|For the undeveloped film, see War Machine|
- "138 combat missions. That's how many I've flown, Tony. Every one of them could've been my last, but I flew 'em. Because the fight needed to be fought."
- ―James Rhodes to Tony Stark
Colonel James Rupert Rhodes, commonly known as Rhodey, is a U.S. military officer and jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He is the best friend of Tony Stark/Iron Man and the liaison between Stark Industries and the military in the Department of Acquisitions. When Stark was kidnapped by the Ten Rings, Rhodes led the mission to rescue his friend. He is known as War Machine when wearing his heavily-armed battlesuit but his alias was temporarily rebranded to Iron Patriot during Aldrich Killian's War.
Having shown his worth during the Battle of Sokovia in which he battled an army of Ultron Sentries, Rhodes became a member of the Avengers under the leadership of Captain America. However Rhodes soon came into conflict with his teammates when he and Tony Stark sided with Thaddeus Ross on the Sokovia Accords. This eventually led to a full-blown conflict between the heroes, with Rhodes taking his friend Stark's side. During a battle with Captain America, Rhodes was badly injured and nearly paralyzed from a friendly-fire attack, forcing him to retire from hero work.
Rhodes returned to the Avengers after a hiatus, becoming the team's liaison with the United Nations. Rhodes disobeyed the Sokovia Accords when he joined Captain America traveling to Wakanda, earning a court martial in the process. Rhodes participated in the Battle of Wakanda and alongside the other Avengers and Wakanda armies as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy killed all of Thanos's soldiers, only to be soon faced and effortlessly beaten by Thanos when he came personally to Wakanda alongside the other heroes, with Thanos successfully wiping out half of the universe after acquiring all the Infinity Stones. Rhodes was one of the survivors.
Meeting Tony Stark
Working with Stark Industries
James Rhodes first met Tony Stark at a young age and the two of them became best friends, in a close bond/rivalry that would last their entire lives. When he grew older, Rhodes was made a Lieutenant Colonel and, due to his continued friendship with Stark, became the liaison between Stark Industries and the U.S. Armed Forces.
Meeting Eloise and Celeste
- "Is Rhodey coming along? He's cute."
Tony Stark represented the newest weapon to the US Military at the Yuma Proving Ground. Stark's secretary Pepper Potts gave the weapon's specifics to the generals while he and Rhodes went to a night club. Stark enjoyed the company of two girls while Rhodes tried to convince him not to go to Afghanistan. Stark was attacked by a man whose girlfriend he previously seduced, but Rhodes defeated the attacker. Later, Stark, Rhodes, and the girls went to Tony Stark's Mansion. 
Stark Misses His Award
- "As liaison to Stark Industries, I have a unique privilege of serving with a real patriot."
- ―James Rhodes
Colonel James Rhodes attended a ceremony at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to present Tony Stark with an award for his work, telling the audience that he felt it was an honor to be the liaison between Stark Industries and the U.S. Armed Forces. However, as it turned out, Stark was not in attendance. Obadiah Stane instead accepted the award from Rhodes in Stark's honor, claiming that Stark would still be working.
Rhodes found his friend partying in a casino and scolded him for not attending the award ceremony, Tony Stark denied any knowledge that Rhodes was the one presenting the award. He continued to show little sign of taking anything seriously as he continued to joke, gamble and flirt with the beautiful women around him, even teasing Rhodes by asking him to blow on his dice; before long, Stark had lost his bet and decided to go home. As they exited the casino with Happy Hogan, Stark handed over the award to a member of the casino staff and promised Rhodes he would meet him outside his private jet first thing in the morning.
- "Three hours! Three hours you've kept me standing here!"
"Waiting on you now."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
The next day, Tony Stark did indeed arrive late to his meeting with Rhodes, having been having sex with Christine Everhart, Rhodes attempted to chastise his friend but was ignored. During the flight, Rhodes talked with Stark and made it clear that he was unhappy about Stark's lax attitude, and Stark tried to get his old friend to relax. Before long they were drunk and leering at the stewardesses.
Stark and Rhodes arrived at a military outpost in Afghanistan to demonstrate Stark Industries latest project - the Jericho, a super-missile system with terrifying destructive capabilities. After the demonstration, Stark went off with the Humvee convoy, jokingly telling Rhodes to wait for the next one. However Stark's Humvee was soon attacked by Ten Rings terrorists and Stark disappeared without a trace. Rhodes took command of the rescue mission to save his friend, although they were unable to find him in the mountains and deserts.
- "How was the fun-vee? Next time you ride with me, okay?"
- ―James Rhodes to Tony Stark
Months later, after his escape from the Ten Rings, Tony Stark walked over more sand dunes until a couple of US military helicopters flew overhead, Stark yelled out until he caught their attention. A group of soldiers, led by Rhodes, ran to his aid. Rhodes was overjoyed to find that his friend was alive and took him back to America.
Stark Stops Building Weapons
- "The future of air combat... Is it manned, or unmanned? I'll tell you in my experience, no unmanned aerial vehicle will ever trump a pilot's instinct."
- ―James Rhodes
Shortly after his return to the United States, Tony Stark appeared before a group of reporters and cameramen alongside Obadiah Stane. Rhodes watched the speech alongside Pepper Potts and listened as Stark announced that due to the horrors he had witnessed while kidnapped, he intended to shut down Stark Industries' weapons manufacturing division immediately, much to their surprise and the horror of Rhodes, Potts, and Stane.
Stark came to visit Rhodes while he was speaking to a young team of recruits, and asked for help with a new private project. Rhodes initially was delighted as he believed this meant that Stark had decided to reopen his work with the military; however, Stark revealed that this was a private project which in he did not intend to involve the military. Rhodes made it clear that he did not agree with Stark's approach and he thought Stark was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his capture and needed time to recover.
Creation of Iron Man
- "No, you see, this isn't a game. You do not send civilian equipment into my active war zone. You understand that?"
"It's not a piece of equipment, I'm in it! It's a suit! It's ME!"
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
In Gulmira, Afghanistan, terrorists were rounding up civilians for capture and execution when they were confronted by a mysterious figure in red and gold. Iron Man had arrived. Within seconds, he easily defeated the terrorists and destroyed the weapons they had obtained. As Iron Man left the area, two F-22 Raptor jets spotted him. Rhodes was asked about the status of any new developments, which the others denied. He then contacted Stark, who claimed that he knew nothing about what was happening. Iron Man tried to outrun the jets but they were too much for him.
Stark called Rhodes and reveals that he was responsible for the "unidentified craft." Rhodes was furious about Stark sending in unauthorized equipment in US airspace, and horrified when Stark explained that the "equipment" was actually himself. Iron Man was hit by one fighter jet, sending him flying into the wing of the second jet. The pilot was forced to eject, but the parachute failed to open. Iron Man, still under fire, managed to fly in and successfully deploy the parachute in time to save the pilot's life. Later, Stark convinced Rhodes to pass off what happened with the jets as a "training exercise."
Obadiah Stane's Betrayal
- "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen."
"Not bad, huh."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Days later, Obadiah Stane arrived at Tony Stark's Mansion and paralyzed him with a Sonic Taser, intending to leave him to die and use the Iron Man technology himself to start a war. Stane yanked out the Arc Reactor from Stark's heart, taunting him all the while. After he left, Stark realized that he had only one hope for survival - the preserved Arc Reactor that Pepper Potts gave him in a display case. Stark got the power source installed just as Rhodes arrived, who had been earlier informed on what was happening from Potts, Rhodes helped him up as they prepared to fight back against Stane.
Rhodes watched Stark suit up, awestruck at the Iron Man costume, saying that it was the "coolest" thing he had ever seen, Stark asked for his assistance in keeping the military out of the way while he confronted Obadiah Stane. As Stark flew away, Rhodes looked at the prototype silver suit Stark built earlier, then shook his head and mumbled "Next time, baby." Acting on Stark's orders, he was able to prevent the military from getting involved in Iron Man's fight against Stane by passing it off as a routine training exercise.
Meeting Phil Coulson
After Tony Stark's battle with Iron Monger, Stark and Rhodes were taken to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base where they encountered Agent Phil Coulson. Coulson reviewed Stark's technique from his fight against the Iron Monger, saying that it was good, but he needed to learn how become a real fighter, and that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents would teach him how to fight.
Iron Man's Speech
- "All the mistakes I've made, largely public."
"Just stick to the cards, man."
- ―Tony Stark and James Rhodes
Days later, Rhodes held a press conference about the incident with the two robots and tried to pass it off as a training exercise. He invited Tony Stark to the stage to go into more detail about the events, when Stark seemed to ramble, Rhodes reminded him to stick to the cards he had been given. Instead, Stark exposed himself as Iron Man, much to Rhodes' dismay.
Questioning Iron Man
Meeting Senator Stern
Senator Stern witnessed a broadcast of Iron Man saving civilians from an attack on a U.N. peace-keeping mission. Stern met with Rhodes about his issue with Stark not following United States National Security interest. Rhodes said Stark would probably never follow orders. Stern introduced Rhodes to General Thaddeus Ross with a plan to replace Stark with a new weapon, the Aerodynamic Marvel.
Stark's Meeting with the Senator
- "I didn't expect to see you here..."
"Well, it's me, I'm here, so get over it and move on."
- ―Tony Stark and James Rhodes
Six months after Tony Stark told the world he was Iron Man, James Rhodes was called upon to write a report analyzing Iron Man. He was used in an attempt to get the Iron Man armor handed over to the US Government by Senator Stern. He ended up speaking in Stark's favor. Also, Stark discovered that Justin Hammer had been trying to duplicate his armor, revealing this to the world.
- "This lone gunslinger act is unnecessary. You don't have to do this alone."
- ―James Rhodes to Tony Stark
After the meeting Rhodes tried to convince Tony Stark of the importance of an Iron Man suit directly under the supervision of the Pentagon, but instead Stark convinced Rhodes to try out the Mark II armor. Stark and Rhodes continued their discussion, while they were flying through the skies in their respective armors. However, after the flight Rhodes left, prompting Stark not to make him choose between their friendship and his duty.
Rhodes was forced to make several phone calls to the government to try to keep the peace after Tony Stark was attacked by a terrorist named Ivan Vanko seemingly using the Arc Reactor technology. Rhodes came to Tony Stark's Mansion intending to berate his friend for his actions but found Stark barely able to stand due to poisoning from his own Arc Reactor. Rhodes tried to convince him to allow him to help but Stark ignored him.
Stark's Birthday Party
- "I'm only gonna say this once: get out."
