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"We just gotta load up Tony's old Hulkbuster armor."
―Happy Hogan[src]

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. Created solely for the purpose of restraining the Hulk, it is a modular suit that Stark dons while already in another Iron Man armor, such as the Mark XLIII. It is launched from an orbital tracking platform, known as Veronica.

History

Duel of Johannesburg

Hulkbuster-Low

Iron Man dons the Hulkbuster Armor

"Veronica, give me a hand!"
Iron Man[src]

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.

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Iron Man attempts to keep the Hulk at bay.

The enraged Hulk had soon managed to break himself free. Ordering the South African police to stand down from the fight, Iron Man tried to get through to Bruce Banner by telling him that Wanda Maximoff was messing with his mind, telling him that Banner was stronger and smarter than her. However the mention of Banner's name only seemed to enrage Hulk even further. When all of Iron Man's attempts to calm the Hulk down had failed, the two began to fight. Hulk launched a car at Iron Man, knocking him back, so Iron Man responded by flying to the Hulk and dragging him face first through the concrete. When Hulk damaged the armor, Stark called for extra parts and used its many capabilities to try to knock Hulk down. With the Hulk charging at him, Iron Man kept him at bay with his gauntlet beam while his arm was repaired.

Hulk and Hulkbuster Punch

Iron Man and the Hulk punch each other.

The Hulk charged forward and the pair smashed their fists into each other, causing a shockwave through Johannesburg. Pinning the Hulk to the ground, Iron Man began repeatedly punching him in the face and begging him to go to sleep and finish their fight, however the Hulk's rage only continued to build. Iron Man attempted to trap his arm with the armor and fly him out of the city in order to protect the people, with the Hulk still fighting back.

Hulkbuster-PinningBackHulk

Iron Man pushes the Hulk against the wall.

As Iron Man attempted to fly the Hulk out of the city, he continued to fight back and forced Iron Man to crash land on the side of a large building. As Hulk furiously tried to rip him apart, Iron Man pushed him against a wall and tried spraying gas in his face, although this tactic had almost no affect. As they continued fighting, Iron Man was aware that behind him an elevator filled with people were standing just feet away from the battle as they attempted to escape.

HulkBuster-CatchingLift

Iron Man saves a group of innocent civilians.

When he was kicked back with incredible force, Iron Man crashed into the elevator filled with innocent people, forcing him to catch it before it hit the ground as he ordered everyone to get out while they still could. Iron Man then proceeded to use the elevator as a weapon as he slammed it down onto the Hulk's head. Once the Hulk was stunned, Iron Man hit him across the face, knocking out one of his teeth, an action which Iron Man then soon regretted.

HulkBuster-FinalPunch

Iron Man manages to knock out the Hulk.

The enraged Hulk then proceeded to smash Iron Man across the city, attempting to rip out the Arc Reactors powering the armor. Despite trying to get assistance from Veronica, Hulk proved to be too strong as he tore the armor apart. Eventually, Iron Man resorted to dropping the Hulk through a building still going through construction; this massive impact seemingly calmed Hulk enough that Stark could knock him out with a final massive punch to the head.[1]

Moving Day

Following the battle, the armor was kept at Avengers Tower until it was loaded onto a cargo plane headed to the New Avengers Facility, as Stark had sold Avengers Tower. However, the plane was hijacked by Vulture and subsequently crashed on Coney Island.[2]

Capabilities

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: Like all other armors, the Mark XLIV has flight capabilities, although given the size, it is presumably much slower than his other suits.
Hulkbuster HUD

The armor's HUD

  • 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.
  • 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.

Trivia

  • 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.

References

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