Why Tony Stark Still Uses an Arc Reactor After Iron Man 3

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Throughout all subsequent films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) still uses his Arc Reactor as Iron Man’s chest piece despite having shrapnel removed from his chest in iron man 3. by Jon Favreau Iron Man in 2008 saw the origin story of MCU’s inaugural hero. After being ambushed during his trip to Afghanistan, Tony’s life was poised with shrapnel threatening his heart. Most were removed by Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub), the surgeon creating an electromagnet device powered by a car battery to prevent the remains from entering his heart. Stark improved on this by miniaturizing the original arc reactor running his setup to power not only his chest piece, but also the Mark I Iron Man suit for his escape plan.

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By iron man 3, Tony eventually found a way to remove the remaining shrapnel from his chest, rendering the internal arc reactor useless. The hero walked around without wearing it during his successive appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil Warand Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, when he reappears before the imminent arrival of Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity Warhe again sports a different arc reactor on his chest.

Related: Avengers: Endgame’s Tony/Howard Stark Scene Explains Iron Man’s Sacrifice

As established, the first arc reactor had two purposes when it was created. While Tony no longer needed the arc reactor to keep shrapnel from entering his heart after iron man 3, it is still necessary to feed its combinations. Instead of strapping it to his body, he fitted each of his suits with their own arc reactors until Back home. According The Art of Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark replaced the Arc Reactor with an “RT Unit”, which in the comics is fusion-powered and houses nanobots for the Mark 50 Bleeding Edge Suit. Pepper questions the need to have that back on her chest; Tony downplays his existence, saying: “It’s just a housing unit for nano parts.” He even mentions the operation of iron man 3 but insists it’s for protection in case something goes wrong. Here’s Why Iron Man’s Chest Piece Role Changed After iron man 3.


Iron Man’s Glowing Chest Plate Is Nanobot Housing After Iron Man 3, Not An Arc Reactor

Fans can actually see the nanobots emerge from Iron Man’s chest piece RT node during the New York opening battle in Infinity War where Tony, Doctor Strange, Banner, and Wong (Benedict Wong) battle Black Order members Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian. As Iron Man pats his chest, small particles come out and mold his suit to his body. Before his Infinity War Bleeding Edge Iron Man armor, it took Tony longer to access his suits, so he had to go to great lengths to make sure they were always within reach; he even had one hidden in his helicopter as seen in Civil war. However, he knew that the threats – especially the one he had been dreading for The Avengers – can come at any time, motivating him to find a better way to keep a suit with him at all times.


That’s why he made sure the Mark 50 was with him wherever he went with the RT node now on his chest, making it all possible. After his three-week ordeal floating in space following their defeat by Thanos, a shrunken, emotional Tony rips the same RT Node from his chest and hands it to Captain America during his Avengers: Endgame blast. From there, viewers can see that the tech is just attached to her skin, with the surgical wounds of iron man 3 completely cured.

How the Arc Reactor Could Appear After Iron Man’s Death

Tony Stark may be dead in the MCU (on Earth-616 at least), but much like real-life inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, his ideas will live on long after he’s gone. The Arc Reactor should continue to be relevant to the citizens of Earth in the MCU – it would be highly unrealistic if it wasn’t. However, there are narrative superhero-related reasons why the Arc Reactor could become a key technology in the MCU. Two upcoming Marvel Disney+ shows are going to build on Tony Stark’s legacy by focusing on Iron People. These are Stone heart (due fall 2023) and Armor Wars (due at some undetermined time in 2023). Both could rely on the Arc Reactor as a narrative device. Armor Wars will center around Don Cheadle’s War Machine, aka James “Rhodey” Rhodes, and the Mark VI War Machine armor that Rhodey wears during End of Game is still powered by an arc reactor. With Tony’s death, the prospect of a Mark VII War Machine armor has drastically diminished, and since Cheadle’s Rhodes can’t walk without technology based on his armor, finding a new Arc Reactor is a plot that could be surprisingly high. emotional depth.


Related: What is Armor Wars? Marvel’s New War Machines Show Explained

However, Rhodey might have other options if he fancy an upgrade, like Stone heart (Riri Williams) will make her debut in black panther 2 (played by Dominique Thorne). Riri is a young genius who discovers Tony’s technology and builds his own suit, taking the name Ironheart. There is not much Stone heart plot details at this time, but if it follows her comic origins and reverse-engineers a Stark tech Iron Man suit, an arc reactor would be a staple. While not a key piece of technology in either Disney+ show, the Arc Reactor will always have a place in MCU history, as early sci-fi audiences cartoon was introduced in 2008. Iron Man – back when the success of the MCU wasn’t guaranteed and words like Infinity Gauntlet and Pym Particles were phrases known only to Marvel Comics readers. iron man 3 may have made it redundant for Tony, but the Arc Reactor will always be important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


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