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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.

War Machine (James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in comic books set in the Marvel Comics universe. He was one of the supporting characters in Iron Man.

He was created by John Byrne, David Michelinie, and Bob Layton.

Biography

Early Life

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.

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.

Powers and Abilities

Former Powers

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.

Abilities

  • Military Training:
  • 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.

Former Equipment

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.
  • Repulsor Rays: The armor can fire particle beams from the palm gauntlets, which can repel physical and energy based attacks.
  • Unibeam:
  • Lasers:
  • Magnetism:
  • Gatling Gun:
  • Rocket Launcher:
  • Minatare Heat Seeking Missiles:

Portrayals

Film

  • 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.

Television

  • 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.

Video Games

  • 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.

Gallery

Trivia

  • His blood type is AB Positive.
  • Rhodey is decorated with the Purple Heart and Medal of Freedom.
  • His notable romantic relationship in the comics was with Carol Danvers.

Navigation

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