vision of ceramic armor. It sounds like the way to go!!

      I have to now called my brother, the former Marine and current police officer, to tell him what I learned today. Do me a favor, Eric, pray that he doesn’t yell at me too much for being such a “civilian”! 😛

  • Doubt it’s camouflage related. I have only seen snow in IM3 so far but seeing how his house gets blown up, he doesn’t really have to go to some desert for a fight.

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