The Mark I Armor was Tony Stark's first Iron Man suit, built to help him escape from forced captivity by the Ten Rings. The suit was crafted from the limited resources around him, including salvaged pieces of scrap metal and machine parts.
While in the captivity of the terrorist organization, the Ten Rings, Tony Stark was forced to build one of his Jericho missiles for them. However, while working on the missile, Stark was secretly building an armored suit to escape with the help of his fellow captive, Ho Yinsen. Stark put the suit on and escaped the compound but was forced to leave without Yinsen, who died of fatal gunshot wounds buying time for Stark to power up the armor.
Once Stark exited the cave, he used the suit's flamethrowers to destroy the Ten Rings' stockpile of his own Stark Industries weapons. While setting the camp ablaze the suit suffered damage from enemy gunfire, causing some of the suit's systems to malfunction or fail. With the suit nearing failure, Stark then used the suit's rudimentary rocket thrusters to escape the enemy camp just before the weapons detonated.
Stark managed to escape, but at the cost of the armor, which he was forced to leave behind. Once he returned to America, he used the suit's schematics to create a more advanced version of what he later referred to as the Iron Man suit.
The remains of the Mark I are later located in the desert by the remainder of the Ten Rings group, who retrieve its pieces and roughly reassemble it according to Stark's see-through schematics to examine its design. Later, during a secret meeting with the Ten Rings, Tony Stark's mentor and business partner, Obadiah Stane, stole the Mark I suit and used its design as the basis for his own Iron Monger Armor. 
Eventually, Stark retrieved and reassembled the Mark I. It was kept in his workshop and was given its own independent Arc Reactor. When Stark's mansion was attacked by the Mandarin, the Mark I was destroyed when damage to the mansion's systems caused the suit to explode.
The armor greatly increased Stark's strength and durability, enabling him to overpower armed terrorists and survive an aerial impact with the ground after escaping. Multiple layers of durable metal salvaged from missile casings made the armor impervious to medium caliber firearms and reinforced its physical attacks. Because the armor only covered a majority of the vital areas to keep from becoming too cumbersome, Stark wore the thick pants, leather jacket, hand wraps and gloves that he used for welding and molten metalwork, underneath the armor as added protection and insulation against the heat from the suit's flamethrowers.
The suit was powered by a small electric motor that is partially exposed at the suit's lower back. The engine powered a pair of external, belt driven mechanisms in the suit's legs that helped support the vast weight of the metal suit. Similar mechanisms in the suit's arms and legs helped Stark to move around while wearing the armor and amplified the strength behind his movements, allowing him to throw punches that could destroy a heavy metal door, knock human enemies back several feet, and partially embedded his arm in a cave wall. Wrapping his hands with tape and the thick welding gloves prevented his hands from breaking on the impact.
The armor's only weapons were a pair of flamethrowers mounted on each arm along with one single-shot missile concealed in the left arm. While not capable of sustained flight, the armor was capable of limited flight through single-fire rocket thrusters located on the back of each leg, enabling him to escape during the destruction of the Ten Rings' camp.
- In the comics, Tony Stark kept using the Mark I for a while before eventually replacing it. During this time he painted it gold as the original gray appearance had the unfortunate effect of scaring innocent people.
| Mark I • Mark II • Mark III • Mark IV • Mark V • Mark VI • Mark VII|
Mark VIII • Mark IX • Mark X • Mark XI • Mark XII • Mark XIII • Mark XIV • Mark XV • Mark XVI • Mark XVII •
Mark XVIII • Mark XIX • Mark XX • Mark XXI • Mark XXII • Mark XXIII • Mark XXIV • Mark XXV • Mark XXVI •
Mark XXVII • Mark XXVIII • Mark XXIX • Mark XXX • Mark XXXI • Mark XXXII • Mark XXXIII • Mark XXXIV •
Mark XXXV • Mark XXXVI • Mark XXXVII • Mark XXXVIII • Mark XXXIX • Mark XL • Mark XLI
Mark XLII • Mark XLIII • Mark XLIV/Veronica • Mark XLV • Mark XLVI • Mark XLVII • Mark XLVIII • Mark L • Mark LXXXV
|Mark I • Mark II/Iron Patriot • Mark III • Mark IV • Mark V • Mark VI • Mark VII|
|Mark I • Mark II|
|Spider-Man Suit • Iron Spider Armor|
|Iron Man Armor: Mark XLIX|