Marvel Studios has release concept art from the original Iron Man online, in honor of the MCU’s 10 year anniversary. It’s difficult to imagine what the MCU would look like (or if it would exist at all) if Marvel Studios hadn’t gambled on Robert Downey Jr. to spearhead their first movie. Needless to say, the pay-off was worth the risk – with the MCU now a $14 billion franchise that shows no signs of slowing down.

Even now that the MCU is ten years old and 18 films deep, the original Iron Man still holds up pretty well (sans the MySpace reference and archaic cell phones). The movie is still considered one of the MCU’s best character studies and remains the gold standard, when it comes to introducing new characters. Over the decade since then, Stark had evolved dramatically – from a selfish arms dealer to a guy who devotes his time, effort, and resources to making sure the Earth stays safe. With Tony on the verge of facing his greatest challenge yet in next month’s Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel is looking back at the film that kicked off its cinematic universe to begin with.

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The Marvel Studios UK and Ireland Twitter account is celebrating the MCU’s ten year anniversary by sharing concept art from the original Iron Man. Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding, Phil Saunders, and Adi Granov created the artwork, which depicts the final battle between Tony and Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) in the Iron Monger armor. Meinerding had previously released the Mark I concept art featured here online, but the rest is new to the public. Among other things, these images reflect how far Stark’s Iron Man suits have come over the last decade – from the bulky Mark I to the slick Bleeding Edge Armor that he will don during Infinity War next month.

We may have seen dozens of different Iron Man suits over the years (several of them in Iron Man 3 alone), but few that look as good as the ones from the original Iron Man movie. This concept art further reveals smaller details from the original Iron Man costume that were easy to miss in the movie itself. Nowadays, Stark’s armor is mostly computer-generated and not practically designed like in the first Iron Man film; understandably so, given all the new features that he’s added over the years. Still, nothing compares to these original designs and how they were translated onto the big screen.

Opinions may vary on whether or not Iron Man is still the best Marvel Studios film, but it was arguably the best IP to build a franchise around – simply because Tony Stark is such a compelling character. Tony may never be as noble as Captain America or powerful as Thor, but because he’s an average guy (granted, one with a loaded bank account) who just wants to do good, this makes him an easier sell to audiences by comparison. He’s simply proof that it’s never late to set your priorities straight. Whatever happens to him in Infinity War and Avengers 4, it will definitely be a new era for the MCU once Tony is no longer around.

MORE: Every Reveal From EW’s Infinity War Coverage

Source: Marvel UK & Ireland

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