Hulkbuster 101: Tony Stark's Buster Armors

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For those of you who have seen it, you probably weren't alone as you gasped in excitement and shook the nearest object or loved one next to you at the sight of the Hulkbuster armor. Many newbies, or those who only follow the movie universe may not realize just what they were witnessing. So let's get into what Tony Stark's Hulk Buster armor is all about.


The Hulkbuster armor is used for just that, busting the Hulk. There isn't much that can stop Bruce Banners radioactive side once he gets really angry, so leave it to Tony Stark to try to use his intellect to gain control. Smart, rich guys who fight crime also tend to be pretty paranoid (Bruce Wayne, anyone?), so it makes sense to put that contingency plan in place to make sure powerful people know their role with a beat-down if needed. What are friends for, eh?

Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor first appeared in 1994 in Iron Man #304. At the time, it may not have been directly referred to as a Hulkbuster armor, but was made with the intention of facing the Hulk. Armor Model 14 is essentially some extra tech that was put on over Iron Man's modular suit as an exo-skeleton.

The exo armor's magno-hydraulic pseudo-musculature added 175 tons of strength in addition to impact-resistant carbon composite plating which allows Tony Stark to dish out and take some blows from the Hulk. The suit even has gamma radiation sensors, which likely could help locate a missing Hulk, or anticipate him before he is seen.

In 2003, the armor was tinkered with and received a whole bunch of upgrades cooler than that, making it even more bustery. Not to be confused with Armor Model 37, the Hulkbuster 2 in World War Hulk.

More Hulkbuster Armors on Marvel Wikia

The Hulkbuster armor has appeared in a few comic books and multi-media already, now adding Avengers 2 to the list. 

Comic Appearances: Iron Man #304-305, What If? Age of Ultron #2, Invincible Iron Man #6, All New Iron Manual, Iron Man and the Armor Wars #4.

Animated Appearances: Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spiderman.

Video Game Appearances: The Incredible Hulk, Avengers Initiative.

However, Tony Stark is not against busting other peoples balls, and has made several suits over the years to go up against a particular adversary or entity.


First appearing in Iron Man #64 (Volume 3) Iron Man Armor Model 23 was powered by an Asgardian crystal gifted to Tony Stark in order to study as a safe, clean energy source on Earth. But when some beef went down between the Asgardians and Earth (thanks to some Doctor Doom tinkering), Tony had to go up against Thor after the God of Thunder refused the Governments proposal to leave Earth.

Thus, the Thor Buster armor was created with the Asgardian crystal at its source. The crystal allowed the suit to absorb and manipulate Asgardian energies effectively giving Tony the Odin Force. It was even able to stop Mjolnir in mid-flight. While still a pretty damned powerful piece of machinery, Thor wrecked the suit, and Tony had to use the emergency eject.


One does not simply show up to fight Magneto in a metal suit. There is more success to be had throwing paper balls at the Master of Magnetism. First appearing for Avengers vs. X-Men, and similar to Armor Model 31 (which is reinforced with adamantium), the Anti-Mag suit is made from carbon nanofibers resistant to Magnetos abilities.


The road to hell is always paved with good intentions, and Armor Model 39 (pictured right) was one of those good intentions on Tony Stark's part. First appearing in Avengers vs. X-Men #5, The "Phoenix Killer" suit was started in Stark Tower, and finished on the Moon. After a heads up from Nova, the suit was created with aim to kill the cosmic entity before it reached Earth.

When Stark used a disruptor on it, however, all that accomplished was breaking the Phoenix Force into five parts, which possessed X-Men members Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Magik and Colossus who were nearby. That's when things got worse. Nice try, Stark.

Want More Iron Man Armors? Check out the Marvel Wikia Directory




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