James "Jim" Rupert Rhodes
"Rhodey"; formerly Iron Man
Place of Birth
Iron Man #118 (1979)
Iron Man #144 (1981)
6'1"; (in armor) 6'6"
Brown (gray streaks)
Rhodes was a soldier with a conscience, willing to kill if a mission required it, yet haunted by every life he took. During one mission, Rhodes’ helicopter was shot down in a jungle and was discovered by Iron Man (Tony Stark), who had recently escaped from the guerrilla Wong-Chu and needed transportation. Iron Man helped repair Rhodes’ helicopter and they made it to safety together. Afterward, Rhodes was approached by Tony Stark, claiming to be Iron Man’s "employer," and was offered a job as Stark’s pilot. Rhodes agreed to take him up on his offer when his tour of duty was completed. For a while, Rhodes worked as a mercenary with Parnell, but when he caught Parnell running guns to the dictatorship of Santo Marco, he went back to Tony to make good on his word.
Rhodes served for some time at Stark International as Stark’s pilot and became Tony’s close friend, risking his life to aid Tony against enemies such as Justin Hammer and the Maggia. He watched helplessly as Stark gradually gave in to alcoholism. After a humiliating defeat battling the villain Magma (Jonathan Darque) while intoxicated, Iron Man went to Rhodes for help recharging his armor and inadvertently revealed his identity. Too inebriated to continue his fight with Magma, Stark passed out and Rhodes donned the armor becoming Iron Man for the first time. He saved Stark International from Magma’s rampage and Stark asked him to continue as Iron Man.
Although a novice, Rhodes’ combat experience served him well for his new role as a super hero. Meanwhile, Stark continued to drink and eventually lost Stark International to his rival Obadiah Stane. Rhodes made sure Tony’s alternate Iron Man armors were destroyed to prevent them from falling into Stane’s hands and carried on Iron Man’s tradition.
As Iron Man, Jim faced threats from foes like Thunderball, the Radioactive Man, and the Mandarin. Together with many of Earth’s heroes, he fought against an army of some of the toughest super villains on the constructed planet called Battleworld during the near-omnipotent Beyonder's so-called “Secret Wars.” Most of these heroes continued to believe he was the original Iron Man. Soon after his return from Battleworld, Rhodes learned that Stark was trying to make a recovery and gradually allowed him back into his life. Rhodes, Stark and inventor siblings Morley and Clytemnestra Erwin set up their own company, Circuits Maximus.
Though his teammates assumed he was the same Iron Man who helped found the Avengers, Rhodes joined the West Coast branch of the Avengers in Los Angeles under the leadership of Hawkeye. Hawkeye was shocked when he learned that he was not working with the original armored hero.
Rhodes’ time as Iron Man ended when Obadiah Stane blew up Circuits Maximus, killing Morley and injuring Rhodes. He offered his Iron Man armor back to Tony so he could bring down Stane, but Stark built a new suit of armor instead and faced Stane in a battle that ended with Stane’s suicide. Stark remained active as Iron Man, and Rhodes resumed his role as his pilot and confidant at the new company Stark Enterprises. However, Rhodes became Iron Man again to aid the Avengers against the renegade mutant Quicksilver, the Zodiac Life Model Decoys (LMDs) and to help Tony against the Living Laser. While re-entering Earth’s atmosphere from an excursion to Stark Satellite One, Rhodes was badly burned through the armor and thereafter seldom wore it. During this time, he was romantically involved with Stark’s public relations director Marcy Pearson. Tony began to suffer from nervous system troubles during his clashes with Kearson DeWitt, causing Rhodes to become Iron Man again to help fight DeWitt and later the Mandarin and Fin Fang Foom.
