Cillian Murphy dons Iron Man’s high-tech armor in a new piece of Peaky Blinders crossover fan art. Murphy stars as the intimidating Birmingham-based gangster Thomas Shelby in Steven Knight’s British period crime drama. Peaky Blinders season 6, the series’ final season, recently began airing on February 27, 2022.
A man of dubious morals, Thomas “Tommy” Shelby is one of the current age of television’s more complex characters. A World War 1 veteran, Shelby built a criminal empire in the form of the Peaky Blinders, contending with fellow Birmingham-based criminal gangs, local authorities, the American mafia, and rising British fascist movements of the 1920s and 30s. A soldier, gangster, businessman, and Member of Parliament, Shelby has faced plenty of struggles throughout Peaky Blinders, be it family troubles, threats to his empire, or his troubled love life. With Shelby’s story now set to close on the small screen, Knight has since confirmed a Peaky Blinders film will conclude the story, which was always his intention. The project is set to start filming in 2023, but one fan has already imagined what Tommy Shelby could look like in a very different setting.
Posted by artist MJ.Hiblen to their Instagram account, a new piece of artwork imagines the combination of a complex crime boss like Shelby with Tony Stark/Iron Man’s personal arsenal. Titled “Iron Blinders,” the piece sees Murphy’s Shelby wearing armor inspired by the MCU Iron Man’s design. Painted in a gunmetal grey, Shelby loses Stark’s helmet in favor of the Blinder’s signature cap, while wearing his tattered long coat over the armor. Shelby’s signature pocket watch is even featured on the deadly suit of armor, and to make him more intimidating, Shelby’s eyes are obscured, and one of his fists is drenched in blood. Check out the artist’s chilling crossover below.
It is interesting that the artist has chosen to crossover these two iconic characters, given both have either seen, or will soon see, their on-screen end. Downey Jr.’s Iron Man left the MCU after his death in Avengers: Endgame in 2019, and many fans have speculated that Tommy Shelby will also meet his fate in Peaky Blinders’ upcoming conclusion. Murphy recently opened up about the final Peaky Blinders season 6, and how he felt about the series finally wrapping up. Having played the role since the series premiered in 2013, the actor admitted he hadn’t yet come to terms with the impending final installment.
While Murphy works on Peaky Blinders’ conclusion, the artist’s work is a striking look at a terrifying “What if?” scenario. While they are worlds apart, the thought of Shelby acquiring something as powerful as Iron Man’s armor is interesting, as Shelby is just as ambitious, cunning, and resourceful as Tony Stark was shown to be in the MCU, with both men being shaped by their respective traumas. While Shelby’s hands are certainly the wrong ones for an Iron Man suit to end up in, the visual of the crime boss strutting through the mist in his armor is an impressive way to celebrate Peaky Blinders’ season 6 ending.