Iron Man 2 big suitcase armor debut was one of the major early highlights of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase I. After getting the clunky Mark I prototype and classic gold-and-red armor in Iron Man, director Jon Favreau really opened the door on what Tony Stark's armory was all about. The suitcase armor was particularly cool, as it was the first compacted version of the Iron Man suit that Tony developed, and making that compact design look practical and believable onscreen was definitely a challenge. Take a look below for some very different concept art for Iron Man 2's suitcase armor:
"This was a design I did for Iron Man 2 for the suitcase suit. It wasn’t used for that movie, but was repurposed and modified to become the “Bones” suit from the house party protocol at the end of Iron Man 3." --Ryan Meinerding
If you don't know him by now, artist Ryan Meinerding is a character designer and concept artist who works as Marvel Studios' Head of Visual Development. His Instagram has become a particularly rich treasure trove of alternate designs for major Marvel Cinematic Universe movie moments and characters. As you can see, his concept for the Mark V Armor (or "Suitcase Suit") was a lot darker in design, and it makes sense why Marvel Studios ultimately didn't go with it. Favreau had just established Iron Man as a mainstream superhero, and the red color scheme was a major part of the Iron Man franchise's branding. Trading that look for a fully black-and-gold color scheme is something that fans probably weren't (and apparently still aren't) ready for.
Ultimately, Meinerding's design for the Mark V ended up getting the same consolation prize as many other artist's rejected designs: as part of the gratuitous sequence of Iron Man armor overload, which was the finale of Iron Man 3. At that time, fans actually tracked each an every armor Marvel Studios was debuting in the film, thinking they would have some larger significant to the franchise. Then Tony destroyed them all and swore off using armor - only to be inexplicably right back in the suit by the time Avengers: Age of Ultron arrived. Classic early Marvel.
Here is the updated schedule of Marvel Cinematic Universe release dates:
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (August 2020)
- Black Widow (November 6, 2020)
- WandaVision (December 2020)
- Eternals (February 2, 2021)
- Loki (Spring 2021)
- Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (May 7, 2021)
- What If...? (Summer 2021)
- Spider-Man 3 (November 5, 2021)
- Hawkeye (Fall 2021)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
- Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel Disney+ Series release dates TBA.
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