- ―War Machine to the party guests
Later, Tony Stark got drunk at his birthday party because he knew he was dying of palladium poisoning and threw a party as his last moments. When Rhodes arrived, he was ushered inside by the nervous Pepper Potts and asked to do something as Stark was now wearing his Iron Man Suit and was putting his party guests at risk by firing his repulsors at random objects, like champagne bottles and a watermelon, thrown in the air. Rhodes became outraged as he had been spending the last few hours defending Stark.
Rhodes put on the Mark II armor to stop Stark, who was wearing the Mark IV, and confronted Stark, demanding all the guests to leave and Stark to remove the suit. Stark refused and the two close friends began fighting, trashing most of Tony Stark's Mansion in the process. Eventually, they fired their repulsors at each other, causing a shockwave which knocked them both back. With Stark unable to stand, Rhodes flew away with the suit.
Having won the brawl, Rhodes flew back to Edwards Air Force Base to drop off the Iron Man Armor: Mark II. Once he landed he was greeted by Major Allen who seemed amazed by the sight of the armor. Rhodes informed his fellow soldiers that he was willing to allow the suit to be used by the military as long as he was the sole pilot of it. He then discussed with Allen how they would weaponize it, as it was still at this time a limited prototype.
- "I think I'll take it."
"All of it."
- ―James Rhodes and Justin Hammer
Justin Hammer was brought in to upgrade the armor and presented his weapons to Rhodes and Major Allen. When Hammer asked which weapons they wanted to include on the suit, Rhodey replied that he wanted all of them, including Hammer's personal favorite Ex-Wife Missile. The Mark II was upgraded into the "JRXL-1000 Variable Threat Response Battle Suit". Rhodes was selected by General Meade as the pilot.
- "You have *a* big gun, you're not *the* big gun."
"Tony, don't be jealous."
"No, it's subtle, all the bells and whistles."
"Yeah, it's called being a badass."
- ―Tony Stark and James Rhodes
During Justin Hammer's display of Hammer Drones at the Stark Expo, Rhodey unveiled the new advanced War Machine Armor. Stark, however, had learned that Hammer was working with Ivan Vanko. Vanko took control of the drones and the War Machine armor, trying to use them to destroy Iron Man, leading to a huge battle at the Expo, Rhodey was still able to communicate with Stark and warn him of incoming attacks.
Agent Natasha Romanoff of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to give Rhodes control over his armor, and he recovered and spoke to Tony Stark about the next step in their battle plan. The pair argued over who was the leader and who wore the more powerful suit, with Stark insisting that Rhodes' suit was overdoing it. Their argument was interrupted by the arrival of the Hammer Drones, leading to Rhodes and Stark using their armors to fight back against the drones. Although at one point the pair appeared to be overwhelmed by the drones, Stark used a laser to cut them all in half.
Iron Man and War Machine were then faced by Ivan Vanko in an upgraded Whiplash armor. Rhodes attempted to use a Hammer missile called the Ex-Wife Missile to destroy Vanko, but it malfunctioned. They fought Vanko and were quickly overpowered until they were eventually able to defeat him. Vanko ordered the Hammer Drones to self-destruct, causing Stark to go and rescue Pepper Potts before Vanko and the Drones exploded. After the fight, Rhodes caught Stark and Potts sharing a kiss and decided to keep the suit despite Stark's protests.
Honored by Stern
- "Thank you, Lieutenant Colonel, for such an exceptional distinguished performance. You deserve this."
"Thank you, sir."
- ―Senator Stern and James Rhodes
Stark and Rhodes were then awarded medals for their bravery from a reluctant Senator Stern, who had been ordered to do so by Nick Fury. Stern showed great reluctance to be presenting the pair with their awards for bravery and awkwardly smiled for the cameras with the pair.
Hunting the Ten Rings
A while after defeating Whiplash, Tony stripped the War Machine armor of everything that Justin Hammer had "upgraded" it with leaving the suit with only the weaponry that Stark put in it. When Rhodes pointed this out to Stark, Stark revealed that he had made Rhodes his own suit, the Mark II War Machine armor.
Rhodes began using this suit to take down Ten Rings terrorists in other countries finding that they had acquired Hammer Industries weaponry. Rhodes took out the terrorists and continued to investigate the mysterious Ten Rings.
By the time of the Chitauri invasion of New York City, Rhodes was busy fighting terrorists in Hong Kong. Stark contacted him but Rhodes told him that even at supersonic speed it would take over an hour for him to return so Stark told him not to bother. After dealing with the terrorists in Hong Kong, Rhodes returned to New York, finding the battle already over he located Stark in a Shawarma Palace where he was introduced to the Avengers.
Some time later, Stark invited Rhodes to his workshop. He had realized that not even Iron Man and War Machine would be enough to protect the Earth. Tony Stark revealed to Rhodey that he had developed several Iron Man armors that could be remotely controlled - an Iron Legion.
Rhodey heard about an attack that a man named Bruno Horgan had made on Stark. The next day Horgan attacked Rhodey himself and with some effort defeated him. Working together Stark and Rhodey located, defeated, and arrested him.
Search for the Mandarin
- "Central to my administration's response to this terrorist event is a newly minted resource. I know him as Colonel James Rhodes, the American people will soon know him as the Iron Patriot."
