Tony Stark started designing the fiftieth Iron Man Armor not long time after the Avengers' civil war. It represented Tony's first exploration into the use of nanotechnology for the creation of his suits. As a result, he attached a removable arc reactor in his chest, where the suit's nanites were stored.
Tony suited up in the MK L when Manhattan was invaded by Black Order members Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian in the search for the Time Stone in possession of Doctor Strange. Iron Man used the armor to battle Cull Obsidian, and later boarded the aliens' Q-Ship when Maw abducted Doctor Strange.
After reaching Titan with Strange and Spider-Man, Tony encountered the Guardians of the Galaxy, and joined forces with them against the Black Order's master Thanos. Eventually, Iron Man confronted Thanos on his own. Despite putting all of the armor's arsenal to use in an arduous fight, he was overpowered in the end. The suit couldn't regenerate any more after Thanos tore it numerous times. Tony materialized a blade and attempted to stab Thanos, but the villain blocked the attack, broke the edge, and impaled Tony with it. After Strange negotiated with Thanos so he spared Tony's life in exchange for the Time Stone, and the villain teleported away from Titan, Tony used what remained of his armor to suture his wound with nitrogen before retracting it back into the arc reactor.
The Iron Man Armor MK L represents a leap in the level of technology employed in the Iron Man suits. Instead of articulated hard metal components, the suit is composed of an array of nanobots which can encase its user and materialize into a fully-functional armor in a matter of seconds. This composition makes it possible for Stark to vary the hardness and flexibility of the armor's material at will, in turn allowing him to redistribute the suit's components and shapeshift MK L into a variety of tools and weapons. When the armor is not in use, its nanobots remain stored in a reservoir in Tony's chest. Like prior models, this armor is powered by an arc reactor. The suit features Friday's assistance to operate, though Tony was capable of making use of the armor's capabilities on his own after losing connection with her. The suit's flight potential is enhanced by its shapeshifting abilities. It can combine its two feet thrusters into a single giant rocket thruster for additional speed, and materialize wing-shaped nano boosters on the back.
The armor possesses the default offensive capabilities of a regular Iron Man armor, namely increased strength, repulsor rays and unibeam. The strength enhancement allowed Stark to knock back powerful foes like Cull Obsidian with a regular punch. He could reshape the suit's limbs into repulsor-charged pistons to deliver thruster-powered blows. Stark additionally turned the suit's feet into ground anchors that could double as snares, such as when he stepped on Thanos' hand. These snares could also be constructed and ejected from the armor.
In addition to making use of the suit's hand flight stabilizers to fire repulsor blasts and rays, Iron Man could turn the suit's gauntlets into repulsor gatling guns, and materialize repulsor cannons of varying size and shape that could either form around his arm or take up an entire gauntlet. He could additionally deploy panels from the back of the suit to provide an additional output to the cannons' discharge. The armor comes equipped with an array of micro-missiles that are fired from the back, either individually or all at once, as well as micro-munitions. A type of weapon Iron Man could materialize that is uncommon of previous suits are regular blades and dual energy knives. Another unlikely weapon in the suit's arsenal were liquid nitrogen blasters.
In addition to the typical protection provided by an Iron Man armor, which allowed Stark to resist hits from Cull Obsidian and Thanos, and being crushed by a small meteorite, the MK L could regenerate destroyed parts in an instant a limited number of times. The suit can also be used to form shields capable of withstanding an energy discharge from the Power Stone.
- This armor is an adaptation of the Bleeding Edge Armor from the comics.
- The design process for the MK L was approached from a different angle because it didn't require the traditional separate panels and cut lines of previous armor designs since it was made out of nanotechnology. To prevent it from looking like rubber or "Terminator T-1000-like," the suit was designed around accordion-like semi-rigid joints in the areas that would demand it. Additionally, specific attention was paid to getting the right balance of organic and mechanical aesthetic to mantain the feel of an Iron Man suit.
- Designer Phil Saunders considered this armor was bound to be the most controversial movie Iron Man design yet because it's a departure from what people are used to.
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