For the remainder of our feature, we’re taking a look at characters whose onscreen looks don’t differ substantially enough to warrant the full Photoshop treatment—but they still saw plenty of changes from the page to the screen. We’ll start with the character otherwise known as ‘gray Iron Man’: War Machine, whose look has always been a variation on Tony Stark’s unused or modified armor designs. So if the universe has an Iron Man, War Machine is going to be his imperfect twin, probably decked out with more guns and a more serious color scheme. The MCU War Machine is straight out of the pages of the comics, but the later Iron Patriot armor is a different story.
In Iron Man 3, Rhodey’s armor is repainted simply to give the American people, now doubting the allegiance of super powered beings, a sense of comfort and trust. In the comics, the first time the Iron Patriot armor is worn is by Norman Osborn, better known as the Green Goblin, who has managed to take over HAMMER, which had previously replaced SHIELD. Osborn is, of course, a completely insane leader of the organization, though the armor did provide an extra layer of protection, both physically and from public scrutiny. How could anyone waving an American flag possibly be evil?