James Rupert Rhodes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He first met Tony Stark while flying combat missions in Vietnam. Rhodes' helicopter had been shot down by Viet Cong rocket fire, and while trying to get the aircraft airborne again, he encountered Stark in a bulky prototype suit of powered armor. At that moment the Viet Cong attacked, and Stark, in his suit, helped to drive them off. Together, Rhodes and Stark made their way to a nearby enemy base where they stole another helicopter, flying it back to the American lines.
After the end of the Vietnam War, Stark, who had secretly become the superhero named Iron Man, offered Rhodes a job as his personal pilot, and Rhodes soon became one of Stark's closest associates and confidants as well as Stark Industries' chief aviation officer. As a result, he had numerous adventures with his employer where his daring and skills were valuable assets. When Tony relapsed into his alcoholism, James Rhodes took over the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit (War Machine). James Rhodes took up the mantle of Iron Man for some time, and would return to using this suit.
James Rhodes was created by Bob Layton and David Michelinie and first appeared in Iron Man Vol.1 issue 118 (1979). 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. James Rhodes first became War Machine in Iron Man Vol.1 issue 284.
Major Story Arcs
West Coast Avengers
As Iron Man, Rhodes helped found the Avengers West Coast, and was present during the group's battle with Graviton. He left the group after Stark reclaimed the Iron Man identity, but briefly returned to assist the team when Quicksilver framed both groups of Avengers for treason.
Years later, Rhodes returned to the team as War Machine. As an Avenger, he combated such foes as Doctor Demonicus and the Pacific Overlords, and took part in the fateful battle against Satannish and the Lethal Legion. Things took a bad turn after Mockingbird's death, and War Machine ended up resigning from the Avengers in anger due to his then-ongoing feud with Tony Stark. The team itself disbanded a short while later.
During the Time Wars, James Rhodes traveled back to World War II with Sheva Josephs to stop Grinz, a Nazi officer who was receiving advanced technology from the future. Rhodes learned that Grinz was supplied by his own son, Raeder. Rhodes killed Grinz to prevent Raedar from being born; the resulting paradox shunted Rhodes and Joseph back to their own time, It was then that James Rhodes lost the War Machine Armor and was forced to retire from the superhero business.
It was during a fishing trip, trying to relax, that an alien race came to Rhodey and bonded him with the symbiotic alien suit, known as the Eidolon Warwear. The Eidolon Warwear System was a gift from unknown aliens who apparently wished to give the world a defender for Earth's coming battle with Kang The Conqueror. The black, orange and green battlesuit was an organic partner that sensed Rhodey's heroic nature and drew him near so that it could organically bond with him. When Stark died during a battle with Kang The Conqueror, Rhodes rejoined Stark Enterprises to protect his old friend's legacy. To prevent Stark's armor technology from being misused, he used the abilities of the Eidolon Warwear armor to erase all trace of Stark's designs from the Fujikawa systems, but the armor was destroyed in the process. Rhodes gave up his superhero career and started his own salvage company. Upon Stark and the other heroes' return from Counter-Earth, the two renewed their friendship, also dealing with the new War Machine, Parnell Jacobs.
He would take a break from heroics for a while, Rhodes founded his own marine salvage company, but an extravagant lifestyle and an unscrupulous accountant left him bankrupt. Rhodes had heavily invested in Grace & Tumbalt due to their stated purpose of improving urban ethnic neighborhoods. While investigating the death of his sister Jeanette, he learned the company was corrupt, using their resources to fuel gangs and drugs. He would then form a team of superheroes called "The Crew." The team consisted of The White Tiger, Junta, and Josiah X, the son of the 1940’s super-soldier Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America. Rhodes used part of a prototype War Machine armor to face off with Triage, the head of the 66 Bridges, and the gang was dispersed by Rhodes and his allies.
After the House of M incident, he would guard the mutants as the commanding officer and head combat instructor for Sentinel Squad O*N*E* and as a key member of the Office of National Emergency, using an Iron Man like armor that took advantage of sentinel technology, he would start controlling one of the large Sentinel suits after Tony Stark designed a "War Machine" model. He would drop the Sentinel armor and return to his superhero duties once the The Initiative went into effect. Jim Rhodes is back in the War Machine Armor for the first time in over 4 years and is the Field Commander of Camp Hammond and one of the head trainers of new recruits of The Initiative program. Jim dawn his armor again because while serving as a military consultant at a base in Dubai and test piloting a combat plane, the base was bombed by terrorists Rhodes had been severely injured and without limbs while fighting the terrorists . Dieing from his injuries Tony saved his with life cybernetic implants and James becomes a cyborg.
