Iron Man’s Biggest Rival Is A Dolphin In A Mechanical Suit (Yes, Really)

Iron Man’s heroism is as famous as his armor designs, but he might be second only to a lesser-known Marvel hero: Brute Force’s Dr. Echo.

Among the many rivals Iron Man could have in the Marvel Universe, Reed Richards isn’t his best. Deadpool Biannual #1 reveals that it’s actually a hero he probably doesn’t know too well: Doctor Echo. This dolphin-wearing mech-suit didn’t get the chance of many Avengers teams, but it would give Tony Stark a run for his money.

Doctor Echo first appeared in the 1990 four-issue comic book series, Brute force. This team is made up of cyborg animals including Doctor Echo, Boomer, Lionheart, Soar, and Bear. They are respectively a dolphin, a kangaroo, a lion, an eagle and a bear. Later Brute Force would be revealed as Weapon II – adding Wolverteeny – a squirrel experienced in the Weapon Plus program – to their ranks. The team doesn’t have many appearances, but their fight and teaming up with Deadpool revealed some interesting details about the team’s smartest member.

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Deadpool Biannual #1 features the story “Animal Style!” which has the creative team of Paul Scheer, Nick Giovannetti, Salva Espin, Veronica Gandini, Joe Sabino and Jordan D. White. This comic puts the titular mercenary in an odd position – as usual. He is first hired to protect a zoological water park before eventually realizing the facility engaged in animal experimentation, causing him to turn against her. During this adventure, Deadpool clashes with the Brute Force and it is revealed that Doctor Echo has in fact significantly improved the design of Stark’s Extremis suit.



Marvel's Brute Force introduces Doctor Echo, a dolphin with a better nanotech virus suit than Iron Man.

Lionheart compliments Dr. Echo on his suit, dubbed “the Supernus Armor”. This armor is “a nanotechnology virus that is bound” to the “organic tissue” of these heroes. However, the Shining Dolphin notes that Tony’s Extremis armor has “bugs” and “limitations” that his armor does not have. He directly dispels Tony Stark and his abilities, which makes it seem like the Avenger problem really shouldn’t be a problem at all. He even goes so far as to call the fan-favorite hero a “hack” and he’s certainly right. Iron Man has been in the limelight with his armors for a long time and the Extremis armor is one of his best known. If anyone suggested that Dr. Echo was smarter, he’d probably be considered the hack, as his heroic reach and popularity is a far cry from Iron Man’s. Still, given the chance, it’s possible that Dr. Echo’s genius could surpass Tony’s.


The Extremis armor is known to have many setbacks, including physical and mental alterations to Tony Stark, as well as others who come in contact with it. It hasn’t been the best option for Iron Man’s armor and regular use, although it has had some positives. Eliminating these negative elements and the need for built-in restraints easily makes Dr. Echo’s iteration of similar armor a much more effective design. If Dr. Echo and Tony ever had a real chance to compare notes, they could potentially create one of the most impressive armors ever seen in the Marvel Universe. That is, if their ego even allowed them to have a proper conversation.


However, Iron Man has serious competition considering Dr. Echo underrated genius in the design of armor and mechanical suits.

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