Concept art has been revealed by artist Ryan Meinerding for Iron Man 3, featuring an unused design for the eponymous superhero’s best friend and ally, War Machine.
This design utilizes the more familiar Iron Man suit aesthetic with the color scheme of the War Machine armor. The result is a much sleeker design for Stark’s ally, especially without the bulkier attachments, such as War Machine’s signature shoulder-mounted minigun.
Meinerding stated in the post, “Unused War Machine design from Iron Man 3! I always like the contrast between matte and gloss metallic surfaces in this one.”
The War Machine armor was notably absent from Iron Man 3, replaced by a suit resembling the Iron Patriot armor from the comics in that the armor itself was made sleeker and was painted to resemble the American flag.
The War Machine armor debuted in Iron Man #282 and quickly became the identity most associated with the character of James Rhodes. The Iron Patriot armor debuted in Dark Avengers #1, worn by Spider-Man villain Norman Osborne when he attempted to fool the world into thinking he had reformed. Rhodes did eventually don the Patriot armor in Gambit #13, inspired by his Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart.