When it comes to both fashion and firepower, Tony Stark is Marvel Universe’s ultimate suited and booted Super Hero, and with Marvel’s Iron Man 3, his weaponised wardrobe gets an upgrade that’s guaranteed to blow his enemies – and audiences – away.
From Iron Man through to Iron Man 2, and the blockbuster-demolishing mega-movie Marvel’s The Avengers, fans have seen Tony survive all manner of robotic, human and super-powered threats, but with Marvel’s Iron Man 3, he’s set to face a combination of the three.
With more powerful villains comes the need for an even more powerful Iron Man armour, and the question of how you improve a suit that already boasted rockets, grenades, lasers, anti-tank missiles, hand repulsors, jetboot-propelled flight, its own in-flight AI butler, and a protective armoured exterior so sturdy it could withstand a hefty clobbering from the Chitauri, Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield combined.
For Marvel’s Iron Man 3 director and action movie veteran Shane Black, the appeal of the mysterious Mark XLII comes less through its bombastic firepower, and more through its bleeding-edge technological evolution.
And while he wasn’t able to divulge the full extent of the suit’s spectacular new powers, Black’s excited to explore the prehensile abilities first displayed in Marvel’s The Avengers Loki-bashing climax.
“All I can say is that the Mark XLII is more responsive to Tony’s needs and his body movements. It’s also available to him in pieces, as opposed to the previous suits, which were sort of the equivalent of medical armour,”” says Black.
“”My favourite piece of tech in the film would be the detachable multi-faceted suit, which responds to Tony seemingly telepathically. I think [fans] will enjoy the ways we’ve found to open up the suit so it’s a little more than just an armour plate.””
It’s only fitting that as the tech has evolved, so has the design. Marvel’s Iron Man 3 will debut an array of never-before-seen suits, but it’s the sleek, golden Mark XLII that was the main focus for Marvel’s Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding.
“”The inspiration for the Mark XLII comes from a few places. Shane and Marvel really wanted to create an iconically different Iron Man suit that the audience would still recognise as the Armoured Avenger,”” Meinerding says.
“”In looking for a new aesthetic, we explored going back to Iron Man’s comic roots as the Golden Avenger. Since most of the designs from previous movies have focused on having a relatively small proportion of gold, it opened up a lot of possibilities to start playing around with a lot more.””
And it looks like both fans of the comic books and the movies are in for a treat, with an array of comic homages and subtle upgrades for keen-eyed fanboys and girls to spot along the way.
“”For the Mark XLII, we looked back to Tony’s second set of comic armour. In the early comics, Tony first wore a grey suit, then transitioned to a golden version. In the progressions of the Cinematic Universe, we felt like we could pay homage to this classic look,”” Meinerding reveals.
The visual evolution doesn’t end with the suit design, either. Thanks to Marvel’s Iron Man 3’s incredible action scenes and SFX trickery, Shane Black thinks it’ll be hard to tell where the physical suits end and the CGI begins.
“”We actually built two suits for the movie: the Mark XLII and the Iron Patriot suit. A lot of other armours that you see in the movie, some are models and some are CGI creations. It’s up to you to decide if your eye can tell the difference,”” Black says.
Fittingly enough, the rapid-fire evolution from the Mark I to the Mark XLII has been as genius and adaptable as Stark’s own character arc, with Meinerding noting the suit’s progression from disparate, clunky life saver to organic, bio-synthetic war machine.
“”The Mark I was meant to save his life in captivity, and was purposefully crude. The Mark II was Tony’s first chance at refining the Iron Man, and he did so with the flight suit. The Mark IV was about trying to add a heroic sleekness, while the Mark V – the suitcase suit – is his portable emergency suit,”” he says.
“”The heavily weaponised and armoured Mark VII is the Avengers suit, and is meant to be the armour designed for war. Finally, the Mark XLII can fly onto Tony in pieces, and he can control the pieces with his mind.””
Excitingly, that seems to be only the beginning. With Tony’s tantalising Extremis upgrade (the techno-biological threat at the heart of Marvel’s Iron Man 3) guaranteed to offer all manner of dazzling developments, it’s clear that even at over 40 incarnations in, Iron Man’s potential is only just beginning.
Timberlake to headline iTunes London festival
Apple has announced that Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J are among the headliners at this year’s iTunes Festival in London.
Running every night in September at the Roundhouse, the iTunes Festival features more than 60 acts performing at the legendary venue.
Performances can be watched live or on-demand by millions of iOS users around the world on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well as by music fans with iTunes on their computer or in stunning HD with Apple TV. Tickets are free for competition winners only.
Music fans from across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico can win tickets to the iTunes Festival through competitions run by local media partners. In the UK, fans can win tickets using the iTunes Festival app and the iTunes Store as well as select media partners including Channel 4, Global Radio and Metro.
Sir Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse and Crowded House played the first iTunes Festival at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007. Since then over 370 artists have performed in front of more than 370,000 fans and tens of millions more online and on television. Other performers have included Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Jack White and Oasis. Performances are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
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New PS games ready for download
Sony has announced its June line-up for PlayStation Plus subscribers, including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and two new catalogue releases, Demon’s Souls and ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection.
Immerse yourself in the ancient world of Amalur and its 10,000 years of magical history in the action-packed tale Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, created by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore. Take destiny into your own hands as you combat your way through this vast and vibrant world as envisioned by the visionary creator of Spawn and much-admired artist, Todd McFarlane.
In Demon’s Souls you are summoned by a mysterious maiden as the last hope for humanity to take on a mighty demon horde that has taken over the kingdom of Boletaria, after a terrible curse was mistakenly unleashed by King Allant the XII whilst in search of greater powers. Prepare for a battle that has so far defeated all other realm champions as you set out on this epic journey to save the Kingdom from a fate worse than death.
ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection brings two exciting worlds to PS Plus ready for fans to explore. Adopt the role of ICO, a young boy who finds himself imprisoned by the people of his village inside the walls of a menacing castle before joining forces with a young girl named Yorda as she attempts to escape in ICO. Take on the role of a young man named Wander in Shadow of the Colossus as you journey through an enchanted land, battling 16 enormous beasts known as the Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono, whose soul is trapped in this haunting world.
For gamer’s on-the-go, grab your PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and transport yourself to lush forests in the cartoon-quality action title Rayman Origins. Alternatively, weave through airborne mazes as you avoid falling coconuts in Coconut Dodge HD, both available on PS Plus from 5th June.
PS Plus provides subscribers with access to top-rated games on PS3 and PS Vita, extending the service to two platforms for a single price for a one-year subscription. Additionally, 90 day subscriptions are also available giving user’s access to the same fantastic titles and great PlayStation Store discounts.
PS Plus subscribers receive an array of exclusive features, including 2GB cloud storage (1G for PS3 & 1G for PS Vita) for game saves. Automatic updates and beta access, as well as a huge collection of exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Network avatars, makes PS Plus the place to be in 2013.