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Iron Man Model 70

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Finally, some more Iron Man!

Tony Stark resolves to get back to basics, donning a new stripped-down Iron Man armor inspired by his most classic designs.

I'll say! In fact, it was literally meant to be his classic design: this suit was designed by Alex Ross in 2018, with the idea that it would be the "modern" way to depict Tony's old Ditko armor any time there needed to be a flashback. You know: the difference between showing his first armor like this or like this. Marvel turned down the idea, as they already had plans for ol' Shellhead, but did use the art for a variant cover on Iron Man #600. Two years later, the look was adopted into the comics - not as a better drawing of the Model 2, but as the all-new Model 70.

When you know that fun little factoid, the design's motives seem pretty clear: red body and boots, gold arms and legs... it still works as a new standalone, but you can definitely get what Ross was going for. The red areas of the body have segmented plates, while the gold feels like larger, solid pieces worn above the rest. The unibeam port in the chest and the small dots on the clavicles are sunken beneath the surface with no sort of ridge around them, and there are matching circles at the tops of the boots, tops of the gloves, and the sides of the belt. Alex Ross is sometimes hit-or-miss with his costume designs, but this one works.

There are a few issues with the paint, unfortunately. For one thing, Ross intended the gold parts of the suit to be highly reflective, meaning (as much as we hate it and as bad as it looks on toys) the figure really should have been chromed. I know, I know, I'm happier with it this way, too, but that's what would have been "accurate." Another "how care if it's wrong, this looks better" feature is the mask: looking at the art on three sides of the box, you'll see the jawline is supposed to be red, not yellow, though this does give it more of a connection to its inspiration. Additionally, both Ross and writer Christopher Cantwell were pretty insistent upon being able to see Tony's eyes through the mask, so it would have been neat if those had been painted in the eyeslits. Finally, if you look in the comic, you'll see the soles of his boots are gold, not red, though that changed pretty regularly anyway.

Despite fitting in stylistically with all the recent Iron Man figures, none of the parts are shared - the sculpt is just too different. Like, all those have hinged abs and a swivel waist; this one has a balljointed chest. Other than that ther's a balljointed head, hinge at the top of the neck, balljoint at the bottom of the neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel boots, and swivel/hinge ankles.

Because there are no pads on the back of the hands, the "repulsor blast" hands are free to move rather than being solid. There are holes in the palms where you can plug in the translucent yellow blast effects, or also in the feet. Plus there are two fully translucent versions of that dust swirl Hasbro has started giving all their Iron Men recently. It still doesn't make any sense. There's no Controller Build-A-Figure piece included, just closed fists if you want Iron Man to punch.

The Model 70 Armor is the second time Alex Ross has designed a potential Iron Man suit and had it turned down, only to later have it used by a different artist (the other being the Model 16). That's not a lot, but it's weird it's happened twice. I wasn't really planning to get this figure, since it doesn't have a BAF part, but the toy is better than I was expecting. If nothing else, it's going to look really nice in my Hall of Armor.

-- 11/11/22

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