|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 "Rhodey" Rhodes is an officer with the United States Air Force and liaison between the military in the Department of Acquisitions and Stark Industries, where he became close friends with Tony Stark. When Stark had been kidnapped by the Ten Rings, Rhodes personally led a mission to rescue his best friend. However, upon their return, Rhodes saw Stark moving away from developing his weapons for the military and soon discovered that he was instead focusing on becoming a hero known as Iron Man. Despite all of his fears for his friend's safety, Rhodes still joined Iron Man in bringing down Obadiah Stane's schemes, while trying to keep Stark's secrets, only for Stark to reveal them to the media himself.
With Iron Man's identity known, Rhodes found himself under pressure from the United States Congress and the military to take possession of the armor for himself, something that he was against. However, as Stark's reckless behavior got even worse, Rhodes had no choice but to take the Mark II before handing it over to the military, with Justin Hammer upgrading it with his new weapons to rebrand Rhodes as War Machine. However, just as War Machine was being presented to the world, Ivan Vanko returned and attacked the Stark Expo with an army of Hammer Drones, as War Machine teamed up with Iron Man to bring him down, resulting in Rhodes keeping the armor for himself, despite Stark's continued objections.
With his newest armor, Rhodes took on the identity of the Iron Patriot and worked directly for President Matthew Ellis, with a mission to track down the Mandarin. However, Rhodes had soon discovered that the Mandarin was in fact a ruse created by Aldrich Killian by hiring actor Trevor Slattery to portray the role, as Killian managed to capture Rhodes and steal the Iron Patriot Armor, as Killian's henchman, Eric Savin, then used it to kidnap President Ellis as part of his ongoing Mandarin ruse. Rhodes managed to free himself and teamed up with Stark to defeat Killian's army of Extremis Soldiers and save President Ellis before Killian could publicly execute him, as Rhodes also uncovered Vice President Rodriguez's role in Killian's plan.
As War Machine, Rhodes continued serving his country and assisted the Avengers with defeating Ultron, as War Machine played a key role in ensuring that the people of Sokovia were rescued before Ultron could cause mass extinction. However, Rhodes soon found himself in conflict with the Avengers as the debate over the Sokovia Accords led to Captain America and Iron Man disagreeing and War Machine choosing to side with the government in support of the Accords. As the conflict worsened, War Machine clashed with Captain America's allies while they tried to protect the Winter Soldier and expose the plans of Helmut Zemo, only for War Machine to be crippled as he had been inadvertently shot out of the sky by Vision.
Having been given leg braces by Tony Stark to help him walk again, Rhodes had became disillusioned by the government and decided to disobey Thaddeus Ross' orders and instead assisted Steve Rogers as they had learned of the impending invasion of the Mad Titan, Thanos and his Black Order. Once they traveled to Wakanda in order to protect the Mind Stone from Thanos, War Machine fought alongside his allies in their attempts to hold back the Black Order and their own army of Outriders. However, as Thanos arrived himself, War Machine and the others were unable to defeat him as Thanos took the Mind Stone and caused the Decimation, as War Machine had watched on helplessly while trillions of lives were erased.
Determined to undo Thanos' actions, War Machine joined the Avengers to Titan II, where they discovered that Thanos had destroyed the Infinity Stones, prompting Thor to behead the Mad Titan. However, by 2023, the Avengers learned to travel through time and War Machine joined Nebula on a mission to take the Power Stone from Morag in 2014. Succeeding in the mission, the Avengers reversed the Decimation before being attacked by a past version of Thanos and his entire armies of the Chitauri and Outriders. War Machine then joined his fellow heroes in battling Thanos until Tony Stark sacrificed his life to finally eliminate Thanos, as Rhodes stayed by his best friend's side during his final moments before attending his funeral.
Work at Stark Industries
James Rhodes first met Tony Stark at a young age as the two of them had become best friends, in a close bond/rivalry that would last their entire lives. When he grew older, Rhodes was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonel and, due to his continued friendship with Stark, also became the liaison between Stark Industries and the United States Armed Forces.
Meeting Eloise and Celeste
As Tony Stark had represented the newest weapon to the US Military at the Yuma Proving Ground. Stark's secretary Pepper Potts gave the weapon's specifics to all the generals while he and Rhodes went to a nightclub. Stark enjoyed the company of two girls while Rhodes had then attempted to convince him not to go to Afghanistan. Stark was attacked by a man whose girlfriend he previously seduced, as Rhodes had defeated the attacker. Later, Stark, Rhodes, and all the girls went into Tony Stark's Mansion in order to continue their party.
Presenting Stark's Award
- "Nobody roped me into anything, but they told me that if I presented you with an award you would be deeply honored."
"Of course I'd be deeply honored, and it's you and that's great."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Rhodes was invited to attend an award ceremony at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in order to present Tony Stark with an award for all of his work. As Rhodes stood on the stage, he told the audience that he felt that it was an honor to be the liaison between Stark Industries and the United States Armed Forces, calling Stark a true patriot and a close friend.
However, as it turned out, Stark was not in attendance as he did not come to the stage when Rhodes called him. As the entire audience applauded for Stark, Obadiah Stane had instead accepted the award from Rhodes in Stark's honor. While Rhodes stood to the back of the room, he listened while Stane claimed that the reason Stark was not at the ceremony to collect the award in person would be because he was still working, which Rhodes knew would be highly unlikely.
Heading back in Las Vegas, Rhodes had eventually found his friend while he was still partying in one of the casinos and scolded him for not attending their award ceremony, although Stark just denied any knowledge that Rhodes was the one who would present the award, sarcastically claiming that he was deeply honored that Rhodes had done it. 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 for ten million dollars and decided that it was time to go home, much to the great relief of Rhodes.
As they exited the casino with Happy Hogan and Stark's entire team of personal bodyguards, Stark shook hands with Rhodes while they then agreed upon the time to meet to leave for Afghanistan onboard the Stark Industries Private Jet, while Rhodes had insisted that Stark could not turn up late. Once Rhodes had left, Stark then handed over the award to a member of the casino's staff before leaving to return back to Malibu with Hogan and the rest of his entourage.
Private Plane Ride
- "I told you I'm not mad, I'm indifferent, okay?"
"I said I was sorry"
"No need to apologize. I'm just indifferent right now. You don't respect yourself, so I know you don't respect me."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
The next day, Tony Stark had indeed arrived late to his meeting with Rhodes, having had sex with Christine Everhart, Rhodes attempted to chastise his friend but was simply ignored as Stark claimed that he was caught doing a piece for Vanity Fair while Happy Hogan loaded his bags. Although Rhodes had continued to try and chastise Stark, he was told that he was now the one holding up the plane.
During the flight on Afghanistan onboard the Stark Industries Private Jet, Rhodes talked with Stark and made it clear that he was unhappy about Stark's lax attitude, and Stark tried to get his friend to relax. Rhodes, however, insisted that Stark viewed him as nothing more than his babysitter, to which Stark then responded by requesting that the stewardesses bring them some drinks, although Rhodes insisted that they should not be drinking but should focus on their work.
Although Rhodes insisted he would not be drinking as he had work to do, Stark eventually won him over as they began drinking together. Before long, Rhodes and Stark were drunk as Rhodes ranted about his experiences being with the United States Air Force, while Stark was distracted by leering at the three stewardesses who had danced provocatively around a stripper pole. While Stark had left with one stewardess, Rhodes was left with the other two who seduced him.
By the next morning, Rhodes had awoken with a serious hangover as even the sound of Stark happily eating all his breakfast hurt Rhodes' head, as Stark showed no sign of a hangover. Just as Rhodes got to his feet and prepared to get into bed in order to get some rest before they arrived, the stewardess returned as she informed them that they were just about to land in Afghanistan and had then advised them to take their seats, much to the considerable annoyance of Rhodes.
- "Hey Tony!"
"I'm sorry, this is the fun-vee. The hum-drum-vee is back there."
"See you back at base."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Once the Stark Industries Private Jet had landed, Rhodes and Tony Stark had arrived at a military outpost in Afghanistan to demonstrate the Jericho. While Stark had gotten out of their plane first and happily greeted all of their military leaders, including Major General William Gabriel, Rhodes took a little longer to get out of their plane due to his hangover, which Stark had still continued to mock.
As the presentation went ahead, Rhodes stood beside Gabriel and the other United States Armed Forces leaders as they watched Stark give his speech about the Jericho, the new super-missile system with terrifying destructive capabilities designed by Stark Industries. As the missile was demonstrated, the shockwave from the blast knocked everyone backward and had the desired effect as Gabriel and all of the others agreed to buy the weapons from Stark and Rhodes.
