What is the Armor Wars storyline in the comics about and how could the MCU version be different? Exploring details

Armor Wars logo for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Image via Marvel Studios)
Armor Wars logo for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Image via Marvel Studios)

The Armor Wars storyline is all set to be adapted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Don Cheadle's James Rhodes will be leading a movie of his own and stepping into the suit of War Machine once more. The original pitch behind the project was a six-episode Marvel series being made for Disney+, but Marvel Studios soon switched it up to a movie.

With Armor Wars, the situation gets kind of tricky as Iron Man in the comics is at the center and heart of the story. It very much focuses on him, and with Tony Stark being dead in MCU, James Rhodes is all set to take up his position, with the possibility of some heavy implications to the comic lore.

With the project now being a thing in the MCU, let's take a look at what the comic story is all about.


Exploring the Armor Wars storyline in the comics

Written by Bob Layton and David Michelinie, the Armor Wars storyline in comics went from Iron Man #225 to Iron Man #232. Running from September 1987 to March 1988, the plot saw Iron Man at the front and center of it, putting him in quite a complicated position that changed Tony Stark's life forever.

The story sees Tony Stark realize that his tech has gotten into the hands of his enemies, and he tries deducing the fact as to how that could have happened and how to put a stop to this.

After battling the criminal called Force, Stark notices quite a few similarities the villain had with his Iron Man armor. Helping and recruiting him, Stark begins to take a look at Force's suit and realizes that indeed a lot of his competitor's tech does resemble his own Iron Man armor.

Deducing as to who all know about his secrets, villains start popping up with similar technology and it is soon revealed that Spymaster stole a bunch of Stark's tech and sold it to Justin Hammer, his rival. Hammer would then sell off the tech to other criminals who would start utilizing it. This would cause Tony to come up with Negator Packs that would destroy any of his stolen tech by just coming in to contact.

Now with Tony Stark being dead in the MCU, there is no way Armor Wars can be done by staying true to the comics, and it looks like that might be the case as Don Cheadle's Rhodey is taking the center stage here. With the concept briefly being touched upon in Iron Man 2 as well with Justin Hammer trying to build his own Iron Man armor, the story never truly fleshed out.

With the MCU going forward, Armor Wars might focus on Rhodey trying to maybe save Tony's legacy by making sure his technology doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Also hopefully a grand return of Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer as well considering the character has been on the sidelines for too long.

Anyway, here is hoping Armor Wars is done justice whenever it releases considering the story has a ton of potential.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury