Hardcore comic geek or casual movie-watching fan, chances are you’ve already heard that there’s gonna be a new heir to the Iron Throne!
No, not the spiky one from Game of Thrones, but the shiny red and gold one from the comics.
But yes, ol’ Tony may have to share the spotlight (or lose it completely) to Riri Williams, a 15-year-old genius who may not only be ousting the Armoured Avenger, but also building her own suit. While this certainly is, in itself, worth discussion, the truth is… it isn’t all that uncommon.
In his 50-odd years as a comic book hero, Iron Man has found himself sharing his wardrobe with a few others across the Marvel universe, and beyond. Here’s some of the more prominent, and shocking, personalities who’ve donned the esteemed armour.
Despite Robert Downey, Jr.’s public declaration of heroism towards the end of the first Iron Man movie, the comics maintained ol’ shell head’s identity as a secret for much longer. Publicly recognised as the personal bodyguard to Tony Stark, Iron Man was less of a superhero and more of an extremely advanced security personnel. Unfortunately, given that he was actually Iron Man, Tony could hardly prove his innocence on the identity by being in the same place as his bodyguard at any given time,
Enter Eddie March.
A successful boxer with a believable enough repute to be a bodyguard to Tony Stark, Edward March was a man who not only proved his worth in armour but also as a friend and confidante, leading Tony to eventually approve of his use of the armour as the new Iron Man.
Unfortunately, Eddie is now largely remembered for his short, unintentional stint as the second Iron Man villain to be named Freak. Interestingly, the first Freak was also a long time Iron Man ally who briefly wore the armour, too: Happy Hogan.
I know many of you would go ‘no shit’? But I’m not talking about War Machine here, nope. Before he became the hero that he’ll be remembered as, James Rhodes was actually Iron Man.
In Iron Man #170 (1983) when Tony Stark relapsed into alcoholism (what’s new) and was defeated by Magma, Rhodey suited up to become Iron Man for the first time, proving himself to not only be up to the task, but also eventually defeating Magma. His popularity with readers and Marvel eventually got him his own brand and armour as War Machine.
And while movie-watching fans may also remember him as the Iron Patriot, in the comics that honour belongs to…
That’s right, the Norman Osborne… much better known as the Spider-Man foe… Green Goblin! Insert ominous music!
Following the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborne, the Director of H.A.M.M.E.R., utilises Tony Stark’s technology to build himself a Captain America-themed armour. Donning it as the Iron Patriot, Norman Osborne led a team of villains in the guise of heroes as the Avengers.
While we did see Ms Potts armour up momentarily in Iron Man 3, in the comics Pepper was, in fact, given her very own suit of armour!
Although designated as Mark 1616, Pepper renamed the suit Rescue probably due to her tendency of saving Tony’s ass. While the suit possessed great strength—stronger even that the average Iron Man armour—it wasn’t heavy on the weaponry.
A more recent incarnation of the armour, however, is equipped with sonic disruptors, making it a pretty dangerous but non-lethal suit.