Top Five Substitute Super Heroes

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3. James Rhodes as Iron Man

To the public, Iron Man was Tony Stark’s bodyguard. Little did they know that Stark was Iron Man, and the real person covering his backside was Rhodes. This was never more true than when Stark lost his battle with the bottle, succumbing to alcoholism and leaving Rhodey as Iron Man.

Similar to the Masterson Thor, part of the fun was seeing Rhodey overcome his initial self-doubt. There were complications within the Avengers as well, with Rhodes wondering if he should come clean about the fact that there was a different man inside the suit.

Rhodey’s timing was also good, since he got to be the Iron Man who participated in Secret Wars. Plus it’s easy to forget that when the War Machine armor was created, the man who wore it was still technically Iron Man at the time. Even long after he had graduated to being War Machine full time, Rhodes got one last (?) run as Iron Man in the super cool black armor cooked up by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca in 2012.

All told, a darn good substitute job if there ever was one. Who knows where Tony would be without Rhodey?