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Iron Man 2By far one of the most notable moments in the "Iron Man 2" trailer that arrived in March was the debut of Tony Stark's briefcase armor, a longtime element of the hero's history and a valuable tool in his arsenal of high-tech armor.

Veteran "Iron Man" artist Bob Layton, who along with writer David Michelinie was responsible for some of the character's best-loved tales and landmark moments (the celebrated "Demon in a Bottle" storyline and the introduction of characters Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes and Justin Hammer, for example), told MTV News he was just as surprised as anyone when he saw the briefcase armor debut — except he saw it almost half a year ago and had to keep it a secret until now.

Speaking with me during this weekend's C2E2 convention in Chicago, Layton recalled his visit to the set of "Iron Man 2" last summer, which included a surprise introduction to the new armor, which just so happens to be colored in the familiar "Silver Centurion" red-and-silver pallet he used throughout a significant portion of his run on the comic. Read More...

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Iron Man 2EDITOR'S NOTE: With "Iron Man 2" just a few months away from hitting theaters, MTV News contacted War Machine co-creator Bob Layton to discuss the character's upcoming debut on the big screen. The conversation covered a wide range of subjects that we're rolling out this week in a four-part series — concluding with Layton's thoughts on some "Iron Man 2" casting rumors and what might be in store for "Iron Man 3."

As one of the definitive “Iron Man” creative teams, it’s not surprising that several concepts from Bob Layton and David Michelinie’s “Iron Man” run will be prominently featured in the upcoming “Iron Man 2” While Justin Hammer's presence (as played by Sam Rockwell) has long been confirmed, Layton was recently able to address the rumor that Kate Mara was cast as Bethany Cabe in the movie.

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Iron Man 2EDITOR'S NOTE: With "Iron Man 2" just a few months away from hitting theaters, MTV News contacted War Machine co-creator Bob Layton to discuss the character's upcoming debut on the big screen. The conversation covered a wide range of subjects that we're rolling out this week in a four-part series — continuing with today's tale of his "Iron Man 2" set visit and the disagreement he moderated while he was there.

Longtime “Iron Man” writer and artist Bob Layton is recognized as one of the most signi
ficant creators to chronicle Tony Stark’s adventures, so it's probably no surprise that he was called upon to help settle a creative disagreement between director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. during his visit to the “Iron Man 2” set last summer.

“When I first got on the set, there was a dispute going on between Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. about [Jim Rhodes’] character,” Layton explained to MTV News. “That’s how I was introduced to them. It was like, ‘here’s the guy who helped created the character, why don’t we ask him?’" Read More...

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Iron Man 2EDITOR'S NOTE: With 2009 behind us and "Iron Man 2" just a few months away from hitting theaters, MTV News contacted War Machine co-creator Bob Layton to discuss the character's upcoming debut on the big screen. The conversation covered a wide range of subjects that we're rolling out this week in a four-part series — continuing with today's discussion of Jim Rhodes' debut in the first "Iron Man" and the switch from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle for the sequel.

Over the last 30 years, Bob Layton and David Michelinie have earned a reputation as one of the definitive “Iron Man” creative teams. And according to Layton, his status preceded him when he met Robert Downey Jr. on the set of “Iron Man 2” last summer.

“When I was on the set of ‘Iron Man 2’, Robert Downey Jr. was like 'What did you think? Were you happy?'" Layton told MTV News. “He was so concerned with whether we were pleased with his performance as the character. I told him, ‘Dude, you knocked it out of the park! You were amazing.’" Read More...

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Iron Man 2EDITOR'S NOTE: With 2009 behind us and "Iron Man 2" just a few months away from hitting theaters, MTV News contacted War Machine co-creator Bob Layton to discuss the character's upcoming debut on the big screen. The conversation covered a wide range of subjects that we're rolling out this week in a four-part series — starting with today's chat about the origins of War Machine and the man under the armor, James "Rhodey" Rhodes.

In over 40 years of “Iron Man” comics, few creators have been more influential than Bob Layton and David Michelinie. The long-time collaborators have co-written almost 100 issues of “Iron Man” over the course of the series.

Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes (a.k.a. War Machine) is perhaps their most significant contribution to the “Iron Man” mythos. Created in "Iron Man" #118 with artist John Byrne, Rhodes was originally introduced as a soldier who helped Tony Stark escape from behind enemy lines before going on to become his best friend and confidant. After Layton and Michelinie left the series for the first time, Rhodes eventually took over the role of Iron Man for a time. However, Rhodes was never intended as replacement for Stark, according to Layton. Read More...

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'Freemind'Chalk up "Freemind" as one of the latest comic book series to make a serious move toward the big screen. Producer David Uslan (son of longtime "Batman" film franchise producer Michael Uslan) has told MTV News that award-winning director David Nutter has officially signed on to helm a big-budget adaptation of the 2002 Future Comics series.

Nutter, best known as an "X-Files" director and producer who went on helm pilots for a long list of successful television series including "Smallville," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Supernatural," is also a multiple Emmy Award nominee for his work on "The Sopranos" and "Band of Brothers" -- the last of which won him the prestigious award in 2002. The adaptation of "Freemind" is expected to be his first big-budget feature film.

"[Nutter] is a very character-driven director," said Uslan, who's producing the film with Marc Rosen of Rosen/Obsts Productions and Robert Keyghobad. "This was a very non-comics comic book, based purely around a character -- so he's the perfect person for it." Read More...

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