Marvel’s Most Fashionable Iron Man is Project Runway’s Tim Gunn
When AIM crashes New York Fashion Museum’s event about superhero style, Project Runway’s Tim Gunn suits up and makes it work as Iron Man.
Author and actor Tim Gunn is a recognized name in the fashion industry but in Marvel Comics, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to briefly become Iron Man. While he’s known for mentoring designers on Project Runway, Gunn’s honest opinion and signature sense of humor was put to the test when a superhero exhibit was attacked by a terrorist organization. Improvising under dire circumstances, Tim borrowed an Iron Man suit on display, upgrading his Dolce and Gabbana to Tony Stark’s red and yellow armor to bring justice to those who would commit crimes against fashion.
In the back-up story to Models Inc #1, writer Marc Sumerak and artist Jorge Molina show the famous television personality welcoming people to the grand opening of the Janet Van Dyne Memorial Wing at the New York Fashion Museum, having taken place after the famous model and Avenger had sacrificed herself to help bring the Secret Invasion event to an end. Gunn not only admits Janet’s style made her a personal hero of his but also offers his sincere opinion of superhero fashion and how it has evolved over the years. Replicas or actually the genuine costumes of Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, Captain America, and Spider-Man are on display as Gunn explains that while some fashion styles thankfully have passed, some have remained iconic due to “a perfect balance of form and equilibrium.” His favorite example is Iron Man, Tony Stark’s former bodyguard and famous alter-ego who had generously donated a collection of his suits for the exhibit including one modern Iron Man model, charging and seemingly ready for Gunn to compliment and praise.
But just as the dedication ceremony is about to begin, the exhibit is rocked by a group of people who didn’t come for the history of Marvel’s fashion. The terrorist organization A.I.M. learned of the rare and valuable collection of superhero ensembles and arrived to steal whatever they could repurpose for their own agenda. Although A.I.M appears to care more about looting the exhibit than hurting innocent people, a stray shot ripping the shoulder of his suit proves to Tim that these people are still dangerous, heading to the high-tech heroes room for cover. When one of the A.I.M agents turns his attention there, Iron Man arrives on the scene with a repulsor blast and a snarky remark. Knowing their leader, the Scientist Supreme, would not tolerate failure, A.I.M. opens fire to hilariously learn that it’s not Tony Stark but actually Tim Gunn inside the intimidating high-tech suit.
Although Tim isn’t the first person besides Stark to wear an Iron Man suit, he is without a doubt one of the more amusing people to assume the mantle of ol’ Tin-head. Writer Mark Sumerak has Tim not only handle enemy fire and crushing their weapons but also offer criticism about the design and aesthetic of A.I.M’s uniform, suggesting that the yellow overpowers the whole “evil beekeeper” look they’re going for. When it looks like he’s down for the count due to an EMP blast, Tim has his own version of the iconic superhero moment, pushing his rebooting suit beyond its current limit to stop A.I.M. from escaping, allowing the perfect moment for one of his favorite quotes to become Marvel canon.
With A.I.M. defeated, Tim Gunn’s time as Iron Man is over, handling compliments and obvious jokes with the same effortless wit we’ve come to enjoy from him. Although Tony Stark is still Iron Man, Gunn teases that there’s always a chance for him to return if Stark Industries ever makes a suit in basic black. Although Tony has been through many highs and lows since then, it’s good to know that Iron Man has Tim Gunn as a possibility to make it work if Tony’s unavailable.
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