|“||You have known me as War Machine. Now you know me as Iron Patriot. America is my home. As a wise man once said, our flag--that's the blood of the men who died building this country, and the stars they were looking up to. As Iron Patriot, I carry whem wherever I go.||„|
|~ James Rhodes.|
|“||Look, I can't be in those suits anymore, Tony. They're like coffins to me. But this? A little room to breathe. My hands on the controls. Makes me feel like a pilot again. I should have told you sooner. About everything.||„|
|~ Rhodes to Stark.|
|“||He doesn't want to talk with James Rhodes--fine. He'll just have to take a meeting--with War Machine!||„|
|~ War Machine.|
War Machine (real name James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero who donned the Iron Man armor after Tony couldn't or didn't want to, and later became a armored superhero. War Machine has appeared in many comics and in other media, including in the films comic books set in the Marvel comics and its expanded universe.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is portrayed by Don Cheadle, and was formerly played by Terrance Howard. He was one of the supporting characters in the titular Iron Man film, the deuteragonist in Iron Man 2, and a major character in Iron Man 3.
He was created by John Byrne, David Michelinie, and Bob Layton.
James Rupert Rhodes was born on September 7 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Terrence and Robert Rhodes. At a young age, Rhodes joined the United States Marine Corps and became a oversea pilot. On a mission, he was blasted from the sky, but was able to land in one piece with the help of Tony Stark. Rhodes was reluctant to help Tony Stark, but was convinced by the latter to drain the helicopter's batteries to recharge his armor.
The two traveled to the journey and came upon an enemy base, the duo took a helicopter and destroyed the base. Upon returning on American soil, Stark offered Rhodes a job as a pilot, but he initially declined. After doing other jobs, Rhodes decided to take Stark's offer, and became his personal pilot and chief engineer. While working in Stark Industries, Rhodes aided Stark in fighting against his villains, such as Justin Hammer, Roxxon Oil Company, and Dreadnoughts.
Becoming Iron Man
When Stark became dependent on alcohol after dealing with personal problems, Rhodes donned the armor to protect Stark Industries from Magma. After defeating the criminal, Rhodes intended to return the suit to Tony, but the latter insisted that he keep it so he could enjoy himself. Rhodes then told the Avengers that Iron Man was taking a absence leave, but most members knew that Tony Stark was the armored superhero.
When Captain America and Wasp wanted answers, Rhodes explained why Stark wasn't available. When Obadiah Stane swindled Stark from his property of Stark International, Rhodes succeeded in keeping the armors from the businessman. To obtain funds during this time, Rhodey became a mercenary with Morley Erwin and his sister Clytemnestra, and the trio later worked with Stark in finding Circuits Maximus.
Not interested in wearing the armor once more, Stark grave Rhodey his blessing to become the new Iron Man. After fighting in the Secret Wars, Rhodey was offered to become a member of the West Coast Avengers by Hawkeye, who he believed was the original Iron Man. After proving his worth, Rhodey revealed himself as the new Iron Man.
Despite his success, Rhodey started to hive side effects for wearing the armor, such as headaches. The reason was that the helmet didn't calibrate with his brain patterns, and would cause him to become paranoid and hostile. When Rhodey started to endanger others, Stark was able to make a new armor and stop his rampage, causing the hero to walk away. Rhodes returned to aid Stark in fighting Obadiah Stane, but was injured during the battle.
Though working with Stark at his new enterprise, he was reluctant to wear the armor as Tony returned to his duties. After nearly dying from entering Earth's atmosphere, Rhodey began to suffer from PTSD, and resigned from wearing the Iron Man armor.
Becoming War Machine
After Tony's "death", Rhodey was named the new CEO of Stark Enterprises, and donned the War Machine armor. Despite taking Stark's place in the West Coast, when he learned that his friend was alive, he furiously resigned and severed his friendship with the former. Around the same time, Rhodey began a relationship with Rae LaCoste, and would often help Stark fight villains.
Rhodey traveled to Africa to free peace activist Vincent Cetewayo, and was aided by Cable, Deathlok, and S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Despite his attempt, Cetewayo was killed by Advisor, and continued work with Worldwatch. Rhodes continued to adventure, but was unable to repair his armor, and went back to Stark before the two fought the Mandarin.
