Yeah, yeah, I know Black Widow and Hawkeye are total normies, but I need this dumb article to work. So I’m sticking with the idea that Iron Man is a more realistic superhero than most others, as all that is needed for him to exist is technology that is a few cycles more advanced than what we are already seeing today.
Iron Man’s Armaments and Armor
But why does this even matter anyway? Well, Iron Man doesn’t require the world to be much different than we already see it is. Consider the first episode of Savage Builds, a new Discovery channel show that features Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.
SPOILER: Using 3D-printed titanium armor pieces and multiple small jet engines, Savage largely pulled it off. It was pretty remarkable to see, and you can actually see it yourself, because the first episode of Savage Builds is available for free online at Discovery.
Besides being cooler than James Dean, the titanium Iron Man suit created by Savage is nigh indestructible when it was blasting, proving incredibly durable by easily sloughing off .45 caliber arms fire and a quarter stick of C4.
Just think about that for a moment, then imagine how it’s not entirely impossible to imagine a few small armaments being added. Let’s not get crazy jumping straight to War Machine, but I wouldn’t turn up my nose at a small shoulder-mounted rocket and some 9mm rounds.
Sure, none of that is ready to dogfight a fighter jet but let’s not lose our child-like wonder at the fact that a working titanium prototype of the Iron Man armor presently exists and can actually fly. While 45-year-old nerds prepare their “um, actuallys,” 10-year-old nerds are rightfully gob-smacked right now.
Iron Man’s A.I.
But that’s just the rough stuff. Consider what is in your pocket right now. In the decade since Apple released the iPhone, consider the incredible advances that have been made in AI and precise manufacturing.
First of all, think about the sturdy materials that an iPhone is made of and the manufacturing processes that can form those into a powerful computer that fits in your pocket but has seams that measure in mere micrometers. Now think about those same manufacturing techniques applied to the joints of an Iron Man armor.
Then, instead of Jarvis, think of Siri and the advances in AI we’ve seen. So much processing power can fit into an iPhone. Now think of the space at the small of the back, around the thighs, up in the shoulders…now, cram those places full with the same type of computing power and it’s suddenly not so fantastical to think of a human interfacing with an AI built into a suit of armor.
“Hey, Siri, increase thrust by 10%.”
“OK, Tony, playing playlist Hoobastank.”
So, present technology gives us Iron Man armor that flies, is bullet-proof, contains small armaments, has precision seams and joints, and includes an AI. Given what already exists, I’m kinda surprised we haven’t already seem Elon Musk flying around the Bay Area.
So, yeah, no gamma radiation or mutant genes necessary. Iron Man really is the most believable of all the superheroes. But is technology all that is necessary to be a superhero or does that actually come from the ARC reactor heart of Tony Stark? Well, that’s an article for another day.