- ―President Matthew Ellis
After continuing to carry out his duties as the government of United States of America's personal Iron Man, Rhodes' War Machine armor was given a brand new paint job to further please the public. Due to the aggressive name of War Machine, the armor was redubbed as the Iron Patriot and painted in the motif of the American flag. The job was requisitioned by A.I.M.. As Iron Patriot, Rhodes continued his battle against terrorism and hunted down the Ten Rings' leader, the Mandarin who had been setting off bombs across America and tormenting the President.
Later Rhodes met with Stark at a bar where they discussed the threat of the Mandarin and what the government was hiding from the public, although Stark suggested getting the Avengers involved, Rhodes insisted that this was not a job for superheroes but for the United States Armed Forces. Stark also made several jokes about Rhodes' new code-name compared to his old one of War Machine, but Rhodes argued that Iron Patriot tested better in focus groups. At one point two kids ask Stark to sign a hand-drawn picture of him entering a Wormhole which caused Stark to have a panic attack and leave the bar.
While Rhodes was hunting for the Mandarin, Tony Stark was seemingly killed by the terrorist when his mansion was attacked. Rhodes continued to hunt for his enemy, following intel given to him by President Matthew Ellis. During one raid in Pakistan, Rhodes received a call from Stark, who had survived and was running his own investigation into the Mandarin. Stark insisted upon finding Rhodes' passcode so he could hack into the security files and learn more about A.I.M., who he suspected of being connected. Stark then mocked Rhodes for having a password referencing War Machine.
- "If you want this suit, you're going to have to pry my cold, dead body out of it."
"That's the plan, Colonel."
- ―James Rhodes and Sweat Shop Agent
Some time later, Rhodey was sent by President Matthew Ellis to find the Mandarin ASAP but was repeatedly given the wrong location. When arriving at a sweatshop in Pakistan, Rhodes was ambushed by an Extremis soldier posing as one of the civilians who shut down Rhodes' suit, trapping him inside. Rhodes remained strong, claiming that they would have to drag him out, the Agent told him that was indeed the plan.
Rhodey was then taken to a Mansion where Aldrich Killian's workers attempted to cut Rhodes out of the suit. When this failed, Killian used his Extremis powers to remove Rhodes from his suit, slowly boiling it until it opened. Rhodes attempted to put up a fight, punching Killian's henchman, Eric Savin, to the ground before giving in when Killian breathed flames at him. Savin used his own superior strength to push Rhodes into a wall head first, knocking him out.
Finding the Mandarin
- "Tony, I swear, I'm going to blow his face off."
- ―James Rhodes about Trevor Slattery
After witnessing Savin take control of the Iron Patriot armor and leave to meet President Ellis, Rhodey escaped and aided Stark in his Mark XLII who was also being held prisoner. Stark then introduced Rhodey to the Mandarin who was actually just a British actor named Trevor Slattery, whom Killian paid to be a decoy while he carried out Extremis experiments. They learned that he knew nothing about any real threats and thought it was just an acting role.
Rhodes and Stark took Slattery's speed boat and warned Vice President Rodriguez that Iron Patriot was actually Eric Savin who planned to kidnap President Matthew Ellis. The VP did not pass on the message; he was secretly in league with Killian. Learning that Savin was attacking Air Force One, Stark used his remote-controlled Mark XLII to fly onto the plane, kill Savin and rescue airborne passengers from death. However, Savin had placed President Ellis inside the Iron Patriot suit and sent him to the Norco.
- "Give me a suit!"
"Oh I'm sorry, they're only coded to me."
"What does that mean?"
"I got you covered!"
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Rhodey and Tony Stark then infiltrated the Norco to save both Pepper Potts and President Matthew Ellis, the latter of whom was encased in the Iron Patriot Armor and suspended from a crane, awaiting public live execution. Stark summoned his Iron Legion as backup and directed them to attack the Extremis Soldiers. As Stark put on a suit, Rhodes excitedly asked him if he would get to wear a new suit but was sadly disappointed that Stark only made the Iron Patriot armor and was escorted by another suit.
While Stark rescued the captured Pepper Potts, Rhodes went after Matthew Ellis. Fighting off several Extremis Soldiers, Rhodes managed to secure Ellis and get him away from danger, noting that the President looked good in the Iron Patriot Armor but that he would need it back. Rhodes got his armor back and used it to fly himself and the President out of danger while Stark continued to fight Aldrich Killian.
After Tony Stark and Pepper Potts defeated Aldrich Killian and his Extremis Soldiers, Rhodes further aided his government by outing Vice President Rodriguez as a conspirator with Killian and watched as he was arrested by the FBI inside the White House. He also attended Stark's surgery to have his Arc Reactor removed, alongside Potts, giving Stark a thumbs up for support. Rhodes later repainted his armor back to its original color scheme and went back to going under the alias of War Machine.
Party at Avengers Tower
- "So I take the tank, fly it right up to the General’s palace, drop it at his feet, I’m like, Boom! You looking for this? Boom! Are you looking… Why do I even talk to you guys? Everywhere else that story kills."
"That’s the whole story?"
"Yeah, it’s a War Machine story."
- ―James Rhodes and Thor
Rhodes was invited to a party at the Avengers Tower alongside the Avengers, Maria Hill and many others to celebrate the Avengers victory over HYDRA and the capture of Wolfgang von Strucker. Rhodes told the story of how he had found and delivered an entire tank to a general, but was disappointed when Thor and Tony Stark were unimpressed by the tale. Rhodes then asked where Pepper Potts and Jane Foster were but quickly left with Hill when Stark and Thor began arguing over who have the better girlfriend.
Rhodes decided to distance himself from the Avengers and spend his time at the party with other non-powered guests in an attempt to feel better after being mocked by Thor and Stark. Rhodes later told the same story about flying the tank to a general's office to a group of beautiful women and was satisfied when they seemed to be impressed by the story and laughed at the punchline.
After most of the guests had departed, Rhodes stayed behind with Stark playing cards with Hill and watched as the Avengers challenged each other to try to lift Thor's hammer Mjølnir. After watching Hawkeye fail, Rhodes joined Stark in an unsuccessful attempt, despite using a gauntlet of the War Machine Armor. The other Avengers tried, including Captain America and Bruce Banner, but in the end it seemed only Thor was capable of lifting the hammer.
They were interrupted when a scrapped robot calling itself Ultron awakened from Stark's laboratory and began talking about saving the world by destroying the Avengers. Ultron then attacked the Avengers; Rhodes helped his allies and got thrown out of a window during the fight, but he was able to survive thanks to the bridge on the floored part of the tower.
- "He’s in your files, he’s in the internet. What if he decides to access something a little more exciting?"
- ―James Rhodes and Maria Hill
Afterwards, the team regrouped and discussed the events, with Tony Stark revealing that he had created Ultron as a means to save the world from an upcoming war that they were doomed to lose. Rhodes made his disapproval of the entire situation very clear to his friend before witnessing Thor attack Stark in retaliation for such a foolish act.
When Nick Fury called most of the former S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel to assist the Avengers in their war against Ultron, Rhodes went with them, utilizing the War Machine Armor to defend the Helicarrier and assist the team in evacuating the civilians from the elevated Novi Grad. When Ultron sent his drones to destroy the evacuation pods containing the civilians, Rhodes engaged them in battle and was able to destroy many of the robots.
As the Avengers joined forces with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, they were soon able to push back Ultron's army and even came close to destroying Ultron himself. He scared the remaining robots in the army so much they attempted to flee, so War Machine was called to stop them. Vision flew by War Machine and assisted him in destroying the Ultron Sentries; Rhodes was surprised to receive the help from such an unknown ally.
Joining the Team
- "Avengers A..."
- ―Captain America
With the Ultron Offensive finished, Rhodes, along with Vision, Wanda Maximoff and Sam Wilson joined the Avengers' roster on a more permanent basis. They arrived at the New Avengers Facility and began their training under Captain America and Black Widow. He did not however participate in the mission to Lagos, Nigeria along with Vision. 
In the aftermath of a disastrous mission in Lagos, Nigeria against Crossbones and his small army, the Avengers were held accountable for multiple citizens deaths caused when Scarlet Witch redirected an explosion caused by Crossbones and inadvertently destroyed a building filled with innocent people. This resulted in Thaddeus Ross presenting the Sokovia Accords to the Avengers. Rhodes agreed to the accords along with Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff and Vision.
Arresting Captain America
- "Congratulations Cap. You're a criminal."
- ―War Machine to Captain America
When Joint Counter Terrorist Centre located Winter Soldier within Bucharest, Rhodes, in his new armor, was called in. Arriving shortly after the police did, War Machine discovered Captain America and the Falcon engaged in a fight with the Winter Soldier and Black Panther. War Machine landed with his weapons loaded and aimed at his former Avengers allies, taking them into custody while also being shocked to discover that the Black Panther was in fact King T'Challa of Wakanda.
- "Sorry, Cap. This won't kill you, but it ain't gonna tickle either."
- ―War Machine to Captain America
However before long the Winter Soldier was broke out from the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, and Captain America and Falcon helped him go into hiding. Upon hearing of this escape attempt, Iron Man called in War Machine and other allies in order to stop Rogers and his teammates from escaping. While the two armored heroes blocked Rogers' way, Spider-Man appeared and stole Captain America's Shield to disarm him while Stark tried to convince him to surrender now.
Rogers however refused and used Ant-Man to steal back the shield and make their escape, with Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch acting as backup. A battle broke out between Iron Man's team and Captain America's team in Flughafen Leipzig-Halle airport, and while Ant-Man fought Black Widow, War Machine armed himself with an electrified baton and prepared to fight against Captain America, also with the assistance of Black Panther, who was on his own mission to kill the Winter Soldier for seemingly killing T'Chaka during the Bombing of the Vienna International Centre. During the fight, Captain America knocked War Machine out of the sky, destroying his baton.
As the fight continued, War Machine regrouped with Black Panther and Black Widow and faced off against Captain America and Ant-Man, who used one of the Pym Particles Disks to force an entire truck at the group. Although the others managed to dodge out of the way, War Machine was hit with the full force of the exploding truck, although his War Machine Armor protected him despite it greatly angering him regardless.
War Machine joined his allies and once the Vision had blocked their path, stood in defiance against Captain America and his allies, all of whom were against the Sokovia Accords. Rogers however did not back down and instead charged into battle, with War Machine joining Iron Man and the rest of their team in moving forward and engaging in a fierce battle against their former allies, with War Machine chasing Falcon across the battlefield.
Chasing Falcon through the air, War Machine came close to catching up with the former Avenger, until to his surprise, Ant-Man used his Suit to transform himself into Giant-Man, grabbing War Machine out of the air as everybody looked on in amazement. War Machine was then thrown across the battlefield before he was caught by Spider-Man who managed to fling him back into the battle before he could crash headfirst into a nearby parked airplane.
