Marvel: 22 Superpowers Iron Man Has Fans Forget (And 11 Weakness)

Iron Man has a lot more abilities that fans forget (and a lot of weakness that get forgotten too).

It is probably safe to assume everyone reading this is excited about the new “Avengers: Endgame” trailer. Things are looking bleak for our cast of heroes after Thanos got his way and (spoiler alert, I guess) snapped half of all living being out of existence. From what little we saw, it looks like Tony got the shortest end of an already incredibly short stick, and is left drifting through space. He is already out of food and water, and will soon run out of oxygen. What is he going to do? Good luck trying one-liner your way out of this one, Anthony.

To be fair, he does have a lot of powers at his disposal to try to get himself back into the fight. A character that has been around since 1963 is going to have his power set improved upon multiple times by multiple writers, especially when his core personality trait is “good at building crazy things.” Turns out, if we dig a little deeper into both the comics and the movies, we see that Iron Man has a lot more going for him than just a flying suit that shoots stuff. He’s basically invincible. Or maybe he’s not, because if we scour pages and frames for his exploits, we also discover that he has a pretty big laundry list of weaknesses too. So here are some powers and weaknesses a lot of people have forgotten Tony has. Let’s hope Thanos doesn’t read this article.

33 Power: Space Flight

via: marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com

This is a weird one, considering Tony passed out from space travel in the first Avengers movie. But, in his latest outing against Thanos, we see him rocket up to catch up to Ebony Maw in his Q-Ship. Which means that Tony has figured out a way to breach Earth’s atmosphere in his suit.

This is a huge boon as Tony’s adventures get more and more ludicrous. He wouldn’t be much use to the Guardians of the Galaxy if he wasn’t able to occasionally fly around outside a ship. Even Star-Lord can do that in small bursts.

32 Weakness: Liquid Courage

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We’ve seen some slight hints of this in the movies, such as when Tony asks for a drink because he’s starving. He also goes on quite a bender during his birthday party when he has been poisoned by his own reactor.

In the comics, there is a huge character arc where Tony confronts the fact that he has a seriously debilitating problem. It was nice to see some actual emotional growth from Tony for a change, something that usually needs to be dragged out of him in the movies.

31 Power: Technomancy

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It’s safe to say that Tony is hyper reliant on technology to be of any use to anyone. I’m sure a lot of fans will chime in about how he’s a super genius that can be useful even without his armor, but those people are wrong. A cool addition to Tony’s abilities is when he was given the ability to manipulate technology, any technology, from a distance. This power is somewhat exclusive to the comics, though.

Through a lot of Deus ex Machina level writing, Tony is now basically a living machine that can tap into the world network of technology. He can mentally manipulate phones, satellites, even vehicles.

30 Weakness: Magic

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Tony is a very down to earth kind of guy. He sees everything as an equation, something that makes sense, and can be predicted. His mind isn’t very good at dealing with magic, which is why he almost always seems to fail when faced with it.

When up against someone like Doctor Doom, who basically has his own Iron Man suit that also uses magic, Tony pretty consistently needs to call in backup. He may be a genius at science, but when it comes to mysticism, he’s still in kindergarten.

29 Power: Cryo Beam

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The ability to manipulate ice is a little overplayed in the superhero genre, but when some of your enemies are known to spontaneously emit flame from their body, it can be useful. That’s why certain iterations of Iron Man can change his repulsors to shoot out ice cold beams.

We may have seen him use this in Infinity War.

Remember when Tony and Spider-Man blast Ebony Maw into space? Who’s to say that it wasn’t a version of the Ice Beam Tony used to seal up the hole?

28 Weakness: Women

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In almost every movie we have seen Tony try to flirt with a woman. He is easily seduced by Black Widow, can’t seem to keep his hands off of Aunt May, and he’s pretty much in love with his only female colleague. Oh, and he totally had a fling with the lady who invented Extremis.

While this hasn’t necessarily negatively affected Tony yet, how hard could it possibly be? He’s just lucky that all these women liked him, so far. He’s also lucky he didn’t try anything on Gamora.