After the events of the Secret Invasion, War Machine swore to get rid of Osborn's evil power and influence. This brought Jim to Aqiria where a friend of him, Dr. Glenda Sandoval, was kidnapped. With the help of Parnell Jacobs (Glenda's ex husband) and Bethany Cabe, War Machine infiltrated Aqiria and fought against Eaglestar's private army in order to free his friend
After a vicious battle, War Machine confronted Ares and also Davis Harmon, Eaglestar's CEO and the man who kidnapped Glenda. Jim managed to defeat Ares, even for a brief moment and Harmon freed Sandoval from the confinement area. Harmon was sure that he couldn't be prosecuted by his war crimes due to the legal status of Aqiria, but that didn't stopped Glenda of taking justice into her own hands. But Harmon's deep secrets were opened by Ares, a rabid pack of prisoners infected by the ultimo virus. And Glenda was of the first victims becoming an enraged slave of the virus. While this is going on Bethany Cabe is currently working on making a clone body for Jim to download his mind into because his cybernetic implants were meant to be permanent , but this is discovered by Norman Osborn who steal the body.
During this arc, James found himself facing the Doomsday device known as Ultimo, and in order to defeat it, he formed an alliance with Norman Osborn and together they defeated the robot. But Osborn revealed his true motives: to claim Ultimo for himself. While James was fighting Osborn, his Team War Machine ally Suzi Endo escaped to space with Ultimo in order to reprogram it. After Osborn defeated James, it was revealed that he was actually buying his team time in order to expose the Bainesville Ten, a group of politicians and industry captains responsible for horrific acts around the world. In order the prevent the prosecution of the Bainesville Ten, Osborn made a distraction of his own by sending Rhodes to the Hague to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The longer Rhodes' trial continues, the more time Osborn has to thwart the prosecution of the Ten and smuggles them out of the country. Rhodes sends away his lawyers and awaits prosecution in his cell room although evidence of his innocence exists.
Rhodey's mom comes to his cell and attempts to talk him out of surrendering himself, but he tells her that he'll never give up and contacts his team who are in possession of his clone body, and are about to get the clone close enough to Rhodes so they can begin the transfer process of his consciousness into the body. However their plan was discovered by Osborn and sends a team of H.A.M.M.E.R agents after Team War Machine to thwart their plan. Jim was discovered talking to his team by the guards who started attacking him until Ares appeared and fought alongside Rhodey claiming to be his "champion". In the meantime, all of the Bainesville Ten have left the U.S and Norman gave a speech claiming that Rhodes was kidnapped by Tony Stark and that a Starktech cyborg (the real War Machine) committed the "atrocities" in James' name, while Osborn was attempting to control the cloned body of Rhodes and condemn the real War Machine. In the Hague, War Machine was apparently killed while trying to protect a child. When all seemed to go well for Osborn and the Bainesville Ten, the data that was stored in James's cyborg memory was transferred to the Bainesville Ten, and they started seeing every recording of every person that has suffered because of them over and over again causing them extreme pain. After seeing this, Osborn turned around to see James in a whole new body, and he punched him in the face. Team War Machine was successful in transferring Rhodes' consciousness into the new body. Rhodes left Osborn to deal with his defeat. He was cleared of all charges and given a new "fresh" body. After this, he is recruited as part of Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers.
War Machine 2.0
While active as part of the Secret Avengers, Rhodey also acts as a liaison between Stark Resilient and the U.S. military. He becomes embroiled in a plot involving an apparently dead genius named Palmer Addley, and his suit is destroyed in the process. Rhodey is then given a new suit of sleeker, more compact armor by Tony, which allows him to act as a War Machine for the 21st century. War Machine eventually manages to thwart Addley's plot to infect the globe with nanites containing his consciousness, defeating him once and for all.
The Long Way Down
After it is publicly revealed that Tony had suffered a drunken relapse during the events of Fear Itself, he is forced to don a special breathalyzer that prevents him from using his Bleeding Edge armor unless Justine Hammer allows it. Realizing that this is all part of a vast conspiracy by Hammer and the Mandarin, Tony reaches out to Rhodey to help him pick up the slack.
When the Melter, Whirlwind and Living Laser attack Los Angeles, War Machine is forced to step in after Hammer prevents Iron Man from doing so. The War Machine armor is destroyed and Rhodey is seemingly killed, but however, it turns out that this is all part of an elaborate ruse concocted with Tony. Now believed dead to the world, Rhodey is free to operate as the new Iron Man without any of the Mandarin or Hammer's hindrances.
