Iron Patriot: From Comic to Movie
April 21, 2013

Iron Patriot: From Comic To Movie

The anticipated Marvel movie, Iron Man 3, comes out in less than a month. There is much to look forward in the movie as seen in the trailers and posters. Some things to look forward to are the introduction of the villain, the Mandarin, most likely a continuation of Tony Stark’s romance with Pepper Potts, and a superbly large arsenal of varying Iron Man suits. By far, one of the most intriguing suits shown in the Iron Man 3 movie posters is the Iron Patriot, as used by Jim Rhodes, commonly referred to by Stark as “Rhodey.”

But wait… Rhodes is Iron Patriot?

Those who have read the comics recently are understandably confused. The Iron Patriot was originally introduced in the crossover storyline “Dark Reign”, worn by no other than Norman Osborn. Yes, the same Norman Osborn that’s more well-known as Spider-man’s arch-nemesis, Green Goblin. For those unfamiliar with “Dark Reign,” it follows the crossover “Secret Invasion,” in which Norman Osborn (through treachery of course) saves the Earth from the Skrull. As a result of his “heroic efforts,” the government gives him control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, more importantly, makes him leader of the Avengers.

Indeed, the “Dark Reign” crossover is beyond bizarre and the summary provided is more than enough for many to double-check what they have just read; despite that, what is more intriguing is that we went from Norman Osborn wearing the Iron Patriot suit in the comics to Jim Rhodes wearing it in Iron Man 3. How did this change come about? Does it signify something? Did the director just throw the comics out the window and go with his own ideas?

Of course, the following is mostly speculation, but I doubt the director completely ignored the comics. As previous movies have already proven, the “movie-verse” is not an exact replica of the “main Marvel universe” or “Ultimate-verse” (the “Ultimate-verse” is essentially a parallel universe of the “main Marvel universe” which does not strongly follow the original’s storylines and often overly complex history). The “movie-verse” is unique within its own rights and generally looks to both other universes for inspiration while also creating unique variances. However, that being said, it is quite a jump from Norman Osborn, a well-known and notorious super-villain, to Jim Rhodes, the well-respected War Machine.

The Iron Patriot, when used by Norman Osborn, was supposed to be a symbol of a brighter future, yet the reader could see the suit was being used manipulatively to further evil purposes. It is highly possible that the Iron Patriot suit may fulfill a similar role in Iron Man 3, with the government using Rhodes as Iron Patriot to show that they are protecting America, not to be outdone by the Avengers (since the events of Iron Man 3 directly follow the events of the Avengers movie). Simply put, there is a possibility that Rhodes may take on a more antagonistic role; but again, this is merely speculation and I cannot say for sure without spoilers. While the man in the suit may have changed drastically, there is a large possibility for the director to maintain some of the original suit’s notoriety while highlighting it in a new perspective.

The Iron Patriot is for sure something to watch out for in theatres May 3rd. It will be interesting to see how the role of one suit changes from paper to screen, but don’t stress; there will be many other suits to amaze us all; whether it’s the latest suit used by Tony or even Rescue, Pepper’s personal suit as shown in the official trailers. Whether hero or protagonist, we can be certain that the Iron Patriot’s role will be unforgettable, much like its comic counter-part.

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