Following the successful demonstration, Rhodes greeted Stark while he was speaking to Obadiah Stane and congratulated him. Stark had then gone off with the Humvee convoy, before jokingly telling Rhodes to wait for the next one. However, Stark's Humvee was soon attacked by the Ten Rings and Stark had disappeared without a trace. Rhodes took command of their rescue mission to locate his friend, although they were unable to find Stark in the mountains and deserts.
Rescuing Tony Stark
Following the disappearance of Tony Stark, Rhodes then personally led missions to try and find him, with no avail. Having returned to the United States of America, Rhodes decided that he would return to Afghanistan in order to continue the search, regardless of how hopeless it seemed. Just as Rhodes prepared to board the plane, Major General William Gabriel requested private word with Rhodes.
Clearly unsure of Rhodes' plan to continue searching for Stark in the desert, Gabriel noted how unlikely it was that they would be able to find the Ten Rings' hideout. Seeing Rhodes' determination, Gabriel noted how the other soldiers in the United States Air Force would do anything for the career that Rhodes was currently risking by going on this futile search mission, however, he still approved Rhodes' right to go and wished him good luck as Rhodes had saluted Gabriel.
Upon returning to Afghanistan, Rhodes led a military unit as they flew across the desert, searching for any indication that Stark was still alive. During their search, they suddenly found Stark, walking alone through the desert, having escaped from Raza's base. Landing the helicopter, Rhodes ran to his friend and teased him about his choice in Humvee, before they embraced on another, with Rhodes amazed that they had actually been able to find Stark alive in the desert.
Stark's New Direction
Having rescued him from the Ten Rings, Rhodes had then personally brought Tony Stark back home from Afghanistan to the United States of America, as Rhodes helped Stark walk off the plane by holding his hand. Once they had arrived at the Edwards Air Force Base, Stark had then told Rhodes to get rid of all medical assistance that was waiting for him and then told Pepper Potts to call a press conference for him immediately.
Once they arrived back at the Stark Industries Headquarters, Rhodes watched on as Stark had appeared before the group of reporters and cameramen alongside Obadiah Stane. Rhodes watched the speech alongside Pepper Potts and listened as Stark asked everyone to sit down on the floor, which Rhodes compared to the hippy movement. Rhodes watched with Potts as Stark then discussed his relationship with Howard Stark and how he wished he could speak with his father about the legacy of Stark Industries in the wake of seeing how all his weapons were used by the Ten Rings against American soldiers.
As the speech went on, Stark was asked about what had happened to him during his time in the Ten Rings Base, to which Stark claimed that he had had his eyes opened. With that, Stark then informed the reporters how he intended to shut down Stark Industries' weapons manufacturing division immediately, much to their surprise and the horror of Rhodes, Potts, and Stane, as Rhodes bowed his head while Stane desperately tried to calm the situation and removed Stark.
Visited by Stark
While back at the Edwards Air Force Base, Rhodes was giving a talk to some United States Air Force recruits about the value of manned fighter jets such as the F-22 Raptor, during which Rhodes had also insisted that no unmanned vehicle would ever trump a pilot's instincts during a combat situation. The talk was interrupted by the arrival of Tony Stark who had personally greeted all of the recruits.
While Stark briefly teased Rhodes by hinting at stories of their time together during Spring Break in 1987, which made Ronald Coultrap and Ralph Vats laugh. Once Rhodes had dismissed the recruits, he spoke with Stark who had claimed that he was working on a big new project, which initially delighted Rhodes initially was delighted as he believed this meant that Stark Industries had decided to reopen its work with the military following Stark's recent press conference.
However, Stark revealed that this was a private project which he did not intend to involve the United States Armed Forces with. Frustrated upon hearing all this, Rhodes had then made it clear that he did not agree with what Stark was currently doing and he thought Stark was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his capture by the Ten Rings and needed time to recover so that he could return to building weapons for the military as he had done previously.
Creation of Iron Man
In Gulmira, Afghanistan, terrorists from the Ten Rings were rounding up civilians for capture and execution when they were confronted by a mysterious figure in red and gold armor. Within seconds, Iron Man had easily defeated all of the terrorists and destroyed all the weapons they had obtained, resulting in Rhodes being called in to investigate the situation.
While Iron Man left the area, Rhodes questioned how it was possible that Iron Man had just shown up in Afghanistan without ever being spotted on their radar, being informed that it was not stealth but did appear to be tiny. While Allen had questioned what they were dealing with, Rhodes decided to make a call to Tony Stark, believing that he could be the one responsible for whatever this thing was since it was targeting the terrorists who kidnapped him a few months earlier.
As Stark had made excuses about where he was, Rhodes informed him of their ongoing situation and questioned whether or not he had any Stark Industries technology in the area that could be responsible, which Stark denied. During their conversation, F-22 Raptors spotted Iron Man as Rhodes informed Stark that they intended to destroy the weapon. Rhodes communicated with the pilots as they attempted to destroy the weapon, unable to determine exactly what it was.
Iron Man tried to outrun the jets, going supersonic before one of the jets fired his missile at him, which Iron Man destroyed by deploying flairs. Rhodes and Allen continued watching all this from Edwards Air Force Base before Iron Man suddenly disappeared from their radar. While they tried to understand what happened, Stark called Rhodes again and confessed that he was indeed the one responsible for the unidentified craft they were chasing, which had enraged Rhodes.
Just as Rhodes was furiously confronting Stark for sending in more of his unauthorized equipment in US airspace, he became horrified when Stark explained that the equipment was a suit of armor which he was wearing. At this moment, Iron Man was spotted under one of the jets, resulting in them shaking him off and Iron Man inadvertently destroying one of the wings. Despite the pilot being in grave danger, Rhodes watched as Iron Man came to his rescue just in time.
Although the second pilot got a visual on Iron Man and questioned if he should reengage with the target, Rhodes suggested that because they did not know exactly what this was, they should hold back on destroying it, choosing to keep it secret that Stark was the one who was actually inside the armor. However, Allen insisted that Iron Man should be destroyed for taking down an Air Force jet in a legal no-fly zone, ordering the pilot to shoot when he got a clear shot.
Fortunately, Iron Man was able to get away from the second jet and escaped, as Stark called Rhodes, who insisted that Stark now owed the Air Force a new plane to replace the one he destroyed. Although Stark invited Rhodes to his Mansion in Malibu to see his new project, Rhodes questioned what he should tell the press about this. Rhodes then took Stark's advice and held his press conference, claiming that the incident was due to an accident during a training exercise.
Obadiah Stane's Betrayal
Rhodes was later called up by Pepper Potts was informed him that she had discovered that Obadiah Stane had in fact been the one responsible for Tony Stark being kidnapped by the Ten Rings. Although Rhodes was highly skeptical that Stane would do something like this to Stark, he did as Potts requested and drove down to Stark's Mansion in order to ensure that Stane had not tried to kill Stark.
As he arrived, Rhodes called out to Stark but got no response, as he proceeded to head downstairs into Stark's basement where he found him lying unconscious on the floor. As Rhodes ran to his friend's aid, he discovered that Stark had saved himself just in time by replacing the Arc Reactor that Stane had just stolen from his chest in order to power his Iron Monger Armor. As Stark awoke, he questioned where Potts was, but Rhodes assured him that things were under control.
However, when Rhodes explained that Potts had teamed up with Phil Coulson and sent a dozen S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to arrest Stane, Stark still insisted that this would not be enough to stop Stane as soon as he was able to power the Iron Monger armor by using Stark's Arc Reactor. With little time left, Rhodes then helped Stark get back onto his feet as they prepared to join the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to fight back against Stane as soon as possible, with Stark knowing that he would have to use his own Mark III armor to combat the Iron Monger. As Rhodes then watched Stark suit up, he was completely awestruck at the Mark III, saying that it was the coolest thing he had ever seen.
When Rhodes asked if he needed him to do anything else to assist him, Stark asked for his assistance in keeping the United States Air Force out of the way while he confronted Iron Monger. As Iron Man flew away in order to protect Potts from Iron Monger, Rhodes looked at the prototype Mark II Stark built earlier and considered taking it, then shook his head and mumbled that he intended to wear it next time before leaving the mansion to do as Stark had requested
Acting on Stark's orders, Rhodes had soon returned to the Edwards Air Force Base where they were just realizing that Iron Man had just returned and was preparing to take military action against him as he fought Iron Monger over Los Angeles. Rhodes arrived just in time and was able to prevent the military from getting involved with Iron Man's fight with Iron Monger by passing it off as a routine training exercise, which all of the soldiers accepted without any questions.
Iron Man's Speech
- "All the mistakes I've made, largely public."
"Just stick to the cards, man."
- ―Tony Stark and James Rhodes
Following Iron Monger's death, Rhodes and Tony Stark were taken to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base and met with Phil Coulson, who promised to give Stark training with their agents. Rhodes later held a press conference about the incident with the two armored individuals and had tried to pass it off by claiming that Iron Man was Stark's bodyguard. Rhodes had then invited Stark to the stage to go into his detail about the events.
When Stark had seemed to ramble upon being questioned for more details by Christine Everhart, Rhodes simply reminded him to stick to the cards he had been given which gave a clear narrative about the incident between him and Obadiah Stane, without revealing the truth. Instead, Stark had taken just a brief moment to consider what those consequences might be for him before he finally exposed himself as Iron Man to the world's media, much to Rhodes' great dismay.
Questioning Iron Man
Meeting with Congress
Rhodes was brought into a debate over whether Iron Man should be allowed to stay in Tony Stark's hands when Senator Stern expressed doubts. Stern also then introduced Rhodes to General Thaddeus Ross with the plan to replace Stark with their new weapon, the Aerodynamic Marvel. Six months after Stark told the world he was Iron Man, Rhodes was asked to write his report analyzing Iron Man.
Upon arriving at the United States Congress during their debate over Stark's status as Iron Man, with Stern still wanting him to hand over the Iron Man Armor to the Armed Forces, Rhodes was instructed to read out some specific sections of his analysis of Iron Man. Despite expressing his reluctance to read sections out of context, Rhodes did as requested and read a section where he had claimed that in Stark's hands, Iron Man could present a threat to the United States.
Although Rhodes tried to defend his statements by claiming that the rest of his analysis stated that the benefits of Iron Man outweighed the risks, however, Stern continued to try and dismiss the claims. As they continued, Sterns ordered Rhodes to reveal footage of countries such as North Korea and Iran where it had appeared that they were attempting to recreate Stark's Arc Reactor technology to reproduce their own versions of the Iron Man weaponry for their military.
Unsure about this, Stark proceeded to use his mobile phone to hack into the screens and show clearer footage of these tests, proving that the technology was not close to being ready. Much to Rhodes' great amusement, some of the footage showed Justin Hammer attempting to create his Hammer Industries' suit, only for it to malfunction. Stark then concluded that Iron Man was safest in his hands, claiming that he had privatized world peace, much to Rhodes' amusement.
Plane Ride Home
Following the meeting with the United States Congress, Rhodes had joined Tony Stark and Pepper Potts as they then boarded the Stark Industries Private Jet and discussed what happened in that debate. During their flight, Stark had demanded that Rhodes apologies for ambushing him with his report, although Rhodes insisted that he had indeed given him the report, which Potts confirmed while Stark ranted about being Iron Man and how that was his main priority.
As their discussion went on, Rhodes revealed that he would not be joining them when they went to Monaco and had even admitted that he was beginning to feel that hanging out with Stark was damaging their friendship, which had greatly offended Stark. Rhodes had then awkwardly listened while Stark and Potts began a discussion about what to do for his upcoming birthday, with Stark insisting that he did not like any of Potts' ideas for a relaxing day instead of a party.
Helping Tony Stark
- "I'm looking at you. You wanna do this whole lone gunslinger act and it's unnecessary. You don't have to do this alone."
"I wish I could believe that, I really do, but you have got to trust me. Contrary to popular belief, I know exactly what I'm doing."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Following an incident in Monaco where Tony Stark was attacked by a terrorist known as Whiplash who used his own Arc Reactor to create a weaponized suit, Rhodes was forced into making calls to the government to keep the peace. Rhodes came into Stark's Mansion intending to berate Stark, demanding Pepper Potts or Natalie Rushman tell him where Stark was, as Potts said that he was downstairs.
Going downstairs into Stark's basement, Rhodes found him sitting in his car while getting his briefing from J.A.R.V.I.S. about the history of both Ivan Vanko and Anton Vanko, his father. Once Stark turned off the briefing, Rhodes had immediately begun berating him about what happened, demanding that Stark handle the situation, noting how the National Guard had intended to confiscate Stark's Iron Man armors in response to Whiplash's recent public attack against Stark.
However, as Rhodes continued berating him, he found that Stark was almost completely unable to look him in the eyes. When Rhodes then questioned how he was feeling, Stark tried to get out of his car but found that he was barely able to stand, collapsing into Rhodes' arms due to poisoning from his own Arc Reactor. Rhodes had then helped Stark get to his desk where he proceeded to remove the Arc Reactor from his chest and replace the Palladium inside it, which Rhodes had discovered, to his horror, was now burning out inside Stark's chest. Rhodes had also noted that Stark had markings on his neck from the poisoning, which Stark simply dismissed as simply road-rash.
Once Stark had then reactivated his next Arc Reactor and began to breathe normally again, Rhodes claimed that Stark's attempts to live his life as a lone gunslinger were unnecessary as he could go to him for some help with his missions as Iron Man. Stark, however, insisted that this was not the case, claiming that despite what everybody was saying he did know exactly what he was doing. Rhodes told Stark about Whiplash, who had seemingly died in a prison explosion.
Stark insisted that Whiplash was no longer a threat as his technology was destroyed and he appeared to be dead, however, Rhodes noted that their fight on the tracks had been too close as Stark had almost been killed. Taking a deep breath, Stark had asked Rhodes what he should do, to which Rhodes then told him to head back upstairs and convince the world's media that Iron Man was back and ready to be a team player, which Stark agreed to as they went back upstairs.
Rhodes and Stark greeted Potts and Rushman who were still trying to sort out the situation, however, rather than focus on dealing with the fallout of Whiplash's attack, Stark instead continued planning his birthday party. Rhodes became annoyed by Stark's attitude, while he reminding him of the conversation they had just had. Continuing his irresponsible behavior, Stark went on his balcony and had informed the media that everything was fine, much to Rhodes' frustration.
Stark's Birthday Party
- "You don't have to do this, Tony."
"You wanna be the War Machine? Take your shot."
"Put it down!"
"You gonna take your shot?"
- ―War Machine and Iron Man
Later, Rhodes arrived for Tony Stark's birthday party, hoping that he would still be able to convince Stark to begin taking their current situation following Whiplash's attack seriously. As he pulled up to Stark's Mansion to attend the birthday party, Rhodes was still on the phone to his superiors, promising that within twenty four hours he would have ensured that Iron Man was back under their watch.
When Rhodes arrived, he was ushered inside by the nervous Pepper Potts and was immediately asked to do something as Stark was now wearing his Mark IV Armor in order to get drunk and show off, which had resulted in Stark being able to barely stand due to all the alcohol he had drunk. Upon seeing this embarrassing display from Iron Man, Rhodes had furiously demanded that Potts do something to stop what Stark was doing before somebody got hurt, noting how he had just put his career with the Air Force on the line for Stark. Rhodes then watched on as Potts tried to end the party, only for Stark to insist that nobody stop drinking, claiming that the after-party was just beginning.
Rhodes then watched on with considerable annoyance as Iron Man had begun to put all of their party guests at serious risk by firing his repulsors at several random objects, like champagne bottles and a watermelon, that was being thrown in the air. Seeing how incredibly irresponsible and foolish Stark was being with his own technology, Rhodes had then decided that Stern was right and that enough was enough, as it was time for him to put a stop to Stark's party.
Having become outraged over the situation, Rhodes had then walked away from their main party and headed back downstairs into Stark's basement. Once he was alone, Rhodes then put on the Mark II armor and proceeded to return to Stark's party. Rhodes had then furiously demanded that all of the guests immediately leave the party, insisting that he would only say this once as the guests had run away as fast as possible while Rhodes had personally confronted Stark.
Despite Rhodes' furious demands, Iron Man had shown little regard for the threats and turned to Adam Goldstein, requesting that he put on a good piece of music for their incoming fight. As Goldstein had played Queen, Rhodes tackled Iron Man and demanded that he shut down the Mark IV armor, only for Iron Man to respond by launching himself and Rhodes backward and through a wall into the gym, as Iron Man told Rhodes to put the Mark II back where he found it.
However, Rhodes had refused to give up and responded by throwing the weights at Iron Man's helmet. Annoyed by this, Iron Man instead grabbed another nearby weight and proceeded to strike Rhodes with full force, which knocked him backward through the boxing ring as the two close friends began fighting. When Iron Man claimed Rhodes could not be his sidekick, Rhodes grabbed a weight and struck him multiple times before then throwing him through the ceiling.
