Marvel Comics released a teaser image for an unnamed project yesterday that seemed to mix two of their iconic characters together, asking "Who is the Iron Patriot?" We've got the full image, plus our guess on the answer (Spoiler: It's probably not Tony Stark), under the jump.
The silhouette - that appears to give Iron Man the chest symbol of Captain America - isn't the first time that Marvel has teamed a mash-up of the two characters; teasing the aftermath of 2006's Civil War (which pit the two characters against each other), the publisher leaked this image as a teaser, without explanation:
(It was, ultimately, a re-colored version of the cover to a Civil War epilogue comic that featured a regularly-colored Iron Man; this re-colored version ultimately saw print as the cover of a What If? Civil War comic almost a year later.) This time, our money is on this image being tied to the Dark Reign storyline that follows Marvel's current Secret Invasion series, and promises "a new dynamic" to the Marvel Universe; one that includes a new comic called Dark Avengers, the cancellation of the Iron Man: Director of SHIELD series - perhaps because Tony Stark is no longer in charge of the spy organization? - and a new Punisher series that apparently sees him hunt superheroes. Our guess? This isn't Tony Stark, Captain America or even James Rhodes (He'll be busy in his new War Machine series come December), but a new character connected, in some way, to both the "Dark" Avengers and the new director of SHIELD - and that he, the "Dark Reign" and the "Dark Avengers" will be something to do with a neo-con allegorical rule in the Marvel Universe following the successful defeat of Secret Invasion's aliens. We'll have to wait longer than expected to see whether we're right or not; Secret Invasion's final issue has been pushed back two weeks, and will now appear mid-December.