While visiting his family in Philadelphia, Rhodey stumbled onto a group of people who were wearing armor, and hunted for sport. He tracked the leader Locomotive Breath to Slorenia, he discovered their atrocities, and alerted the Worldworth and Force Works. Afterward, he was contacted by Sheva, and learned of a rabid faction that was attempting to send modern weapons to Germany in the World War II era. Rhodey followed, meeting a younger Nick Fury, Captain America, and Bucky Barnes, and they succeeded in halting the "Zeitkrieg" despite the loss of the War Machine armor.
While on vacation, Rhodey acquired a new alien suit called the Eidolon Warwear, and a woman named Skye said that he would need it. Hearing that something terrible happened, Rhodey returned to the Avengers, and joined Black Widow and Hawkeye in finding a way to stop Tony Stark. The confrontation changed little, and Rhodey helped Force Works disable weapons, and went into space to disable the STARCORE satellite.
Rhodey found another Eidolon wearer named Dirge, a warrior sent by Kang, but was destroyed while a dying Skye explained things. Eventually, Stark broke Kang's control and sacrificed his life to save his friends. After Tony's death, Rhodey returned to Stark Enterprises, which was bought out by Fujikawa, and his attitude towards Stark changed for the better. Sheva also began to rapidly age and soon died as a side effect of time traveling, and Rhodey was examined with the same conditions. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to quarantine him and study his Eidolon armor, but Rhodey quarreled with them.
Rhodey discovered that Fujikawa was trying to gain access to some of Stark's technology, so he purged the computers of Fujikawa in order to destroy all information about Tony's armor and technology. In doing so, he sacrificed his alien costume by downloading it into the computers and sending it on a "search and destroy" mission.
Rhodey no longer wished to be a superhero, and returned to civilian life to start his own salvage company. When Stark and other heroes return from Counter-Earth, the two renewed their friendship, and dealt with the new War Machine, Parnell Jacobs. Rhodey joined the Crew after learning that Grace & Tumbalt, a company he invested in, was corrupt after investigating the death of his sister Jeanette.
Post Civil War
James was hired by ONE and served as a Direct Command Officer and combat instructor for Sentinel Squad ONE, and participated in the Initiative recruitment and training program after the Civil War. During the Civil War, Rhodey was critically injured, and had his arms, legs, and parts of his face replaced with cybernetic prosthetics.
During the Skrull invasion, Rhodey received a holographic distress signal from Iron Man, and he followed his instructions and took command of a space satellite that he constructed in secrecy. The control pod of the station enabled Rhodey to transform the entire satellite into a giant suit of hi-tech armor, and was able to successfully repel a Skrull armada approaching Earth.
Rhodes left the satellite to confront Anton Aubuisson, a corrupt French Special Forces soldier who was representing the Roxxon Energy Corporation, despite the protest from Endo. Anton had killed Anunquit tribe representatives, as they didn't want an oil pipeline on their land, which was powered by polar bears who were enhanced with Sakarrian control disks. Rhodey managed to destroy the pipeline and Sakarrian staff that was controlling the polar bears, who killed Anton. After Rhodes completed his mission, Endo decided to leave the satellite.
Later on, Rhodes went to Santo Marco to destroy a retrofitted Sentinel used by Eaglestar mercenaries, who wanted to kill the Santo Marcan people who were of the same tribe. After destroying the Sentinel, Rhodes found Parnell Jacobs and recruited him to help reconfigure his bionics to reduce the stress on his system. While this was going on, Bethany Cabe developed a clone body labeled "J. Rhodes, Repro Bod 2.0" to take over because Rhodes' cybernetics were not meant to be a permanent fix. The facility was attacked and the clone was taken by Norman Osborn, and Rhodes with the help of Jacobs and Cabe, invaded the Eagelstar headquarters.
Rhodes defeated the Eaglestar mercenaries, and with the help of Jake Oh, found Glenda Sandoval locked in a box rigged with explosives at an quarantine unit. Rhodey pursued Davis Harmon, who was the CEO of Eaglestar and was responsible for Sandoval's rape and experimenting on her. Before he could kill Harmon, Norman Osborn sent Ares to take care of Harmon, but the God of War decided to fight Rhodes. Rhodes managed to hold off Ares and followed Harmon to another quarantine unit, but Sandoval killed him. Ares opened the unit and it was revealed that the experiments conducted at Eaglestar were test subjects infected with a virus that had the same Ultimo technology found in the bears Rhodey previously saw.