27 Power: Sonic Beam

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At this point, the ability to make supersonic sounds emit from his suit seems kind of easy, doesn’t it? It would actually be a huge oversight of Tony to not include this in his suit, especially when he occasionally fights foes whos main weakness is supersonic sounds (looking at you, Venom.)

Honestly, when you build a suit that is able to rebuild itself and fight off the Hulk, adding a few large speakers here and there should be a walk in the park. Knowing Tony, he would just use them to blast AC/DC in the middle of a fight.

26 Weakness: Magnets

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Magneto is already pretty OP. I’ve once seen him “channel the magnetic fields of Jupiter” to hit someone with all the power of the sun, which doesn’t exactly sound like science, but it does sound painful.

Matching Magneto up against a man in a metal suit doesn’t sound like a fair fight. Predictable, when Magneto shows up, Iron Man usually flies away to make a suit out of wood or something, and leaves the fighting to his more meat based colleagues.

25 Power: Magnetic Manipulation

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It might seem counter intuitive for me to say that one of Tony’s powers is magnetic manipulation when I just got finished telling you that he has a weakness to magnets. But he’s Tony Stark, he builds a specific suit to fight literally everyone.

After getting trounced by Magneto one too many times, Tony flips the script and builds a suit that is not only resistant to magnets, but utilizes them himself. So now he can pick up cars from a distance and chuck them at people.

24 Power: Radiation Proof

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Seems kind of obvious that you would need a suit that can repel radiation when you’ve mastered space flight. Space is rife with weird levels of radiation that just shows up out of nowhere (ask the Fantastic Four.) Still, considering how hard it is to defend against extreme radiation, it’s kind of a technological marvel.

When Tony wears this, he can pretty much walk into the core of Chernobyl if need be. Not only does it repel or mitigate the radiation, it actually converts it into his power source.

23 Power: Energy Absorption

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Remember when Tony got supercharged when Thor hit him with a lightning bolt? That was a happy accident, but with enough upgrades and preparation, Iron Man has shown the ability to pull energy out of his surrounding in order to charge his suit.

This comes in handy against a lot of enemies, especially considering half of all super villains have energy based attacks. Of course, Tony doesn’t always have the upper hand when it comes to being struck by energy. Such as…

22 Weakness: Thor's Lightning

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Iron Man may be a fan favorite on the screen, but in the comics, he is kind of a jerk. He cloned his “friend” Thor when Thor went missing, and then turned his Asgardian abomination against his enemies (his former friends who weren’t happy with SHIELD).

When Thor found out about this, he hit Tony with a bolt so big, there was no way he could’ve countered it. It left Tony’s suit totally fried and useless. Tony was also left immobilized under the weight of his bricked suit.

21 Power: Memorize Attack Patterns

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I’m still angry about that turning point in Civil War where Tony just instructs his suit to adapt to the fighting style The Cap was utilizing. It’s kind of bogus that one of the best hand to hand combatants in the world is trumped by an algorithm.

Although, I saw this coming. In the Civil War event in the comics, Tony brags about how he has been recording every one of Cap’s moves since the moment they first met. He can see every move Steve is about to make before Steve does.

20 Power: Trained By The Cap

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Lots of people accuse Tony of being useless as soon as he is outside of his suit. I find this a little unfair, since it breezes over the fact that it took a genius level intellect to build the suit. Still, Tony is nothing if not proud, and decided to silence his haters.

Enter The Cap, who put Tony on a brutal training regime, turning him into a legitimate fighter. So now, even if he gets thrown out of his suit, he can still through a semi-decent punch.

19 Power: Fast Reaction Time

via: marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com

When you are up against super-powered being that could punch you out of space-time, it can be a lifesaver to be able to react quickly to things. So to bolster Tony’s already impressive human reaction time, he’s added a lot of improvements to the suit to give him an edge in battle.

The built-in computer is constantly feeding him a stream of data to help predict things, and micro-boosters in the suit help move his limbs at beyond normal human speeds.

