Those who know me and read my thoughts on comics, know that I like science. I usually take the stance that I like more scientific accuracy as opposed to less. Doing so often results in me be referred back to the tome of comic book science, which basically says that as long as something sounds scientific then it basically is. One of my favourite topics I wrote on recently was on the restoration of the memory of an individual, how I argued that in this case that science failed at explaining the task (in the case of Iron Man) and that a mystical restoration of memory seemed much more likely. So I was surprised again this month to discover another semi-mystical explanation seeming more authentic than the best representative of science in comics. My concern here was his armour and I felt that the new Hawkman beat him out in terms of a reasonable explanation (by the way, for those that have not read Hawkman #1 and are planning to, there are spoilers ahead.) One of the most recent developments of the Iron Man armour is that is is now based on a version of nanotechnology which is able to (when not in use) hide itself within Tony's body. Correspondingly it can be deployed in a similar fashion to a thickness of several microns thick if need be.
This is clearly a very scientific version of an explanations, what with microns and nanotechnology (a very important field of research in contemporary times). That the suit can be miniaturized is a bit of a stretch (though of course most matter as we know it is mostly empty space - all the empty space taken out of the atoms on the Earth would reduce it to the size of a pea) but the combination with nanotechnology which cannot be mass produced in any appreciable quantity is another problem
On the other hand is Hawkman. This is about the 15th or 20th redesign of the character, but the character has always been associated in some way with nth metal. Nth metal is equally vague sometimes being a mystical metal from ancient Egypt, at other times a semi-mystical metal from Thanagar. in this particular version of Hawkman, the character has absorbed the nth metal into his body and he spontaneously generates the Hawkman armour (or costume) when in need.
Is this really that much more realistic? Well as previously identified, the scientific explanation for Tony's transformation is somewhat lacking, whereas the explanation for Hawkman, while it demands the belief in something which is absolutely not real, still seem more credible.