War Machine joined forces with Spider-Man and Iron Man in their attempts to stop Giant-Man's rampage as he caused chaos across the battlefield, with War Machine unleashing all of his non-lethal weapons, including the Stark Sonic Cannon, to try and slow him down. Eventually Spider-Man had an idea to beat Giant-Man, taking inspiration from The Empire Strikes Back and tied up Giant Man's legs before War Machine and Iron Man before hit him in the jaw and caused him to fall down and crash land hard on the ground.
While they were distracted however, Captain America and the Winter Soldier were attempting to make their way to the Quinjet and escape. Although the Vision had used the Mind Stone to knock down a tower and block their path, Scarlet Witch used her own power to hold it up and assist in their escape attempt. Seeking to stop Rogers' plans, War Machine unleashed the Sonic Cannon on Scarlet Witch, causing her great agony and then forcing her to drop the tower.
Despite their best efforts to stop them however, Captain America and the Winter Soldier managed to escape with the stolen Quinjet, having also gained some assistance from Black Widow who had decided to briefly change sides and had blocked Black Panther's attacks. War Machine and Iron Man flew after them, however Falcon also flew to them to stop them, firing his rockets at the armored heroes in an attempt to slow them down and allow Rogers and Barnes to escape without challenge so they could continue their mission.
War Machine called on the Vision to neutralize Falcon, but Vision had become distracted by assisting Scarlet Witch and his energy blast missed Falcon, instead striking War Machine, exactly at his Arc Reactor, causing his entire suit to lose power. War Machine fell hundreds of feet and despite the best efforts of Falcon and Iron Man to save him, crash landed hard on the ground below, paralyzed and unconscious, with F.R.I.D.A.Y. calling for medical assistance.
- "Yes, this is, this is Tony Stank. Never going to let that go, by the way. Table for one, Mr. Stank. Please, by the bathroom."
- ―James Rhodes
Rhodes was paralyzed in his legs because of the crash. Tony Stark built him a new Stark Industries device that could help him walk again, but Rhodes had problems to adapt to it. Rhodes told him that he had done 138 combat missions because he thought it was the right thing to do, same as the Sokovia Accords. They were interrupted by the arrival of a delivery man who mistakenly misread Stark's name as "Tony Stank", much to Rhodes' amusement, who claimed he would never forget the nickname.
Reuniting the Avengers
Rhodes spent the better part of two years recovering from his injuries and adapting to the harness that enabled him to walk. During this time Rhodes gradually became embittered towards the Sokovia Accords and Secretary Ross despite his signature on them over the damage done to the Avengers and the latter's bullheaded perception of Steve Rogers as a dangerous criminal. One day, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross contacted Rhodes at the Avengers Facility to discuss the disappearances of Tony Stark and Vision. Stark was missing after the Attack on Greenwich Village, while Vision was last seen being attacked in Edinburgh and leaving in the company of Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff. While the two argued over Steve's criminal status and the problems with the Accords, Rogers and his team arrived at the compound, prompting Ross to order Rhodes to arrest them immediately. Rhodes instead disconnected the call and greeted his comrades, noting that his failure to arrest them probably meant he was being court-martialled but he didn't care.
Since Thanos wanted the Mind Stone from Vision, the Avengers headed to Wakanda where they hoped to remove the Stone safely and keep Vision alive. Upon arrival in Wakanda, Bruce Banner asked Rhodes if he should bow in front of King T'Challa. Rhodes told him that he should. When Banner actually bowed and T'Challa told him not to, Rhodes broke out in a grin having tricked his friend.
- "What just happened?"
- ―War Machine and Steve Rogers
During the Battle of Wakanda, Rhodes stood with the Avengers and the Wakandan military against Thanos' army of the Outriders. During the battle, he provided much needed air support to ground troops, using his War Machine armor to launch bombing runs and to lay down covering fire. Once Thanos arrived on the battlefield to obtain the Mind Stone, Rhodes and his allies attempted to stop him. He unleashed the full power of his armor's weaponry against the Mad Titan but was completely outmatched by Thanos's skill with the powers of the nearly completed Infinity Gauntlet, with Thanos using the Space Stone to crush his War Machine armor around him before throwing him aside.
Once Thanos obtained all six Infinity Stones, he snapped his fingers and killed half of the people in the universe. Rhodes called out to Sam Wilson as the latter disintegrated into dust, hidden in the long grass. He continued to call out for Wilson after he disappeared. Still shocked by death of his allies, Rhodes was just able to ask what happened before realizing what had happened and briefly bowed and shaked his head out of disbelief and despair before beginning to silently lament the lost.
James Rhodes is a proud and highly distinguished officer of the United States Armed Forces. Though he is supportive of his best friend Tony Stark and generally enjoys being involved in his revelries, he is sometimes annoyed by Stark's flippant and reckless behavior. Tony's disrespect of government officials and refusal to relinquish his Iron Man suits to them often puts Rhodes in a difficult position since he has to balance his responsibilities to his superiors and respect his friendship with Tony. As liaison to Stark Industries, Rhodes strives to maintain a copacetic relationship between Tony and the U.S. government.
