Art Mimics Life: Real-life Iron Man Coming to An Army Near You

artworks-000063806250-ss4sop-originalKids around the nation dream of becoming Iron Man. To strap on that armor, rocket through the sky, and fire repulsor blasts from your hands. But all of that is just comic fantasy, right? Maybe not.

The U.S. Armed Forces have been on a roll lately, taking inspiration from fiction for new means of combat. Drone usage has become so commonplace that many forget how wars and missions used to be carried out. Most recently, innovations in robotics have amplified man’s use of tech to get the upper hand on enemies while decreasing the opportunities for human casualties. But the Armed Forces have plans that are much more forward thinking than that.

Remember in Iron Man 2 when Justin Hammer revealed a fleet of Iron Man drones for military use? Seems our own armed forces are headed in that direction. They have announced the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) project, coordinated through the Special Operations Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, that aims to roll out Iron Man like exoskeletons to high-risk units as soon as 2018. Prototypes are expected for military commander inspection this month. This means that whomever is our next elected president will have Iron Man armored troops at his or her command.

And the advancements they are looking to integrate sound straight out of a Marvel comic book. Ideas on the table include an exoskeleton made of liquid armor, smart fabrics that could help stop hemorrhaging, enhanced sensory capabilities, and Google Glass-like visuals. The suit will be able to monitor the user’s vital signs, give him real-time battlefield information and be bulletproof from head to toe.

Will this be the new face of modern warfare? Will our future engagements involve unmanned drones flying above, robots traversing tough terrain, and elite commandos manning war machine armor? While there are clear benefits to not putting an abundance of American lives on the line, there is also something innately inhumane about flexing the United States’ economic superiority to massacre the less fortunate abroad. This takes superpower to a new extreme.

As awesome as the idea of a real life Iron Man is, it is equally as terrifying. For years now, technology has been advancing at an astronomical pace, and with the robotic advancements and all that Google accomplishes on a daily basis, the doomsday movies that Hollywood churns out every year are getting closer and closer to reality. Sooner or later, Skynet is going to activate and we’ll all be done for.

So the real question is, do we want our comic books to inspire actual technology? Do we want that type of power to be wielded by real humans as opposed to written fictional characters? If you need real answers to those questions, just wait until 2018 when they’ll be in action.

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

2 Responses

  1. John Henry says:

    Next they will need a good war or “military excursion” to fund and play with their new toys.

  2. D Jackson says:

    Right. Funny how things work out that way …

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