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Archrivals: Iron Man vs War Machine

It's friend versus friend in the turbulent history between Iron Man and War Machine

"Iron Man 2" heated up the theaters this summer, and soon you can bring the blockbuster movie home with you as it hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 28! As we countdown to the big day, Marvel.com will bring you a look at some of the stories, characters and relationships that influenced the film, as well as a peek or two behind the curtain of the "Iron Man 2" Blu-ray itself!


By Jim Beard

Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes--they've been the best of friends, perhaps even closer than brothers, but at times they've been the worst of enemies. Strong personalities often clash, and when these two forthright fighters disagree the world had better get out of their way.

After helping Stark escape the Asian jungles of Iron Man's origin, Rhodey first became the wealthy industrialist's pilot and then his trusted confidant. Later, when Stark's personal problems overwhelmed his life, it fell to his friend to pick up the pieces of Iron Man's armor and carry on the fight. This led to Rhodey's own career as War Machine, a situation that itself caused much friction between the two men.

Their battles rank as rarities and their strong friendship the norm, but the tales of Iron Man versus War Machine must be told.


Driven out of his mind by Stark cybernetics never meant for him, Rhodey angrily drove himself to capture the villainous Vibro - which plunged him headlong into Stark's sights. Iron Man halted his friend's unintentional rampage, but the first cracks in their friendship spread a bit that day.


Rhodey utilized the "Variable Threat Response Battle Suit" to good measure when Stark seemed dead, but when his former boss reappeared hale and hearty, Iron Man's successor threw in the towel and walked. One robot assault later, the two men exchanged "words" and Stark insisted that his buddy keep the armor that'd soon be known the world over as War Machine.

WAR MACHINE #8 (1994)

Unhappy with his friend's handling of a tense international situation, Stark demanded the immediate handover of the War Machine armor from Rhodey. That time, "words" didn't cut it--but armored battle might. The two men fought and fussed for a bit, but the lovely Bethany Cabe put her pretty little foot down and Iron Man and War Machine buried the hatchet...for the time being.


His original War Machine suit lost in time and now sporting new alien armor, Rhodey braced himself for battle against an Immortus-controlled Tony Stark, supposedly the reason for being bequeathed the new armor. Instead of another fight with his old friend, War Machine confronted a powerful alien from the same race as his new suit and not only defeated him but ended the looming threat.


On the run from Norman Osborn's new world order, Stark sought to destroy all of his Iron Man tech around the globe. Rhodey caught up to him as a friend, but when forced by Stark to engage him as an enemy to fool Osborn, War Machine entered into the fray with perhaps a bit too much gusto. Stark's less-powerful Iron Man suit couldn't stand the intense bombardment and he plunged deep into icy waters--yet not away from the prying eyes of Osborn.


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