An episode of What if..? imagined a world where Tony Stark had never become Iron Man. In the comics, infinite worlds exist where alternate versions of Iron Man have appeared. Some possess more power than others, with some being among the most powerful beings on their respective worlds.
Whether it’s an alternate timeline or just a different version of Iron Man from Earth-616, these variations of the character represent many divergent possibilities. Some will likely appear in some form in the MCU in the future, which will make them all the more compelling as the franchise explores a world without Tony Stark.
Updated August 25, 2022 by Darby Harn: Although Iron Man left the MCU in Avengers: Endgame, the multiverse allows many alternate versions of Iron Man to appear live. As the franchise heads into Secret Wars, fans can expect to encounter an Iron Man variant or two along the way. Marvel Comics has plenty of variations of Iron Man for the MCU to adapt, including some with direct ties to the Secret Wars 2015 comic book event, such as the Invincible Iron Man. Other variants are likely to appear in animated or live-action series that lay the groundwork for the epic film, including Young Avengers and Iron Lad, a variant of Kang The Conqueror.
15 Lord Iron
Lord Iron hails from Earth-311, the universe of 1602 comic books where Marvel superheroes exist in an Elizabethan setting. This version of the character has much of the same power and ability as regular Iron Man, though his armor is much more of a steampunk version.
With increased strength and armored protection, Iron Lord boasts supreme defense against the weapons of the day. He can also fly and generate energy blasts, though the technology behind it is much more analog than his Earth-616 counterpart.
14 iron man 2099
Sonny Frisco takes on the mantle of Iron Man in the 2099 universe, one of Marvel’s darkest future timelines. While the technology behind his advanced armor is a century ahead of Tony Stark’s, the basic range of powers and abilities are essentially the same. Iron Man 2099 flies at supersonic speeds and generates powerful energy blasts.
Sonny Frisco also exhibits an advanced intellect comparable to that of Tony Stark, using his talent as an engineer to construct the armor himself and earn a place on the 2099 Avengers team in the process.
13 iron maniac
Iron Maniac appeared on Earth-5012 with most of the powers and abilities that 616 Iron Man possesses, with a few key differences. His advanced armor repels certain magical attacks and generates a neural dampening field that somewhat dampens telepathic and telekinetic attacks.
He differs from most Iron Man variants in his ability for violence. Titannus destroyed his world, killing most of the heroes and forcing Iron Maniac to extreme measures. He fought the Fantastic Four and killed the Human Torch before fighting on Earth-616.
12 The passage
The Crossing, a Marvel Comics crossover event that the MCU will likely avoid, introduced a teenage Tony Stark from a different timeline. This iteration adopted a new armor with several improvements over the original, including the ability to solidify sound waves in the immediate vicinity of the armor, creating an additional sonic force field.
The armor also exists primarily as holograms of hard light, manifesting when the suit’s convenience elements activate. This armor and teenage Tony Stark didn’t last long, abandoned when the Heroes Return event in the late 1990s revitalized the Avengers.
11 Earth X Iron Man
The Earth X Iron Man shared the same powers and abilities as his Earth-616 counterpart, but circumstances forced him to become even more inventive. When all the people of the world gain superpowers, Iron Man creates a mechanized version of the Avengers called the Iron Men to fight for a corrupt government led by Norman Osborn.
This Tony Stark enjoyed even more economic and political power than the rest, becoming virtually the entire defense of the United States in a world turned upside down by the aggressive actions of Black Bolt, who unleashed the Terrigen Mists across the globe.
Tony Stark rules Earth-42777 with a literal iron fist, brutally killing every superhero and villain except those who didn’t oppose him like the Inhumans. This character shares all of the traditional Iron Man suit powers, including built-in weapons and booster rockets, but is unfettered by any sense of morality.
Cold, indifferent and driven by pure ego, this version of the character of Exiles #23 is powerful in its capacity for cruelty. While the character wears the mantle of Doctor Doom, he lacks the mystical powers of the ruler of Latveria.
