Iron Man’s Hero Name Has Never Been More Literal in Marvel Comics

Warning: contains spoilers for Captain Carter #3!

Marvel’s Iron Man is most often encased in a high-tech suit of armor, but his name takes on a whole new meaning when he teams up with Captain Carter in the duo’s latest adventure. Tony Stark is known for his vast fortune, his devil-may-care attitude that often leads to his many mistakes and just as many lessons learned, and – perhaps his most iconic element – his copious amount of Iron Man suits, each one more advanced than the last. But Captain Carter #3 reveals Stark has a new modification: the suit is now no longer worn by Tony, it is Tony.

Marvel’s Captain Carter is a fairly new character who has achieved considerable popularity in a very short amount of time. The character appeared in Marvel’s What If…? on Disney+ and has since branched out into live action with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Her new comic series Captain Carter sees the character emerge into the modern world after being thawed in a similar manner to Captain America (but the new reality is noticeably not Earth-616 but a separate universe entirely) and butt heads with modern-day politicians (and modern-day villains).


In Captain Carter #3, written by Jamie McKelvie with art by Marika Cresta, Peggy Carter is nearly the victim of an assassination plot courtesy of agents of STRIKE. Escaping her would-be killers, Carter comes face-to-face with Tony Stark – who in this reality is the grandson of Howard Stark, not his actual son. His face is somewhat segmented, with pronounced lines running from down from the bottom of his eyes. It soon becomes clear that Stark is a literal Iron Man, having replaced much of his body with cybernetics.

These upgrades include repulsor projectors inside his hands (which come apart to reveal the inner workings of the machine) and jet boots at the bottom of his feat. This is far from the first time Tony Stark has upgraded his own body. For example, the armor from Iron Man: Extremis stored the golden undersheath of Stark’s new armor within his actual bones, and he has even made a backup copy of his mind (which came in handy during the events of Superior Iron Man).

Unlike the other moments, however, the sheer extent of upgrades and modifications may reveal that this Tony Stark may not be the real hero known by fans. He could in fact be a Life-Model Decoy of Stark, or this could merely be another remotely-operated body by the real Tony (who remains safely far away from any danger). Iron Man is a futurist, but occasionally the future is quite sinister – and Tony Stark’s intelligence and drive to constantly upgrade his body is not always an asset.

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