Sandoval was infected with the virus, and attacked Rhodes and Ares, with the latter becoming infected himself. Despite being minutes away from organ failure, Rhodey used his armor to absorb all of the virus from the infected, as he became infected when Sandoval kissed him. After getting rid of the virus by controlling the satellite and saving the others from the virus, Rhodes refused Osborn's offer to has his body be replaced with the clone. In addition, he deduced that the Ultimo technology was developed at an Army Base in America, and it was the last place Ultimo was seen.
Once returning to the states, Rhodes visited his mother and confronted American Eagle, and tricked Eagle into fighting Oh in a copy of the War Machine armor while he attacked Mackelroy Army Base. At the base, Rhodes searched for evidence of the Ultimo technology to use against Osborn, only to find the head of Ultimo began attacking the base as well. After destroying the head with American Eagle, Rhodes learned that Ultimo's brain was split into three components and sent to three private companies for research and development. Rhodes went after Ultimo's neural net while Cabe and Oh tracked the other two components Roxxon and Transcore facilities. Rhodes believed it was Tony Stark who had the neural net, and saw Ronin, Mockingbird, Tigra and Wonder Woman trying to stop Stark, but he had drank the liquid neural net and merged with Ultimo.
During the battle against Ultimo, it was revealed that Tony's cousin, Morgan Stark, was impersonating Tony and breached Rhodes' armor and neural net to give Ultimo the ability to kill. Osborn arrived in his Iron Patriot armor and attacked Rhodes, and tried to communicate with Ultimo to stop his rampage. Rhodes incorporated Osborn's armor and used it to blast the liquid metal form of Ultimo to reconnect with it. Rhodes tried to reason with Ultimo by showing Osborn's human, and after interfacing with Rhodes and Osborn, Morgan was separated from Ultimo. The Ultimo system purged its extermination program to become a clean slate, but Osborn let Rhodes tap into his neural net so he could take the clean state Ultimo orb as his new weapon.
Rhodes and Sandoval tricked Osborn into thinking his health was failing, and Rhodes merged with the H.A.M.M.E.R. vehicle. He freed the Ultimo orb and asked Endo to take it off planet to keep it away from Osborn, and to teach it right from wrong by tapping into the orb's code. Rhodes asked Ronin, Mockingbird, Tigra and Wonder Woman to evacuate the civilians, and battled Osborn, but was defeated by him and his H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. The heroes and Endo managed to upload proof of their targets' crimes after confronting the criminal targets, and Rhodes' plan was carried out, as a security breach of a H.A.M.M.E.R. satellite. The security breach exposed the deeds of the "Bainesville Ten", a group of high-ranking government and industry officials who were responsible for multiple crimes.
Osborn arranged to have Rhodes put on trail at The Hague, but Rhodes was intent on foiling his scheme by getting himself convicted. Rhodes has his team retrieve his clone body and have his mind transferred wirelessly, but Osborn anticipated this and gave the order to kill Rhodes, and fabricated a story to the public that Rhodes' cyborg body was manufactured by Stark and that H.A.M.M.E.R. received the "real" one. However, Rhodes was transferred to his new body before his cyborg one, and he revealed to Osborn that he also had Endo use liquid drops of Ultimo to infect the "Bainesville Ten", causing them to forever see the people who were killed, tortured and raped on their orders.
Now human once again, Rhodes continued to be a hero and went to Oklahoma to aid Tony, who was left in a vegetative state to reboot his brain. Rhodes followed Stark's instructions for a recorded message, extracting wires from Pepper Potts' Rescue suit to connect to Captain America's shield to implant on Stark's chest, which would be started by Thor's lightning. After the Siege on Asgard, Captain America asked some heroes to join his specific teams, and asked Rhodes to join the Secret Avengers, and he accepted.
Rhodey went to work for the U.S. Government as "Iron Man 2.0" by the permission of Tony, who wanted to keep the government from building their own Iron Man without his permission. Tony considered Rhodes because he was the only person he trusted to pilot the suit, and later upgraded the War Machine suit with phasing and invisibility abilities. Rhodey later participated in the Avengers vs. X-Men event, and joined the Avengers in an attempt to destroy the Phoenix Force. The team failed to stop the Phoenix Force, as it wasn't defeated and it found a host once making it to Earth.
War Machine later helped Iron Man when the Mandarin attacked the Three Gorges Dam in China, and Rhodey faked his death after fighting Whirlwind, the Melter and the Living Laser as part of Tony's plan. Afterward, Stark decided to quit being Iron Man and gave Rhodes a new armor to fight off Mandarin's forces. Rhodes came into conflict with Pepper, who noticed the new Iron Man in a high tech suit, and Tony was rescued from the Mandarin after being kidnapped. Once the conflict with the Mandarin was over, Tony took Rhodey's armor from him.
