In order to embark on a journey of soul-searching, Tony Stark stepped down from Stark Unlimited, swore off advanced technology and moved to a brownstone in the Lower East Side. He also did away with all of his Iron Man suits, resorting instead on a single vintage-style armor.
During an invasion on Earth by the symbiote god Knull, the host of the Venom symbiote, Eddie Brock, was fatally injured when stripped off it. In a desperate attempt to save his life, Iron Man set out to find a symbiote for Brock to bond with it. To this end, Stark infected one of Knull's symbiote dragons with Extremis to cut it off from the symbiote hive. In the process, the symbiote that Iron Man subdued infused into his armor and transmuted it.
This suit appears to possess the standard abilities of a regular Iron Man Armor, including flight, enhanced strength, increased durability, and repulsor blasts. Its systems are operated by a low-level A.I. named B.O.S.S. and, unlike most modern Iron Man suits, this armor relied on a manual suit-up process. The armor's full durability was shown when Tony punched a hole through a sphere composed of Vibranium and Adamantium, albeit breaking 17 of his bones and damaging the suit in the process.
When the suit was infused with a symbiote, it gained the ability to project symbiotic tendrils that returned to the armor on their own. The armor's repulsor beams were also modified in such a way they could cleanse Knull's corruption off its victims.
In order to fight Korvac in space, Tony and James Rhodes made some on-the-fly upgrades to the suit - doubling the punch force from 20,000 Newtons to 40,000 Newtons and capping the striking speed of Iron Man's fist at 500mph.
- The numerical designation provided in this article for this suit is tentative, based on the last officially numbered armor (Model 52) and the chronological appearance of this suit.
- This suit is the second vintage style designed by Alex Ross, the previous being the Iron Man Armor Model 16.
- This armor was originally designed and pitched by Ross in 2018 as a reimagining of the Classic Armor with its aesthetics revamped to modern standards. At the time, Marvel already had Iron Man's path planned out, but they let Ross use the redesign for a variant cover for Invincible Iron Man #600. This new armor eventually debuted in the pages of the comics in Iron Man (Vol. 6) #1, released two years after its inception and its first apperance in the variant cover.
- The armor's practical segmentation is inspired by the aesthetic of the Iron Man Armor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- One of the key distinctions of this armor's design is that it's meant to be drawn with an extremely reflective chrome finish.
- Writer Christopher Cantwell's one piece of input in terms of the armor was being able to see Tony's eyes within the helmet. It was extremely important to him to drop the glow in Iron Man's eyeslits in order to humanize the character.
- In addition to the visibility of the eyes, it was important for Cantwell for the armor to feel like pieces that Stark puts on, which is reflected with the armor's first suit-up sequence in Iron Man (Vol. 6) #1, in which it can be seen the way the sections of the armor connect.