This page is copyright 2006, 2009 by Tim Rassbach.

Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.

Model XIV, Mark II

Stark’s time on Earth almost came to an abrupt end in issue #242, when the jilted Kathy Dare shot him. Gravely injured or not, Stark couldn’t stop being Iron Man. In fact, it was only by being Iron Man that Tony could escape his paralysis—if only when wearing his metal duds. But to do that, he’d have to go back to the drawing board.

Model XIV, Mark II, was built out of necessity in issue #243. The psuedo-musculature of the Model XIV armor was redesigned to allow a paralyzed Tony to walk while in the armor. An entire series of new stabilizers, once fine-tuned, gave him control much closer to the ambulatory movement he had prior to his attack (when his legs worked). Of course, Tony Stark couldn’t just stop there. He added a slew of upgrades.

The moment it took Tony to transform the cloth-thin, supple chain mail armor into rigid, strength-amplifying, environmental suit became even shorter as he improved the armor’s magnetic beam generators, which control the suit’s integrity field. (Armoring-up was as easy as ever. After pulling on the core red pieces [gloves, boots, etc.], the gold parts of the armor zip into place.) What’s more, Stark seemed to really get back into the study of magnetism around this time as several other magnetic features were augmented: Imbedded magnetism circuits in the armor allowed IM to give magnetic charges to metal objects, they also created magnetic attraction between his armor and other objects; a magnetic tractor beam; and an enhanced reverse-magnetism setting on the repulsors.

A refined refractory coating added to the Mark II excels at blunting lasers and other power weapons, while a thermocouple allowed the outer surface of the armor to be heated up. The armor’s energy absorption circuits were improved for increased efficiency. The reserve power cell system was boosted as well.

Sensors and computers also received an overhaul. The Mark II featured improved targeting computers and a new life scan. Surface sensors on armor could now identify chemicals and compounds; audio sensors were intensified and linked to guidance systems—could identify sounds and plot distance and a course to them.

Tony also added jet skates that were now so powerful Iron Man could skate forward towing an entire train behind him.

Special feature on this armor:While the Model XIV is space-worthy, it has only limited functionality out there. While in the far future, Tony Stark had to make his armor more durable for a war among the stars. Luckily, the shopping malls of the future are well-stocked. Stark added a jet pack propulsion system with external modules (complete with retro rockets), attached to his back, legs, and arms. He added an extended air supply to the left backpack. An emergency module built into the back also formed an anti-grav safety bubble to return him to Earth after his armor was trashed in battle. A telephoto optics package enhanced Iron Man’s visual acuity, easily allowing him to see people on Earth from in space.

Armaments: Everything found in the Mark I, plus gauntlets were improved to shoot sonics (low-level ones capable of making opponents dizzy), freon blasts, and strobe bursts; chest beam had heat beam setting; could also fire high-intensity plasma bolts from repulsors (plasma bolts work in space, too).

Mark II was all but destroyed while fighting the Iron Man from 2093 (Andros Stark), but was made whole again by the magical sword Excalibur.

There’s more: read about the Model XIV, Mark III-A and Model XIV, Mark III-B. Click here to go to page 3 of the Oversize Red and Gold Armor specs.

Red and Gold Renaissance, Part 2

One of the neatest new gizmos was the memory module: the armor’s circuits were able now able to record Iron Man’s experiences (both first-person and telemetry) for late playback. These recordings could be imprinted on swappable Recording Chips (stored in the ear buds) for exchanges with others or duplication purposes.

The main defensive upgrade was the avoidance program Stark added to the armor’s already dense system software. Upon detecting incoming fire or other threats, the avoidance program automatically moved the armor to dodge the danger. At the same time defensive measures got better. The energy shield, which could absorb cannon blasts, transfer the power to the weapons system, and return the energy in a powerful blast, was improved.