James "Rhodey" Rhodes is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force. He attended a ceremony to present Tony Stark with an award for his work, but Stark was not in attendance. Tony's right-hand man Obadiah Stane accepted the award on Tony's behalf and Rhodes later found Tony partying in a casino.
Tony disappeared after a Stark Industries missile demonstration in the Middle East when the military convoy he was traveling in was attacked by terrorists. Mounting a search, Rhodes tried to find his friend, although their reunion did not come until weeks later, after Tony escaped, when Rhodes found the injured Stark trudging through the desert.
Tony came to visit Rhodes after announcing his plans to cease arms manufacture and asked Rhodes for help with a new private project. Rhodes disagreed with Tony's approach; he believed Stark was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his capture and needed time to recover.
When Iron Man left a confrontation in the Middle East, two F-22 jet fighters spotted him and word of the sighting was quickly passed to Col. Rhodes. When asked about the status of any new developments, Rhodes contacted Tony, who denied any knowledge of the incident. Iron Man tried to outrun the jets but they were too much for him. Tony called Rhodes and revealed that he was responsible for the "unidentified craft."
Rhodes was furious about Tony sending in unauthorized equipment, and horrified when Tony 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 ejected, 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. Tony convinced Rhodes to pass off what happened with the jets as a "training exercise."
Rhodes arrived at Stark's mansion just after an altercation had transpired there between Tony and Obadiah Stane. He watched Tony suit up, awestruck at the Iron Man armor, saying that it was the "coolest" thing he had ever seen. As Tony flew away, Rhodes looked at the prototype armor Tony had built earlier, then shook his head and mumbled, "Next time, baby."
Days later, Rhodes held a press conference about the incident with the two armored people, the same conference where Tony Stark revealed himself as Iron Man.
Six months later, Rhodes came under pressure from the United States government to convince Tony Stark to relinquish ownership of the Iron Man armor while remaining loyal to Stark despite his frustration. When an intoxicated Stark in the Iron Man armor proceeded to endanger the lives of all the guests at his birthday party, Rhodes was forced to don the Iron Man Mark II armor to intervene. After the intervention turned into a fight that wrecked Stark's home, Rhodes left with the Mark II armor.
After the confiscated Mark II armor was upgraded to become the heavily armed War Machine armor at Edwards Air Force Base, it was taken for a demonstration at the Stark Expo with Rhodes as its pilot. However his armor fell under the control of Ivan Vanko and Rhodes was forced to watch helplessly from within the suit while it attacked Stark. The War Machine software was rebooted by Natasha Romanoff enabling Rhodes to regain control over the armor. Rhodes then teamed with Stark to fight against Justin Hammer's unmanned drones and then Vanko himself.
A new version of the War Machine armor was created by Tony Stark in order to restore the original War Machine armor to its Iron Man MK II form, taking away any trace of Hammer technology, which Stark felt was an insult to his creation. Stark stated that he gave Rhodes the armor only because he trusted him and that the world needed another Iron Man at any time Stark wasn't available.
Rhodes began doing different missions for the Air Force in which he found terrorists, purporting to be members of the Ten Rings, with Hammer-tech. He managed to defeat and rescue hostages from a small group of those terrorists in Hong Kong, but resulted in a trap which caused War Machine to face a nuclear-powered Hammer tank. Rhodes managed to escape from the trap and left for New York in order to help Tony in a "situation".
When he arrived, he found Tony and the Avengers eating in a shawarma restaurant in the aftermath of the battle.
Colonel Rhodes continued to use the War Machine armor, now re-branded as Iron Patriot, in a number of missions for the United States government. One of his primary objectives was to investigate a series of terrorist bombings that had plagued the world for some time, but without even residual bomb fragments to track, he found himself flying around the globe chasing one false lead after another. During one of his attempts to apprehend the phantom bomber in the Middle East he blasted into a small textile factory room, inadvertently freeing a number of enslaved women working there. One of them proved to be an Extremis-enhanced soldier however, and she disabled the suit's systems with a surprise attack before Rhodes could react.
Whilst still inside the Iron Patriot, Col. Rhodes was taken to Miami and hauled before Aldrich Killian, the head of A.I.M. and mastermind behind the Extremis soldiers. Killian wanted the Iron Patriot for his own goals and began torturing Rhodes until Rhodes was forced to exit the suit's confines. Initially intent on fighting his captors, he quickly gave up the fight when he witnessed the extent of Killian's Extremis power.
Rhodes was able to escape and overpower a guard, confiscating the man's pistol in the process. It was after this escape that Stark contacted him about the Iron Patriot, and Rhodes informed him of Killian's theft of the suit. Together they confronted Trevor Slattery about Killian's plans and learned enough to understand that the United States president was Killian's next target.
The pair set off on a boat to confront Killian at the coast where he had set up the next part of his plan on a salvaged Roxxon oil tanker. Stark spent part of the trip trying to rescue President Ellis remotely, but had to resort to tracing him to the oil tanker instead. There they found Ellis strung up, inside the Iron Patriot, to be incinerated in a very public execution, and with neither Stark nor Rhodes suited up they were left with the prospect of facing Killian's men armed only with their wits and a pair of 9mm pistols.
They resolved to rescue the president, but it wasn't long before their presence was detected and they found themselves facing a force of Extremis-enhanced soldiers. Fortunately Stark's backup plan of having a number of semi-autonomous Iron Man armors in reserve came to fruition, and Stark promptly took to the skies to fight the soldiers while Rhodes made his way to the president. He managed to free Ellis by turning one of the Iron Patriot's gauntlet repulsors onto a restraint. Once they were clear he donned the Iron Patriot himself and flew the president clear of the battle.
With the crisis averted, Rhodes had the Vice-President arrested for conspiring with Killian.
Powers and Abilities
James Rhodes has no powers of his own but has access to various capabilities built into his War Machine Armor, a high-tech suit of armor that grants him the following abilities:
- Superhuman Strength: The first War Machine armor enhanced its wearer's strength to an unknown degree. The strength level appeared to be comparable to that of its immediate Iron Man armor successor, Stark's Mark III Iron Man armor, which itself was capable of lifting a car.
- Durability: His armor is very durable, capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of punishment. It can withstand high caliber bullets with ease. He can also withstand rockets, torpedoes, and such, although he does take damage.
- Flight: His armor can fly and travel at supersonic speeds.
Skilled pilot and navigator. Expert with technology
Enhanced by armor
All human weaknesses
Equipment: War Machine Armor MK II; formerly War Machine Armor MK I
Weapons: The War Machine armor possesses a wide array of weapons including wrist machine guns, a rocket launcher, shoulder-mounted minigun, miniature heat seeking missiles.
Like the Iron Man's armor, Rhodes's suit is equipped with powerful repulsor beams that are fired from the palms of the gauntlets.
- No special notes.
- Despite being renamed Iron Patriot, Rhodes (and everyone else) preferred War Machine.
- Appearances of James Rhodes (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: James Rhodes (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by James Rhodes (Earth-1010)
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