Yes, Iron Man 2 was a bit of a bloated mess at times. But when it comes to Iron Man, what are we really looking for? The technology.
“This is the key to the future. I’m limited by the technology of my time, but one day you’ll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world.”
― Howard Stark to Tony Stark
The palladium core in the arc reactor – that Tony built in the first Iron Man movie – keeps him alive and powers the Iron Man suit is slowly poisoning him. Unfortunately, no known substance is suitable to replace the palladium. Thankfully, Tony’s father, the late Howard Stark, left a diagram for the atomic structure of a new element hidden within a map of a model city.
With the help of his artificially intelligent computer J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony reconstructs the structure of the new element from the blueprints and goes about creating this new element. Tony Stark builds a particle accelerator and smashes a beam into a target. Voila, a new element with a hint of coconut.
“Congratulations, sir. You have created a new element.”
Tony then uses the new element to build a new arc reactor with a massive power output advantage over previous arc reactors. The first to power the formidable Iron Man MK VI armor that will come in handy in the final showdown in the movie.
This is the moment when War Machine and Iron Man finally work together, standing back-to-back, surrounded by drones, and seemingly pinned in the “death box” with no chance of escape – there is electricity between the two and there are no words necessary as the air was filled with repulsor blasts and automatic machine gun fire. The scene reaches an awesome climax as Tony tells Rhodey to get down and wipes out the entire band of drones with one spin of his highly impressive wrist laser.
If there ever was such a thing as ‘techpunk’ alongside steampunk, dieselpunk, and cyberpunk – that is what the Iron Man movies – especially the first and second – embodies.