I recently saw Avengers: Infinity War and it left me pondering over:

how Iron Man was mortally wounded using a shard like object that Thanos broke off from former's arm?

As far as I could observe wide Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring him, his suit is mostly impervious to a direct but first attack, no matter if it is a close combat and no matter if literally a moon is thrown over him, as meteors of course.

In the Civil War he got bombarded by a bunch of cars from above (by Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye) yet he came out with his suit almost unscathed. Even it took lots of efforts for Captain America to destroy his (seemingly less protected) arc reactor of his suit during the climax.

Furthermore, in the Age of Ultron, I observed that that even high speed bullets didn't have any effect on his suit.

What made me wonder is that the shard was of same material as the suit was, some nanoparticle and whatnot, so it shouldn't have been able to pierce his suit. Even if it could, provided I misunderstood Mohrs scale of Hardness (or the Director(s) did), the tip of that shard would had to be so sharp and pointy as to easily pass between the nanoparticles or whatever the suit was made of. Otherwise it would have required considerable force which probably cannot be available through a close combat. As far as I could recall the shard and the type of attack didn't meet such requirements, though I might have missed them in the fast paced scenes.

So, was that successful attack technically feasible or was perhaps made to look successful because it looks badass, since Iron Man was never wounded to such scale in any movie while wearing his suit, barring some bruises and little visible injuries over his face?

  • 8
    "Otherwise it would have required considerable force" this is Thanos though, and he had the power stone. "Considerable force" is an understatement for what he can do.
    – Virusbomb
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 17:33
  • That may be so but he was not shown using the power of that stone.
    – Firelord
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    Things like straw and wood have pierced trees during hurricanes. I'd say Thanos can stabby stabby at least as powerfully as a gust of wind at 200mph, if he can toss the Hulk around like a doll and break his collarbone. Also, just being around the power stone can apparently empower you; it worked for Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy, greatly increasing his body's strength and durability even though it was just part of his giant hammer.
    – TylerH
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 20:16
  • 1. Diamond cuts diamond.. 2. Suit wasn't complete at the moment.. 3. Thanos is strong.. even more with Power Stone..
    – user931
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


His suit wasn't complete at that point.

In Infinity War Tony Stark's latest suit is made from nano-particles which can move around independently to form different shapes as required. However, during the fight with Thanos some of the nano-particles which make up his suit were destroyed (not to mention a large number were torn off of the suit by Thanos). This results in the remaining nano-particles shifting around to protect different parts of his body, but with the consequence of leaving other parts of his body exposed. Presumably Thanos stabbed him in one of those exposed areas.

I can't find an image to provide solid evidence of this right now. All I can say is that this was very obvious (to me) while watching it; his face is constantly being covered and revealed as the suit shifts.

  • It seemed like the suit was pretty capable of continually replenishing itself, I don't really remember the face being covered and other parts being uncovered.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 17:56
  • 11
    It was replenishing, but it seemed to be doing so at a less rapid rate the more it was damaged. At the point the OP is referring to, I seem to remember roughly 50% of Tony's body was exposed.
    – vynsane
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 18:04
  • I would have to watch again, but the suit was not replenishing. It was simply moving molecules around to perform the necessary takes Tony desired. Just because the suit was made from nano-particles doesn't mean it can just make more on the spot...
    – Odin1806
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 2:16
  • @Edlothiad: I promise that on at least one occasion the mask or helmet part of the suit was torn off or destroyed and the suit immediate reformed a new mask to protect his face. I think this even happened a couple times in quick succession. Commented May 7, 2018 at 18:16
  • @ThePopMachine sure it shifted and moved, but it did not seem like it was moving nano-thingies from one part of the suit to others, it just used more of them.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 18:19

Thanos ripped the suit apart and stabbed him on his left abdomen where it was exposed. However it's lucky that he doesn't get stabbed on the main organs.

  • 2
    His facial protection and the weapon his right arm changed into were ripped apart. I don't remember his suit covering his torso being ripped apart.
    – Firelord
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 18:14
  • Yes it did ripped the whole of iron man suit's left arm to his left chest and a bit on his left abdomen, making him vulnerable to fight back and finally decided to stay still and save his energy when he got stabbed. Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 18:25
  • 1
    Okay. From the video it appears that the left part of the suit shifted towards right arm to change into a weapon, exposing his body wide enough to be stabbed at shoulder, heart and somewhat abdomen. Thanks.
    – Firelord
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 18:37
  • The suit was patchy due to so much of the suit's mass being ripped away or critically damaged by Thanos at that point. He probably didn't die because he was stabbed WITH a piece of the suit, which probably deconstructed inside of him and returned to the main mass of the suit. He seals the wound with that gel-spray he uses earlier to patch the ship hull which would have likely coagulated any bleeding. Still probably hurt like a mother, though. Commented May 28, 2018 at 20:46

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