Armor Wars

Armor Wars

The Armor Wars was a Marvel Comics storyline which ran in the Iron Man comic book.


While "Armor Wars" is the popular name for the storyline and is the name used for the trade paperback collection, the actual story is referred to as "Stark Wars" within the issues themselves. The storyline ran through "Iron Man" (Vol. 1) #225-231 (Plotted by David Michelinie and Bob Layton with art by Mark Bright). An epilogue to the storyline was published in "Iron Man" (Vol. 1) #232, co-plotted by Michelinie and Barry Windsor-Smith with art by Windsor-Smith.

The storyline was re-released in trade in 2007 to commemorate the Iron Man movie.

Armor Wars II followed in issues "Iron Man" (Vol. 1) #258-266.


Iron Man has examined Force's armor and discovered that it had used Stark Armor designs. In an attempt to stop other people from misusing his designs, Stark goes about disabling other armored heroes and villains who are using suits based on the Iron Man technology, the designs of which were stolen by his enemy Spymaster. With the aid of former employee Scott Lang (who infiltrates a front company of Justin Hammer), he discovers the identities of all those using his designs and sets to eliminate them, confronting them in battle and placing negator packs on their armors to destroy their circuitry. During the course of the "Armor Wars", Iron Man confronts and defeats Stilt-Man, the Raiders (a gang of crooks using high-tech suits), the Beetle, the Controller, and the Crimson Dynamo, as well as taking the armor of Brendan Doyle, the current Mauler, without a fight (he confronted Mauler when the mercenary was not wearing the suit, and Doyle concluded that it would be pointless to fight Iron Man as he was).

The "Armor Wars" have tragic consequences when Iron Man inadvertently caused the death of Gremlin wearing the Titanium Man armor. Equipped with his Stealth Armor in a battle against both the Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man in Siberia, Iron Man's boot jets ignited Titanium Man's armor when he tried to escape a grapple hold. He also severely hurts his reputation after Iron Man defeated the government operative known as Stingray in battle, only to realize when the fight was over that Stingray's armor did not incorporate any of his designs. The situation was worsened when Stark disabled the armor of the SHIELD operatives known as the Mandroids as well as the Guardsmen, the guards of the supervillain detention center known as the Vault. Iron Man's actions also led to a small prison breakout when Titania and Mister Hyde took advantage of the chaos to escape (only to be defeated by Captain America in his current guise as the Captain). This also led to a falling out between Stark and Steve Rogers (who at the time had been forced to give up his Captain America identity). Rogers, while agreeing with Stark's motives, disapproves of his high-handed methods, considering them reckless and dangerous, and Stark was temporarily fired from the West Coast Avengers due to the damage his actions were causing to the team.

The United States government declares Iron Man a danger when he goes after their Stark-derived Guardsmen suits, and Iron Man is subsequently hunted down. During a fight with new armored warrior named Firepower wearing an armor designed by Stark's rival Edwin Cord for the specific purpose of defeating Iron Man, an overpowered and badly injured Stark fakes Iron Man's demise. Following that, however, Cord uses the Firepower armor to conduct acts of economic terrorism against Stark Enterprises in revenge for Stark having taken the cord Conglomerate from him. Wearing an advanced suit of armor that negates Firepower's original advantages, Stark claims a new person now wears the Iron Man armor and soundly defeats Firepower in a rematch. Stark later patches up his friendship with Steve Rogers.

Alternate versions

=What If?=

There was an issue called "What If Iron Man Lost the Armor Wars" in which Justin Hammer still manages to obtain Stark Technology. Scott Lang ends up passing out from the knock-out gas when gathering info on who has the stolen technology and ends up captured by Justin Hammer's men. When Tony Stark dons his Iron Man armor, Justin Hammer takes control of it and manipulated the Iron Man armor to reveal his identity and place a mind-control collar on him when it turns out that Scott Lang and Cassandra Lang are his hostages. Justin Hammer then makes Tony Stark destroy Stark Enterprise, with James Rhodes now in a coma, and reveal his identity to the press. Afterwards, Tony Stark shaved his mustache and dyed his hair yellow after discarding the armor and the collar.

When A.I.M. steals the technology from Justin Hammer, they start targeting the armored warriors in which one of their attacks killed some of the Raiders. Tony meets up with Controller, Mauler, Stilt-Man, Beetle, Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo, and the surviving Raider to infiltrate the A.I.M. Omega Branch, where Tony takes control of the Firepower armor. When he suggests to the armored villains to turn themselves in, they attacked Tony Stark, only to be stopped by the Captain, Wonder Man, and Henry Pym. Hawkeye tells Tony that they would have to take him to jail for his actions. Rather than attack the heroes, Tony Stark decides to take his chances in court, for he knows that if he did attack, Justin Hammer would have won.

Other Media


The Armor Wars were adapted as a two-parter in the Iron Man animated series, with Hawkeye appearing in Captain America's place at the Vault. In this two-parter, the Ghost was the one who stole the armor designs from Stark Enterprises and gave them to Justin Hammer. After Crimson Dynamo allowed the heat-seeking missile to follow him into a missile silo resulting in an explosion that spread a radioactive cloud for miles, Nick Fury gave Tony Stark the remains of Crimson Dynamo's armor as Tony Stark analyzes it. Upon the analyzation of the armor remains, Tony Stark suspects that other armored characters might by using his Stark Armor designs. Instead of Scott Lang finding out which armored warriors had the Stark armor designs, it was HOMER (who had tested his Negator Packs at the time of the discovery) who discovers this and printed out a list of every known armored warrior. The armors of Controller, Beetle, Stilt-Man, Blacklash, Blizzard, the Guardsmen, and Stingray (whose armor wasn't based on Stark technology and only fell victim due to Stark's paranoia) were targeted by Iron Man as well as War Machine's armor. Justin Hammer created Firepower (an automaton rather than a man in armor) to take out Iron Man. After Firepower was destroyed, Iron Man then deleted the files of the Stark Armor designs from Hammer Industries mainframe.

External Links

* [ Armor Wars] at

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