As their fight continued, Rhodes had soon mastered how to use the armor as he flew up to where Iron Man was lying and questioned if he had enough. However, their fight still continued as Iron Man and Rhodes fell through another ceiling, almost hitting Potts and Natalie Rushman before Happy Hogan ran in to protect them. The pair then brawled all through the kitchen in front of their horrified guests, until Iron Man had smashed Rhodes through the kitchen counter.
While Iron Man bellowed at the guests, causing them to flee in terror, Rhodes had recovered and proceeded to rip out part of the kitchen counter and smashed Iron Man across the face with it, knocking him into the fireplace. Once Iron Man had recovered, the two friends both raised their arms and threatened to shoot the other with the repulsor beams, while Rhodes had continued to demand that Iron Man put his hand down and finally surrender in order to end their conflict.
However, Iron Man had still continued to question whether or not Rhodes really had what it took to wear the Mark II armor. Despite Rhodes demanding that Iron Man put his hand down, he had still continued to antagonize Rhodes, calling him the War Machine and telling him to take his shot. Eventually, they fired their repulsors at each other, causing a massive shockwave which knocked them both back and had also destroyed a large part of Stark's Mansion.
Rhodes was the first to recover from the shockwave blast and had decided that, due to all of his recent behavior where he had proved himself to be dangerous, he could not allow Stark to be the only one with an Iron Man suit. Stark awoke shortly after Rhodes and, as he was still unable to stand, he was forced to watch on as Rhodes flew away with the Mark II Armor, intending to hand it over to their United States Armed Forces and use it for all the military's purposes.
Return to the Military
Having won the brawl against Iron Man, Rhodes had proceeded to fly back to Edwards Air Force Base in order to drop off the Mark II to the military, warning them about his approach. Rhodes flew the Mark II at full speed into the base and then landed safely onto the runway, while more soldiers surrounded him in order to get a better look at the Iron Man armor, utterly amazed by what they were seeing.
Once he had landed, Rhodes was greeted by Major Allen as well as dozens of other soldiers who all seemed amazed by the sight of the armor. Once all of the United States Air Force soldiers had their own moment to be utterly amazed by the armor, Rhodes suggested that they take it inside in order to begin getting him out so that they could begin to weaponize it for the military's purposes, as Allen cleared the area so that they could then bring Rhodes back into the base.
Standing in front of his superiors, 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, noting that besides Tony Stark, he was the only one who knew how to operate the armor. He then discussed with Allen how they would weaponize it, as it was still at this time the limited prototype. Rhodes, however, warned that the suit would have defense systems, just as a man was electrocuted behind him.
Once the Mark II had been removed, Rhodes had shown it to Major General Meade, who expressed his amazement and questioned if the armor was functional, which Rhodes confirmed. Meade insisted that he intended to have Justin Hammer come to the base to weaponize the armor, before Meade then explained that Hammer Industries had a demonstration at the Stark Expo and they wanted the War Machine armor to introduce it, despite Rhodes' protests to the concept.
Becoming War Machine
- "Hammer, I want to know what you're gonna do for us."
"What am I going to do for you? Well, the first thing I'm gonna do for you is I'm gonna upgrade your software. And then second..."
"That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about firepower."
- ―James Rhodes and Justin Hammer
As per Major General Meade's orders, Justin Hammer was brought in to the Edwards Air Force Base in order to upgrade the Mark II so that it was fully weaponized for their purposes. Before Hammer arrived, Rhodes had removed the Arc Reactor from the armor, not wanting Hammer to copy the design. Allen asked Rhodes questions, which Rhodes had insisted that they just focus on arming the armor.
Once Hammer had arrived, he expressed great enthusiasm at having the opportunity to weaponize the Mark II, while questioning if it was his birthday considering the gift that Rhodes had given him. Rhodes got straight to the point and questioned what Hammer would be able to do for them, to which Hammer promised to upgrade their software for them. As Rhodes made it clear he wanted to know what weapons he would provide, Hammer claimed they came to the right person.
Rhodes and Allen then watched and listened on while Hammer went through all the weaponry that Hammer Industries would be willing to provide to the Mark II. As Hammer showed them increasingly more powerful weapons, Rhodes and Allen continued to show no emotion, which confused Hammer as he provided larger weapons, including a grenade launcher and mini-gun. Finally, Hammer showed the Ex-Wife Missile, which he had promised was his most powerful weapon. With the presentation over, Hammer noted that he had been unable to tell what Rhodes and Allen wanted since they neither of them had given him any reactions what-so-ever throughout their presentation.
Finally, Rhodes spoke up and had told Hammer that he would take it, and as Hammer questioned which gun, in particular, he was referring to, Rhodes made it clear that he wanted to take every weapon shown to him, much to Hammer's surprise. Following Rhodes' instructions, Hammer had then upgraded the Mark II armor, before transforming it into their War Machine Armor, that would be shown with the Hammer Drones during the upcoming Stark Expo in just a few days time.
- "Tony, I'm locked on! I have target lock.
"On you! Tony, on your six!"
- ―War Machine and Iron Man
During Justin Hammer's display of his Hammer Drones at their Stark Expo, Rhodes had been unveiled to the entire world while wearing a brand new, advanced War Machine Armor. Moments before War Machine was shown to the world, Hammer had explained that while his Drones were designed to save lives in the United States Armed Forces, he felt that there should always be a human in command of these robotic soldiers, which was why War Machine was created.
However, Hammer's speech was interrupted by Iron Man's arrival as he landed beside War Machine, getting a huge cheer from the entire audience. Iron Man immediately informed War Machine that they had trouble, waving to the audience in order not to cause panic, before telling War Machine that he had learned that Hammer was working with Ivan Vanko, and had faked Vanko's death in the prison and had used him to build the Drones which would be used against them.
While Iron Man attempted to confront Hammer over all his work with Vanko, War Machine realized that all his systems were being hacked into. With War Machine unable to control the Mark I anymore, Vanko was then able to take over control of all of the drones and the armor, before attempting to use them to destroy Iron Man as he aimed War Machine's mini-gun at him and had began furiously firing, while War Machine told Iron Man to escape as he then flew up into the air.
War Machine and the Hammer Drone immediately began firing at Iron Man, showering the audience with broken glass, before all their flight systems were enabled by Vanko and they were launched into the air, despite the protests of War Machine inside the armor. While Iron Man continued trying to make J.A.R.V.I.S. hack into War Machine's armor to free him of Vanko's control, all while War Machine was still able to communicate with Stark and warn him of the incoming attacks.
As they flew over their Stark Expo, War Machine was unable to stop Vanko from using his weapon systems to continue firing at Iron Man, causing mass destruction throughout their Expo. While War Machine and the Air Force drones chased Iron Man through the air, the Marine Corps drones fired from the ground, while dropping mortars onto the terrified civilians. During the chaos, Iron Man saved Peter Parker and several others while War Machine had continued attacking him.
In order to do what they could to protect the civilians, Iron Man then forced War Machine and the Air Force drones to chase him out of the Expo, flying above parked cars. However, War Machine had noticed that Vanko was sending multiple Hammer Drones back into the Expo to target to civilians, before warning Iron Man that he had managed to get a target lock on him, as Vanko forced War Machine to fire all of his weapons at him, which had caused a massive explosion.
Needing to do something to take out multiple Hammer Drones, Iron Man confirmed that War Machine and the Drones were all still locked onto him, before charging full speed towards the globe statue in the center of the Expo. War Machine realized what was about to happen in time as his suit was able to divert and avoid the globe, while their robotic Hammer drones had then all smashed straight into it, causing an explosion that had destroyed dozens more of Vanko's Drones.
With most of the Hammer Drones now destroyed, War Machine alone was forced to attack Iron Man, knocking him out of the air before the two friends wrestled on the ground. With War Machine unable to stop Vanko's programming, he was then forced to fire his mini-gun at Iron Man's head, who was barely able to avoid the bullets. However, with the help of Black Widow and Happy Hogan, War Machine was finally freed from Vanko's control and was then thrown backward.
Showdown with Whiplash
- "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."
- ―Iron Man and War Machine
Following Black Widow successfully managing to reboot his armor, War Machine was briefly knocked out from the final hit and awoke to find Iron Man tapping on his helmet, asking him to get back up as War Machine noted that he could have the Mark II armor back if he wanted it. As Hammer Drones were incoming, Iron Man helped War Machine back onto his feet before they apologized to each other.
The pair then agreed to work together to battle the Hammer Drones and began working on a plan on how to defeat them. However, this soon led to an argument over who was the leader out of them, since War Machine had insisted that his Mark I armor was superior to Iron Man's Mark IV, due to all the weaponry that Justin Hammer had put on. They continued to argue about where Iron Man should be based during the fight, struggling to come to a decision on their plan.
Before either War Machine or Iron Man could make a decision about how to prepare for the incoming fight, their argument was interrupted by the arrival of all the Hammer Drones, who completely surrounded both War Machine and Iron Man, putting them into the worst position with Ivan Vanko's drones blocking all their exits and with their guns trained on them both. However, rather than be intimidated by all the odds being stacked up against them, War Machine and Iron Man put their helmets back on and readied their weapons, before the Hammer Drones had proceeded to charge forward and began shooting.
As the Drones had charged forward, War Machine and Iron Man used every weapon on their armors to fight back against all the drones, as War Machine had used all the guns on his hands and the mini-gun on his back to tear them all apart before they could get close. While War Machine's guns tore the Drones apart, Iron Man used wrist mounted missiles to destroy three in one go, with War Machine complimenting him while they continued fighting side-by-side against the drones.
Although War Machine and Iron Man fired every weapon they had at the Drone army, before long they appeared to be completely overwhelmed by all the drones as they struggled to hold them back. Finally, Iron Man ordered War Machine to drop to the ground before he used a laser to cut them all in half. Getting back onto his feet, War Machine then commented that Iron Man should have used it earlier, to which Iron Man had admitted that it could only be used once.
Despite all of the Hammer Drones being destroyed, War Machine and Iron Man were then warned by Natasha Romanoff that another, much larger target was heading straight towards them as War Machine and Iron Man then witnessed the arrival of Ivan Vanko, who was wearing an upgraded Whiplash Armor. Seeing this, War Machine commented that this would not be good, just as Whiplash then demonstrated his upgraded whips, powered by a new version of the Arc Reactor which was considerably more dangerous than anything they had faced.
Seeking to end the fight before it could even begin, War Machine had stepped forward and attempted to use the Ex-Wife Missile to destroy Whiplash. However, as soon as War Machine had fired the missile, it simply bounced off Whiplash's armor and malfunctioned on the floor. Seeing this pathetic attempt, Iron Man then questioned if that missile was built by Hammer Industries, which an embarrassed War Machine had confirmed while Whiplash then prepared to begin their fight.
Whiplash then attacked both War Machine and Iron Man, separating them as War Machine unloading every weapon he had to attempt to break through Whiplash's armor. However, Whiplash responded by striking at War Machine with one of his electric whips, tearing off his mini-gun before attacking Iron Man. War Machine continued shooting at Whiplash to protect Iron Man before then being strangled with the electric whip and punched straight across the battlefield.
It soon became clear that they were greatly outmatched by Whiplash as he managed to strangle Iron Man with his electric whip while also pinning War Machine to the ground. Despite Iron Man attempting to free him Whiplash had still managed to wrap his second electric whip around War Machine's throat, as he began slowly strangling the pair who were unable to break free. However, Iron Man made it clear that he had a plan to defeat Whiplash with the help of War Machine.
Iron Man instructed War Machine to raise his hand up so they could then both fire their repulsor beams at each other as they had done during their last fight at Stark's mansion, which had then caused the massive shockwave. Although War Machine was highly skeptical of this plan, with little time remaining he did as Iron Man suggested as they caused a shockwave directly beside Whiplash, causing massive damage to his armor as they were freed from Whiplash's grasp.
With Whiplash defeated, War Machine and Iron Man then got back to their feet and stood over him, finding that his Mark II armor had been damaged beyond repair and he had fatal injuries across his body. As they looked down at Whiplash, he claimed that they had lost, before his armor began flashing red, along with those other broken Hammer Drones. To their horror, War Machine and Iron Man realized they had been set to explode all across the Stark Expo, as Iron Man launched into the air to rescue Pepper Potts before the Drones could explode and destroy everything, as War Machine followed close behind.
Iron Man was successful in saving Potts and managed to pull her out of the Expo moments before the Hammer Drones exploded, resulting in the death of Whiplash. Iron Man then brought Potts onto the same rooftop that War Machine was waiting on, as they failed to notice that he was there as Potts tried to resign from Stark Industries due to all of the stress that she was feeling, which Iron Man then responded to by simply kissing Potts, as War Machine then teased the pair.
While War Machine and Iron Man complimented each other on their battle against Whiplash and the Hammer Drones, War Machine then explained that his car had been destroyed in the explosions, meaning that he would have to take the Iron Man Armor with him to get home. Although Iron Man still insisted that he was not okay with that, War Machine explained that it was not a question and simply flew into the air with the armor, leaving Iron Man and Potts alone on the roof.
Honored by Stern
- "Thank you, Lieutenant Colonel, for such an exceptional distinguished performance. You deserve this."
"Thank you, sir."
- ―Stern and James Rhodes
In the wake of their clash with Whiplash and the Stark Expo, Rhodes and Tony Stark were to be awarded medals for their bravery. Having made a deal with Nick Fury, Stark managed to convince Senator Stern into awarding the medals to Rhodes and Stark, much to Stern's annoyance due to his dislike of Stark, as he was forced to make a speech praising them.
Stern had shown great reluctance to be presenting the pair with the awards for bravery, as he congratulated Rhodes for his exceptionally distinguished performance in defeating Whiplash, telling him that he deserved the medal while struggling to look him in the eyes. Rhodes then watched with amusement while Stern was then highly reluctant to give Stark his medal and then awkwardly smiled with the pair while Stark gave a peace symbol to the cameras while Rhodes smiled.
Hunting the Ten Rings
Following the defeat of Whiplash, War Machine's Mark I armor was upgraded by Tony Stark before he went out to hunt down members of the Ten Rings. During this time, War Machine was called assist in the Battle of New York, but he arrived after the Avengers had already defeated the Chitauri Invasion and then found them in a Shawarma Palace. Following this, Stark took Rhodes to his Mansion and revealed that he was developing the Iron Legion, a unit of his remote-controlled Iron Man Armors that were designed to assist with their protection of the world.
War Machine also learned that the Melter was planning an attack on Stark, as he teamed up with Iron Man and defeated the Melter. As attacks from the Ten Rings still continued across the United States of America, under the Mandarin's leadership, Rhodes was recruited by President Matthew Ellis to combat these attacks, as his Mark II armor was upgraded and rebranded by A.I.M. to then turn him into the Iron Patriot, whose mission was to find and defeat the Mandarin.
Lunch with Tony Stark
- "Okay, there have been nine bombings."
"The public only knows about three, but here's the thing, nobody can ID a device, there's no bomb casings."
- ―James Rhodes and Tony Stark
Rhodes met with Tony Stark inside a Neptune's Net where Stark had teased him over his rebrand to the Iron Patriot, although Rhodes still insisted that the Mark II's name change had tested better with the general public. Changing their subject, Stark had asked about the Mandarin and what was being done to stop the ongoing terrorist attacks, although Rhodes insisted that this was classified information.
Despite his reluctance, Rhodes explained to Stark about how there had been nine recent bombings across the United States of America linked to the Ten Rings and the Mandarin, although the general public only knew about three of these. As Rhodes explained how they had been able to find the cause of these explosions, Stark insisted that he could help, explaining that he had recently created his technology which was ideal for this mission to track down the Mandarin.
As Stark discussed his additions to the Iron Legion, Rhodes simply asked when he lost got some sleep, expressing his own concern for Stark's wellbeing. As the pair began to argue, they were interrupted by two young children who wanted Stark to sign a drawing they had made depicting Iron Man fighting the Chitauri back in New York City. Rhodes had then gone on to discuss how the Pentagon was reacting to the Mandarin, noting that the Avengers should not get involved.
However, as Rhodes was speaking, Stark had begun to have a panic attack, seeing the drawing of him going through the Wormhole during the Chitauri Invasion, as Stark got up and charged out of the bar. As Rhodes then followed his friend outside, he found Stark had stepped inside his Mark VII, still trying to figure out what was happening. As Rhodes tried to help by noting that this looked bad, Stark claimed he had to go, pushing Rhodes back before launching into the sky.
Search for the Mandarin
While Iron Patriot had continued hunting down the Mandarin, he had learned that Tony Stark had seemingly been killed by the Mandarin's soldiers when his Mansion was destroyed. Iron Patriot continued hunting the Ten Rings leader, with intel from President Matthew Ellis in the hopes of finally bringing the Mandarin to justice, although much of this intel Iron Patriot was being provided led to nothing.
During one raid in Pakistan, Iron Patriot burst inside a room filled with potential Ten Rings members, taking them all off guard as he aimed all of the Mark II's weaponry at them and ordered them not to move. However, Iron Patriot's threats were undermined when he received a call which caused him to pause. Answering the call, Iron Patriot had realized it was Stark, who told Iron Patriot about an encounter he had just had with Ellen Brandt and all her Extremis powers, before noting how the last time he went missing Rhodes had searched for him.
Once he had confirmed that the recent Iron Patriot redesign was all done by A.I.M., Stark insisted upon finding Rhodes' password so he could then hack into the security files and learn more about Aldrich Killian's possible connection with all the Mandarin attacks. Despite being somewhat reluctant, Rhodes had confessed that his password was WARMACHINEROX, much to the amusement of both Stark and several of the terrorists, as Stark left to continue his mission.
Captured by A.I.M.
While flying high above Pakistan, Iron Patriot had been contacted by President Matthew Ellis with a possible new location of the Mandarin, as they believed they had tracked down the broadcasting location from the Mandarin's recent video threats. Iron Patriot proceeded to fly down and charged into the location, with the Mark II's weaponry pointed at everyone.
However, much to Iron Patriot's considerable frustration, he had then discovered that the room only contained women seemingly working in a sweatshop in Pakistan. While Iron Patriot had expressed his own frustration at the United States Armed Forces for sending him more incorrect information, all the female workers then began leaving the sweatshop, before Iron Patriot had then realized he had inadvertently freed them from imprisonment as they all began thanking him.
While the women thanked him, Iron Patriot shook hands with one of the women, and was ambushed by an attack using Extremis, which had caused the Mark II armor to shut down as Iron Patriot fell to the floor, trapped inside. As the Sweat Shop Agent then phoned up Eric Savin with an update on the situation, Iron Patriot then insisted that he would not allow them to take the armor away from him, although the Extremis agent noted they were willing to kill him to take it.
Tortured by Aldrich Killian
- "You, you breath fire? Okay..."
- ―James Rhodes to Aldrich Killian
Having been captured by the A.I.M. soldiers, Rhodes was then taken into a Mansion where Aldrich Killian's workers had then spent several hours attempting to cut Rhodes out from the Mark II armor. However, Rhodes insisted that he would not allow them to get their hands onto the armor, since they had planned to then use it to kidnap President Matthew Ellis, as he remained locked inside until Killian had became frustrated by all of his soldier's lack of results and decided to get involved himself.
While Eric Savin and the other scientists watched on, Killian stepped up to the Iron Patriot armor and had rested his hand on the stomach plating, as he then used his Extremis powers to begin heating up the suit. While Rhodes felt the armor heating up and slowing boiling him alive, Savin warned that what Killian was doing would likely damage the armor, although neither Killian or Savin showed any concern for Rhodes, who still refused to open the armor, despite the pain.
However, despite all of Rhodes' attempts to keep the suit locked, it's defensive systems forced it to open up in order to keep Rhodes from being burnt to death. With no other choice, Rhodes launched out of the suit and then attempted to put up a fight, punching Savin to the ground before giving in as Killian had then used his Extremis powers to breath flames at him. Savin had then used his superior strength to push Rhodes into a wall head first, knocking him unconscious.
Finding the Mandarin
- "You make a move, and I break your face!"
"I never thought people had been hurt, they lied to me."
"This is the Mandarin?"
"Hi, Trevor, Trevor Slattery..."
- ―James Rhodes and Trevor Slattery
Rhodes eventually awoke and found that Eric Savin managed to take control of the Iron Patriot Armor, as he used it to kidnap President Matthew Ellis while he was under the guise of Rhodes. Having gotten free, Rhodes took down several nearby guards before calling Tony Stark and confirming he had not left in the suit before Stark told Rhodes to meet him by the main house to then meet somebody.
Rhodes and Stark then made the plan to capture the Mandarin once and for all, as Stark made himself known to the armed guards, who shot at him while he was wearing his Mark XLII, causing these armed guards to shoot at him while Rhodes dived through a glass door way and shot them both dead. With the guards having been shot, Rhodes and Stark then found their supposed Mandarin sitting in an arm chair with a beer while watching his football game on the television.
Stark then introduced Rhodes to the Mandarin who was actually just the British actor named Trevor Slattery, whom Aldrich Killian had paid to be his decoy while he carried out Extremis experiments. Although Slattery immediately tried to defend his actions, Stark made it clear that he was not playing as Rhodes used his burning hot gun to burn Slattery's ear while they asked about Pepper Potts and what Killian was planning, although Slattery clearly did not know much.
While Slattery clearly did not know much about what had happened with Rhodes' Mark II suit or anything about Potts, since he was more interested with the ongoing football watch, he did still reveal that Vice President Rodriguez may be involved with whatever Killian had been planning. As Rhodes and Stark tried to make a plan, they decided to take control of the speed boat that Slattery had previously mentioned to Stark that he had been provided with by Killian as a payment.
Stopping Killian's Schemes
Rhodes and Tony Stark then took control of Trevor Slattery's speed boat as they tried to get control of the situation. As they were traveling, the got in contact with and warned Vice President Rodriguez that Iron Patriot was actually Eric Savin who planned to kidnap President Matthew Ellis, as Rodriguez promised that he would send F-22 Raptors to ensure that President Ellis was safe from harm.
As they continued traveling on Slattery's speed boat, Rhodes had made it clear to Stark that they could either decide to save President Ellis or Pepper Potts, but not both. However, the decision was made for them as Vice President Rodriguez did not pass on the message about Aldrich Killian's attack, as he was secretly in league with Killian in an attempt from the latter to gain control over the United States of America, learning that Savin was now attacking Air Force One.
Stark used his remote-controlled Mark XLII to fly onto the Air Force One Plane, killing Savin and rescue airborne passengers from death when Savin had destroyed Air Force One. However, Savin had placed Ellis inside the Iron Patriot suit and sent him to the Norco. Following this mission, Rhodes had checked on Stark, who had been wearing the Telepresence Headset, as Stark confirmed that Iron Legion was ready for deployment, although Ellis was captured by Killian.
Rhodes and Tony Stark then infiltrated on the Norco with the mission to save both Pepper Potts and President Matthew Ellis. As they both made their way onto the docks, avoiding the A.I.M. guards, Rhodes questioned if Stark was going to have another panic attack, although he promised that he would not. Eventually, the pair found President Ellis, who had been encased in the Iron Patriot Armor and suspended high above them from a crane, awaiting public live execution, as they had then charged upstairs to try and free the President.
As they continued onwards, Rhodes gave Stark instructions on how to protect himself, until they were seen by A.I.M. guards who began shooting down at them. As they took cover, Rhodes proved himself as the superior marksman by shooting out the light bulb, before they argued about who should get more ammunition. Looking around the docks, Stark noted that several Extremis Soldiers were now heading to them. As Rhodes expressed a desire to get his Mark II armor back, Stark pointed to the far off distance and revealed that he had already summoned his Iron Legion as backup, as they surrounded the docks and were directed to attack all the Soldiers as Rhodes watched on.
Rhodes watched as J.A.R.V.I.S. took control of the Legion and began attacking the soldiers, witnessing Stark sending out Igor to go steady the tower they were on. As Stark put on the Silver Centurion, Rhodes excitedly asked him if he would get to wear one of these new suits, however Stark revealed that the only armor that would work on him was the Iron Patriot and was instead given the Heartbreaker armor to give him a lift towards the President, much to Rhodes' annoyance.
However, the Heartbreak armor was soon taken down by an Extremis Soldier as Rhodes was thrown off and landed on a walkway. As more soldiers ran towards him, Rhodes was protected by Striker, who had launched them into the air before Tank blasted them out of the sky, allowing Rhodes to keep moving. With the Iron Legion still protecting him, Rhodes eventually found the captured President Ellis, promising that he was on his way while more soldiers surrounded Rhodes.
Landing onto a hanging container, Rhodes was followed by the two Extremis Soldiers, as he drew his weapon and fired several bullets in their chests. However, Rhodes watched in horror as the soldiers were able to use their Extremis abilities to instantly heal before they then continued stepping towards him. When one of the soldiers dislodged the container, Rhodes was thrown off and was barely able to hold on, as the two soldiers looked down at him, preparing to kill Rhodes.
However, Rhodes simply shot out the container's other support wire, causing it to swing free as the soldiers were thrown off. Rhodes then swung through the air and landed onto President Ellis. As the falling container exploded and caused a massive fireball, Rhodes used the Iron Patriot's repulsor to then destroy one of the wires holding him in place, as they swung away from the incoming flames before Rhodes landed and shot off the other wire, finally freeing the President.
With the President now safe, Rhodes then complimented him on how good he looked in the Iron Patriot Armor, before then insisting that he needed to get it back. Rhodes got his armor back and then used it to fly himself and President Ellis back into Washington, D.C. and out of danger zone, while Stark then confirmed that he was staying behind in order to continue his fight with Aldrich Killian, aiming to stop all his schemes, while he also attempted to rescue Potts from Killian.
While Iron Patriot ensured that President Matthew Ellis was safe from any other danger, Tony Stark eventually defeated Aldrich Killian and the rest of his Extremis Soldiers with the aid of Pepper Potts who had gained powers from Extremis. With their conflict over, Rhodes further aided his government by then outing Vice President Rodriguez as Killian's conspirator and watched as he was arrested by the FBI inside the White House.
Rhodes attended Stark's surgery to have his Arc Reactor taken out, alongside Potts, giving Stark a thumbs up for support before he went under and Doctor Wu then successfully removed the remains of the shrapnel. Rhodes later repainted his armor back to its original color scheme and went back to going under the alias of War Machine, as he went into missions for the United States Armed Forces where War Machine captured a tank and delivered it to a General's home.
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
Having continued to take part in several missions as War Machine for the United States Armed Forces, Rhodes was later invited to attend a party at the Avengers Tower alongside the Avengers to celebrate the Avengers' recent victories over HYDRA and the capture of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. During the celebration, Rhodes enthusiastically told the story of how he had found and then delivered an entire tank to a general, but he was quickly disappointed when Thor and Tony Stark were both unimpressed by the tale of his heroic adventures, as Rhodes had then complained that other people were always impressed by his recent War Machine stories.
Rhodes had then asked why Pepper Potts and Jane Foster were not also attending the party with them, although Rhodes had then swiftly walked away alongside Maria Hill had then walked away when Stark and Thor began arguing about who has the better girlfriend, as Stark had continued to compare Potts' recent work with Stark Industries to Foster's discoveries with the Convergence. During the party, Rhodes had found Natasha Romanoff and spent some time talking with her.
Frustrated by his friend's lack of interest with his adventures, 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 told that same story about wearing his Mark II and flying the tank to a general's office to a group of beautiful women and was then satisfied when they had all seemed to be impressed by the story and laughed at the punchline.
As the party had begun to reach its conclusion and most of the other 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 Clint Barton be the first to fail to even move Mjølnir, Rhodes had joined in Stark's unsuccessful attempt, despite using the gauntlets from their War Machine and Iron Man armors, as Rhodes had still demanded Stark pull harder.
The other Avengers had also tried, including Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner, but in the end it everybody had failed, as Rhodes smiled with Stark and Barton who continued to try and come up with their own theories over how the hammer could be lifted, refusing to accept that it was an Asgardian enchantment, however it still seemed only Thor was capable of lifting the hammer and then claimed they were simply all unworthy, much to Rhodes and the other's great annoyance.
As the group had continued their celebrations, they were interrupted when a loud screech was heard throughout the Avengers Tower. As Rhodes and the others turned to see what it was, they found that a scrapped Iron Legion suit had begun calling itself Ultron awakened from Tony Stark's laboratory and began talking about saving their world. Rhodes and the others were immediately suspicious before Ultron claimed that his plan was to cause the Avengers' extinction.
Ultron had then furiously attacked the Avengers by launching several of the Iron Legion robots at them, while Steve Rogers kicked over the table as his defense before then being thrown backward by one of the robots. Reacting immediately, Rhodes helped his allies as he was Stark leaped down into the fight, but before Rhodes could even fire a shot, he was then thrown out of a window, but he was able to survive thanks to the bridge on the floored part of the tower below him.
- "You guys are definitely off the Pentagon's Christmas list, every country with a nuke is fighting a cyber attack. War Machine is being deployed to the Middle East in case certain people start blaming each other instead of you."
- ―James Rhodes to Natasha Romanoff
Following the defeat of Ultron first attack against them, the team had discussed the events and what Ultron's plans could be, with Rhodes also making his disapproval of the situation clear to the Avengers, noting that Ultron could be targeting the nuclear codes. As it was revealed that Ultron had managed to destroy J.A.R.V.I.S., Rhodes then witnessed Thor attack Tony Stark in retaliation for the situation.While Thor confirmed that Ultron had taken Loki's Scepter, Stark had then revealed that he and Bruce Banner had originally created Ultron as their means to protect the world from an upcoming war that they were doomed to lose. When Stark had commented on his previous experiences during the Battle of New York, Rhodes then sarcastically claimed that all these were not events that Stark had ever mentioned before, as Stark continued defending his and Banner's actions.
As the situation with Ultron continued unfolding, Rhodes was sent to the Pentagon to try and calm things down, as the Armed Forces were aware that other countries were also dealing with Ultron's continued attempts to gain their nuclear codes. Rhodes had contacted Natasha Romanoff and then explained that War Machine was being sent into the Middle East for peace talks, while Stark had promised to upgrade his Mark II armor to ensure that Ultron could not hack into it.
- "Yes! Now this is gonna be a good story!"
"Yep, if you live to tell it."
"Oh, you think I can't hold my own?"
"If we get through this, I'll hold your own."
- ―War Machine and Iron Man
When Nick Fury called together their former S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel to assist the Avengers with the conflict against Ultron, Rhodes was sent in with them, utilizing the Mark II to defend the Helicarrier and assist with evacuating all the civilians from the elevated Novi Grad. Charging in the fight, War Machine began shooting the Ultron Sentries out of the sky, commenting that this would make for a good story.
War Machine was joined in the sky by Iron Man, who questioned if he would be able to hold his own in their battle alongside the Avengers, before making his awkward comments, before War Machine and Iron Man joined forces to continue shooting Ultron's army out of the sky. As Fury's team used their Transporters to rescue the civilians, Ultron tried to take them out, as War Machine then tore these Sentries apart while Iron Man had then ensured they did not fall to their deaths.
As Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch had joined in the fight alongside the Avengers, they were soon able to push back Ultron's army and even came close to destroying Ultron. With Ultron clearly losing the fight, his remaining Sentries attempted to flee, so War Machine was called to stop them, however, Vision flew by War Machine and assisted him in destroying all these Ultron Sentries with the Mind Stone, while War Machine was surprised to receive help from an unknown ally.
Joining the Team
Once the Ultron Offensive had finally been concluded, War Machine, along with Vision, as well as Wanda Maximoff and Sam Wilson then officially joined the Avengers' roster. They arrived at the New Avengers Facility and began their training under the leadership of Captain America and Black Widow. War Machine did not, however, participate in the mission to defeat Crossbones in Lagos, Nigeria along with Vision, since that mission had required more stealth tactics.
In the aftermath of the Avengers' disastrous mission which had taken place in Lagos, Nigeria, where the Avengers fought against Crossbones, which had ended as Crossbones set off a bomb, causing the deaths of citizens when Scarlet Witch had redirected the explosion into a building filled with innocent people. Following this, Rhodes and the Avengers were called into a meeting to discuss this incident.
Sitting with the Avengers, Rhodes listened while Thaddeus Ross had explained that, following the high civilian death tolls connected to the Avengers' missions in New York City and Sokovia while they fought against Loki and Ultron, it had been decided that they needed to be put under a lot closer checks. Ross had then presented Rhodes with their recently created Sokovia Accords, which Ross explained meant that the United Nations would have control over the Avengers.
Once Ross had left the New Avengers Facility, Rhodes and the other Avengers began discussing the Accords and whether they should be accepted, while Rhodes spoke with Sam Wilson, arguing that Ross' military record should give him more credibility. While Wilson argued that there was a risk they would be sent to the Raft if they disobeyed the Accords, to which Rhodes then noted that with the support of the hundred and seventeen countries, the Accords should be obeyed.
Their debate was interrupted by Vision who then made the point that following Tony Stark announcing that he was Iron Man, the number of enhanced individuals and world threatening events had skyrocketed, claiming that the Avengers' presence would always invite challenge and conflict. As Rhodes agreed with Vision, Natasha Romanoff then invited Stark to make his own case, as Stark told them about Charlie Spencer, who was killed in Sokovia while they had fought Ultron.
Rhodes listened closely while Stark had claimed that his example of Spencer proved why the Avengers needed to be put in check, which Rhodes agreed with. However, Steve Rogers instead claimed that the Accords shifted the blame and they should all take responsibility and continue the fight. Rhodes disagreed, calling Rogers' points arrogant and also noted that the decision was not being made by the World Security Council or HYDRA, although Rogers insisted that the United Nations was run by people with agendas which could change, which could put innocent people in danger if they had ever decided that the Avengers would not be allowed to go out on certain missions.
