Iron Man and Thor had one of the MCU’s very first hero vs. hero throwdowns in 2012’s Avengers, but they’ve had some much bigger fights in the comics. Tony once put together an incredibly powerful suit known as the Thorbuster that was boosted by the power of Asgardian magic. But why were these two Avengers facing off in the first place and just how powerful is the magical god-killing armor?
The 2003 Marvel Comics crossover “Standoff” introduces the Thorbuster armor, which Tony Stark designed specifically to defeat his fellow Avenger, Thor.
The armor was first introduced in Marvel’s Iron Man #64 issue in 2003, which saw a group of people in Slovakia who worship Thor and Asgardians come under the threat of a ruling dictatorship. The God of Thunder himself decided to get involved in the situation, which caused Tony Stark to head there and convince him to remove himself from the situation before the United Nations arrive. Thor refuses, and Tony gets the suggestion from Doctor Doom to use an Asgardian crystal powered suit to take him down.
Funnily enough, the Asgardian crystal was actually gifted to Iron Man by Thor to find a more sustainable source of energy for Earth. Needless to say, he’s not too happy to see Tony use a gift from the Gods to serve his purposes in this way. But the armor does work and Tony is able to face the God in Thunder in battle and hold his own.
Throughout their mighty battle, Thorbuster armor displays some impressive feats that definitely prove that it’s one of the most powerful Iron Man suits Tony ever made. First, he’s able to actually hurt and knock Thor back with a huge punch, causing the God of Thunder to acknowledge the suits’s power. Even more impressive, the suit is able to stop Mjolnir in mid-air.
It’s especially amazing that Iron Man could go up aginst Thor at the time, because the God of Thunder was empowered by the Odin Force, making him even more powerful that usual.
Riri Williams’ Ironheart and the recently freed from Skrull control James Rhodes likely have some more suits to show us in Ironheart and Armor Wars, respectively.
Fortunately for Tony, the magical properties of the Asgardian crystal and the enchantment of the crystal from Odin allowed the suit to absorb Asgardian energy, meaning the suit essentially was able to harness the power of the Odin Force as well. Which is why the suit was able to stop Mjolnir.
Thor Overwhelms Thorbuster
Despite the immense power of Iron Man’s Thorbuster armor, he still wasn’t able to best the God of Thunder, as Thor eventually gained the upper hand and destoryed the Asgardian crystal reactor that powered the suit. Tony then ejected from the suit and retreated. He would eventually fight Captain America in the storyline as well, but eventually relented when he realized he was battling his friends.
So, we unfortunately didn’t get to see Iron Man use the Thorbuster for long, but it was undoubtedly cool to see in action, even for a brief moment. It’s not too often that Tony has to battle Asgardians, so it makes sense that he hasn’t really brought the armor back for another round. Still, that doesn’t mean Tony hasn’t made some cool armors to take down specific foes in the past.
Perhaps the most popular Iron Man armor variant is the bulky Hulkbuster armor, which he designed to battle the angry green giant. We actually did get to see this armor brought to live action in the MCU when Tony faced Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron after the latter lost control of his temper. We’ve seen Thor and Hulk go toe-to-toe in the MCU too, so the Hulkbuster armor is definitely one of the most powerful live-action armors we’ve seen to date.
It seems unlikely that we’ll ever see this particular Iron Man armor in the MCU. But Riri Williams’ Ironheart and the recently freed from Skrull control James Rhodes likely have some more suits to show us in Ironheart and Armor Wars, respectively. Who knows, with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor still kicking around in the MCU, maybe we’ll see some Thorbuster armor in the future.