During his time as the new Iron Man, Rhodey battles foes such as the Mauler and Chemistro, all while being pursued by Pepper Potts, who is trying to uncover his identity. He later saves Pepper after the J.A.R.V.I.S. program in her Rescue armor develops romantic feelings and kidnaps her. After the Mandarin is defeated and the situation is resolved, Rhodey once again relinquishes the Iron Man identity to his old friend.
While part of the Secret Avengers, Rhodey is called in by his old military buddy Phil Coulson to deal with a situation involving a fleet of Iron Patriot drones, which have been given sentience by Mentallo. Rhodey is able to communicate with the drones and convince them that their destructive actions are wrong, offering instead to teach them a better way. The drones respond by sending him a new suit of Iron Patriot armor to wear as their leader.
As Iron Patriot, Rhodey has a number of adventures, including an incident where he is forced into a plot to assassinate the former president of the United States. With help from his niece Lila, Rhodey is able to overcome the terrorists and save the day, though his father dies in the process. During his time as Iron Patriot, Rhodey also enters into a relationship with Carol Danvers, the Avenger known as Captain Marvel.
Time Runs Out
Following a six month Time Skip, Rhodey has returned to his War Machine identity and is shown as a member of the Avengers. He still commands his drones, which he uses to hunt the fugitive members of the Illuminati. Carol expresses concern that commanding so many drones could put a dangerous amount of strain on Rhodey's body, but he assures her he can handle it.
Civil War II
War Machine is later present with Carol when Ulysses has a vision of Thanos arriving on Earth. The Avengers head to Project Pegasus to keep Thanos from stealing the Cosmic Cube, and a massive fight ensues. Though Thanos is eventually brought down, he manages to kill War Machine in the process.
Rhodey's death sends shock waves through the superhero community, and divides Tony and Carol on their stances regarding Ulysses' power. Sam Wilson later gives the eulogy at Rhodey's funeral, while Brother Voodoo states that his soul is at peace.
The rising tensions between Tony and Carol eventually lead to a second superhuman civil war. During the final battle, Carol critically wounds Tony, which renders him comatose. It is eventually revealed that prior to the conflict, Tony had been tinkering with his own DNA and making minor adjustments, which eventually allow his body to "reboot" itself and heal from the grievous wounds that it had sustained during the battle with Carol. After regaining consciousness, Tony dug up Rhodey's body and applied the same process to it, restoring his old friend to life.
A short time later, Rhodey confronts the Punisher, who had stolen the War Machine armor after Rhodey's death. After appealing to the Punisher's inner sense of military honor and telling him that he stole and dishonored Rhodey's legacy, Rhodey was able to get him to surrender the suit.
Variable Threat Response Battle Suit
Rhodey first wore the War Machine armor which holds various weapons such as repulsors, unibeam, concussion pulses, twin barreled cannon in right gauntlet, laser blade in left gauntlet, wrist-mounted flamethrower, shoulder mounted gatling gun, shoulder mounted box rocket launcher and shoulder mounted particle beam. The armor has more plating and shielding than standard armors. A polycarbonate coating further improves the surface. A additional polyprismatic coating was developed to counter laser fire.
The suit quickly adapts to environmental conditions and possible dangers, such as sealing against the vacuum of space. Protective force-fields can also be created. Furthermore, the suit is capable of healing injuries to both itself and the wearer. The suit flies incredibly fast and is suited for interstellar travel. The armor can produce (referred to as "unskinning") remote drones that can be morphed into weapons, probes etc. as the wearer needs. A set of small rotating drones are normally around the right gauntlet, while a large cannon is mounted on the left. The suit's main firepower is plasma-based.
The armor is constructed of a unique mix of steel and fiberglass based on a formula developed by Mister Fantastic. The hands can fire pulsar beams while blasters are mounted in the eye and chest area. Sonics and missiles can also be deployed. Non-lethal weapons such as nets and smoke bombs are also usable.
The gauntlets possess blasters, shoulder mounts include a gatling gun, beam weapon and rocket launcher. On at least one occasion the launcher has been set to use the Super-Powered Inhibiting Nanobots (SPIN) power neutralizer. Cannons can also extend from the chest area, epaulets, and hip pods. The arms can function even if separated from Rhodes. The armor also has satellite interface with internal monitors that allow him to access any database on the planet.
