The War Machine armor first appeared in a cameo in Iron Man Vol 1. issue 281 and fully in Iron Man Vol.1. issue 282 (1992).
Variable Threat Response Battle Suit
constructed the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit (AKA War Machine Armor) to combat the Masters of Silence, a trio of warriors with armor designed to negate Stark's standard Iron Man Weapon Systems.
Stark was later forced to faked his death due to a lethal virus and he left his best friend, James Rhodes a modified War Machine Armor built specifically for him.
After Rhodey lost the War Machine Armor and upgraded to the Eidolon Warwear, a version fell into the hands of an associate of his, Parnell Jacobs.
- Wrist-mounted twin barrel cannons, flamethrower, energy blade and force shield generator
- Shoulder-mounted Gatling gun, rocket launcher and portable particle cannon
- Unibeam Projector (Rhodey Version only)
The armor is twice the thickness of Iron Man's armor and is also been fitted with a hyper-refractory polyprismatic coating to defend itself from laser attacks.
Stark designed an armor for Rhodey to use while training the Sentinel Pilots of O.N.E.
- Pulsar Beams fired from the palms
- Blaster fired from the eyes and chest armor
- Sonic emitters
- Missile Launchers
- Non-lethal weapons (nets, smoke bombs)
- Mutant power countermeasures
The Sentinel armor is constructed from a chemical combination of steel and fiberglass, created by Mr Fantastic.
War Machine Mk III (Stanetech)
During his time as the field commander at Camp Hammond, Rhodey donned an upgraded version of the War Machine armor.
When Rhodey was severely injured, he needed to be in life support and cybernetic implants were required to placed in him combine his current Starktech War Machine and Obadiah Stane's reverse engineered technology derived from the Iron Man armor he stole from the past.
- Variable Armaments
- Stanetech technology that renders him immune to Starktech systems attacks
- The armor is made from a mixture of titanium and vibranium from stealth purposes. It can interface from other systems and and can physically integrate mechanical constructs to repair and even upgrade itself such as fusing itself to a fighter jet or a tank.
Iron Man 2.0
After the Stanetech suit was damaged beyond repair, Rhodes was given an upgraded suit. The new armor emphasized stealth and speed over firepower, and thus did away with most of the large guns seen on the previous War Machine armors. It possessed a "Chameleon Mode," which allowed the suit to become functionally invisible, as well as a Ghost feature that allowed it to become intangible.
During the Avengers' war against the Illuminati, it is shown that the heroes have developed advanced War Machine drones to help combat their enemies. The drone appear to have all of the capabilities of the Stanetech War Machine armor, but are operated from a remote location without the use of a physical pilot.
The drones are dispatched to capture Amadeus Cho after he breaks into Avengers Tower.
In Other Media
- The War Machine armor is prominently featured in Iron Man: The Animated Series. The suit's design was heavily based on the suit seen in the 90s comics, though the shoulder cannons were different. When the show underwent a radical redesign in Season 2, the suit's primary color changed from black and silver to a blue and gray color scheme. This same iteration of the suit also appeared when War Machine guest-starred in The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the latter of which featured a slight design tweak that incorporated more comic-accurate shoulder cannons.
- The War Machine armor is featured in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. It is larger and even more heavily armed than most previous depictions, and was designed with more of an emphasis on combat than any of the previous Iron Man suits. Near the end of the first season, James Rhodes finds the suit after Tong attacks the lab and destroys most of Tony's other armors, and continues using it in Season 2.
- The War Machine armor appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The design is similar to the movie version of the suit.
- War Machine appears in several installments of the Japanese Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series. The armor in the game is a palette swap of the modular armor that Iron Man was using in the comics and TV show at the time, and thus is unique to the game. It lacks most of the heavy ornamentation from the comics, but does display the ability to fire large amounts of rockets, laers and missiles during War Machine's special moves. There is also a gold variant of the armor that is more resistant to damage and has a larger arsenal of missiles.
- A variant of the classic 90s War Machine armor (with a triangular chest piece added onto the front of the suit) appears as an alternate costume for Iron Man in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.
- War Machine appears as a playable character in Marvel Heroes 2015, with his Initiative armor appearing as his primary look. His Iron Patriot, Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War armors appearing as alternate costumes.
- The War Machine armor appears in Marvel Future Fight, with the Iron Patriot, Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War armors appearing as alternate costumes.
The War Machine armor shows up in the film. It is piloted by Tony Stark rather than James Rhodes (who does not appear in the movie). It is more powerful than the standard Iron Man armor and has much more weaponry, but because of that, is slower and less maneuverable (with Jarivs sarcastically remarking that the suit handles like 10 tons of tractor). Tony dons the suit in order to fight off the invading Chitauri army in Wakanda.
The War Machine armor makes its debut in this film. Its origin differs somewhat from the comics, as here, it is developed from the Iron Man MK II armor after James Rhodes confiscates it from Tony Stark. Justin Hammer upgrades the suit by adding in a black paint job and a number of armaments, including a shoulder mounted gun and numerous other weapons throughout the body.
The prequel comic Iron Man 3 Prelude later reveals that Rhodes gave the armor back to Stark after the battle with Whiplash, and that Tony removed all of Hammer's alterations before placing the suit in permanent storage.
In the sequel, Rhodes is shown porting a much sleeker, more advanced version of the War Machine armor. This suit does away with the bulkier design of its predecessor in favor of a more streamlined look. The new armor is repainted and christened as the Iron Patriot suit after focus group data determines that the public thinks of War Machine as "too threatening" a name. Though the armor is never seen in its original War Machine form in the film itself, it can be glimpsed in official concept art and various forms of merchandise for the movie.
This same suit of armor appears in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, now dubbed the War Machine Mark II. Presumably due to the negative publicity garnered after the Iron Patriot armor was used in an attempt to assassinate President Ellis, the patriot color scheme has been done away with. Rhodey wears the War Machine armor during the final battle, where he helps destroy Ultron's various bodies.
Another new War Machine armor, the Mark III, debuts in Captain America: Civil War. This version once again has a bulkier, more tank-like build, but is much more technologically advanced than the one seen in Iron Man 2. The new suit also has an additional shoulder attachment that can be detached and used as a melee weapon, as well as sonic weapons that can non-lethally incapacitate enemies.
War Machine receives yet another new suit in Avengers: Infinity War. This is apparently the most heavily armed War Machine armor to date, and contains a large amount of transformable weaponry.
Following a 5-year timeskip, Rhodey now wears the War Machine Mark VI. The suit has a sleeker design, and is upgraded with special Pym Particle capabilities that allow it to travel through time via the Quantum Realm. The suit is badly damaged when Thanos attacks Avengers HQ, causing Rhodey to don the Mark VII armor, which is much more heavily armed and sports the Iron Patriot colors.
- Toy Biz produced a number of figures showing War Machine in his classic suit.
- Hasbro produced a number of War Machine figures featuring both his comic book and movie designs.
- Hot Toys released War Machine figures depicting the armors seen in Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
- Several iterations of War Machine have been featured in kits from Lego.
- Sever iterations of the War Machine armor were featured in the S.H. Figuarts line from Bandai.