Warning: SPOILERS for Tony Stark: Iron Man #4
Tony Stark has worn some ridiculous suits of Iron Man armor over the years, but the latest to debut in the world of Marvel Comics may be one of his most absurd yet. Absurd and awesome, considering Tony decided he wanted to have a Vespa scooter AND a mobile battle suit.
As millions of Marvel fans around the world wait to see what Iron Man's new Avengers 4 armor will look like, or how it will differ from previous versions seen in the comics and movies, the Tony Stark: Iron Man comic series has delivered a knockout punch. No matter how "cool" the new armors may be in the MCU, there's simply no way any movie armor will compare to Tony's latest creation. Prepare yourselves for... Iron Scooter?
We'll leave the task of actually naming this new suit of Iron Man armor to the comic's storytellers, Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti, who debuted it in Tony Stark: Iron Man #4. An issue that begins innocently enough with Tony taking Janet Van Dyne out for lunch - in his civilian clothes, to be more specific.
There's more to Tony's choice of vehicle for their outing than seems at first, but all things considered, Tony's embracing of a more romantic style isn't surprising. After Tony Stark was basically killed during Marvel's Civil War II event, he was finally restored to his old self in recent months. Well, actually, he was physiologically "rebooted" before Marvel fans found out that their Tony Stark was truly alive and kicking. So his decision to live a bit more sincerely - including accepting the risks of riding a Vespa through New York City - is a change for the good, thanks to Janet's own risk-taking demeanor.
But as we teased before, that retro-styled Vespa is more than meets the eye. Before long, Janet and Tony's lunch is interrupted by the sudden discovery that an online dating app is turning into an army of crazed love-robots nearby... a fairly standard afternoon in the Marvel Universe (no wonder the Fantastic Four chose to leave it behind). When Tony steps onto the pair's Vespa and prepares to jump into the fight, Janet can't believe that he would leave her behind. Of course, Tony is actually straddling his scooter to initiate its other form, far more fitting for their coming battle...
From his helmet to his toes, fans are left to witness Tony Stark, the iron Man, wearing a suit of battle armor fashioned out of - yes, you're not dreaming - a Vespa. Applause is due to the art team on this one, as each second spent examining the Iron Man armor reveals a new detail linking the two forms together. The Vespa's rear wheel casing and front mudguard, transformed into the shoulders of the Iron Man suit (headlight included). The open faced motorcycle helmet still visible in the final fighting form, with the faceplate having deployed from inside. And, based on the large size of its component parts, the ability to presumably turn those rubber tires into the makings of the underlayer.
It's at times like these that Marvel fans need to set aside the many Iron Man suits seen in the MCU, and even the suspense over just how different, ambitious, and groundbreaking Iron Man's new Avengers 4 armor will be. Because at the end of the day, THIS is the kind of reason Tony Stark stands apart among the Marvel Universe's best and brightest. Thor is a god. Captain America a hero. Doctor Strange a sorcerer. Heck, even Pepper Potts can become an Iron Woman.
But making sure a billionaire can have both a vintage Vespa to scoot around town, and a suit of mechanized, self-deploying battle armor? That is a job only for Tony Stark - and that is why we love him. Your move, Marvel Studios.
Tony Stark: Iron Man #4 is available now from Marvel Comics.