Iron Man 2.0
New and more powerful armor. Removing all of the extra bulk, and cannon rockets/machine gun, he will be getting an advanced model that resembles Iron Man's newest armor. He will be able to move much faster, however will still have the same abilities like his previous armor. Everything about this armor is upgraded. It has a new operating system, and will have different abilities that have yet to be revealed.
“In Rhodey's internal monitors, a thing called a 'Kill Number' pops up when he eyes a new villain. That's not the number of people the villain's killed; that's a rating based on all the information Rhodey's downloaded from every accessible database on the planet that helps Rhodey decide who deserves the ultimate sanction"- Greg Pak
The armor possesses stealth features such as invisibility and holographic projections. It also has technology similar to Iron Man's long time foe, Ghost. The War Machine can render itself and the wearer intangible. It also has a "Combat Mode" which Iron Man describes as a feature Rhodes can use to "Hulk Out" The armor does possess limitations. Intangibility and invisibility are exclusive and the add-on features drain the repulsor battery relatively fast. Chameleon Mode won't give the wearer migraines but it can still disorient the user.
The Black Iron Man Armor
Designed by Tony to be worn by Rhodey, this suit is mostly black, with the only visible features being the face plate, gauntlets, boots, and glowing panels. The armor has advanced cloaking features similar to the War Machine 2.0 suit, and can also fire explosive ball bearings and a powerful EMP blast. One unique feature demonstrated by the armor is the ability to project freezing cold, similar to Iceman or Blizzard. The suit was later confiscated by Tony after he returned to using the Iron Man identity.
The Iron Patriot suit is once again sleeker and more maneuverable than the original, bulkier War Machine armors, and has increased stealth capabilities. Additionally, it allows Rhodes to communicate with and command his squad of Iron Patriot drones.
Rhodes served several tours in Southeast Asia, studying while in the service to become an aviation engineer.
He is a skilled helicopter pilot and is capable of maneuvering most if not all Stark-designed armors.
Rhodes military training made him a very skilled hand to hand combatant.
Aside from his armor's weaponry, he is a very good marksman.
With intense military training, he can survive explosions and blasts.
He can make strategies in order to win.
War Machine vs Iron Man
One of the most requested and sought after battles in the Marvel Universe has always been War Machine vs Iron Man. We've seen them battle only a few times but it's not always been James Rhodes in the War Machine armor, in Iron Man vol. 2 it's been Parnell Jacobs.
- Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #2 (1993)
- War Machine #8 (1994)
- Iron Man #310 (1994)
- Marvel Action Hour: Iron Man #2 (1994)
- War Machine #22 (1994)
- Iron Man #11(1998) Parnell as War Machine
- Iron Man #12(1998) Parnell as War Machine
- Iron Man #19(1998) Parnell as War Machine
- Iron Man #20(1998) Parnell as War Machine
- U.S. War Machine 2.0 #2 (2003)
- Invincible Iron Man #11, Worlds Most Wanted (2009)
War Machine in Alternate Realities
In the year 1602, the Lord Iron suit was engineered by Lord Anthony Stark and Rupert Rhodes, his accomplice.
In the Marvel Zombies universe, War Machine is one of the last heroes to be not infected by the zombie plague. He eventually succeeds Tony Stark as Iron Man, and becomes a member of the Illuminati. As the years pass, he gradually replaces the infected parts of his body, becoming a cyborg in the process. Donning the Iron Man armor, he eventually battles the zombified Sentry and his gang, and is ultimately left as one of the few survivors after a nanite swarm finally destroys the zombie hordes.
In the alternate future of MC2, Jim Rhodes has become a humanoid robot because of nano implants inside him gave him superhuman capabilities but at the cost of his mind being wipe out. Supposedly Tony Stark was supposed to infect himself with the nanotechnology by Jim thought that it was too much of a sacrifice to himself to do such an act, so he volunteered for the experiment. Although now-blessed with exponentially-increasing invulnerability and an impressive array of energy-based attacks, the nanites slowly corrupt Rhodes' mind, eventually destroying his personality and leaving him as little more than a very powerful, humanoid robot. He eventually works as a personal bodyguard for Tony Stark, and although he adopts a super hero uniform. During a mission with members of the original Avengers to bring in the Venom-symbiote. One of the Scarlet Witch's hex bolts hit Jim and caused him to go out of control. Eventually Spider-girl and Normie Osborn who was the user of the symbiote at the time was able to short out the nano-bots that left Jim comatose. Allowing Tony Stark to repair his neural patterns.