18 Power: Change Shape

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This one hardly needs saying, since it seems implied once Tony forms his suit out of nanobots. Still, the less imaginative of viewers might not realize the implications of having a suit that forms itself into shapes that the wearer needs.

Once the nanobots come into play, the Iron Man suit now more functions like the Blue Beetle suit, forming a wide array of basic weapons. This could be everything from lasers, swords (or laser swords) to even complex fighting rays or shields.

17 Weakness: EMP

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EMP, or an Electromagnetic Pulse, is a favorite of writers everywhere, as they have been known to play havoc with all things technological. And since comic book writers aren’t always the most original or artists, they have been used against Tony more times than makes sense.

This is basically Iron Man’s version of Kryptonite. A weird pulse that loads of villains have ready access to that render his armor a fire engine red paperweight. It’s an easy way to level the playing fields against a dude that has near limitless power.

16 Power: EMP

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Alright, now I’m just fooling around. Sure, in lots of comics, Iron Man has been way too susceptible to EMP. So obviously he is going to build a suit that isn’t vulnerable to it. He builds a suit for any flimsy reason he can think of.

And like a true champion, he has taken his greatest weakness and turned it into one of his strengths. Some of his newer suits can emit EMP of their own, rendering jerks like Iron Monger and Crimson Dynamo as powerless as he used to be.

15 Power: Re-purposing Suit Parts

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Tony has put a lot of very specific parts into his Iron Man suit to get very specific jobs done. So what happens when he finds himself in a position where he needs to accomplish a task, but the suit isn’t prepared to handle it? He just dismantles the suit and builds something new.

I have seen Tony yank parts out of his suit to build other items on countless occasions, usually when teaming up with someone else. I’ve seen his parts used from everything from inter-dimensional travel to genuine time bending.

14 Power: Change Colors

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I’m not talking about when Tony is feeling particularly vain (which is always) and gives his suit a paint job. I’m thinking more along the lines of stealth and reconnaissance type practicality. His suit has been known to change into the color of his surroundings, acting as a sort of camouflage.

We get a teaser of this in the movies, knowing that Tony developed the stealth technology for the helicarriers. Hopefully, we get to see Tony launch a sneak attack sucker punch into Thanos’ stupid face in upcoming movies.

13 Weakness: Outside His Suit

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To be fair, almost everyone has a weakness to telepathy. Even the Hulk is fairly weak against it. Unless you have intense training, a stupid helmet like Magneto’s or telepathic abilities yourself, someone can probably invade your brain.

So even though he’s one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe (or the smartest, if you ask only him) there isn’t much he can do to keep someone like Jean Grey out of his head. I guess he could build his own helmet.

12 Power: Hologram Duplicates

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This is one of Tony’s oldest powers in the comics. Since his Mark 3 armor, he has been able to put out holograms to make it look like there are multiples of himself. This is usually a tactic to confuse the enemy, whenever Tony finds himself slightly outmatched.

These holograms can be used as distractions for escape, sneak attacks, and later models could even bend light to make Tony seem invisible. He rarely uses this power anymore, since he feels confident enough to fight guys like Thor, and therefore, doesn’t tend to run and hide.

11 Power: Avoid Radar

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Iron Man doesn’t just change color to avoid being detected, since not everything relies on pure visuals. Human beings have been using radar to detect flying objects for decades, so it makes sense that Tony would have to invent a way to circumvent that.

I’m not even sure that I can give a good explanation as to how he does this. I think we have some of this technology in current stealth jets, so I guess he just kind of shrunk it down.

10 Power: Deep Sea Exploration

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We’ve seen the Iron Man suit go underwater a few times on screen. There was the time he hooked up arc technology to the power grid of New York, or there was the time Mandarin dropped him and his house into the ocean. So we know that it can handle some moderate water depths.

Things get really cool when Tony needs to go into some of the deepest trenches of the ocean, and needs to don a deep sea exploration suit. This is basically a suit over his suit, to help withstand the intense pressure, and it looks goofy as heck.

