Iron Man is one of the most essential characters when it comes to the MCU. It is interesting to imagine that the character even after his death with the events of Avengers: Endgame manages to have a major role to play. With three solo ventures under his belt, the character has had some of the most stories as a part of his arc. Since the MCU picks from Marvel comics, we sure did get a chance to see some of the most exciting arcs being brought to life. It makes sense that we never got to see Iron Man from The Ultimates in the MCU as it would have been too dark for the franchise.
There is a lot that the MCU has managed to pick from Marvel Comics over the years. This has actually allowed us to expect certain narratives and arcs actually become a part of the franchise. The most popular amongst has to be the narratives of the Infinity Saga and the Civil War. Both of them had an interesting role to play when it comes to the franchise and we also got some interesting characters to join the franchise. Even though there are some interesting narratives in the comics, we have also gotten some really poor narratives. But somehow Marvel Studios manages to bring the best out of all of them.
Fans might remember when the Ultimates narrative actually predicted that we will get to see Samuel L. Jackson take on the role. The Ultimates is actually one of the narratives that have impacted the franchise the most. Even Ned Leeds’ character from the MCU solo Spider-Man ventures was inspired by Mile Morales’ best friend Gank Lee in the comics. There are a lot of exciting details that ended up making it into the MCU from this take on the Marvel characters. It makes sense considering these comics actually manage to modernize the heroes in ways considered to be rather impossible. But there are certain arcs that the franchise managed to avoid.
The Ultimate Iron Man
One of the least inspired characters from the Ultimate Marvel narrative has to be Iron Man. Even though this character had a completely revamped arc from writer Orson Scott Card, none of it ended up making it into the MCU. Tony actually has complicated physiology in the comics. He’s barely even human and the secret associated with the character is far too strange to be adapted into the movies.
According to the comics, Howard Stark creates a spray-on blue bio armor that prevents him from injuries. But there is a certain side-effect to this as the armor actually wears away the wearer’s skin over time. At the same time, his lover Maria Cerrera was working on a virus that manages to regrow limbs and tissues. Somehow Cerrera is actually infected by the virus herself while she is pregnant with their child. Cerrera ends up dying during childbirth and Tony is born with the virus infecting him. The infection makes his skin hypersensitive to the air and this ends up giving him a tremendous amount of pain. Howard sprays him with the blue body armor in order to make sure the pain stops.
According to his mother, Marria Cerrera herself,
The virus… affects embryonic tissue differently. The baby’s brain won’t outgrow his skull. He’ll… look normal.
Undifferentiated neural tissue will grow all through his body. As if his whole body is brain. Greater mental capacity. Quicker. Like no human in history.
Because of this, Tony ends up having sensitive skin and his neural tissue grows throughout his body. This means that he is actually a walking brain, which might be a means of defining the intellect of the character. The character goes through constant pain and he uses alcohol as a means of dulling the pain. These additions to the arc of Iron Man make him a lot more drastic and it is fairly obvious why the character didn’t see this arc in the 2008 Iron Man movie.