In the Ultimate Universe, Jim Rhodes is first seen a student being bullied at school until he was defended by Tony Stark. He even let Rhodey wear his Iron Man suit that he and his father was developing. Jim was later making his own armor named War Machine, which he plans on trading with Tony's Iron Man suit when he finished with it. Tony and Rhodey use their armor to go after a terrorist cell for the government. As an adult, Rhodes is recruited into the Avengers by Nick Fury.
U.S War Machine
In the alternate universe the series takes place in Rhodey was portrayed the same as his 616 counterpart. He is fired by Tony Stark (who was drunk at the time) for killing an black criminal that had just executed a white woman. The press deemed this a hate crime not knowing the pilot of the War Machine armor was also black. He is attacked by his former friend Parnel Jacobs who is looking for the War Machine armor (that Rhodes no longer has). The duo are then taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. for a new team. S.H.I.E.L.D. has acquired the remains of another War Machine armor and has reverse engineered it for their own special ops team, U.S. War Machines. Rhodes and Jacobs are to comprise part of the team (with Rhodes serving as field commander). Unlike the 616 universe, these armors use standard ballistic armaments, not energy weapons. A fatal flaw in the original design of the armors had the power cell for the armor dead center on the chest. This was fixed immediately.
In Other Media
War Machine makes a non-speaking cameo in the Season 2 episode "Time Fugitives: Part 1," where he can be seen at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, watching Graydon Creed's speech about a deadly plague that is supposedly spread by mutants (which in reality, was created by Apocalypse) alongside Nick Fury and G.W. Bridge. He makes a return appearance in the Season 3 episode "Phoenix Saga: Part 5 - Child of Light," where he is seen as one of the heroes rescuing civilians in New York City after the M'Kraan Crystal throws the planet into chaos.
War Machine appears as a main character and a member of Force Works. Like in the comics, Rhodey is Tony's close personal friend and confidant. Throughout the season, he and his teammates face numerous threats, many of which are related to the Mandarin. At the start of the second season, Force Works disbands after learning that Tony faked his death and neglected to inform the rest of the team. Despite being angry, Rhodey and Julia Carpenter are the only members of the group who remain by Tony's side. Throughout Season 2, Rhodey struggles with his role as a hero, and begins suffering anxiety attacks after being forced to confront his hydrophobia. He temporarily abandons the War Machine armor, which is eventually destroyed by Tony during the "Armor Wars" story arc. He makes his triumphant return as War Machine in the series finale, and plays a major role in rescuing the other heroes after they are captured by the Mandarin.
War Machine was voiced by James Avery in the first season, and by Dorian Harewood in the second.
War Machine appears in the episode "Venom Returns," with James Avery reprising his role from the Iron Man cartoon. He is first seen as a gruff Stark Enterprises security chief who is sent to oversee a teleportation demonstration in New York. When Venom crashes the demonstration and attacks Spider-Man, Rhodey dons the War Machine armor and helps Spider-Man fight the villain. The two heroes initially hold their own, but the tide turns when Carnage arrives to assist Venom. In the following episode, "Carnage," Venom and Carnage manage to escape with the teleportation device, which Baron Mordo plans to use to allow Dormammu to enter the human realm. War Machine manages to protect Spider-Man's identity from J. Jonah Jameson before collapsing from the injuries sustained from the battle with the symbiotes. He is unable to assist Spider-Man any further, which leads to Tony flying in from the West Coast to help Spider-Man while Rhodey recovers.
Dorian Harewood reprises his role as War Machine in the episode "Helping Hand, Iron Fist." At the start of the episode, War Machine is shown acting as the head of security at the Stark Enterprises plant in Los Angeles, and intercepts Rick Jones after the teen attempts to break into the building in search of Tony Stark. The two eventually become friends of sorts, bonding over their similar experiences in helping out troubled friends (Tony and Bruce Banner, respectively). When General Ross and the Hulkbusters attack the facility in order to capture Banner, Rhodey suits up as War Machine to help fight them off.
War Machine has featured in the most recent animated adventures featuring Iron Man. In the series, the stars have been de-aged into teenagers who are still in high school. Rhodey gains the War Machine armor at the close of season 1, where he uses it to help Tony in a battle against Fin Fang Foom. He continues to act as Tony's partner throughout the second season, where the two are eventually joined in the heroics by Pepper, who becomes Rescue. Rhodey was voiced by Daniel Bacon.
War Machine guest-starred in the episode "Tales of Suspense", voiced by Star Trek alum Levar Burton.