9 Power: Healing

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We somewhat get a glimpse of this when Tony shrugs off getting impaled by Thanos in Infinity war, which didn’t really make sense. Unless we assume that he has a tissue generator, like the one we saw used on Hawkeye way back in Age of Ultron.

He totally has a tissue generator.

There’s a precedent for this, too, since the comic book version of Tony is able to regrow whole organs do to the nanite technology contained within his body. So now he basically has Wolverine’s powers, too, which seems like cheating.

8 Both Power & Weakness: Sentient Suit

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You’re probably wondering how something can both be a superpower as well as a weakness. On paper, having a sentient Iron Man armor that is absolutely dedicated to your own well being is a boon (if you’re curious, it became self-aware after being struck by lightning, which was actually a scheme by Ultron.)

Unfortunately, the suit wasn’t trying to protect Tony, but actually became insanely possessive. It went so far as to fly him out to a deserted island, depriving him of food and water. As sentient weaponized armor is known to do.

7 Power: Storing The Suit Inside His Body

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Tony’s suits are always improving in leaps and bounds. First, it fits in a suitcase, next it flies remotely across the country to jump onto Tony, and then it can self heal and is made of nanobots.

Seeing all that progress, I’m sure nobody is surprised to hear that the comic book version of Tony invented a version of the suit that can be stored in the hollows of his bones. It isn’t even that heavy, it only adds twenty pounds!

6 Weakness: Telepathy

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To be fair, almost everyone has a weakness to telepathy. Even the Hulk is fairly weak against it. Unless you have intense training, a stupid helmet like Magneto’s or telepathic abilities yourself, someone can probably invade your brain.

So even though he’s one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe (or the smartest, if you ask only him) there isn’t much he can do to keep someone like Jean Grey out of his head. I guess he could build his own helmet.

5 Power: Alien Technology

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Iron Man has done a stint as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and still managed to be the least interesting member of the group. While out on various missions across space, Tony had access to technology not even dreamt of on Earth.

Safe to say. Tony was like a kid in a candy store, incorporating tonnes of alien tech into his suit, essentially making him an unstoppable machine. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to give Tony access to all of these cool toys, he can barely handle the ones he already has.

4 Weakness: His Ego

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You call someone like Reed Richards an idiot, he’s going to shrug it off, because rising to a childish insult is pointless. Heck, even Peter Parker can shrug off bullies. Call Tony Stark an idiot and he would probably build a suit to fight you specifically just to prove you wrong.

Tony gets riled up and challenged far too easily, both in comics and the MCU. His inability to be confident in himself and not rise to every single challenge has landed both him and his friends in heaps of danger.

3 Power: Mach 2 Flight

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There’s nobody flat out stating how fast Tony can fly in the MCU, but watching some of his feats can give us a pretty clear idea. He travels across the globe in a few hours, he easily outmaneuvers jets and he catches up with a spaceship that is leaving our atmosphere.

Conservative estimations put his speeds at least Mach 2, but honestly, physics aren’t a strong feature in comic books. Have you ever seen the way that Cap's shield behaves? That’s not science!

2 Weakness: Intangibility

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For whatever reason, Vision decided to side with Tony during the whole Civil War thing, so we got robbed of a great moment. In the comics, Vision agrees with Cap, and when Steve starts losing a fight to Iron Man, Vision corrupts his armor.

For all his tricks and gizmos, Tony still hasn’t figured out a way to counter Vision’s intangibility attack. After he’s rendered fairly useless, Cap sees fit to mop the floor with Tony, which is always a pleasure to see.

1 Power: A Suit To Fight Thor

via: marvel.wikia.com

If you are going to build a suit to fight Hulk, you may as well build a suit to fight Thor while you are at it. Using Asgardian magic, and based on the design of The Destroyer, this suit actually held up pretty good against the Son of Odin.

Tony called it the Thorbuster.

Even Thor was impressed at the level of power coming from the suit, but got angered that Tony would use Asgardian technology against him, and smashed the reactor right out of it.

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