Iron Man’s Stealth Armor might have helped him stay hidden, but it’s quite underpowered, especially compared to every other suit Tony Stark has worn.
Iron Man’s weakest armor, his Stealth Suit, was designed to keep him hidden during missions but lacked any firepower – making it one of his most underpowered armors to date. Tony Stark’s Model 7 Armor was created to help him evade detection, but in order to do so, it got rid of many of his suit’s usual features, while being extremely weak and flimsy.
Iron Man has worn more than 70 different suits since debuting in his classic grey armor in Tales of Suspense #39 back in 1963. Tony Stark, the man behind the mask, usually created specific suits for certain tasks or to test the boundaries of his own genius. He’s made suits that have bonded with his skin, been designed with enough firepower to take down both Thor and the Hulk, and has given suits to some of his closest allies when they’ve needed them. While Iron Man’s armors are usually built with power in mind, his Stealth Suit was extremely weak, especially compared to the suits which have come before and after it.
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In Iron Man #152, Iron Man debuted a new suit while doing a reconnaissance mission in East Germany to save his at-the-time romantic partner Bethany Chase. Wearing an all-black suit (which appeared slightly blue) made from polarized, metal-mesh armor, the new duds allowed him to avoid detection by making him “electronically invisible.” The prototype suit succeeded in keeping Iron Man undetected, but after he tries to use a sonic scan, drones find and come after him. Usually, Iron Man would send powerful repulsor energy blasts against the robots, but in this case, making his suit stealthy meant no weapons.
Iron Man’s attempt to escape after successfully retrieving the sonic probe nearly fails when he’s struck by a laser blast that comes close to finishing him. Thankfully, he manages to escape, despite being wounded. When he returns to his secret base, Tony has to physically remove the suit by hand (which was not common practice) because of the damage the lasters did.
The reason Iron Man’s Model 7 Armor was so underpowered was that it focused solely on stealth and not weapons. While the suit kept Tony hidden, without any weapons or a more powerful defensive system and stronger armor in place, he was lucky he wasn’t killed in the blast. Tony wouldn’t make the same mistake again with the Stealth Suit. When he used the armor on later missions, he opted to upgrade it and give it more firepower in case he was detected again. When it comes to hilariously underpowered suits, they don’t get much worse than Iron Man’s Stealth Suit.
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