Tony Stark creates his first armor almost completely on his own (with some of Rhodey's help.) and planned to show his dad, but his plane blew up and his father disappeared. Tony survived the worst of the crash thanks to his gauntlet's force field, but his heart and chest area were severely damaged. Tony put on his armor and had it fly him on auto pilot to Rhodey and put an implant in his heart. Tony first used his armor to spy on Obadiah Stane and found out that he weaponized his Earth Mover. When a runaway train was headed for Stark Tower, Iron Man managed to stop it and save many lives in the process. This incident spreads across the wire and the public calls him "Iron Man", an identity that Tony adopts and becomes a superhero.
In Man and Iron Man, the suit briefly gained sentience after a combination of upgrades mixed with the damage from a fight with Whiplash. In this state, it knocked Rhodey out, when he was going to disassemble the armor. Its primary directive was to protect Tony Stark, and to this end, it went as far as to encase Stark inside the armor permanently since Stark kept looking for trouble. It attempted to kill Rhodey, for which Stark took the blast, frying his heart plate. As Stark went into cardiac arrest, the armor sacrificed its sentience to save its creator's life.
In Season 2, Stark armors up for the first time in months. He uses the armor to save Justin Hammer from Whiplash. Later in the same episode, when Iron Man tried to save Obadiah Stane from Whiplash, in the battle, the Mark 1 armor was completely destroyed by him. Tony Stark ejected from the armor before it blew up, but he was badly injured. He recovered and the Mark I was replaced with the Mark II.
In Iron Man 2099, the armor made a brief cameo appearance while Tony was trying to test his new nano virus chips, when the Mark 2 repulsor was unable to send the nano-chips cause they were delicate, Pepper refered to Hawkeye for help.
- Superhuman Strength: The suit increases the wearer's strength immensely. Iron Man is capable of lifting massive weights like water tower containers, cars, train cars, support beams, and steamrollers with either minimal or no effort. He could even create small fissures in the ground by punching it (although it was frozen by Blizzard first). At maximum power, Iron Man can lift an entire crane, but just barely.
- Superhuman Speed: The armor is capable of moving and reacting at high speeds even when it's not flying.
- Enhanced Durability: The Iron Man suit is extremely resistant to all kinds of punishment. The armor can easily withstand bullets. It can also withstand rockets, missiles, electricity, fire, extreme temperatures, high-powered lasers, heavy impacts, energy attacks, and such with only minimal damage.
- Flight: The armor can hover and fly through the use of repulsor jets. High-speed boot jets that allows flight at speeds up to Mach 2 and higher. The armor also has gyroscopic stabilizers in the chestplate that give the user amazing aerial agility. The jets are strong enough to fly into outer space.
- Repulsor Gauntlets: The gauntlets have many functions like:
- Repulsors: His most iconic weaponry. They are concentrated electrical/repulser fusion beams of repelling light energy that he shoots from the ports on his hands. Iron Man uses these to blast objects and dissolve matter.
- Force Field: His main defensive technology. The repulsors can generate an energy shield around himself and others near him. It can also be expanded into a large repulsion wave that pushes aside harmful forces. The shield is strong enough to block three Earth Mover lasers before the shield goes critical.
- Secondary Propulsion: In addition to his boot jets, Iron Man has another set of propulsion in his repulsor palms. However, he uses this function sparingly.
- Energy Absorption: He can directly absorb energy through his repulsors. He can release that energy in the form of a stronger unibeam.
- Unibeam: This is a stronger version of his repulsors which is emitted from power source on the chest. It can destroy or overwhelm almost anything in its path. However, it rapidly drains the suit's power, so Iron Man only uses it sparingly. It can also emit a magnetic pulse to push back an enemy.
- Magnetic Manipulation: Iron Man can use magnetism to levitate, attract, or repel metal objects near him at will, like laser guns or a traffic mirror.
- Sensor Systems: This allows the wearer to see and scan everything in front of him on the armor's heads-up display. The armor's sensors can see the electromagnetic spectrum, scan the environment and opponents for weaknesses, and warn the pilot of incoming danger.
- Life Support: The armor can sustain its wearer in hostile environments for an almost indefinite period of time.
- Onboard Computer: An internal artificial intelligence operating system that assists the wearer and answers his questions. The computer's voice is voiced by Lisa Ann Beley.
- Comm Systems: Its communication systems allow it to talk to the person at the Armory computer terminal, scan the news and police reports, hack into radio frequencies, and establish a cellphone connection to the person on the other line and more.
- Neural Interface: The user can pilot the armor just with his mind and body. If the pilot wants to fly or use the weapons, he needs only to think the action and it will happen. Iron Man can also randomize the sequence of the armor's neural interface to protect himself from mental attacks for a few moments.
- Voice Filter: This is used to protect his identity. It slightly deepens his voice and gives it a mechanical filter. The audio can be shut off remotely and it also can be routed so that the person in the Armory terminal can speak through the armor.
- Power Reroute: Iron Man can re-route his power from his systems to boost other suit functions, like motors to increase his strength or the jets to boost his propulsion.
- Autopilot: It has an autopilot that can fly the wearer back home if he is incapacitated or asleep.
- Remote Control: The armor can be piloted remotely from the Armory computer terminal, other Armors, and from Stark's palm pod.
- Translators: It can translate languages and it can even read lips.
- Roller Skates: Tony installed "electrostatic energy racers" in the armor's boots to act as a secondary transportation system if the boot jets are disabled.
- Arc Light: The power source on the chest has a flashlight built into it.
- Computer Interface: The armor's computer can hack into other computers to retrieve information and into satellites used by NASA or S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Emergency Lockdown: The armor can lock itself up to prevent others from opening it, including the wearer. While it's in lockdown mode, the wearer's life is sustained, but he can't move at all.
- Holographic Video: When the armor became sentient, it could bring up a recording of what it has seen and heard on a holographic screen from its chest power source.
- Electromagnetic Pulse: Iron Man used this to disperse Technovore's nanomite body.
- Self-Destruct: After he almost lost the armor to Obadiah Stane, he put this function into the armor. The resulting explosion is large enough to destroy the entire Project Pegasus compound.
- Ejection: This function saved Tony from being destroyed with his armor at the hands of Whiplash.
- The Iron Man Armor Mark I is technically a prototype because it was the first armor Tony ever built.
- The armor is similar to the movie version of Mark III, though with a less complex design and more red.
- Tony designed the armor with expansive joints and extendable plating, which means it will fit anyone, including people that are taller than him, like James Rhodes and Happy Hogan.
- The passcode to activate the armor is "Stark02".
- In the beginning of Enter: Iron Monger multiple Mark I armors were seen being destoryed by Crimson Dynamo 3.0 armor as a part of the test for Iron Monger armor.