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Following the hostile takeover of Stark Unlimited by the human supremacist tycoon Feilong, Tony Stark saw his technological resources being put to the service of a quest of anti-mutant oppression orchestrated by the think tank Orchis, namely by Feilong's design and mass-production of a new type of Sentinel outfitted with Iron Man technology that he dubbed the Stark Sentinels.[1] The strength of Orchis' campaign of terror forced the X-Men into hiding. Stark joined them in secrecy since he couldn't legally continue operating as Iron Man due to Feilong owning his patents, and began operating out of the Hellfire Club.[2]

After discovering that a theoretical metal discovered in the past by his father Howard was nothing other than the mutant-harvested mysterium, Tony sought to use it to craft his counter-measure against Feilong's Stark Sentinels.[3] The end result of Stark's designs was a skycraper-sized Sentinel Buster Armor, with the human-sized Model 72 serving as a flight suit for it.[4] Iron Man and Emma Frost retrieved the mysterium deposited by the X-Men in Gameworld, sending most of it to Nidavellir to be forged into the Sentinel Buster by Ironheart, and keeping enough to use a fabricator stolen from Stane International to craft the Model 72.[5]

Stark first debuted the Mysterium Armor during the day of reckoning against Orchis, suiting up ahead of time to defend himself and Frost from a Sentinel Zero sent to the Hellfire Club to kill Tony. Iron Man subsequently convened with the Sentinel Buster in the Australian Outback, which landed split into parts and disguised as ships meant to trick Orchis into thinking they were transporting the mutant counter-offensive, in order to lure the Stark Sentinels armada to a trap.[4]



Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Invincible Iron Man Vol 5 15 002

Withstanding adamantium claws

The Model 72 is poised to be one of Iron Man's strongest suits, since it's built using mysterium, a hyper-conductive "miracle metal" that is more durable than adamantium and imprevious to magic. This suit possess the standard abilities of a regular Iron Man Armor, including flight, enhanced strength to easily crush adamantium[4], and repulsor blasts.[4] It also includes a pair of pop-out guns concealed in its wrists.[6]


  • Artist Pepe Larraz was chosen to design the Mysterium Armor because he needed to start drawing May 2024's Blood Hunt, which features Iron Man alongside the Avengers, ahead of its debut in Invincible Iron Man (Vol. 5). Invincible Iron Man writer Gerry Duggan and his collaborators had yet to design the hero's new look for the third arc of Duggan's first storyline. A contributing factor was Larraz and Duggan's previous collaboration in Planet-Size X-Men #1 and X-Men (Vol. 6).[7]
  • Larraz has provided the following insights into the design of the Mysterium Armor:
    • He designed it with the main idea that an Iron Man Armor must have more to do with a high-end sports car than a tactical body suit. His first drafts were headed in that direction until his friend and fellow artist David López argued that they made Iron Man look like a Transformer.
    • Despite his limited experience drawing Iron Man, Larraz concluded that the most iconic part in every iteration was the chest and legs, so he focused on finding an iconic shape for the chest and the unibeam, as well as a recognizable silhouette.
    • He encountered a problem designing the waist, arguing that the appropriate shape to facilitate movement could "easily look like a petrified solid diapers, or a very bold swimsuit." He solved this issue by leaving that part in a complete black area, which also helped create a black shape that made it easy for artists to draw him and readers to follow him around the page. Larraz also stated that it made sense as a reference to "the darkness of the mysterium."
    • Among variations that circled around the final design, Larraz tried giving the suit a black faceplate, which he felt looked like War Machine, and making it more bulky. He didn't like the last one, believing that an Iron Man suit should look "robust but agile."
    • Editor Tom Brevoort asked Larraz to articulate the waist area with plates in order not to lose the feeling of armor. He and Larraz also decided to give the suit a chrome finish, which was "more minimal and it looks more expensive and sophisticated. All very Tony Stark."
    • The final pass at the armor's design included gold lines from his initial inspiration of cars in order to "remark the high end, exclusive custom trait of the object. It's an Iron Man armor, it's priceless."[8]

See Also

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