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Iron Man’s Arc Reactor

30 of the Coolest Movie and Television Gadgets

The arc reactor was invented by Howard Stark as an alternative energy source, but Tony Stark wears a miniaturized version in his chest to keep himself alive. Arc reactors also power the various Iron Man suits and a larger model powers the Stark Tower itself. The arc reactor in Stark’s chest required the chemical palladium to keep it running, but in time the palladium began to poison Tony Stark. Stark invented a safer alternative, said in the Iron Man 2 novelization to be Vibranium, before eventually having the arc reactor surgically removed after no longer needing it.

In the comics, the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit (which is the suit Tony wears in Avengers: Age of Ultron when fighting the Hulk) requires seven arc reactors to power. Compare that to the standard Iron Man suit’s one arc reactor. Maybe Tony’s overcompensating but hey, the Hulk’s a scary dude.

Men in Black Neuralyzer

30 of the Coolest Movie and Television Gadgets

The Men in Black neuralyzer looks like an innocent silver cigar tube, but the red light on top emits a flash that, when looked directly into, can erase hours, days, weeks, months, or even years of memory. The Men in Black use them to keep alien secrets under wraps, but Will Smith’s Agent Jay feels that using the device is unethical. That is until Men in Black II, in which Jay uses it on other agents so often that he garners himself a reputation for it.


While the neuralyzer in the first Men in Black film emitted a red light, the color was changed to blue for the two sequels. Men in Black III featured a time travel plot and a young Agent Kay (played by Josh Brolin, whose impression of Tommy Lee Jones was spot on) used an early portable neuralyzer that attached to a battery pack he wore on his belt. We also saw the very first neuralyzer, which was a large machine that the subject had to be strapped into.

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