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What's Your Pick for the Most Iconic Power Armor in All Ass Kicking SF Fiction?

Skyward Sheep

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Dec 31, 2014
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Not to sidetrack, but do you find it true that Warhammer classic is more popular in the U.K., and 40k in the States?

Always assumed it to be a fairly large and popular brand; even if 40k is more low key it seems to be fairly influential

From my own experience 40k is still bigger than Warhammer fantasy here but I'm just going off of my own experiences with what myself and my friends like.
 

TheXbox

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Aug 26, 2012
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Iron Man should be disqualified, he's the actual correct answer.

Personally, I really dig the Starcraft space marines. Maybe the most recognizable silhouette in all of RTS:


But this is still the GOAT:


343's Mk VI variant is the best version of Master Chief and therefore the best power armor of all time.
 

Switch Back 9

a lot of my threads involve me fucking up somehow. Perhaps I'm a moron?
Aug 13, 2012
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Anyone who thinks WH40K is more iconic than Iron Man is out of their minds.
 

WarRock

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May 25, 2014
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Took too much time to the Saber Knights or the Power Armor mk2 from Fallout2 to be mentioned, smh.

I want to add to the list the Land Mates from Appleseed.
 
Anyone who thinks WH40K is more iconic than Iron Man is out of their minds.
Iron Man may be more popular and well known, but 40K is probably more influential across various mediums

===

Besides the obvious like space marines, Master Chief, and Iron Man, I personally like the armor from John Steakley's Armor



And are exosuits considered powered armor? Have a soft spot for the designs in Elysium

 

Shoeless

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Feb 12, 2010
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Armor by John Steakley is my hands down favorite Power Armor Sci-Fi novel. I'm not sure it's the best or most iconic power armor since the book seems to be mostly forgotten. But its what I think of when I hear Power Armor. He was a total bad-ass, the whole thing was about how he became The Engine persona when in the Armor gives it bonus points.

I was hoping I'd see a few people post this. It's true that the way Steakly split the story between two different characters and time periods probably made it a less popular choice, but every time there was a Felix portion, the book just blew me away. It was one of the single, best depictions of powered battle armor I'd ever seen, and the battle scenes were amazing. I was so happy when this book finally got a Kindle version, because I'd been making that request on Amazon for years without any real hope it would happen.
 

Buckle

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Oct 3, 2016
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Fallout, T-51b. Hands down.

When I hear the words power armor, its the first thing that pops up in my head.
 

KDC720

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May 23, 2013
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Love me some power armors, my favs have already been mentioned.

-Various SPARTAN armors from Halo

-Samus Aran's Chozo suit

-40k Space Marines

-Various Iron Man Suits

-MCU Black Panther suit

-Sam Gideon's suit from Vanquish

-Crysis Nanosuit

Also I suppose they are more combat armor/space suits but I've always been fond of the Mass Effect and Destiny armors.
 

SixMachine

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Jul 28, 2012
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I would agree with the 40k armors and it's variants being most influential design wise. Even though Iron Man is the most popular character in this thread, it feels that in public conscience the armor is attached to the character of Tony Stark (even though they are variants like War Machine), while the bulky 40k armor is the main iconic image of the Space Marines. It's influence on other works such as Starcraft, Halo, Fallout, etc. really is noticeable.
 

Crayon

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Jan 6, 2007
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I don't know about the *Most* iconic, but its what popped into my head:



The Power Loader from Aliens.
Where does Power Armor end and Mech begin?

Came to say this. This forklift is the most iconic and recognizable powered armor in scifi. It's usage in the movie was just too good. From a self-indulgent prop at the very beginning of the movie then next it's the great equalizer at the climax. Who doesn't love this thing?
 

CTLance

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Jul 21, 2007
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Gotta be WH40k stuff just by the sheer amount of choice in that universe and tremendous reach beyond just a few paltry nerd niches. They have released books, Pen and Paper games, movies (of questionable quality), video games, card games, board games, the classic war games, and a plethora of other stuff. For decades now, to boot.

Personally, after all my favs have already been mentioned, I remember the suits they wore near the end of The Forever War by Haldeman.
"The suit is set up to save as much of your body as possible. If you lose part of an arm or a leg, one of sixteen razor-sharp irises closes around your limb with the force of a hydraulic press, snipping it off neatly and sealing the suit before you can die of explosive decompression. Then "trauma maintenance" cauterizes the stump, replaces lost blood,and fills you full of happy juice and No-shock. So you will either die happy or, if your comrades go on to win the battle, eventually be carried back up to the ship's aid station."
It makes sense to do that if you're too low tech to have self repairing armour and have to fight someone in a suit in vacuum, but that doesn't make it any better. Plus, the idea that the last few fights reverted to medieval Bow and Arrow/Sword/melee engagements inside a pocket dimension and shield bubble was ... memorable. Heh.

Honourable mention to Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. Those were more utility suits IIRC, but hey, can't knock armour that comes with a hat. Also I've completely run out of other ideas.
 

