Once upon a time, these names didn’t ring any bells with the general population. But the Iron Man helmet is now an iconic piece of our culture shared not only with television and print publications but also the lucrative world of big budget action movies.
Tony’s journey began in Tales of Suspense way back in 1963 and has been reinterpreted for a new generation and a new world.
Originally, Tony was captured in Vietnam as a reflection of the times he was conceived in. His rebirth in the 21st century is equally reflective of the times, as his movie debut saw his capture taking place in Afghanistan.
Humble Beginnings (for a billionaire)
The first bucket of bolts that Tony cobbled together wasn’t more than a simple helmet with eye holes, both in the comic and movie debut of the character.
Subsequent designs, especially in the movie series, incorporated a much more technological version of the original Iron Man helmet. A heads up display and the electronic re- imagination of Stark’s butler J.A.R.V.I.S. as an AI to run the Iron Man suit was as logical as it was evolutionary for a new generation of fans.
After the rudimentary and very basic (comparatively) Mark I version of the suit, Tony’s design featured lit eyelets and the ability to run “apps” like a retinal scan (as in Tony’s encrypted message to Pepper in Iron Man 3).
The very basic gunmetal finish that graced the Mark I was not to continue, as the latest Iron Man helmet and armor evolutions featured a stainless steel brushed appearance and finally the very familiar to fans red and gold version.
Why Red and Gold?
In the comics, Tony chose those colors to represent his former elementary school colors. A much more realistic interpretation appears in the first movie, where gold is used in the interest of utility and in the elimination of the icing problem that the Mark II experienced.
Red was added into the movie version to pay homage to Tony’s hot rod collection with the line “Throw a little hot rod red in there”.
Different armors utilized different Iron Man helmet designs, always in an evolutionary way. Some had a mouth slit, some did not. Some were designed to hold up in space, others in underwater missions.
Lest we forget, there are also fan favorite designs such as the Hulk Buster armor and the Thor Buster designs.
What To Expect From This Website
Whether appearing in the comics or movies, Tony Stark’s armor designs were always reflected in the face- each armor has it’s own attitude and personality. And each were expressed with the particular design of the Iron Man helmet proper.
I began this website because Iron Man is one of my favorite characters in all of literature. We’re witnessing the birth of the new legends in these characters, as evidenced by their adoption not only in niche hobbyists but also popular culture.
In the coming days, I’ll have plenty of detailed information on what makes Iron Man’s helmet tick both in comics and in the movies.
We encourage you to chime in if we get something wrong- hey, there’s a lot of Iron Man history out there and nobody’s perfect!