After spending the last year as one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Secret Avengers, Jim Rhodes has now launched himself into a solo mission that only the Iron Patriot can handle. The other ironclad Avenger takes flight this Wednesday in IRON PATRIOT #1 by Ales Kot and Garry Brown. But before Rhodey wrested the red, white, and blue armor he now proudly wears from Norman Osborn's handcuffed hands, he charged into battle in a number of other battle suits.
Here's a rundown of the other armor hanging in Jim Rhodes' closet.
When Obadiah Stane's hostile business maneuvering sent Stark Industries into heavy debt, Tony Stark sought answers to his troubles in a bottle. With his best friend battling old personal demons and a super villain on the rampage, Rhodey had no choice but to suit up in Iron Man's classic Mark V armor and do Iron Man's job. Rhodey kept the red and gold suit warm for a while, until Tony Stark became fit for duty again in IRON MAN #200.
Stark designed the "Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, Model XVI, Mark I" to battle a group of Japanese warriors called the Masters of Silence – after all, shoulder-mounted rocket launchers will always triumph over silence. Rhodey didn't step into the suit until Stark's "death" two issues later, when Tony bequeathed the armor and the Iron Man mantle to Rhodes yet again. Stark eventually returned from the dead, as he's been known to do, spurring Rhodes to take on the name War Machine and act independently from his best friend.
When you're wearing the best technology on Earth, you have to look to the stars for a worthy OS upgrade. Enter: the Eidolon Warwear! This alien armor system possessed a similar perks to Spider-Man's symbiotic black costume: it created weapons based on Rhodey's thoughts and concealed itself when not in use. The armor also played alien war songs during battle, somehow making a suit with heavy weaponry even louder.
To make their new fleet of peace-keeping Sentinel robots more adept at containing super-powered threats, the government reconfigured them to work alongside human and mutant pilots. Rhodey came on board as the Sentinel Squad O*N*E program's leader, and piloted a new suit of armor reminiscent of his old Iron Man duds – just with a more Sentinel-y purple and blue color scheme.
Rhodes put his leadership abilities to work again as one of the drill instructors at the Avengers Initiative boot camp. His new armor utilized all of the weapons and technological advancements made by his previous armors, with a few upgrades poached from one of Stark's biggest adversaries – Obadiah Stane. The Stanetech add-ons to Rhodey's new War Machine armor helped protect his tech from hackers.
Check out James Rhodes' new armored adventures in IRON PATRIOT #1, on sale this Wednesday!