Despite Tony Stark’s status as the Marvel Universe’s most famous industrial titan, his role as a design guru has gone largely undiscussed. The debut issue of U.S.Avengers, however, shines a brief light on Stark’s signature designs. Essentially, the Iron Man suit is so iconic that he’s kind of like Marvel’s answer to Apple’s Jony Ive.
While Stark Industries mostly produces commercial and consumer technologies, it’s Tony’s Iron Man suit that captured the collective imagination of fans and rivals. Although there have been countless attempts by competitors like Justin Hammer to create their own Iron Armor Suits, Stark’s design remains the standard to which all other Iron Suits are compared to. Stark essentially made the iPhone of Iron Man armors, and the rest of his competitors are simply Samsung.
This is highlighted when the U.S.Avenger’s new Iron Patriot and daughter of Iron Man co-creator Ho Yinsen, Dr. Toni Ho, revealed her own custom Iron Patriot armor- something she describes as being “kind of Stark-y”.
It isn’t just Dr. Toni Ho who uses Stark’s design template for creating Iron Armor. Riri Williams, Doctor Doom, and plenty of other inductees to the Iron Man armor club use Stark’s design when creating their own suit. Some people like Justin Hammer, are even content with just modifying existing Stark Iron Man Armor.
In a way, the Iron Man design has become the staple for armor-based technology in the Marvel Universe. With so many Iron Suits to choose from, all the scientists, engineers, and weapon designers in the Marvel Universe seem content chasing after Tony Stark’s template for how to design a superpowered armor weapon. Stark’s design and preferred crimson-yellow color-scheme are so iconic, they’ve even bled into the real world.