Rhodey did not appear in the first season beyond one of the micro episodes that acted as a prequel to the series. He eventually made a proper debut in the season 2 episode "Alone Against AIM", where he used his War Machine armor to help the Avengers fight AIM and the Technovore. When Captain America asked why War Machine was not a member of the Avengers, he responded by saying that he had little desire to be a superhero, and only donned the armor in the first place to keep Tony out of trouble (possibly an inside joke to his absence in the Avenger film). Despite this, War Machine returned in the series finale, "Avengers Assemble!" as one of the numerous heroes who helped the team fight off Galactus. He was voiced by Bumper Robinson
War Machine appears in the Japanese anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, as one of the Avengers trapped in the DISK technology by Loki. He is voiced by Hidenori Takahashi.
The Invincible Iron Man
Rhodes appears in The Invincible Iron Man, but does not utilize any sort of armor. The War Machine armor appeared in Ultimate Avengers 2, piloted by Tony. Rhodes was voiced by Rodney Saulsberry.
In the 2008 film Iron Man, James Rhodes is played by Terrence Howard. In the film, Rhodes is a US Air Force Colonel who serves as the military's chief liaison to Stark Industries. He is also Tony Stark's most trusted ally and best friend. In film Rhodes is constantly covering for Tony and watching out for his back. In this film Rhodes doesn't don the War Machine armor, there is one particular scene where he glimpses at an older version of Iron Man's armor and proclaims: ''Next time, baby.''
Iron Man 2
War Machine appeared in the 2010 cinema release of Iron Man 2, with actor Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard from the first movie. Rhodes begins to take a more active role in Tony's new life as Iron Man. Rhodes is at first worried about Tony's declining health, but knows something has to be done. During Tony's birthday party, Stark gets drunk while wearing the armor. he then proceeds to fire his weapons in house.
Rhodes seeing the potential danger that may follow, dons one of Tony's older suits. He orders Tony to stand down, Stark on the other hand wants to continue his prty. A fight ensues and Tony clearly has the upperhand. The fight is long and destructive. In the end both armored men end up in the kitchen, staring each other down. A verbal fight ensues. James thinks Tony isn't fit to wear the suit, Tony reacts by by saying Rhodes can't handle the armor even going as far as saying: '' You think you can handle the suit, you think you can become a War Machine!!''.
Both men fire of their repulsors at the same time, thereby creating a energy sphere. The sphere grows larger and larger until it explodes in a bright flash. After the flash Tony looks up to see Rhodes at the window with a look of discontent on his face. Rhodes activates his jets and flies off. The following morning we see a military base. James Rhodes arrives at this base in the armor. his superior is very happy with their new addition and contacts Justin Hammer to weaponise the suit. Justin is delighted with the suit and gathers all possible weapons that could be fitted onto the suit. After giving the demonstration Justin asks what Rhodes thinks about it, Rhodes reacts by taking all the weapons.
Later at the Stark Expo, Hammer unveils his new military drones, captained by Rhodes in a heavily-weaponized version of the confiscated Mark II armor, now referred to as the Variable Threat Response Battlesuit. Stark arrives at the expo in his new Mark VI armor, attempting to warn Rhodes and find Vanko, but Vanko takes complete control of both the drones and Rhodes's new armor and attacks Iron Man. Rhodes is unable to move and warns Tony of his attacks. Tony, Rhodes and the drones engage in a chase which ends up in a Japanese garden. Black Widow manages to hack Vanko's system and gives Rhodes control over his armor back. Together they fight off the rest of the drones. They then confront Vanko, who has developed a powerful suit of armor for himself based on a Hammer battle suit but incorporating scaled-up plasma whips that he used against Stark earlier. Stark and Rhodes are easily overpowered by Vanko's more powerful armor. Stark and Rhodes are promptly strangled by Vanko in his plasma whips and with their armors being heavily damaged. Stark and Rhodes then overloaded their repulsor gauntlets and aimed the repulsor beams towards one another. The resultant repulsor beam collision created a massive explosion and shockwave that successfully destroyed Vanko's armor. A dying Vanko reveals he had rigged his armor and the drones to self destruct. Iron Man and War machine rush off to save Pepper. Tony saves the girl and they kiss.They are surprised to see Rhodes also on the roof. It turned out that Rhodes arrived at the same rooftop earlier than them and witnessed them kissing. He leaves with the War Machine armor despite Stark's objection, determined to keep the armor for national security purposes.
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
War Machine appears in the Japanese anime film Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto in the original version and by James C. Mathis III in the English dub. In the film he wears a bulkier suit of armor reminiscent of his Ultimate counterpart.
He is thought dead after being attacked by Ezekiel Stane at the beginning of the film, but is healed by the Technovore virus and aids Stark is the final battle.
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
War Machine makes a cameo appearance in Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, acting as a member of the Avengers.
Iron Man 3
Don Cheadle reprises his role in Iron Man 3, set a year after the events of The Avengers. He is shown sporting an upgraded, sleeker suit of armor, which the film's prequel comic reveals was given to him by Tony.
At the start of the film, he is working as a government-sanctioned superhero, and is rebranded as "Iron Patriot" to combat the Mandarin and his Ten Rings organization. While hunting down Ten Rings cells in the Middle East, he is captured by one of Aldrich Killian's Extremis soldiers. Killian sends his enforcer, Eric Savin, to kidnap the President while disguised in the Iron Patriot armor, while Rhodey escapes and teams up with Tony to stop Killian's plans.
In the finale, Rhodey manages to take down two of Killian's Extremis soldiers despite his lack of armor, and saves President Ellis from his impending execution. He is last seen reclaiming his suit and flying Ellis to safety.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Don Cheadle once again reprises his role in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the film, he is back to his War Machine identity and no longer sports his Iron Patriot colors.
He is recruited by Nick Fury and Maria Hill to help defend the Helicarrier from Ultron's drones during the evacuation of Sokovia, and helps prevent the drones from escaping. During the final scene of the movie, War Machine is officially inducted into the team as part of Captain America's new team of Avengers.
Captain America: Civil War
Don Cheadle reprises his role in Captain America: Civil War, with War Machine acting as part of the Avengers. He now sports a new, more heavily armed suit.
When the team becomes divided by the Sokovia Accords (a set of laws designed to regulate the Avengers), Rhodey is one of the heroes who argues in favor of the Accords, saying the Avengers need oversight.
During the battle between the two teams, War Machine is badly injured after Vision accidentally blasts him out of the sky. The accident damages Rhodey's spine and paralyzes him.
Avengers: Infinity War
Don Cheadle once again returns in Avengers: Infinity War. After the events of Civil War, he is shown utilizing a special exo-skeleton to walk again. When the fugitive Avengers return to Avengers HQ after Vision is attacked by members of the Black Order, Rhodey reunites with his former allies and accompanies them to Wakanda. During the final battle, War Machine and the other Avengers fight against the Black Order and their army of Outriders. After Thanos completes the Infinity Gauntlet and kills off half of the universe's sentient population, Rhodey is seen as one of the few remaining heroes on Earth.
Marvel vs. Capcom Series (1998-2011)
War Machine appeared as a playable character, notably replacing Iron Man, who was absent in this game due to rights issues. In the game, his moves are mostly copies of Iron Man's moves from Marvel Super Heroes. A gold variant of War Machine was also available as a separate unlockable character. This version of the character could not block or fly, but had a slightly tweaked moveset and was unable to be stunned by attacks.
He returned as a playable fighter in the sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000). Due to Iron Man returning, War Machine was given many of the moves previously used by his golden variant from the last game in order to differentiate the two armored heroes. In both games, War Machine was voiced by Wayne Ward.
War Machine is not present as a playable character in the third game, Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011). However, he does show up in Hawkeye's ending in the update, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (released the same year), where he is seen as part of the new West Coast Avengers team.
Iron Man (2008)
Developed by Sega, voiced by his movie counterpart Terrence Howard, he features as a non-playable character.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)
Voiced by Nolan North, War Machine appears as a non-playable boss character in the Anti-Registration campaign, exclusively to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.
Marvel Super Hero Squad (2009)
War Machine is featured as an unlockable character.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Developed once again by Sega and voiced by his movie counterpart, this time being Don Cheadle. He features as a playable character, with additional dialogue provided by Phil LaMarr.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012 - )
War Machine appears as an unlockable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance video game on Facebook. He is a Tactician Class character.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2014)
Iron Patriot appears as a sidekick character.
Marvel Heroes 2015
War Machine appears as a Team-Up character in the original version of the game, voiced by James C. Mathis III. He could be summoned to assist the player's hero. He was added as a fully playable character in the Marvel Heroes 2015 expansion.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
James Rhodes appears in the game as both War Machine and Iron Patriot, voiced by Phil LaMarr.
Marvel Contest Of Champions (2015)
War Machine appears as one of the playable fighters in this mobile app game. He was one of the characters added to the game to promote the release of the Ant-Man movie.