9 iron man 2020
Arno Stark, Tony’s descendant, wears upgraded armor which is distinguished by its trademark “clamps”. The suit is generally found to be faster and more durable than previous versions of the armor, with increased potential for energy and speed blasts.
Arno Stark invented virtually every component of his armor, including a weapon called the Flying Star Blade, a detachable projectile device he can control remotely.
8 Ultimate iron man
With his mind and body altered by exposure to an Infinity Gem, the Iron Man of Earth-1610 can physically and mentally interact with any computer system. This blurs the line between man and machine and also allows him to access virtually any computer system in the world.
The Ultimate Comics Iron Man easily ranks among the most powerful variants of Iron Man thanks to his ability to project his mind into other computers and androids, allowing him to escape death. His signature Iron Man armor generates force fields and a cloaking field that render him invisible.
seven Superior iron man
The Superior Iron Man lost his morality through a reversal spell during the Axis crossover, making an already ethically questionable Tony Stark even more inclined to do bad things. Additionally, he wore the Endo-Sym Armor, a liquid metal armor based on the same alien symbiote that spawned both Venom and Carnage.
This gave Stark incredible power, including mind control over armor that can be used independently of him. The armor absorbs electromagnetic energy which means the suit never runs out of power and can also increase its capacity in virtually any environment.
6 iron boy
Iron Lad wears 40th Century Neurokinetic Armor, a highly advanced technology capable of time travel. He also controls the suit telepathically, though the technology behind it differs greatly from the symbiote-based armor Superior Iron Man wore. The armor changes its shape and the weapons it spawns based on Iron Lad’s thoughts.
His extraordinary power comes from the fact that Iron Lad is one of the most powerful variants of Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Comics. He returned in time to avoid his fate and eventually fought as a member of the Young Avengers.
5 iron goblin
The Iron Goblin from 2011 Spider Island The scenario is not only one of the most powerful variants of Iron Man, but also one of the most powerful variants of Green Goblin. This version of Tony Stark not only benefited from the power and ability of Iron Man’s armor but also from the Goblin Formula. He boasts superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and a healing factor.
This version of Iron Man also wields the Ebon Blade, one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe.
4 Infamous Iron Man
While the Exiles version of Iron Man lacked Doom’s powers, Doctor Doom wore Iron Man’s armor in Earth-616 for a time. The infamous Iron Man possessed not only the highly advanced armor and all of his inherent powers, but also the considerable magical abilities of Victor Von Doom. As one of Marvel’s most powerful magicians, Doom manipulates matter and reality.
Comic book fans know that Doctor Doom possesses incredible genius and ambition, a kinetic combination that, combined with his technological attributes, makes him one of the most powerful Iron Man variants of all time.
3 iron lantern
Iron Lantern merges Iron Man and Green Lantern for the Amalgam Comics crossover event between Marvel and DC in 1997. The character combines the powers of Tony Stark and Hal Jordan, making him a powerful superhero who can generate constructs of green energy directly from his modified armor.
More than that, Iron Lantern can time travel and teleport huge distances through space. He also has a telepathic ability, making him a strong candidate for the most powerful variant of Iron Man.
2 Sorcerer Supreme
Many powerful variations of Doctor Strange exist in Marvel Comics, and Iron Man is just one of them. On Earth-9810, Tony Stark becomes the Sorcerer Supreme and builds Sorcerer armor. This special set of armor from What if…? #113 combines Stark’s technological advancements with Doctor Strange’s extraordinary magical ability.
The armor houses an onboard spell database and also incorporates the Eye of Agamotto – taking the place of the Arc Reactor – making it one of the most powerful weapons in any dimension.
1 Infinite Deformations
The iron man of 2018 Infinite Deformations comic book event mixed the characters of Iron Man and Thor. It made for one of the most powerful versions of Tony Stark to date. Stark Odinson enjoys virtual immortality thanks to his Asgardian physiology, as well as superhuman strength and stamina.
He also wields the Mjolniron, a hammer with all the extraordinary power of ordinary Mjölnir, such as generating cosmic-sized electric blasts. The weapon also unlocks the Iron Hammer armor, a mystical suit that Stark wore in his battles to save Earth.
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