Iron Man 2 is often overlooked in the discussion of “weaker” movies in the Marvel movie universe, but in a sense, it’s worse than wrong to forget. To modern eyes, it looks like a remnant of another era of superhero movies. This kind just left its mark on declining returns until audiences were so shocked that it eventually stopped coming. Iron Man 2, released two years before the groundbreaking Avengers team, seemed solidly grounded in this world: overloaded, rushed into production, and heavily dependent on what made the first film so special and not its unique energy.
“Low” is, of course, a relative term, and the MCU has been successful because even its “worst” movies are still relatively decent. Iron Man 2’s fight against Whiplash in Munich is still an undeniable highlight in the first MCU and shows the kind of energy that much of the rest of the film had to contend with. The highlight was Tony’s rapid transformation into Iron Man through an “emergency suit” disguised as a briefcase. It’s her most fabulous dress due to the kinetic energy it brings to the screen. That this is his weakest film – and arguably his least powerful costume of the entire epic – is a bit ironic.
In the comics, Stark, in his early days, had a briefcase with a version of his costume. He appeared for the first time in Tales of Suspense # 40, which was just the second Iron Man appearance ever. It is designed to discreetly accommodate his armor to transform into Iron Man at any time, no matter where he is in the world. She also used it as a security measure – so he could put the device on his chest and keep shrapnel from his heart – and protected his secret identity as Tony Stark.
On-screen, Stark revealed his secret identity at the end of the first Iron Man in one of the most memorable moments in MCU. The Monegasque scene in Iron Man 2 is a demonstration of the aftermath, as Whiplash attacks him during the race and threatens both spectators and other runners. At first glance, it seems that giving Stark a secret identity prevents the folder from popping up, as it does not have to hide who is in this universe. The MCU has found another way to achieve this by approaching it from a more logical perspective. In essence, the film version of the armor achieved portability at the expense of energy.
In the comics, the folder contained only armor, although it also included many security features. It was a fingerprint coded so that only Stark could open it and use the knockout gas or even explode if someone else tried to open it by force. It also contained a laptop that essentially functioned as a laptop, giving Tony the tools he needed to become Iron Man anywhere in the world.
The MCU case is officially known as the Mark V Armor. Stark designed him to transform into Iron Man – and more specifically to protect Pepper Potts – when he’s not in his lab or another costume. As a result, she is not as strong as her previous outfits, as extra armor or weapons would add too much to her weight. As a result, it possesses only the fundamental strengths of Tony’s previous combinations – improved endurance and protection, repellents in the palms, and a jet that can shoot from the arc reactor to his chest – and those at lower levels than the previous combinations. It did the job but struggled with Whiplash’s do-it-yourself imitation technology and extended the fight more than it would with any other generation of armor in the game.
MCU technology has come a long way since Iron Man 2, with the introduction of Alien technology and Wakanda’s previously hidden nanotechnology. Tony’s suit evolved accordingly, leaving the folder in the obsolete pile and most of the other previous versions. Mark V can be seen in Tony’s lab in Iron Man 3 and most likely landed on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean after the Mandarin entered his home.