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Follow the Path – Iron Man’s Arc Reactor

by  in Comic News Comment
Follow the Path – Iron Man’s Arc Reactor

In this feature I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

Today, based on a tweeted suggestion by Juan A., we look at how Marvel worked the “Arc Reactor” from the Iron Man movies into the comics…

When Iron Man was introduced, he developed a special sort of walking iron lung to keep his heart pumping….

He kept wearing this chest plate after he returned to the United States…

The chest plate needed to be charged. This led to awesomely hilarious moments where Tony Stark would smoke while charging up the machine that is keeping his heart pumping…

Over the years, the chest plate stopped being necessary. Eventually, Tony got a fresh body courtesy of Franklin Richards after the events of Heroes Reborn (by the way, how creepy is it that Franklin Richards “fixed” people’s bodies like Tony, Janet Van Dyne and Clint Barton? Would you trust a little kid to not just accurately duplicate your anatomy, but FIX stuff based on how he remembered you? “Hey buddy, I know we weren’t that close, but you know I have just two ears, not three, okay? And…uhmmm…you were a bit light downstairs with me.” )

During the famous “Extremis” storyline, Tony Stark sort of BECAME Iron Man when he was injected with a sort of nanotechnology drug called Extremis where he could sort of connect to his armor through his own body.

In that same storyline, we see a revised take on Iron Man’s origin, and now the initial power source for the chest plate was something familiar looking…

So the movie was actually inspired, in part, by Warren Ellis. Anyhow, in the Iron Man movie, the new way of charging up Iron Man’s armor is called an “Arc Reactor” and it becomes the big invention of Tony Stark, that he has this miniature power source in his chest…

So how did they get that into the comics? Go to the next page to find out!

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