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What is the Best Iron Man Armor?

With more than 30 suits in the armory, there are plenty of options.

             More of these!
 More of these!
Last week, I asked you maniacs to express your preferences in alternate costumes for Cap. MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 still has a vise-tight grip on my imagination, of course, and with the recent announcement that the Iron Patriot armor will be available as a variant skin for shellhead in the first DLC package, I’m starting to wonder what additional suits could be good choices like that (keeping in mind how palette swaps have already afforded the options of the stealth armor, the silver centurion and a close approximation of the movie’s Mark II suit.) Once again, even if you don’t dig the vidya games, this article's title is a pretty fair question since Iron Man doesn’t really have a definitive look the way Cap or the FF do. 
Suit up and affix your blast shield. Let's starting running through some possibilities...
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I’ve always been tickled by how task-specific this suit is. Tony’s designed unique armors with space travel and underwater adventure in mind, but you can’t get much more particular than one that was engineered to bring the Hulk down, and the Hulk alone. The overall design seems inspired by the Juggernaut 's magic, monolithic armor and that’s a sensible model to emulate, I figure. Obviously, shellhead can't be wearing this all the time - - it's a wee cumbersome and surely a huge battery drain - - but it sends a crystal clear message on the few times he does take it out of the armory. Along that line, I really wish it'd been used Iron Man's hyper combo in the game. I remember seeing a fanmade MVC3 on Mugen a few years back that did just that (and to great effect.)


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Full confession: I’ve got some preference for this suit simply because it debuted right when I was on the cusp of my teens. Still, objectively I think this collaboration between Sean Chen and Alex Ross does a deft job of encompassing many eras of IRON MAN at once. It's sometimes been called the retro suit and that's apt because the overall design's a more streamlined take on the classic Sal Buscema armor with a few futurist touches borrowed from the Jim Lee radical redesign from HEROES REBORN outfit (minus the smokestack exhaust pipes that everybody had a problem with, though.) And I always thought the horizontal power bars looked so cool popping out whenever shellhead was in silhouette.    

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There's elegance in simplicity. Conceptually, I get a kick out of how this suit's exactly the same as the one Tony cobbled together while he was a captive in Vietnam (or whatever the latest rectoned location is,) except with an ostentatious gold polish he just had to put on the thing once he got back to society.  
There’s something appealingly retro about the wireless antenna on his shoulder, as well -- transistor were such an out-there concept in the 60s. Seeing as how all subsequent red and gold armors have taken from Sal Buscema’s classic redesign, I think it’d be fun to fashion a new, entirely gold one after this.   
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This was the de facto Iron Man suit for the first part of the 90s; the one that was used in the Capcom games and in the MARVEL ACTION HOUR cartoon the co-starred Force Works. It strikes me as a brawnier revamp of the costume - - the brawler armor, if you will - - with a helmet designed to look like shellhead has an ever-present stiff upper lip.  
The pentagonal design motif looks a bit sturdier than the previous ones patterned around circles and triangles, too, and there’s also the amusing, subtle suggestion that he's wearing a pair of pants instead of the traditional trunks (as those are certainly manlier.)   
This is a really limited sampling, as there’ve been more than 30 armors over the years. From the Extremis armor to the SKIN armor to the Ultimate armor, which one do you Comic Vine maniacs like the most?

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk