War Machine (Character)

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Publisher: Marvel Comics

Created by: David Michelinie and John Byrne

1st appearance: Iron Man #118, 1979

Nationality: American

Aliases: James Rupert Rhodes , Jim Rhodes, Colonel Rhodes, Rhodey, Rhodes, Iron Man

Team Affiliations: United States Marine Corps, Stark Enterprises, Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Iron Legion, Worldwatch Incorporated, Secret Defenders, Force Works, The Crew, Office of National Emergency, Sentinel Squad O*N*E, The Initiative, Team War Machine, Secret Avengers, United States Department of Defense

Legal Status: Unknown

Height: 6’2              Weight: unknown

Eyes: Brown         Hair: Black

Relatives: Unnamed Parents

Skills and abilities: soldier trained in armed and unarmed combat and an accomplished Pilot and aviation engineer.

Powers: None.

Equipment: All Jim’s powers come from his armor. He has the same abilities as Iron man but more weapons and armaments.




James Rupert Rhodes grew up in Philadelphia. As a young man he joined the United States army and served in the Marine Corps. While a combat pilot his plane was shot down by the Viet Cong. In the jungle he met with Tony Stark wearing his first Iron Man Armour, together they destroyed the enemy base and made their escape [Iron Man #144]. Back at camp Tony Stark approached him about becoming Stark’s personal pilot. After the Vietnam War ended he became a mercenary where he traveled the globe. Returning to America he took up Stark’s job offer and became not just Stark’s personal pilot but also Stark International’s chief engineer.


Life as Iron Man

Under the strain of a potential hostile takeover and problems in his personal life Tony Stark relapsed into Alcoholism [Iron Man #167].  When Tony due to intoxication was defeated in battle Rhodes put on the suit to end the threat [Iron Man #168-170]. After this he was given the mantle of Iron Man by Stark and alongside scientist Morley Erwin they secured all Iron Mach techs to prevent it falling into the hands of Stark’s enemies. As Iron MAN he battled The Mandarin, Thunderball, the Zodiac and even the radioactive man. He participated in the Beyonder’s Secret Wars [Iron Man #181-183, Secret Wars #1-8].

Alongside Morley Erwin, her sister Dr. Clytemnestra Erwin, Rhodes planned to create a new electronics based firm in California. To fund this venture he took mercenary jobs [Iron Man #177]. When Tony recovered from being an alcoholic he joined the three to open “Circuits Maximus” a new company. Since the Armour was made for Tony Stark and was tailored to his brainwaves Rhodes suffered from migraines and became more aggressive and erratic [Iron Man #188]. Tensions mounted as Rhodes became paranoid that Stark was trying to retake the Iron Man mantle. He finally had a slight mental breakdown and went on a rampage. Stark had to use another suit of Armour to stop his friend [Iron Man #189-192].

In hope of saving his sanity he approached Dr. Pym/Ant Man/Giant Man for help. Stark took this time to turn in his resignation to the Avengers [Iron Man #194]. Unable to aid him Pym sent Rhodes to Shaman of Alpha Flight who after sending Rhodes on a mystical journey freed him of feelings of guilt and unworthiness of the Iron Man mantle [Iron Man #195-196]. He briefly operated as Iron Man after this until his company was bombed by Obadiah Stane killing Morley and injuring Rhodes. Stark was forced to become Iron Man once more [Iron Man #199-200].

He continued to be a key component of Tony Stark’s business ventures as he helped Tony get back his fortune and build a new company “Stark Enterprises”. He was also instrumental in helping Tony during the original Armour Wars [Iron Man #225-#231]. When Tony was injured he stepped into the Armour once more to battle the Mandarin [Iron Man #267-275].

War Machine

When Stark faked his death James was appointed head of Stark enterprises and given the “the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit” [Iron Man #284]. Upon finding out Stark faked his death their relationship became strained and he quit Stark Enterprises [Iron Man #289]. When Tony was wounded in battled he used “the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit” to aid his friend [Iron Man #291]. Stark allowed him to keep the Armour stating it was always meant to be Rhode’s [Iron Man #291]. He kept the Armour and re-branded himself War Machine [Avengers West Coast #94].

He clashed with another former soldier and war machine user Parnell Jacobs over the mantle. He emerged victorious and started his own salvage company though he later went bankrupt. Before the company went belly up he had invested in Grace & Tumbalt due to their stated purpose of improving urban ethnic neighborhoods. When his sister died he realized that the company was corrupt with tie to the 66 Bridges and funding crime. To combat this he founded “The Crew”along with Kasper Cole and Josiah X.

At the end of the conflict and the start of Dark Reign he vowed to end Norman Osborn’s hold on America. He was badly injured and became a cyborg to survive while a new body was being cloned. He defeated a doomsday device known as Ultimo and manged to have his consciousness transferred to a new body. With Osborn defeated during Siege Captain America recruited him into the secret Avengers.


I'm a Caribbean born Lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; with backgrounds in Philosophy, Social Studies and Geography; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for Islandstage.net where my writing inspired the music compiliation "Kindah" available in multiple languages on Itunes, The Caribbean Journal of Education, The University of the west indies, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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