It appears someone new will don the Iron Patriot armor in September's Captain America #23 – at least, if the just-updated cover is any indication. Originally solicited for June, Marvel has rescheduled Captain America #23 for September 16. And with the new date, Marvel has also unveiled a new cover for the issue featuring an unidentified person wearing the Iron Patriot armor – and holding Captain America's shield.(opens in new tab)
Though it's not exactly clear who the person wearing the Iron Patriot armor is, it does appear to be a woman.
The Iron Patriot armor initially debuted during Marvel's post-'Secret Invasion' era, 'Dark Reign', in which Norman Osborn wore the armor as part of his Dark Avengers team of villainous reflections of well-known Avengers. The suit was later worn by James Rhodes, and most recently was worn by Dr. Toni Ho in the series USAvengers. In this case, with only one glimpse of Alex Ross' rendering of the character's face, it's tough to say if it's an established character or someone totally new to the armor.
The return of Iron Patriot isn't the only thing teased for Captain America #23, which made its way into Marvel's just released September solicitations.
"A restoration! A resurrection! A bit of redemption!" reads the solicitation. "And the return of Cap’s number one foe!"
While Cap's "number one foe" could be the Red Skull – mostly missing in actionsince being killed in Secret Empire after brainwashing Captain America to be an agent of Hydra – his full return hasn't been confirmed.
Current Captain America series writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has teased Red Skull's full return in his run, with the Skull previously revealing his consciousness is psychically inhabiting the body of the villainous Alexander Lukin.