fighting skills



Tony Stark's best friend, James Rhodes, is one of the few to wear the Iron Man armor, other than Tony Stark himself. Although he initially took on the role when Stark was dealing with his demons, Rhodes has reprised the role over the years.

A Turbulent Start

While growing up in South Philadelphia, James Rhodes was frequently bullied, and he longed to forge a new life for himself by moving away. Despite his hardship, he remained noble and good, even forming a close childhood bond with a girl named Glenda Sandoval and defending her from other children. However, when he gravely injured another child in the process, Rhodes was sent to a juvenile correctional facility

Later in life, Rhodes joined the Marines. He served for several tours in Southeast Asia, while also studying to become an aviation engineer. He became particularly close to fellow Marine Parnell Jacobs, who he even introduced to his childhood friend Glenda; they fell in love and later married.

Despite his military background, Rhodes hated taking lives and it took a toll on him. After his helicopter was shot down during a mission, he was found by Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, after the latter's own situation had gone awry. The two worked together to escape. Out of the Iron Man armor, Stark offered Rhodes a job as his pilot, which he took once his tour of duty was complete.

James Rhodes meets Tony Stark

In the meantime, Rhodes had also been working with Parnell Jacobs, until he was devastated to find out his friend was gun-running for the Santo Marco dictator.

While Rhodes worked for Stark International, he and Stark became devoted friends. Rhodes was there for Tony when he faced Justin Hammer and the Maggia, as well as his personal demons. During one of Tony's weakest moments, he accidentally revealed his identity to Rhodes, who took his friend's place in the Iron Man armor to defeat Magma.

Later on, Rhodes would do so again when Iron Man faked his death. Although he was upset when he learned the truth, the two reconciled when Tony asked him to keep the armor, and Rhodes took on the War Machine mantle.

A Walking Weapon

While Rhodes doesn't have super human powers, the War Machine armor designed for him by Tony Stark gives him unprecedented strength and a massive arsenal of weapons. War Machine can fly at Mach 2 and is equipped with a variety of projectile weapons such as repulsor rays, bombs, guns, and missiles. A unibeam in the chest plate can project virtually every light spectrum, a laser beam, and an electromagnetic pulse generator that can shut down electronic devices within a 50-yard radius. The armor can reboot itself within minutes.

War Machine with the full arsenal contained in his suit

The War Machine armor also keeps Rhodes safe from radiation and physical attacks and is specially coated to resist radar detection. A holographic generator can alter the appearance of the armor, rendering War Machine unrecognizable. The armor's systems are operated by a cybernetic link to Rhodes that shields him from mental attacks. They also include a targeting computer, radar and environment sensors, and a sophisticated subspace/satellite radio communications array that can detect local radio signals.

If War Machine is attacked, the armor contains life support systems, including an hour's air supply, and can be sealed for space and underwater travel.

Iron Opposition

When he's not wearing his own War Machine armor, Rhodes carries on Iron Man's tradition while facing threats such as Thunderball, the Radioactive Man, and other foes on Battleworld during the Beyonder's Secret Wars. While fighting alongside Tony, Rhodes helped defeat the Melter, the Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane), and the Mandarin.

When part of the West Coast Avengers as War Machine, he helps bring down villains such as the Blank and Graviton.

War Machine unleashes his weapons

Metal Allies

One of Rhodes' closest friends and allies is Tony Stark. Although they clash over the years, they manage to reconcile and support one another through any difficulty. For instance, when Tony's alcoholism costs him Stark International, Rhodes still tries to help his friend and oversees the destruction of the Iron Man suit to prevent them from falling into Obadiah Stane's hands.

War Machine and Iron Man

After parting ways with Stark, Rhodes joins the West Coast Avengers as War Machine and joins forces with Mockingbird, Wonder Man, and Tigra. Inventors Morley and Clytemnestra Erwin came in handy for help maintaining the War Machine armor.

He fights with the Avengers as both Iron Man and War Machine. At the request of the U.S. military, he uses a modified Iron Man armor to become the latest Iron Patriot, helping to pacify several suits of armor that gain sentience.


6'1'', In armor: 6'6''


240 lbs., In armor: 470 lbs.






Brown with streaks of gray

Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers, Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

Brothers in Armor

Soon after his return from Battleworld, Rhodes found that Stark was making an effort towards recovery and began rebuilding their friendship. Rhodes, Stark, and the Erwins eventually set up Circuits Maximus. Without explanation, Rhodes started feeling an intense jealousy of the Iron Man armor and hostility towards Tony. It was discovered that Rhodes's emotions were connected to the armor's cybernetic interface, which had not been adjusted for Rhodes' brainwaves. Earning Rhodes' trust, Tony adjusted the helmet to prevent this problem from recurring. Rhodes later joined the Avengers when Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye opened the West Coast branch in Los Angeles, although Hawkeye was shocked when he learned that he was not working with the original Iron Man.

Rhodes' time as Iron Man ended when Obadiah Stane blew up Circuits Maximus, killing Morley and injuring Rhodes. He offered the Iron Man armor to Tony so he could defeat Stane, but instead, Stark built new armor and faced Stane himself. That battle ended with Stane committing suicide. Stark remained active as Iron Man, and Rhodes resumed his role as his pilot and confidant at the new Stark Enterprises.

War Machine was born when Stark competitor Justin Hammer convinced three Japanese warriors known as the Masters of Silence to defeat Iron Man. They were unaffected by Iron Man's repulsors or unibeams, so Tony created a new and improved suit known as the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, Model XVI, Mark I. Decked out with more armor and weapons, Stark dubbed it War Machine and designed the suit with the specific intention of Rhodes continuing the Iron Man legacy after his death. Upon Stark's death, Rhodes took over control of Stark Enterprises as well as the mantle of Iron Man once more, fighting enemies like the Living Laser, the second Spymaster, Blacklash, the Beetle, and Atom Smasher.

James Rhodes dons the Iron Man Suit

Rhodes did not start using the War Machine name until it came to light that Tony was still alive, which fractured their friendship. The two did team up to defeat battledroids who were after Rhodes, who kept the suit at Tony's behest and began a Super Hero career as War Machine. Working with the human rights organization Worldwatch in the African nation of Imaya, Rhodes accepted the offer to serve as the company's executive director. This put him into conflict with Stark, who demanded the armor back. Tony disapproved of Rhodes's vigilante-like actions in Imaya and the two begin an epic battle. Just as their conflict began to wane, the Mandarin steps in and Rhodes and Tony rejoined forces to defeat their mutual enemy. When the dust settled, the two men rekindled their friendship. Afterwards, Stark ceded the armor to Rhodes again, along with its blueprints.

Rhodes lost the armor during a time-traveling adventure, but he wound up wearing an alien construct called the Eidolon Warwear to fight Stark, who was controlled by Immortus. With Stark thought dead and his company purchased by Fukijawa Industries, Rhodes strove to keep all information about Iron Man technology out of Fukijawa's hands. This also destroyed his own armor and he retired.

While working as a military consultant in Dubai, Rhodes was torn to pieces in combat. Stark had Bethany Cabe rebuild him as the ultimate cyborg. In his cyborg form he had invulnerable limbs. He became an Avenger again, fighting the Illuminati and commanding a new force of War Machine drones.

James Rhodes dons the War Machine Suit

During the first Super Hero Civil War, Rhodes worked with the Fifty-State Initiative and he played an important role in defeating the Skrulls during their Secret Invasion. Later, Rhodes faced off against Eaglestar International, a corrupt private military contractor using Ultimo technology. While rooting out this technology, Rhodes foiled Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin, in his plan to take it for himself. In retribution, Osborn put Rhodes on trial for war crimes in the Hague, but Rhodes prevailed and soon found himself restored into a clone body.

Outfitted in new armor, Rhodes rejoined the army as a lieutenant colonel. After Osborn was hauled off to jail, scientists from A.I.M. managed to steal the Iron Patriot armor. They replicated the machinery and outfitted each of the suits with a low-level artificial intelligence. A.I.M. then sent these drones out to hit international targets with the intent of ruining the reputation of the U.S. abroad. With the help of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rhodes established communications with the drones and was able to convince them that they had been given bad orders. In order to learn from him, they sent him a suit of Iron Patriot armor so he could join them. He led them in a retaliatory strike against A.I.M.

Rhodes later faked his death so he could take over for Stark as Iron Man until they managed to defeat the Mandarin. Rhodes later helped S.H.I.E.L.D. stop a squadron of Iron Patriot drones, and they gave him his own set of Iron Patriot armor to lead them.

War Machine fighting as Iron Patriot

When Tony Stark erased his own mind to protect the SHRA database from Osborn, Rhodes journeyed to Stark's bedside to assist Captain America and Thor in reviving him. Rhodes stripped down the Rescue armor Tony built for Pepper Hogan so that it could power the hard drive containing a back-up of Tony's mind, then successfully uploaded its contents into Tony.

During the second Super Hero Civil War, War Machine was killed in a battle with Thanos. A group of Super Heroes from the Inhumans, A-Force, and the Ultimates decided to ambush the Mad Titan in a trap when the Inhuman Ulysses Cain saw a vision of Thanos trying to steal the all-powerful Cosmic Cube from Project Pegasus. However, the ambush proved deadly and convinced Tony, distraught after the death of his friend, that it was not right to use Ulysses' precognitive abilities to stop things before they happened.