Correct me if I'm wrong. Before Tony created a new element, or maybe before Iron Man 3, from what I understand, the Iron man suits are powered via the Arc Reactor in his chest. How was Rhodes able to use the Mark II?

Or to further my question: When did Tony build Arc Reactors in his suits? Because from what I remember they still use the one in his chest from Iron Man movie.

  • @Robotnik I'm separately asking when he did this.
    – Anton
    Sep 16, 2013 at 8:11
  • I'm assuming he did this whilst building the MK-II, after raising concerns over power usage with the MK-I earlier in the film
    – Robotnik
    Sep 16, 2013 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


It is never actually explained in the film, and you're right, it is a plot-hole. A possible explanation is that Stark put back-up arc reactors in some or all of his suits in case the reactor running his own heart is ever in danger of running low on power. That seems to be a reasonable precaution, considering the events of the first film.

  • I find it weird though that he doesn't make his chest arch-reactor a last resort battery, Like what happened in Iron-man 3 where his suit lost power. Kinda dumb if you think about it.
    – Anton
    Sep 16, 2013 at 8:13
  • 1
    I haven't seen the third film, unfortunately. I would certainly have made my chest-reactor the back-up if I were Tony Stark, but Stark has proven himself to be a rather eclectic mix of rational and irrational behaviour. It is extremely short-sighted, and, as I mentioned in my answer, a rather sizable plot-hole. Sep 16, 2013 at 8:27

By the time of Iron Man 2, the suits had their own ARC reactors built in, separate from his chest piece. If you look at one design in particular from the movie, the ARC reactor in the suit has the triangle shape, instead of being round. The reactor in his chest is always round. While it isn't really discussed in the movie that I recall, it makes it fairly clear that the suit has its own reactor.

  • Actually once he creates Vibranium the reactor in his chest has the triangular shape, and the Mark VI suit is the first with the triangular RT unit. It goes back to the standard round one for the Mark VII in Avengers. Rhodey removes the reactor from the Mark II before Justin Hammer arrives to upgrade it to the War Machine platform and it's still round.
    – Monty129
    Sep 17, 2013 at 16:28

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