I AM IRON MAN1 of 12This week, Doctor Doom stole a suit of Iron Man armor and took Tony Stark’s place as the armored Avenger. But this is hardly the first time Stark’s been replaced – and it’s not even the first time he’s been replaced by a villain.
The nature of the Iron Man armor means that anyone with training can take Tony's place, and many have. In fact, Tony's young protege Riri Williams is also about to take on an armored identity as Ironheart.
With that in mind, we set out to look at the other people who have operated as Iron Man over the years. Some of them are full-time replacements, some temporary fill-ins, and some – like we said - are even villains.
This isn't a complete list, and it doesn't include alternate futures or What If?-type stories, including gray areas like the Deadpool story that had Wade traveling in time and drunk flying Tony's armor around and which may or may not have taken place, but we digress.
Here's our list of ten people - besides Tony Stark - who have worn the Iron Man armor.
Clarence Ward2 of 12Clarence Ward was a one-time business rival of Tony Stark's who stole a suit of Iron Man armor and used it to kill the entire board of Stark Industries as well as Tony's girlfriend, Rumiko Fujikawa.
Ward's actions led to Stark revoking the military's right to use his armor, and publicly resigning as Iron Man, though he secretly continued operating in the armor afterwards.
Weasel Willis3 of 12Weasel Willis was a two-bit criminal who decided to strike it rich by stealing from Stark Industries, wherein he found Tony Stark's attache case containing his portable Iron Man armor.
Willis went on a bender, quickly learning to use the amor's rudimentary functions and embarking on a crime spree. He baited the real Iron Man into confronting him, where Tony Stark ran down Willis's suit's battery, and trapped him in the non-functioning suit.
Mary Jane Watson4 of 12Peter Parker's ex-wife is currently working for Tony Stark in Invincible Iron Man, and has been seen using parts of his armor - and even donned the Iron Spider suit this week. But her history with the Iron Man suit itself goes back even further.
Mary Jane once donned an old Iron Man suit during Spider-Man's fight with Morlun, helping her then-husband fight his arch-foe.
The Armor Itself5 of 12This is a weird one...
After Tony Stark built a new suit of armor designed to mitigate his increasing health problems, he downloaded the A.I. of Jocasta, the robot bride of Ultron and former Avenger, to help manage the new suit - a move that caused his armor to become sentient, developing a personality and a kind of friendship with its creator.
But the good feelings didn't last. The A.I. went insane, beating Tony senseless and kidnapping him while independently operating as Iron Man. It even built itself a robot body to go inside the suit.
The A.I. begged Tony to "become one with it" (ew), but relented when Tony suffered a heart attack in front of it. It finally decided to prioritize the life of its creator, and ripped out its own artificial heart to give to Stark.
And that wasn't the only consequence of Jocasta's A.I. being implanted in Stark's armor...
Ultron6 of 12Tony Stark and Ultron have a long history together. Tony may not have created the evil A.I. like his cinematic counterpart, but he's had more than his share of run-ins with him, even once being forced to reactivate him through a post-hypnotic suggestion.
When Stark used Ultron’s bride, Jocasta, to reprogram a new suit of armor, it gained sentience and went haywire before being defeated by Stark. Sometime later, the abandoned, once sentient armor bonded with Ultron, who used it as a new body for his conscience.
Iron Lad7 of 12Kang is one of the Avengers' oldest foes, a time-traveling conqueror obsessed with besting Earth's Mightiest Heroes in square combat. But he's had numerous identities of the centuries, including the young hero Iron Lad, a version of Kang from his youth who donned an advanced suit of Iron Man armor to lead the Young Avengers.
This one's kind of a two-fer, as young Kang eventually left the Young Avengers behind to return to his own timeline and left his armor behind, where it was turned into a new body for the consciousness of a rebooted Vision.
The Iron Legion8 of 12The Iron Legion was a group of temporary Iron Man pilots organized by James Rhodes to take down the giant robot Ultimo.
The Legion consisted of Happy Hogan, Bethany Cabe, Eddie March, Mike O'Brien, and Carl Walker. Some of those, like Eddie March and Happy Hogan, were trained by Stark himself to pilot Iron Man armor, while Mike O'Brien and Carl Walker were formerly armored villains, and Bethany Cabe, Stark's longtim security advisor, was a total rookie to wearing the armor.
Pepper Potts9 of 12Pepper Potts is one of Tony's oldest associates, his former lover, his occasional business partner, and one of his most trusted friends, so it's only natural that she's donned the Iron Man armor a few times over the years.
She actually got her own armored identity when a terrorist attack led to the installation of her own arc reactor to save her heart. As Rescue, Pepper was briefly a hero in her own right, using the armors defensive capabilities as a non-destructive answer to Iron Man.
Norman Osborn10 of 12When Tony Stark lost his role as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Secret Invasion, the former Green Goblin Norman Osborn took his job, converting the spy agency into a police force known as H.A.M.M.E.R. But Tony's job isn't the only thing Norman inherited - he also seized Tony's armor.
Osborn repainted the armor to a star-spangled color scheme and started going by the name Iron Patriot, leading a team of his own Dark Avengers comprised of criminals such as Bullseye and Moonstone who had co-opted the identities of longtime Avengers.
Of course, it didn't last. Osborn went nuts (that whole crazy supervillain thing wasn't working in his favor) and his team was taken down by the real Avengers, leaving Osborn in a coma.
James Rhodes11 of 12James Rhodes was Tony Stark's close confidant, best friend, and go to fill-in Iron Man for years. Rhodey was the first person to take the Iron Man role from Tony for an extended period, even fighting in the first Secret Wars and co-founding the West Coast Avengers.
Rhodey kept an armored identity after Stark returned to the Iron Man role, operating as War Machine for years, though he did occasionally return to being Iron Man for brief periods.
Sadly, Rhodey was killed fighting Thanos in the still-ongoing Civil War II.
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