Note: How It’s Done is a new feature at Project: Rooftop, where we spotlight spectacular examples of official superhero redesigns, in comics, film, tv, and videogames. Today, I’m taking a look at Iron Man 2‘s briefcase armor. For more Iron Man at P:R, check out our Iron Man: Invincible Upgrade contest winners. – Dean Trippe, Editor
A new (and mind-blowingly rad) trailer for Iron Man 2 hit the webwaves last night, sparking a wildfire of “OH MY GOD“s on my Twitter feed. One of the many things I loved about 2008’s Iron Man film was the attention to story-driven detail regarding the lead hero’s various uniforms. This new trailer shows that returning director Jon Favreau and his team have maintained that focus in the sequel, with great looks for War Machine (good call on the red eyes), Black Widow (sporting a S.H.I.E.L.D. patch I must own), and other familiar Marvel characters. Iron Man is a perfect candidate for this sort of exploration, of course, as his true superpower (brilliance) is most noticeably evident in his beyond-next-gen armor designs.
In the comics and cartoons, Iron Man’s armor has frequently been shown to be collapsible, stored in a handy briefcase Tony Stark can carry when he’s not superheroing. On the one hand, this is fairly ridiculous, but on the other, some would say, better hand, it’s totally flipping awesome. The thing that made me and my Twittermates really freak out last night was the final scene in the new trailer, when Tony breaks out an emergency Iron Man suit, kept nearby in convenient briefcase form.
Having the briefcase itself form into a temporary suit of armor is a great update of the concept, and shows how good superhero redesign requires a combination of story-based conceptual thinking as well as updated aesthetic motifs. This netbook edition of the Iron Man is still functional and familiar, just lighter and more portable. The use of red and silver as the color scheme rather than the default red and gold, recalls the “Silver Centurion” Iron Man armor of the ’80s, a value-added consideration for fans of the mythology. Say it with me now…
OH MY GOD. And that’s how it’s done.