Later on, A.I.M. stole Iron Patriot drones, and the group used the drones to incriminate the United States in international attacks. With the aid of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rhodes was able to communicate with the drones, and made them understand their actions were unacceptable. The drones sent Rhodes a different version of the Iron Patriot Armor after he told them he could teach them, and he helped the Secret Avengers fight A.I.M. on their island.
Rhodes decided to leave the team, but continued to operate as Iron Patriot and moved to Georgia with his father and niece. Afterward, Captain America declared the Illuminati enemies of the Avengers, and Rhodes returned under the authority of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the pilot of a fleet of War Machine Drones. Around this time, Rhodes began a romantic relationship with the superheroine, Carol Danvers.
Second Civil War
War Machine worked with other heroes to stop Thanos from collecting a Cosmic Cube, but was killed by the Mad Titan, who punched through his armor. Rhodes' body was taken to the Triskelion's morgue, and it was later buried at the Arlington Cemetery, and a memorial was held at his hometown in Philadelphia. Rhodes' death was one of the many factors that sparked the second Civil War, at it was fought over using Ulysses Cain, who had visions and could see the future.
Tony opposed the idea while Carol endorsed it, causing the two to fight with Tony being fatally injured during their battle. The genetic modifications Tony subjected himself in order to run his armor saved his life, and fell into a coma until his biological system rebooted itself.
After his biological system rebooted itself, Tony theorized that something similar could've happened to Rhodes. Stark exhumed Rhodes' body and performed the procedures to kick start his biological system, returning him back to life. Rhodes joined Stark for Stark Unlimited, and served as a liaison with the U.S. Armed Forces. Despite being gifted a new suit of armor, Rhodey admitted to having a fear of armoring up again, as he still suffered from trauma due to his past experiences with the armor.
Rhodes found an alternative in the Manticore, a multi-purpose weaponized vehicle that allowed Rhodes to continue to fight. Rhodes aided Iron Man when Ultron returned and wanted to transform humanity into cyborgs, but was confronted with a dark reflection of his past in the form of Ultron's cyborg test subjects. He suffered from a panic when fighting them, and when Tony had to leave the fight when Ultron merged with Stark's armor, Rhodes called his armor to fight against Ultron. After Ultron's attack, Tony's company was seized up by his adoptive brother Arno Stark, and Rhodes resigned, due to being displeased with new management.
Powers and Abilities
Cybernetics: Rhodes was rebuilt as a cyborg by Tony Stark after receiving critical injuries overseas. His new body was made of virbranium and titanium cyberware, and provided new features for him.
- Eidetic Memory: Rhodey possessed computer-like data storage and retrieval memory, allowing to him recall everything he'd seen or experienced with his cybernetics.
- War Machine Super Armor: His war machine armor was now an exo-frame built around his cybernetic components. It maintained the basic weapon systems, but now it could expand itself with a number of retractable armaments through Jim's body.
- Technoforming: He was capable of assimilating machinery and technology, importing outside systems to his armor at will. This allows him to rebuild himself, or place himself on machinery and technology, being able to use raw materials to create new legs, or place his torso on a tank.
- Power Supply: He use to rely on his armor to survive, as his organic body relied upon the cybernetic life support implanted, and he needed to keep his suit charge in order to maintain his health.
- Intelligence: Rhodes has shown himself to be intelligent and tactical, as he was able stop Norman Osborn and the "Bainesville Ten" during the time he had his cybernetic powers.
- Military Training: After joining the United States Armed Forces, Rhodey received training in the forms of combat and piloting.
- Leadership: Rhodes is capable leader, being able lead his own team to stop the Ultimo Technology and Norman Osborn. In addition, he was the CEO of Stark Industries once, and later became the leader of the War Machine and Iron Patriot Drones.
- Expert Pilot: He is a skilled helicopter pilot, and is capable of maneuvering most if not all of Iron Man's armors.
- Expert Engineer: He studied to become a aviation engineer.
- Skilled Combatant: Rhodes' military training made him a very skilled hand-to-hand combat.
- Marksmanship: As a result of his military training, Rhodey was skilled marksman.
- Survival Skills: He can survive harsh conditions and environments due to his military background.
War Machine Armor: Created as a body armor to contain various offensive and defensive weaponry. Though he originally donned the Iron Man armor, he later received his own suit and adopted his own identity as the War Machine.
