The Mark XLIV Armor, better known as the Hulkbuster, is Tony Stark's forty-fourth Iron Man suit, made with the help of Bruce Banner for use in case Banner lost control of his alter-ego, Hulk. It is a modular suit that is operated from within while being linked to the Mark XLIII Armor.
This armor is launched from an orbital tracking platform, known as Veronica.
After Scarlet Witch manipulated Doctor Bruce Banner into turning into the Hulk, Tony Stark had no other choice but to deploy the system as all of the other Avengers with the exception of Hawkeye were incapacitated. The armor was deployed from Veronica and came split into two separate parts. The first part was a metal containment shell which helped to contain Hulk for a brief period of time. By the time Hulk had broken through the shell's defenses, Stark had arrived with the second part of the system which consisted of the armor itself, and battled with Hulk.
Much like its precursors from the Mark XLII onward the Armor was capable of being remotely controlled. If critical damage was taken on any of its constituent parts, Stark was able to jettison the damaged part and call for another replacement part from the Veronica drop pod which hovered over the area in which Hulk was rampaging.
Deployable automatic assembled parts are launched from Veronica for real time customization of the Hulkbuster armor and versatile combat capability.
- Advanced Strength: The suit was specifically designed to match the incredible superhuman strength of Hulk (should he ever need to be subdued), and is powered by over eleven Arc Reactors in order to grant the strength required for such a task. The suit was able to hit Hulk in the face hard enough to knock a tooth out, send Hulk flying two streets away with one punch, and ultimately succeeded in knocking Hulk out when the latter started to calm down after seeing the damage caused.
- Advanced Durability: The armor was built to be much stronger than any previous suits, to take more extreme damage, such as Hulk's brutal attacks.
- Flying: This armor, like most of the previous suits, can fly.
- Repulsor Beams: The armor has the ability to shoot repulsor beams strong enough to hold down Hulk, if only for a while.
- Prehensile Technology: Using an independent propulsion system, each section can fly to the user from a drop pod hovering around the combat zone and automatically assemble into the Hulkbuster Armor. Despite being composed of individual parts, the XLIV is still able to sustain quite a few blows from Hulk, unlike the XLII.
- Grappling Hook: It is used to hold Hulk down long enough to use the Repulsor Beams on Hulk.
- Extended Punches: The suit is able to use its fist like a jack hammer.
- Chemical Spray: The suit had a chemical spray outfitted in its wrist which Tony tried to use on Hulk. Since it did not work it is unknown what the spray's ability(ies) were.
- Missiles: The XLIV is able to launch small missiles which Tony used to increase damage to Hulk after dropping him into the building under construction.
- Veronica Replacement Parts: Should the Hulkbuster armor sustaine heavy damage, the Veronica hovering above the armor will respond to the authorized user's command by sending spare parts to replace the ones that were damaged. For instance, when the Hulk drove a pole into the Hulkbuster's left arm and severely damaged it, upon the command of Tony, Veronica releases several armor parts that would form an alternate left arm for the armor to battle the Hulk.
- Though the suit's full grappling hook was not seen in the movie, part of it can be seen during the fight between Iron Man and Hulk.
- Thanks to the XLIV suit, Iron Man is the first and so far only character to defeat the Hulk in battle.
- The name Veronica is a deep reference to the characters in the Archie comics, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. Hulk's girlfriend, Betty, could calm him down, but in her absence, Stark must call in Veronica.
| Mark I • Mark II • Mark III • Mark IV • Mark V • Mark VI • Mark VII|
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Mark XLII • Mark XLIII • Mark XLIV/Veronica • Mark XLV • Mark XLVI • Mark XLVII
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|Mark I • Mark II|