Tony Stark wore a unique new suit of armor in Avengers: Infinity War composed of complex nanotechnology, and official concept art reveals exactly how Marvel designed the new battle-ready look. The Mark L armor was Tony Stark's most advanced armor yet, composed of nanotechnology with an incredible degree of flexibility - but it nearly took on a much different appearance, inspired by his Endo-Sym Armor.
As the Avengers: Infinity War prelude revealed, Tony Stark believed that it was only a matter of time before Earth played host to yet another alien invasion. S.H.I.E.L.D. had been destroyed, the Avengers had self-destructed, and the attempt to put together a new team turned out to be more complicated than he anticipated. So, for the sake of Earth's protection, Stark promptly created a suit of armor that would make him a formidable threat to any would-be invaders. However, early concept art revealed some alternative looks that Stark might have considered before landing on the final look featured in the movie.
Concept art published in The Art of Avengers: Infinity War (via: @akaspidey) offers a closer look at Iron Man's earlier suit designs for the movie. In the book, one approach to Stark's suit would have borrowed more elements from the Endo-Sym Armor design which utilizes liquid metal to create the suit. The liquid material emits from Tony's arc reactor, spreads over his body, and hardens into the suit. While the Mark L armor used in the movie borrowed similar elements, the suit in the movie ditches liquid metal for nanotechnology, but still features a far more organic look than Stark's suits in previous movies.
According to Visual Development Concept Illustrator Phil Saunders, the challenge with designing this armor was that it was crafted without a frame of reference. Previous armors were based on real-world technology, with concepts lifted from jet aircrafts or automobiles. The Mark L, however, doesn't take inspiration from any such real-world ideas. As he explained, "I just tried a bunch of different approaches to how you would work out something like this. You don't have to have rigid panels with cuts or gaps in between and tech on the inside in the traditional sense."
The versatility of the finished look is effectively displayed in a series of concept art images showing Iron Man in flight. Images transition seamlessly from a fairly standard look in which Stark flies with his hands glowing, preparing to fire repulsor blasts, to versions incorporating ailerons and powerful cannons. One early concept appears to have included modular attachments, such as a backpack containing additional nanotech for the ailerons. This look was ultimately abandoned in favor of the streamlined look, with everything contained in a single chest unit. As a result, Iron Man's creative team on Avengers: Infinity War crafted the most advanced armor Tony Stark has ever worn, and it will be interesting to see how much his suit evolves - or stays the same - in Avengers 4.
Source: Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie (via @akaspidey)
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