Rhodey accepted the role of director of Worldwatch, a human rights organization, where he gained valuable allies including former Mossad/S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bathsheva Joseph. During this time, Tony and Rhodey finally came to terms in the course of a team-up against the Mandarin. War Machine and Bathsheva time traveled to World War II to stop Grinz, a Nazi officer who was receiving advanced technology from his son Raeder from modern times. Rhodes killed Grinz to prevent Raeder from being born and the resulting paradox shunted Rhodes and Bathsheva back to their own time. The War Machine armor was seemingly destroyed in transit.
Bonded to a suit of ancient alien Eidolon Warwear armor, Rhodey was forced to battle a mind-controlled Tony Stark, who had become a sleeper agent of Immortus. Stark gave his life opposing Immortus. S.H.I.E.L.D. sought to study the Warwear and attempted to capture Rhodes, but he resisted them and resigned from Worldwatch to preserve the organization’s good name.
With Tony gone, Stark Enterprises became Stark-Fujikawa. Rhodey was offered a position with them, but upon learning that they were after the secrets of the Iron Man armor, he sacrificed his Warwear in order to purge Tony’s computers of all data on the armor. No longer able to continue as War Machine, he began performing marine salvage with his own company, Rhodes Recovery. Soon after, Tony returned to life thanks to Franklin Richards’ reality-altering powers. Rhodes Recovery eventually went bankrupt as a consequence of Jim’s extravagant lifestyle and an unscrupulous accountant.
At that time, Jim’s sister Jeanette was killed by members of the 66 Bridges gang. Unable to get at her killers through the police, Rhodes became a vigilante to bring the 66 Bridges to justice. Rhodes used part of a prototype War Machine armor to face off with Triage, the head of this gang, and they were dispersed by Rhodes and his allies.
When the Office of National Emergency (O*N*E) began to train human pilots in the use of giant mutant hunting robotic Sentinels, Tony arranged for Rhodes to be assigned as their drill sergeant. He donned a new suit of armor based on the Iron Man designs in order to lead O*N*E and also piloted his own Sentinel nicknamed “War Machine.” He led a team of O*N*E pilots against the Savage Land Mutates and aided the X-Men against their foe Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur). When the superhuman community was plunged into a civil war over disagreement on the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), of which Tony was a major proponent, Rhodes piloted the War Machine Sentinel in an attempt to arrest the Black Panther (T’Challa) and Storm (Ororo Munroe) for violating the SHRA. However, his Sentinel was badly damaged. The Black Panther saved Rhodes from angry protesters and the latter encouraged Iron Man to let the Panther and Storm depart in peace.
File:MikeFichera--Rhodey-Cyborg.jpgWhile testing fighter jets in Dubai, Rhodes was attacked by terrorists and suffered horrific injuries costing him all four limbs and most of the right side of his face. Tony intervened and used bleeding edge technology to build him cybernetic replacements. Rhodes’ ex-girlfriend Bethany Cabe prepared a genetic clone of Jim’s body with the ultimate goal of transferring his consciousness into it. Requiring an external power source to stay alive, Rhodey once again became War Machine and seldom removed the armor, finding that he was incapable of sleep due to his cybernetic link. The armor Tony provided Rhodes was constructed of mostly non-Stark parts as a failsafe in case Tony’s systems were infiltrated.
War Machine was made the field commander to oversee Camp Hammond, in Stamford, Connecticut, where the 50-state Initiative enacted by the SHRA began to prepare registered superhuman cadets for their licensed activities. When the Skrulls, led by Queen Veranke, attacked Earth, disabling Stark’s technology, Rhodes received a coded message from Tony directing him to a stealth satellite in Earth’s orbit specially designed to equip his armor and combat the Skrull threat.
When the invasion was over, Norman Osborn (the pardoned Green Goblin) had become leader of the Initiative and H.A.M.M.E.R. (replacing S.H.I.E.L.D.) and obtained his own Iron Man armor as the Iron Patriot. Though he was under Osborn’s command, Rhodes attempted to covertly aid Tony, now a wanted fugitive, in escaping Osborn. War Machine protected the world from the threat of the infectious robotic extraterrestrial Ultimo virus, and earned the adulation of the Olympian god, Ares.