There is no Marvel Cinematic Universe without The Iron Man suits. The suits and the first movie inspired a whole cinematic universe into existence. But the newest episode of Marvel’s What If…? Presents us with a reality where the suits were never created. The timeline diverges at the very start of the MCU, where instead of being captured by the 10 rings, Tony Stark is rescued by Killmonger. In this alternate timeline, the iron man suit is never created as Tony never learns the lessons he learns in the original movie. instead, the billionaire leans into his hedonistic side and creates a Gundam army to pay back Killmonger for saving his life. But the real question we kept asking throughout the episode was who wins between the Gundam Army of Killmonger and the Iron Legion of Tony Stark?
Gundam is an anime that refers to the mech style of robots that dominate the genre. Iron legion on the other hand is the collective name given to the suits and drones created by Tony Stark as he channeled the spirit of Earth’s mightiest defender. The iron legion boasts of both drones and piloted suits. While the Gundam army was only made up of Liberator drones.
As we delve deeper into the question of which design was overall better, one thing needs to be clarified. Although the drones were powered by Vibranium and made up of Vibranium, they are not 100% impenetrable. Part of the reason for this is the fact that they are merely a Vibranium alloy and not pure Vibranium. This gives them significantly lower durability than Cap’s Shield and Black Panther’s suit. So any comparison with them will be futile.
Army of Killmonger vs. The Iron Legion of Tony Stark
Moreover, the Gundam Army was inspired by a rudimentary design by Killmonger during his stint at MIT. The drones were supposed to be a part of the shock and awe tactic and not explicitly an army. While on the other hand the iron legion was born and need for battle. Tony refined each iteration of the iron man suit carefully and deliberately to overcome older design flaws, slowly perfecting the legion.
The Stark suits were made of a gold titanium alloy, something that is not as strong as Vibranium but still holds its own in battle. Another thing to note is that the Iron Man suits are designed for flight combat and not for infantry battle. The Gundam suits were fodder while the Iron Man suits are advanced machinery for warfare and defense. The Iron Legion we saw in Age of Ultron may lose swiftly, but not the one we saw in Iron Man 3.
The lack of design and innovation give the Gundamn army a severe disadvantage in battle, something that was readily apparent in the skirmish with Wakanda. The Dora Milaje completely destroyed the Gundam Army with the help of Killmonger. The reason for this was the fact that the alloy drones had no way to defend against the vibranium spears of the Wakandans. The spears were simply too powerful and cut through the drones like a hot knife through butter.
Soon, it was clear that the Wakandans could not be defeated by the likes of heavy infantry. The drones were always fighting a losing battle and this became even more clear when the Rhinos joined the battle. Killmonger showcased his battle prowess as he depleted the army with the power of Vibranium.
The Iron Man Advantage
The result of the battle would have been significantly different if the Dora and the Wakandans had been fighting the Iron Legion. The main advantage that the iron man suits have over all other mechanized drones is flight and a very varied arsenal. As soon as the iron legion takes flight there is very little saving the ground units from the constant barrage of Stark weaponry.
There is nothing quite like air superiority and Tony Stark has proved this time and again. The prowess of the iron legion lies not in their build quality or weapons but the innovation that Tony beings to each new suit. The nanotech bleeding edge is the epitome of this technology and it far surpasses anything that the Gundam army could conceive of doing. Simply put, the mechanized soldiers of Killmonger would be ants to the iron legion. A single bleeding eye armor to chew threw them in a matter of minutes. That is the true power of Rony Stark what do you think of this analysis? Let us know in the comments below.