Comic Legends: Was War Machine's Armor Based on a 'What If..?' Story?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-seventh week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week's legends.


War Machine's armor was based on an armor worn by the Punisher in a What If...? issue.



Recently, I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed about whether Len Kaminski was inspired to come up with the idea for Iron Man's "War Machine" armor based on a rejected pitch by Dwayne McDuffie for an Iron Man/Punisher miniseries where the Punisher would have stolen Iron Man's armor and painted it white and black and added a skull to it.

The answer to that was, "No," but then a few different readers wrote in to ask about whether another comic book could have been an influence.

In 1991, George Caragonne, Ron Wilson and Ralph Cabrera wrote a nice two-part story in What If..? #28 and #29. The first issue was about What If Captain America had led a bunch of Super-Soldiers during World War II. However, the twist is that Captain America was replaced at one point by the Red Skull who impersonated Captain America and took over the world.

The second issue in the story showed the real Captain America return. He forms the Avengers. One of the members of the team is Frank Castle, who was Iron Man in this world. His armor looks like the Punisher (or War Machine).

In any event, I asked Len about it and he quickly dismissed the idea. He felt that a simple "no" wasn't enough, so he told me more information. However, I figure I will save that for a future legends column. Suffice to say, this legend is a quick no.

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Did The Santa Clause inadvertently have a sex line number in it?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here's my most recent book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine's armor).

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

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Here's my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. -- half of them are re-worked classic legends I've featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it...

If you'd like to order it, you can use the following code if you'd like to send me a bit of a referral fee...

See you all next week!

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