Marvel Future Fight (2015)
Iron Patriot appears as a playable character.
Lego Marvel's The Avengers (2016)
James Rhodes is playable character in the game as both War Machine and Iron Patriot. He is also a part of Captain America: Civil War DLC pack. He also returns in the follow-up, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- Toy Biz released another War Machine figure in its Hall of Fame line, which included a removable helmet.
- War Machine was featured twice in Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line, first in his U.S. War Machine suit, and again as a repaint of Iron Man's modular armor in a chase set with the Mandarin for the Marvel Legends Face-Off series.
- Once the Marvel Legends line was taken over by Hasbro, a War Machine figure based off his appearance in Ultimate Iron Man was released.
- A War Machine figure was released for Hasbro's Marvel Universe line as a special two-pack with Spider-Woman.
- Several Marvel Mini-Mates of War Machine have been released.
- One of Hasbro's comic War Machine toys from Iron Man 2 was later repainted and released as part of a special West Coast Avengers three-pack with Hawkeye and Mockingbird.
- Despite the War Machine armor not actually appearing in the movie, Hasbro released a War Machine figure as part of its line for the original 2008 Iron Man film. The figure was renamed the "Stealth Operations Suit" for unknown reasons, but the bio still listed James Rhodes as the pilot.
- Hasbro released several different War Machine figures for Iron Man 2.
- Hot Toys released a heavily detailed War Machine figure for Iron Man 2. A special version with an altered paint job was later released through Sideshow Collectibles.
- Diamond released a War Machine figure for Iron-man 2 for Marvel Select.
- Lego released both a War Machine and Iron Patriot figure for Iron Man 3.
- Several different War Machine and Iron Patriot figures were released by Hasbro for Iron Man 3, one of which being Iron Patriot for Marvel Legends Iron Monger Build-A-Figure wave.
- Diamond also released a War Machine and Iron Patrior figure for Marvel Select line for Iron-man 3.
- Hot Toys released an Iron Patriot figure and bust for Iron Man 3, as well as a War Machine figure for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Hasbro released a few War Machine figures for Avengers: Age of Ultron, including a two-pack with Captain America and for Marvel Legends Age of Ultron Hulkbuster Build-A-Figure wave. Ironically, War Machine saw more merchandise than characters like Quicksilver, who played larger roles in the actual movie.
- Bandai Tamashii Nations has released several different War Machine figures featuring his incarnations from Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as his Iron Patriot incarnation from Iron Man 3.
- Hot Toys released another War Machine figure for Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as a chibi-like figure for their Cosbaby line.
- Hot Toys released another War Machine figure for Captain America: Civil War.
List of important War Machine / Jim Rhodes issues
- First appearance ( Iron Man #118, 1979)
- James Rhodes back story ( Iron Man #144, 1981)
- First became Iron Man ( Iron Man #169, 1983)
- Battled The Mandarin ( Iron Man 180- 181, 1984)
- Battled Tony Stark in clash of Iron Men ( Iron Man #192, 1985)
- Almost killed during Earth re-entry ( Iron Man #216, 1987)
- Became CEO of Stark Enterprises and became Iron Man again ( Iron Man #284, 1992)
- Quit Stark Enterprises, went off on own as War Machine ( Iron Man #291, 1993)
- Led Iron Legion against Ultimo ( Iron Man #300, 1994)
- Became head of Worldwatch ( War Machine #5, 1994)
- Battled Iron Man over use of War Machine armor ( War Machine #8, Iron Man #310, 1994)
- Joined the Avengers West Coast (Avengers West Coast #94 1994)
- Went back in time to stop Nazi time-travel plot (War Machine #15-#17, 1995)
- Lost War Machine armor in timestream (War Machine #17, 1995)
- Became bonded to Eidolon Warwear (War Machine #18, 1995)
- Lost Eidolon Warwear (Tales of the Marvel Universe #1, 1997)
- Joined the SHIELD US War Machine program (US War Machine #3 2001)
- Battled Doctor Doom (US War Machine #11 2001)
- Bought together Crew (The Crew #4 2003)
- Became head of training for Sentinel Squad ONE (Sentinel Squad ONE #1 2006)
- Choose a side in Civil War (Black Panther #22 2006)
- Became an administrator for Initiative (Civil War: Battle Damage Report #1 2007)
- Battled Spider-Man (Avengers: The Initiative #3 2007)
- Battles the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion, Injuries revealed (Iron Man: Director of Shield #33-35)
- Helps get his suit and Fight the Mandarin (Iron man armored adventure: 2009)