IRON ARMORY: Exploring The Extremis Armor

Extremis

by Ryan Rigley

One of the more technologically advanced armors in Tony Stark's arsenal is the Iron Man Model 30, otherwise known as the Extremis armor. While it's been said that the upcoming "Iron Man 3" will be based in part on the "Extremis" storyline, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Adi Granov, we still have no major clues as to how the Extremis "virus," or so it's been called, will play into the film.

"It's not a virus," explains Granov in a recent interview with MTV Splash Page. "It's nano technology which gives the 'infected' superpowers. At least that's how I understand it."

Despite the fact that we have yet to see a full blown adaptation of "Extremis," there have certainly been design aspects from previous Marvel films that are largely based on the Extremis armor. Which is no coincidence considering that Granov has been a conceptual designer for Marvel Studios since 2008.

"I worked on the designs of many of the armors for the 'Iron Man' films as well as 'The Avengers,'" Granov says. "I was asked by Jon Favreau to help translate my comic book designs into a more realistic movie universe, while retaining the overall feel. The whole idea was to make it look immediately recognizable, but take the detail, the implied technology, etc., to a level impossible to achieve in comics."

But how impossible are we talking here? "Since Extremis was quite otherworldly and the process of the infection like something from a horror film, I wanted the armor to have a bit of an alien look to match," Granov elaborates on the original design of the Extremis armor.

In the comics, Tony Stark injects a modified techno-organic virus directly into his nervous system after being severely injured by a nanotech-enhanced enemy. This allows for Stark to store pieces of the new Iron Man armor within the hollows of his bones. He can also control the armor mentally via direct brain impulses.

"In the Extremis story I worked on, it's the gold undersuit which is stored in the bones," recalls Granov. "But the armour itself is carried in a suitcase. Tony Stark has little ports around his body out of which the tiny gold scales 'pour' out and envelop him. The external armour, which is in parts, is then magnetically controlled and affixes itself to predetermined areas of the body. I think that could be made to work and look quite good on the big screen."

So far, all signs point to a full-on adaptation of the "Extremis" storyline in "Iron Man 3." With Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall already cast as Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen respectively, all of the major players in "Extremis" have already been set on the board. At this point, the only piece of the puzzle that's missing is Mallen: the aforementioned nanotech-enhanced enemy that forces Stark to inject himself with the Extremis "virus."

"I think it does add potential for a much darker storyline," Granov speculates on the possibility of seeing "Extremis" up on the big screen. "But at the same time it might take away something from the core of the character. Tony is a 'regular' man who builds a powered armour instead of having superpowers, while Extremis might make him more 'ordinary' in the Marvel universe where many characters have some kind of power."