War Machine Creator Bob Layton Talks about the Evolution of the Character He Created!
Bob talks about War Machine's reason for being in this MTV interview.
War Machine made his first appearance in "Iron Man" #118 with artist John Byrne. Rhodes originally was Tony's friend who helped him escape behind enemy lines later to become best friends and confident. After Layton left Iron Man War Machine took over for Tony Stark as Iron Man. But that was not what Rhodes was created for:
“Part of the problem was that Tony Stark never had a best friend,” Layton explained to MTV News. “He didn't have anyone who he could confide in and share his point of view. We wanted to create someone who was a counterpart to him who didn't have superpowers and wasn't just an employee — somebody that he had a personal relationship with. We felt he needed a human foil there. It was never our intention for him to take over as Iron Man.”
“In fact, when we came back to series, both characters were operating as Iron Man,” continued Layton. “To me, it’s confusing whenever you have more than one super powered character in a story, especially when it’s focused on a single character. It’s Iron Man not Iron Men. In all of our stories, Jim Rhodes was always Tony’s best friend and not Iron Man 2."
Which makes sense. There can only bo one. Despite War Machine becoming his own character and taking a different path then what Bob first intended Bob still supports the development of the character:
“I think the War Machine concept is a lot of fun and I think it’s terrific,” said Layton. “It just wasn't something we subscribed to because we felt that the focus should always be on Tony Stark and his identity as Iron Man. The more Iron Men you have running around, the more we felt it diluted the uniqueness of the character.”
Another good point! Bob goes on to explain how he feels about War Machine in the currant Marvel Universe:
“I know they've turned him into some sort of cyborg,” related Layton. “That’s kind of unfortunate. I saw that Sean Chen — one of my former protégées — had drawn that particular 'War Machine' story. But look, its Marvel’s toys and they can do what they want with them. David and I had a particular take on the character and the way we saw it, but they can do whatever they want. I think the War Machine character is terrific. It turned out to be very popular and as you know, it’s going to be featured prominently in the next ‘Iron Man’ movie.”
It doesnt sound like Bob is over all thrilled about the development that War Machine has ended up taking. But I am, and I think the fans are as well. That Iron Man 2 poster rocks out with both Iron Man and War Machine featured. This movie screams millions of dollars and repeat viewing's!!!
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