Marvel Studios has always tried to be fairly secretive with what they have in store for fans of their cinematic universe, but set photos and teasers have also become a major staple of their production process. With a fanbase eager to absorb every image and trailer, Jon Favreau recently tweeted a picture essentially announcing his return to Avengers 4 as Happy Hogan, along with the return of Gwenyth Paltrow's Pepper Potts. However, the image may have also inadvertently revealed of a major change for Iron Man.
The tweet shows Robert Downey Jr. goofing around, but if you look beneath the sweatshirt wrapped over his shoulders, there's a brief glimpse at what looks to be a new arc reactor for Tony. This new arc reactor should raise a few questions for Tony's future, as it could give us a few answers regarding Tony Stark's upcoming Iron Man suit.
Tony Gets An Upgrade After Infinity War!
Tony Stark's comic book origin translated to the cinematic universe fairly faithfully, as the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist had shrapnel from an explosive lodged in his chest, slowly moving closer to his heart. His original arc reactor was invented out of sheer necessity to hold the shrapnel in place and save his life, but after the issues Tony faced in Iron Man 3, he realized he needed to stop letting technology control his life. This led to the shrapnel's removal, essentially making it unnecessary to have the arc reactor module on his chest.
Tony went to war in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War without his chest module, so it's incredibly interesting to see a new reactor pop up in recent on-set images.
Even though we knew something was happening to Tony in Avengers: Infinity War thanks to RDJ's own tweets, this new arc reactor looks like nothing we've seen so far. So, the big question is why does Tony need another new arc reactor for Avengers 4?
Iron Man Suits Up With New Armor: 4 Potential Outcomes
Of course, new armor is the most obvious explanation for Tony's new arc reactor. With Avengers 4 being such a pivotal installment in the cinematic universe, having Iron Man utilize some of the advanced technology from the comics seems like a no-brainer. The inclusion would be hugely satisfying for fans, and would get the most out of Marvel's leading man.
There are a few possible models that could (and should) appear before Tony retires. and considering that the new arc reactor looks to be the most advanced we've seen so far, there are definitely a few possibilities in terms of just what armor we'll see.
Here are few examples of some of Tony Stark's must-see versions of the Iron Man suit before Robert Downey Jr. moves on from the Mcu:
1. The Bleeding Edge
As one of the most well known iterations of the Iron Man suit, the Bleeding Edge is a suit that utilizes nanotechnology to break down into Tony's bone marrow. The suit's nanites respond to Tony's mental suggestions to form a variety of weapons and devices. With it being powered essentially by an artificial star, a new chest module would make sense.
2. The Extremis Armor
Iron Man 3 gave us a taste of the Extremis Project, which was supposed to mirror the super-soldier serum used by Captain America. This armor predates the Bleeding Edge armor, but would serve as a great introduction to what Tony is willing to do in order to save the world from whatever threats may come.
3. The Model-Prime Armor
This iteration isn't as well known, but it's the successor to the Bleeding Edge. Model-Prime uses the same nanotech to reconfigure into nearly anything that Tony needs: weapons, tools and even different armor configurations. With enhanced everything, it is Tony's most powerful armor and allows for the suit to respond as fast as Tony can think it. An upgraded chest piece as we've seen could be able to house this technology - bringing the Model-Prime armor to the MCU.
4. The Guardians Deep-Space Armor
In the comics, Tony Stark officially joined the Guardians of the Galaxy (let that sink in for a second). In order to survive the space exploration, Tony upgraded his suit with Repulsor Tech, with one implanted in his chest. This suit is similar to the others on this list as it can form various modular weapons and tech.
With Avengers 4 currently in production, it's exciting to see that Tony is already primed for whatever Kevin Feige has in store for the character. His arc reactor is back in place, but it's still anyone's guess as to what universal threat could be coming for Tony and the remaining Avengers.