Bob Layton posted to Facebook a couple of days ago, after posting a number of related Iron Man piece over recent weeks. He writes "Now it can be revealed! I've been absent from daily commissions because I've been working on this special project: four, double-page spreads of the Iron Man Hall of Iron, measuring 88" x 44 ". The reason I've been posting old prototypes for the last few weeks is because I was also using them for reference. After three long weeks, it's finally done!! Marvel Iron Man #Warmachine" The piece was for someone who Bob Layton dubbed "A now-broke Private Collector".
Bob Layton began his comic book career as an apprentice to Wally Wood, before working for Marvel Comics and DC Comics in the seventies. His best-known role at that time was with David Michelinie as co-writer and artist on Iron Man, with Demon In A Bottle, the introduction of War Machine, and moving into a series of specialised armours for Tony Stark to use in different situations, eventually reuniting on the title again a decade later for the Armor Wars storyline. And it's these periods before he left to become co-founder of Valiant Comics, which is reflected in the commissioned art piece above.
Armor Wars – or rather, Stark Wars – was a seven-issue Iron Man story arc by David Michelinie, Bob Layton, Mark D. Bright and Barry Windsor-Smith that ran in Iron Man #225-#232 back in 1987 and 1988. This time last year, an Armor Wars television series was announced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the streaming service Disney+, with Don Cheadle reprising his role as James Rhodes/War Machine from the Iron Man, Captain America and Avengers movies. And as a result, a lot more attention has been focused towards that time in Iron Man's comic book publishing history.