I realize this is probably going to come off as a bit silly, but in Iron Man II how could James Rhodes easily don the Mark II armor that was designed to fit Tony Stark? As you can see in this image (which isn't an "in universe" shot) Tony and Rhodey are roughly the same height, but it appears that Rhodey has a smaller frame than Tony, which would seem to make for an ill fit of the armor, especially for flight.Tony and Rhodey

This issue could of course have been addressed by the Air Force during the retrofit with Justin Hammer.

  • 5
    I'm not a comic fanboy or anything, but I think they'll agree with me if I speculate that the armor can adjust itself a few percent in some dimensions. The way it's depicted onscreen, with multiple overlapping pieces screwing together and "dialing" in a correct fit, it doesn't seem far-fetched that someone as similar in overall weight and size as Rhodey would be able to fit into it. – John O Mar 13 '13 at 17:02
  • I'm not at home to check my copies, but out-of-universe heights shouldn't really be considered. Through various methods (camera trickery or just using apple boxes), actors heights are often changed in movies. It's entirely possible that they are the same height in the film. – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 17:02
  • @JohnO Those overlapping pieces are the control surfaces for flight, they could be adjusted to accomodate greater or less mass but the interior of the suit wouldn't fit right, and would need to maintane a ridgid structure for support and protection. – Monty129 Mar 13 '13 at 17:06
  • 1
    I can't imagine that Tony would be foolish enough to build the suit without some sort of wiggle room even for himself. If I eat a particularly heavy meal, my jeans may fit tight - or may not fit at all. Less of an issue for me, more of an issue if for some reason he built the suit to be strictly tailor-fitted for only himself with exact measurements. – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 17:24
  • 1
    @Monty129 - as discussed earlier, the physics and safety of the Iron Man suits make no sense (unless you start throwing in unsupported theories) – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 20:40

All the scenes of Tony donning armor involve considerable mechanical adjustment to fit Tony's frame. From a control systems perspective, the best way to do that is via feedback (e.g. tighten boots until they exert a certain amount of pressure).

Thus, as long as Rhodey was vaguely close to Tony's size, the suit should have just fit--maybe not as well as it fit Tony, but still quite well (unless Tony built it with truly tiny tolerances, which is probably inadvisable if he ever wanted to wear it after e.g. eating a large meal). A smart suit would also notice that its auto-fitting was out of its normal parameters and--if it hadn't already--would presumably perform additional identity checks, so this answer doesn't contradict the "Rhodey was supposed to take it" answers.

  • 2
    It should be also added that Tony Stark PLANNED on Rhody taking that suit. He surely would make sure it could fit him. – Petersaber Nov 24 '17 at 18:05

When Nick Fury confronts Stark later on about Rhodey taking his suit, Natasha points out that there were a number of countermeasures against just anybody putting the armor on and being able to use it. The implication is that Tony intended for Rhodes to take it and as such probably recalibrated it to work for and fit him.

  • The countermeasures she was referring to where to gain access to the Iron Works not don the suit. But since Rhodey already had access that was a moot point. – Monty129 Mar 14 '13 at 1:45
  • And it was Natasha, Maria Hill doesn't appear until the Avengers. – Monty129 Mar 14 '13 at 1:56

Tony Stark plays way ahead of the curve. I believe the armor was specifically built and intended for Rhodes, his trusted friend, from the beginning. It was obviously not for himself and it's unlikely, given his protective attitude about the armor technology, that he intended it for mass production.

  • 3
    So, the Mark 2 Armor which Tony built as a first test for the new design of the armor was actually intended for Rhodey to wear? That seems rather unlikely. – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 18:14
  • 1
    @phantom42 - Tony could've modified it later. Rhodey did seem to be extremely comfortable inside the armor for someone whose supposedly donning it for the first time. – System Down Mar 13 '13 at 18:43
  • The Mark II was built directly onto Tony's body alone, I could see this being an argument for the Mark III and up but the silver armor was basically a proof of concept for all the ideas he had wanted to incorporate when he came up with the original suit in the "CAVE WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!" – Monty129 Mar 13 '13 at 18:54
  • @SystemDown, sure, but that's not really the same as saying it was built for him from the beginning and that it wasn't for himself. – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 18:54
  • 1
    Or he wanted to tell Rhodey what he was working on because he was a trusted friend. He also told Pepper but there is no evidence so far that he tailored a suit for her too. – phantom42 Mar 13 '13 at 22:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.