- Flight: The armor can fly and travel at supersonic speeds.
- Superhuman Strength: He was capable of lifting between 85-100 tons when wearing the suit.
- Superhuman Speed: The armor enables the wearer to move and react at high speeds.
- Superhuman Durability: The armor is capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of punishment and attacks, being able to withstand caliber bullets, rockets, and torpedo's with ease.
- Energy Conversion Power Recharge: The armor is able to convert nearby energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy into electricity.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System & Environmental Protection: The armor can be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, providing its own life support, and shielded against radiation.
- Invisibility: After Tony upgraded the War Machine armor, Rhodes was capable of turning invisible, and being able to phase through objects.
- Repulsor Rays: The armor can fire particle beams from the palm gauntlets, which can repel physical and energy based attacks.
- Unibeam: A powerful searchlight that is capable of releasing beams from the light spectrum, allowing War Machine to destroy anything standing in his way.
- Lasers: His armor has lasers, which can be used as weapons or to weld things.
- Magnetism: Like Tony's other suits, Rhodes' armors can generate magnetic fields to pull or push metal objects. It can be also assumed that that Rhodes' armors also have anti-magnetism, the ability to negate magnetism.
- Gatling Gun: The armor has multiple weapons, including the gatling gun, an automatic machine gun that is on the armors right shoulder, that shoots many bullets simultaneously.
- Rocket Launcher: An automatic missile launcher on his left shoulder, it fires a variety of missiles of any type.
- Minatare Heat Seeking Missiles: A small version of the heat seeking missile, it can hit targets that emit heat signatures.
Eidolon Warwear: An battle suit created by the ancient race of warriors, Eidolons, Rhodes wore the armor when on vacation.
- Adaptation: The could quickly adapt to the environment and dangerous conditions, being able to seal itself against the vacuum of space.
- Flight: The suit could fly via the "slipstream", allowing the wearer to fly fast. In addition, the suit was suited for interstellar travel.
- Force Fields: The suit could manifest a protective force field.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: The suit was capable of healing injuries, being able to heal the suit and the wearer.
- Remote Drones: The armor could produce remote drones that could morph into weapons, probes and other devices as the owner desired.
- In The Invincible Iron Man, he was voiced by Rodney Saulsberry.
- In Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, he was voiced by James C. Mathis III, who would voice the character again in Marvel Heroes, and by Hiroki Yasumoto in the Japanese version. Mathis also voiced Donald Anderson and Black Panther, as Yasumoto voiced Yasutora Sado.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- James Rhodes appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Iron Man where he is played by Terrence Howard and is the tritagonist of that film. He also appears as the tritagonist of both Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 where in both films, he is played by Don Cheadle. Cheadle reprised the role as a supporting hero in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, having a small role in Captain Marvel, and became a tritagonist in Avengers: Endgame.
- Howard would voice the character in the Sega video game Iron Man, as Cheadle voiced the character in Iron Man 2, and Lego Marvels Avengers.
- In the 1990s Iron Man animated series, he was voiced by the late James Avery and Dorian Harewood. Avery also played Phillip Banks, and voiced War Machine again in Spider-Man. Harewood also voiced Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and voiced War Machine again in The Incredible Hulk.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, he was voiced by Daniel Bacon.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show, he was voiced by LeVar Burton, who also played Kunta Kinte and Geordi LaForge.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, he was voiced by Bumper Robinson, who also voiced Cyborg, and who would voice War Machine again in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- In Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, he was voiced by Hidenori Takahashi.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom, he was voiced by Wayne Ward.
- In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, he was voiced by Nolan North, who also voiced Nathan Drake, Desmond Miles, Edward Richtofen, Deadpool, and many others. North would voice the character again in Marvel Super Hero Squad.
- In Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, he was voiced by Alimi Ballard.
- In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, he was voiced by Phil LaMarr, who also voiced Samurai Jack, Kit Fisto, Bail Organa, Rick Grimes, and Kotal Kahn.
- In Marvels Avengers Academy, he was voiced by Adande Thorne.
- His blood type is AB Positive.
- Ranked 31st in IGN's "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012.
- His armor was created by Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood.
- Rhodey is decorated with the Purple Heart and Medal of Freedom.
- His notable romantic relationship in the comics is with Carol Danvers.
- On Nick Fury's intel, Rhodes' power level was seven when wearing the Mandroid armor, and level eight when wearing the War Machine armor.