How and if a mistake turned into Iron Man’s creepiest multiverse armor

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In a corner of the Marvel Multiverse, a world where Tony Stark never became Iron Man led him to build the mighty Overload Armor.

The Marvel Multiverse is home to various dark realities where a single event could have unimaginable repercussions. The speculative worlds of What if…? often focus on how a single change in a hero’s personal timeline often leads to a dystopian timeline unimaginable for the rest of the Marvel pantheon. Of particular interest to the series is Iron Man’s fate, as the hero and his technology are vitally important to the fabric of the Marvel Universe.

A What if…? The storyline speculated on what would have happened if Tony Stark had taken a different approach with the armor he created. While he never intended to take on his alter ego like he does in most continuities, the events of the story lead Stark to create one of his most terrifying Iron Man armors of all. the multiverse.


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Many speculative stories have been written about what would happen to the Marvel Universe if Iron Man had died before the key storylines. What if..? # 64 by Simon Furman, Geoff Senior, Sara Mossoff and Richard Starkings instead imagines a world where Tony Stark will never become Iron Man after his capture and makes his technology available to the public. This is leading to a technological boom in the United States, with the military, law enforcement, medical, and construction industries all using Iron Man technology. Due to a national force called the “Iron Guard” that handles most meta-human crimes, many heroes such as Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, and Elektra are retiring from crime-fighting to live normal lives.

But like most What if…?‘s, the timeline is not without difficulties and dark turns. As Iron Man never existed, the Avengers were never trained to find Captain America frozen. Stark technology is also ultimately used by enemies of America such as Russia and the Colombian cartels. Doctor Doom also uses his own version of Iron Man technology to successfully kill the Fantastic Four. Perhaps worst of all, Stark’s technology is used to create even more advanced Sentinel technology that ends up wiping out almost most of the mutant population, including Professor X. Tony Stark is mostly in hiding from the public, ashamed of himself. ‘help bring the current state of the world.

The mutant genocide naturally arouses the ire of Magneto, who attacks the United Nations in revenge for the Sentinels’ actions and shows how his magnetism-controlling powers render the Iron Guard useless against him. While Magneto and his cronies plan to wipe out humanity, the few remaining X-Men and a makeshift Avengers consisting of Thor, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Electra, Ant-Man and the Wasp attempt to stop Magento and his supporters. to succeed.

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Meanwhile, Stark decides to come out of his hiding place as he dons new armor he was secretly working on. This Iron Man Overload armor is incredibly large, capable of becoming invisible, and made of polymer so that it is impervious to Magneto’s attacks. Its most powerful and dangerous ability is the way it is designed to take all of Magneto’s magnetic energy, where it will eventually explode. This explosion would not only kill Tony Stark inside, but would release all the magnetic energy in satellites around the world and render all technology on Earth useless, sending humanity back to another dark age.

James Rhodes aka War Machine dons an alternate version of his armor and will stop Stark from his suicidal plan which will also see humanity sent back centuries. He tries to tell Tony it’s a cowardly way out and there has to be another way out. Iron Man then uses the overload armor to fight Magneto head-to-head, eventually catching the rogue mutant with the intention of crushing him before he is stopped by Thor, still recovering from his loss to Magneto and reminds him of Tony that’s not what heroes do.

Although overload armor did not appear outside of this What if..? storyline and there has been even more powerful Iron Man armor over the years, the Overload armor and the storyline it was introduced in shows the potential danger of Stark’s technology and how the way it is used can have unimaginable and terrifying consequences for the whole world.

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