As a military man, he is a firm believer in people being held accountable for their actions and a proper chain of command. This made signing the Sokovia Accords an easy decision for him as it would make the Avengers accountable for their actions and a show of good faith for the public. He was also pleased to see Tony believe the same thing. As a result of this, he has a dislike of those who believe their actions to be "right" and would flout the law to accomplish them, shown when he confronted Captain America's faction during the Clash of the Avengers. However as time progressed Rhodes became increasingly frustrated with the restrictions imposed on the Avengers, as well as Thaddeus Ross and the UN labeling his friends criminals so much so that he chose to be court martial-led when Ross demanded Rogers and his team arrested.
For the most part, Rhodes maintains a sense of professionalism and strives to do whatever he feels is the right thing for the people. This often causes tension between him and Stark, though the two nonetheless maintain a strong mutual respect and friendship. Rhodes also takes great personal pride in his work; when attending the party following the retrieval of the Chitauri scepter, he enjoys getting laughs from recounting stories of his work as War Machine, and his ego is somewhat deflated when he doesn't get the reaction he's looking for from Stark and Thor. Despite becoming partially paralyzed as a result of siding with Stark against Captain America over the Sokovia Accords, he freely admits having no regrets, as he believes it was the right thing to do. This would in time change, as he later openly admitted his disappointment and frustration the Accords had ultimately done more harm than good by fragmenting the Avengers, forcing many of them to live in hiding in a time they were needed.
Despite his sense of professionalism, however, he enjoys wearing the War Machine suit as he believes it makes him a badass, and is largely disappointed when it underperforms, such as when the Ex-Wife Missile installed in his suit doesn't deliver when fighting Whiplash. Though he states that being rebranded as Iron Patriot comes across well as it's less aggressive, he secretly prefers being referred to as War Machine, and quickly goes back to this persona following the end of the latest crisis. However, he is often left in awe when faced with more extreme super-powered individuals; the sight of Aldrich Killian breathing fire alone was enough to make him immediately surrender despite actually winning against his men, and when preventing several Ultron Sentries from fleeing was left wondering what he had just witnessed when Vision did his job for him.
Powers and Abilities
Like Tony Stark, Rhodes has no known superhuman powers. He is a military man who is in excellent physical condition. However, like Stark, Rhodes' power comes from using a modified Iron Man armor to become War Machine. The armor allows him to fly, possess superhuman strength and durability and contains various weapons for battle. Rhodes' War Machine armors are more devised for military oriented purposes; therefore they are more heavily armored and weaponized than Stark's Iron Man armors.
The War Machine armors are the only other powerful suits next to the Iron Man armors. Before weaponization of the Mark II Iron Man armor, it was sufficient enough to battle a more updated, and powerful generation armor (the Mark IV). When the Mark II Iron Man Armor was transformed into the War Machine Mark I armor, it was sufficient enough to nearly overpower the Mark VI (while under Vanko's control), battle hordes of Hammer Drones and Vanko himself with his own armor.
- Flight: The armor, like the Iron Man Armor, can reach speeds as Mach 3 in moments. It is equipped with non-weapons grade repulsor based flight stabilizers that theoretically reach speeds of Mach 8 similar to the Mark IV's flight stabilizers. It was adequate to keep up with the Mark VI during the battle over the Stark Expo and catch Iron Man off-guard and tackled him into the Oracle building.
- Superhuman Strength: When utilizing the armor, it increases Rhodes' natural physical abilities to superhuman levels, chief among them is his strength. Rhodes, inside his armor, is capable of overpowering normal humans and tear unmanned battle drones with ease. It also allows him to go toe-to-toe with Stark in his armor. By his own claim, Rhodes can lift a tank with his armor.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The armor, like Stark's, has motors for movement. It is extremely fast and responsive in flight, and during combat. The armor can react faster than naturally possible.
Armor Systems: The armor has remote assistance, and a holographic HUD, with cellphone and computer connections in the helmet. The armor is powered by a miniature arc reactor and has an on-board generator for emergencies. The scanner systems are capable of scanning the environment, weather conditions and equipment for information. The armors also have variable control surfaces for active flight control. The Hull Pressure Transducers are on board sensors that track external pressure based on altitude, speed, and temperature, and adjust internal settings appropriately.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System and Environmental Protection: The armor can be sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, providing its own life support, and is shielded against radiation.
Superhuman Durability: The armor is made of a solar charged carbon-composite-based external plating armor and has a chestplate protecting the arc reactor. It is shown that it can withstand tremendous amounts of punishment. It had withstood a full-on fight with the Mark IV in Stark's house. It had withstood the full-on fight with the Hammer Drones and withstood the full-on ammo unloaded on both him and Stark while in their respective suits. It was able to withstand damage done on it by Vanko in his own suit. It protects the wearer from the effects of extreme g-forces. During the Clash of the Avengers, his armor resisted being at the epicentre of an explosion, Falcon's weapons, Giant Man's fists, being thrown into an airplane and Captain America's shield all with superficial damage. It was vulnerable however to the power of the Mind Stone, the blasts shearing off the arc reactor and causing it to plummet several hundred feet. However, the armor durable enough however to remain intact following the crash and allowed Rhodes to survive his fall, despite being severely crippled and nearly killed.
- Repulsors: A particle beam weapon in the palm gauntlets that can repel physical and energy-based attacks. When combined with an attack from another repulsor, it can create an energy shockwave that decimate a small area like when he and Stark both fired their repulsors at each other and the resulting event destroyed much of Stark's house.
- Unibeam: A more powerful version of the palm repulsors mounted on the chest. In addition to the physical capabilities and various weaponry it already possesses, it also utilizes laser guided munitions.
