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Iron Man's Mark 85 armor from 'Avengers: Endgame' pays tribute to Tony Stark's growth and attachments

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) wears the Mark 85 armor in "Avengers: Endgame."
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) wears the Mark 85 armor in "Avengers: Endgame."

SALT LAKE CITY — Tony Stark’s Iron Man Mark 85 suit from “Avengers: Endgame” isn’t just a snazzy comic book reference — it pays tribute to the character’s growth and priorities.

In an interview with Polygon, Ryan Meinerding, the head of visual development at Marvel Studios, said the “Endgame” Iron Man suit echoes various versions of Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) onscreen armor. After “Avengers: Infinity War” introduced a suit made from nanotech, designers pushed to incorporate classic character elements into the new armor.

“‘Endgame’s’ Mark 85 features a mask that retracts into the helmet itself, accompanied by a faceplate that can slam down and still provide what Meinerding describes as an ‘older visual,’” Polygon writes. “The color scheme is very classic Iron Man, drawing influence from his armor in the comics that features gold shoulders, arms, thighs, and knees.”

Meinerding also said the suit’s arc reactor is vaguely heart-shaped and matches Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) Rescue armor, connecting Stark to his partner and referencing the character’s emotional growth from the first “Iron Man.”

“There was a moment where we considered making it into a circle to sort of speak to not only the more classic MCU suits but the actual classic armor from the comics as well,” Meinerding said. "I was really happy to try and push to keep that heart shape in there... I just was trying to keep the connection with Pepper, but I think it speaks to his journey that he got to a place where the symbol on his chest is a heart.”

Despite the personal nature of his armor, Insider notes Downey said on “Off Camera with Sam Jones” that the suit, which is capable of wielding the fatally powerful Infinity Stones, wasn’t designed for survival. Instead, its functionality prioritizes Stark’s ultimate sacrifice at the end of the movie.

“The last suit (Tony) has isn't even designed for him to be able to survive using it,” Downey said. “By the end you're willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, your life, despite your family and your groundedness and your desire to not want to do that, so that that community can thrive."