MCU canon is a baby, comics canon is big old beast, new fans (especially young ones) are especially impressionable. Stony has been around for ages and their fans are way louder than anyone else. There’s so many fanworks, meta posts and fanfics… I hate to say it but it’s a classic case of unintentional indoctrination by the 616 side of fandom. Then new fans joined b/c of Avengers. Stony, Sciencebros, Pepperony and Frostiron exploded. But Rhodey/Tony’ had no new activity thus no exposure.
Racism likely has a significant effect on Rhodey/Tony’s popularity. But the influx of fans from movie and movie and the acitivty level of each ship are very large factors that can’t be ignored.
I understand what you’re saying, but…you’re kind of working off of a flawed premise here?
FAIR WARNING there is going to be unflattering talk about fandom and our popular ships and characters under here. none of this is a reflection on the individual shippers here, but if your first reaction upon hearing that tony/rhodey’s lack of popularity is something along the lines of “well I’M not racist, I don’t hate black people how dare you imply” please understand that’s not what I’m saying here. internalized racism does not just mean hatred, it means dismissal, and the unwillingness to devote as much attention to non-white characters.