Tony Stark's Iron Man Mark L armor seen in Avengers: Infinity War was the most technologically advanced and formidable suit the MCU hero has used to date. Built through bleeding edge nanotech, the armor could fully cover Stark's body from a small device worn on his chest in a matter of seconds; it could also form powerful cannons, wrist-mounted shields and rocket boots. However, early concept art revealed from the film shows a much more extensive transformation and fantastic capabilities unseen in the final film.
Included as part of the film's art book -- Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie -- Josh Nizzi's concept art reveals a radical redesign with nanotech wings and a massive back-mounted booster rocket that would form around the main body of the suit and propel Tony into deep space at incredible speeds, effectively turning the Iron Man into his own one-man high-speed spacecraft.
"The Iron Man superweapon shows off the capabilities of the nanotech suit, both in terms of firepower and how the suit can morph into new forms," explained Nizzi in the pages of the art book. "In order to explore the limits of how much to change the overall profile and massing of the Iron Man suit, I did a number of roughs. These were helpful to dial in how far to push the designs but still maintain the right level of realism."
Ultimately, the wings seen in the rough concept art do appear in Infinity War, though they are used to amplify the armor's repulsor cannons while remaining detached from Iron Man himself. Also, instead of a massive, back-mounted rocket to increase his flight speed, the Mark L forms a rocket, joining together both of the suit's boots as the Avenger races into the stratosphere to catch up to the Ebony Maw's spacecraft and rescue Spider-Man from certain doom.
Ever since the release of Infinity War, there have been persistent rumors that Tony Stark would upgrade and redesign his armor once again in next year's untitled Avengers sequel. Several of the surviving heroes, including Captain America and Ant-Man, have been seen in new outfits from on set photos and leaked promotional artwork.
Iron Man himself is rumored to construct a Thanos-buster that is theorized to harness the power of the Infinity Stones in his desperate bid to defeat the Mad Titan. Another theory has Iron Man and/or War Machine using the powerful proton cannon from 2000's Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes after a similar piece of hardware was seen multiple times on the set of the recently concluded reshoots for Avengers 4.
Given Tony Stark's long history as someone who is constantly thinking of new, different ways to improve his armor, it's a virtual guarantee that the hero will change up his armor in exciting ways in next year's sequel.
Whether or not the new design will incorporate unused concepts from Infinity War remains be seen, but given that both films were originally developed concurrently, it's not far off to assume that there may be some overlap in conceptual sensibilities. With Tony Stark still stranded on Titan the last time both characters were seen in Infinity War's final moments, the Armored Avenger could certainly use the boost in getting back home.
In the meantime, both Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie and the film are available now.