Killa Sasa

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Aug 29, 2005
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Iconic would be Vader if that counts, and Iron Man if it doesn't. Multibillion dollar franchises built on the backs of those things, for 40+ and 50+ years. The mom/grandma/dad/grandpa test is a good barometer here.

As far as power goes, I like the Doom Suit. The Edge of Tomorrow exosuit was pretty dope. Wing Zero if Gundam counts. Panther's suit, and I'm sure Flash has a good suit as well that augments his ability to do bullshit based on running fast.
 

SixMachine

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Jul 28, 2012
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Even though it is a bodysuit compared to the fullmetal armor posted in this thread, I always liked Hurricane Polymar, it basically enhances his brand of asshole karate. He also turns into a plane.




 

Qasiel

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Apr 9, 2010
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Would Bioshock's Big Daddies count? After all, they're people wearing these huge suits and capable of doing superhuman things in them whilst protecting the Little Sisters. It could be argued that the strength comes from the plasmids the wearer has, but the eyes changing colour when you've pissed one off suggests that the armour itself is powered.

I'd definitely put 40k's Space Marines up there as most iconic though. They were the first thing I thought of when I saw the words "power armour".
 

Hex

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Nov 14, 2009
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Anyone who thinks WH40K is more iconic than Iron Man is out of their minds.

Your problem is that Iron Man changes suits like panties.
His suit now looks almost nothing like his iconic suit from the early days.
Spider Man, Captain America, Daredevil...ICONIC superhero appearances once you wade through alternate universes and get to the basic.
Iron Man is just a fancy suit but nothing iconic about it.

Put up Armor Wars or early Avengers Iron Man? You got it.
Put up MCU horse shit or Marvel from the past 10 years where it still has no idea what it is doing? Nah
 

Fury451

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May 1, 2012
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Anyone who thinks WH40K is more iconic than Iron Man is out of their minds.

40k inspired Starcraft, among many other things. It may be niche on its own but it's influence isn't.

Iron Man is of course worldwide recognizable....since 2008.

Before that people may have seen him here or there but he wasn't really famous outside of comics, certainly not like Cap or Spidey.
 

Prophaniti

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Jun 19, 2016
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Iron Man may be more popular and well known, but 40K is probably more influential across various mediums

===

Besides the obvious like space marines, Master Chief, and Iron Man, I personally like the armor from John Steakley's Armor

Man I love that book. I'm going to have to dig that out from under the bed. That opening section is amazing.
 

mattwhite924

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Apr 29, 2015
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although Space Marine originates with Starship Troopers

when you hear the word "Space Marine" the first pop cultural thing you are going to think of is 40k, its just the truth

Uh, no. Not at all. I think of this



And it's vastly more influential than anything Games Workshop has done.
 

Ezalc

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Jun 29, 2009
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Even though it is a bodysuit compared to the fullmetal armor posted in this thread, I always liked Hurricane Polymar, it basically enhances his brand of asshole karate. He also turns into a plane.

Reminds me of the Polymar OVA where he just completely obliterates a bunch of mooks int he most brutal forms imaginable. I still haven't found a version of it in english too, but damn, that beginning fight is ridiculous.
 

HStallion

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Nov 23, 2015
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I wouldn't count the fork lift as power armor.

I suppose we need some criteria on what counts as power armor.

I went over several of the tropes of Power Armor that were started with Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers in the OP. Its worn by a military elite in most cases, enhances the users abilities many times over and gives them increase to amazing durability and often mobility as well. Armed to the teeth with weapons that would kill a normal person and even being shot from orbit down to a planet's surface to act as the ultimate shock troop.
 

manfestival

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Nov 12, 2009
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I love the first few posts of this thread. These are the main reasons that I am so into mecha for the most part. Probably all began thanks to Ironman and eventually moved on to other things. However, one from my childhood that I have a huge heart for is EXO squad.


I eventually found warhammer 40k stuff when I was little around the same time as starcraft and I love both for different reasons. Also I do love me the T'au designs which is why I play them on tabletop . There is something special to me for some reason about the stealth suit design... old and new

 

mattwhite924

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Apr 29, 2015
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But there is no power armor this invalidating its purpose here (other than a forklift)

I was specifically responding to the statement that when you think of space marines the first thing you think of is 40K.

Aliens is generally credited with popularizing the concept of space marines, and it's influence is still felt in a lot of things today.

As for power armor, as much as I like the power loader, I don't think it counts. Even if it's not a mech, it's definitely not armor. It's just really cool work equipment.

As far as the most iconic power armor, it's easily Iron Man. I guarantee you that if you were to go out and ask 100 random people what comes to mind when you mention power armor, the majority of them would say Iron Man. Sure most of his popularity has been in the past decade, but I don't think that disqualifies him at all.
 

HStallion

Now what's the next step in your master plan?
Nov 23, 2015
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Honestly StarCraft's Marines seem more inspired by Starship troopers than WH40k. They are called Terran's after all. The Marines also aren't knights.

The original WH40K Space Marines weren't either. Starcraft's version is actually much closer to the original style of Space Marine which were basically drugged up psychopaths stuck inside power armor and set lose to cause mayhem.