- Mini-Gun: A 7.62-mm minigun is attached to the back of the suit on a swivel mount and typically fires over the right shoulder. It is governed by an automated targeting system and can track targets independently of the suit's wearer, including those targets to the rear. The ammunition feed for this weapon is a belt feed from the rear torso.
- Gauntlets: The armor's armbraces each mount an underslung sub-machine gun.
- Rocket Launcher: A box rocket launcher mounted over the left shoulder holds a Hammer-tech bunker busting rocket that Rhodes referred to as the "Ex-Wife" which was useless against the improved Whiplash.
- Miniature Stark Sonic Cannon: It can emit sound waves that will stun the target for weeks. Rhodes has only used this twice, once on a group of the Ten Rings' allies, and once on Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man.
- "Sorry Cap, this won't kill you but it isn't going to tickle either."
- ―War Machine
- Stun Staff: Used to incapacitate targets by releasing powerful, non-lethal electricity.
Rhodes wears a "Brass Rat", the MIT school ring, indicating that he and Stark were graduates of the same college, and on his other hand, he wears an Air Force Academy ring, suggesting that he received his Master's Degree from MIT after earning a "grad school slot" for high academic achievement while at USAF Academy.
- Expert Pilot: He is a highly decorated Colonel Air Force officer and as such, he is a skilled fighter pilot as he is able to pilot the War Machine armor.
- Expert Tactician: He can create strategies that help him win in a battle. During his and Stark's attack on Killian, Rhodes was able to deflect several attacks from Extremis Soldiers with pure strategy. He also played a key role in fighting and co-ordinating strategy during the Battle of wakanda
- Expert Martial Artist: Rhodes' military training made him a very skilled hand to hand combatant. He was more than able to handle himself against Killian's Extremis Soldiers, even punching Eric Savin to the ground with a single punch, as well as also managing to, while wearing the Mark II Armor, compete against and eventually best Tony in their ferocious brawl during Tony's birthday when Tony got drunk while Tony was wearing his Mark Iv Armor.
- Expert Marksman: Rhodes' military training gave him a large knowledge of firearms and how to use them. This enabled to him to shoot multiple Extremis Soldiers with one gun.
War Machine Armor
- War Machine Armor: Mark I
- War Machine Armor: Mark II (temporarily Iron Patriot Armor)
- War Machine Armor: Mark III
- War Machine Armor: Mark IV
- Beretta 92FS Inox: Rhodes took this gun from one of the guards at Aldrich Killian's Mansion when he managed to escape from capture despite having lost the Iron Patriot Armor. He used it to kill some guards inside the mansion, to threaten Trevor Slattery and to confront many Extremis Soldiers during the Battle on the Norco.
- Walther P99: Rhodes kept one of these handguns besides him during the party at the Avengers Tower, resorting to use it against the Iron Legion drones hijacked by Ultron.
|Appearances for James Rhodes|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, James Rhodes is a 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, which alludes to the name “War Machine”.
- War Machine's legs and spine being damaged are a nod to the comics where James Rhodes suffers injuries and is rebuilt as a cyborg, though his brain was later transplanted into a healthy cloned body.
- In Iron Man 3, Rhodey is known as the Iron Patriot. In the comics, it was in fact Norman Osborn who was the first to adopt the identity of Iron Patriot. After the release of Iron Man 3, for a time, the mainstream counterpart of Rhodey has also taken the mantle of Iron Patriot in the comics, before later going back to the War Machine armor. The Iron Patriot identity was also picked up by Toni Ho, daughter of Yinsen, who is supposedly dead in the films.
- As War Machine, James Rhodes became the first African American superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- War Machine is the only Avengers member that is not an original founding member to remain alive after the Infinity War.
Behind the Scenes
- James Rhodes/War Machine is one of the few characters who are played by different actors in different films. The others are Howard Stark, Bruce Banner, Fandral, Thanos, and Red Skull.
- In an unused draft of Iron Man, Howard Stark featured as still alive, a ruthless businessman and the main villain, who adopted the identity of "War Machine".
- A War Machine movie was nearly green lighted at Marvel Studios, with Joe Robert Cole as a writer, but the plan was changed after Iron Man 3.
- Some of Spider-Man: Homecoming concept arts featured War Machine and Vision taking part at the rescue of the Staten Island Ferry alongside Iron Man, a concept that did not make it to the final version of the movie.
- Clay Donahue Fontenot was a stunt double for Terrence Howard and Kiante Elam, Kevin Arnold, Kevin L. Jackson, Trevor Habberstad, Kierron Quest and Greg Rementer were stunt doubles for Don Cheadle in the role of War Machine.
- Patrick Emery was a stand-in for Terrence Howard and T.J. Hogan was a stand-in for Don Cheadle in the role of War Machine.
- ↑ Iron Man prop
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Iron Man 3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Iron Man
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Iron Man: Fast Friends
- ↑ Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Iron Man 2
- ↑ Iron Man 2 Adaptation, Issue 1
- ↑ Iron Man 3 Prelude
- ↑ Iron Man: The Coming of the Melter
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ ‘Black Panther’ Screenwriter Reveals What Makes T’Challa One of the Most 'Unique' Characters in the MCU
- War Machine on the Marvel Wiki
- Iron Patriot on the Marvel Wiki
- War Machine on Wikipedia
- Iron Patriot on Wikipedia