While Stark and Rogers engaged in their own debate over the morals of the Accords, Rhodes had listened while Stark noted that when he learned what Stark Industries' weaponry was doing in the hands of the Ten Rings, he had shut down that operation, to which Rogers had noted that Stark chose to do that, which the Accords would not have allowed. While the Avengers chose their side with the debate, Rogers learned that Peggy Carter had passed away and left the room.
Arresting Captain America
- "Congratulations, Cap. You're a criminal."
- ―War Machine to Captain America
When Joint Counter-Terrorist Centre successfully managed to locate the Winter Soldier in his hiding place within Bucharest, Rhodes, in his newly upgraded Mark III armor, was then called in to bring the Winter Soldier into custody. Arriving just after the police had, War Machine discovered Captain America and Falcon were 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, demanding they surrender
While Captain America had managed to convince the Winter Soldier not to fight back and handed over his Shield to them, War Machine told him that as he had disobeyed the Sokovia Accords, he was now a criminal. While taking them into their custody with his weapons still trained on them, War Machine was also shocked to discover that the Black Panther was King T'Challa of Wakanda, as he showed respect to the Wakandan king who had tried to kill the Winter Soldier.
However, before long the Winter Soldier had been broken free from the Joint Counter-Terrorist Centre, having just gotten the assistance of both Captain America and Falcon who helped him go into hiding. Upon hearing of their escape, Iron Man called in War Machine and other allies in order to stop Captain America and his teammates from escaping, as War Machine and Iron Man had blocked Captain America in an airport.
While the two armored heroes blocked Captain America's way, they were also joined by Black Panther and Black Widow, while Captain America attempted to explain that Helmut Zemo was in fact behind everything that was happening. Frustrated by the situation, Iron Man called in Spider-Man, who stole Captain America's Shield to disarm him while Iron Man tried to convince him to surrender now, insisting that if he did not, their situation would become more dangerous.
However, it soon became clear that Captain America did not plan to surrender as Hawkeye freed him from Spider-Man's Webbing before his shield was stolen back by Ant-Man. As War Machine had tried to understand what was happening, they spotted Falcon and the Winter Soldier in one of the terminals, only for Captain America to throw his shield at War Machine before he then tackled Black Panther in order to keep them both from attempting to target the Winter Soldier.
While Captain America was still fighting against Black Panther, War Machine drew a Stun Staff from his Mark III armor, commenting that it would not kill Captain America but would not tickle either, however, Captain America was still able to block the strike with his shield. As War Machine attempted another strike, Captain America was able to knock him out of the air, causing him to crash land which also broke the staff, much to War Machine's annoyance and he discarded it.
As War Machine had prepared to continue his fight against Captain America, he witnessed Ant-Man returning to the fight. War Machine then witnessed Captain America and Ant-Man using one of the Pym Particles Disks to force an entire truck at the group. Although all 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 had protected him despite this greatly angering him regardless.
Before Captain America's team could all reach the Quinjet and make their escape, their path was blocked by Vision who fired his beam of energy from the Mind Stone. War Machine had then regrouped with his own team, flying Black Panther to the line up as the two sides of the Avengers faced each other down. When it had become clear that Captain America would not surrender despite the situation, their two teams began to run towards each other to continue their fight.
Once the fight had begun, War Machine targeted Falcon, as they flew above the Flughafen Leipzig-Halle and tried to knock each other out of the sky. War Machine and Iron Man focused on trying to take out Falcon, while also taking some shots at Hawkeye, as they continued flying over the airport. However, as War Machine also caught Falcon, suddenly Ant-Man transformed into Giant-Man and then caught War Machine in mid-air, much to his complete and utter surprise.
Giant-Man then proceeded to toss War Machine aside, while Spider-Man swung in and had caught him with his webbing, launching War Machine back into the fight, while Giant-Man had continued to cause chaos throughout the battlefield. War Machine and Spider-Man then teamed up to target Giant-Man, as War Machine fired his weaponry which had no effect, before War Machine launched Spider-Man onto his arm, as he used all that momentum to land a heavy kick.
Using whatever weaponry he had, War Machine attempted to take down Giant-Man with his Sonic Cannon, only for Giant-Man to punch him across the airport. Once he recovered, War Machine witnessed Giant-Man grabbing an entire walkway and swinging it towards him, as War Machine unloaded every weapon on his armor to destroy it before it could hit him, before then managing to dodge out of the way of Giant-Man's continued attacks as he then flew all around him.
War Machine's efforts to take down Giant-Man were then interrupted by a series of attacks from Scarlet Witch, who threw multiple cars at War Machine. During this, their team realized that Captain America and the Winter Soldier had almost reached the Quinjet, before Vision attempted to block their path, only for Scarlet Witch to keep it clear. Seeing all of this happening, War Machine used his Sonic Cannon to distract Scarlet Witch, causing her to scream in complete agony.
Despite these efforts, they were unable to stop Captain America and Winter Soldier from reaching the Quinjet. War Machine and Iron Man had then continued focusing their own efforts on attempting to bring down Giant-Man, until finally, Spider-Man had an idea to defeat him, taking inspiration from The Empire Strikes Back. Understanding the plan, War Machine watched as Spider-Ma tied up Giant-Man's legs before War Machine and Iron Man then punched him on the jaw and caused him to fall down and crash land hard onto the ground.
With little time remaining, War Machine and Iron Man had then begun chasing down the Quinjet as Captain America and the Winter Soldier had attempted to get away. During this chase, War Machine became aware that he was being followed before Falcon had begun firing all of his own weaponry from his EXO-7 Falcon to try and prevent both War Machine and Iron Man from managing to catch up to the Quinjet, as War Machine had called out to his allies for their assistance.
However, when Vision had attempted to assist War Machine by firing a blast of energy from the Mind Stone at Falcon's wing suit, he was too distracted by caring for Scarlet Witch and missed his shot. That blast then completed destroyed War Machine's Arc Reactor, causing his Mark III armor to shut down as he plummeted towards to ground below, while Iron Man and Falcon had both desperately attempted to catch up to War Machine before he crashed land onto the ground.
Despite the efforts of Iron Man and Falcon, they were not fast enough to save War Machine before he crash landed on the ground, causing unrepairable damage to his spine. As he landed beside him, Iron Man tore off War Machine's helmet, before F.R.I.D.A.Y. confirmed he was still alive. With this, the fight concluded as the remaining members of Captain America's team were sent to the Raft by Thaddeus Ross and War Machine was taken for medical attention for all his injuries.
Following his grave impact during the Clash of the Avengers, Rhodes was then taken straight back to New York City where he was treated at the Columbia University Medical Center, under the close watch of both Tony Stark and Vision, who had felt great personal guilt for his part with Rhodes' injuries. Having undergone several tests, Rhodes had then learned that due to the impact, he had been paralyzed from the waist down.
Having been returned to the New Avengers Facility, Rhodes had then continued his recovery, with the assistance from Stark who had built him a new Stark Industries device that could help him walk again, but Rhodes had problems to adapt to it. Sitting on the floor, Rhodes then noted how he had done a hundred and thirty eight combat missions while in the Air Force because he had thought this was the right thing to do, same as the Sokovia Accords which he had still supported.
While Stark had helped Rhodes get back to his feet so that he could continue practicing to walk again, they were then interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a Delivery Man who mistakenly misread Stark's name as "Tony Stank", much to Rhodes' amusement, who claimed he would never forget that nickname. Rhodes then carefully walked away, while commenting about all the different ways that he planned to use the name Stank to annoy his friend in the years to come.
Reuniting the Avengers
Rhodes spent the better part of two years recovering from his injuries and adapting to the Leg Braces that enabled him to walk. During this time Rhodes gradually became embittered towards the Sokovia Accords, as well as Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross, despite having signed them himself over the damage done to the Avengers and the latter's bullheaded perception of Steve Rogers as a criminal.
Ross contacted Rhodes at their New Avengers Facility to discuss the recent disappearance of Vision, who had last been seen when both he and Scarlet Witch were being attacked in Edinburgh and leaving in the company of the fugitive Avengers. Rhodes had insisted that his former team mates were only being branded as criminals due to the orders of Ross himself, and argued that if it was not for the Accords being created, Vision would have been with them in the Facility.
Although Ross reminded Rhodes of how he had signed the Accords himself, Rhodes claimed that he had paid the price for that decision, indicating to his leg braces. Just as Rhodes had insisted that he no longer had second thoughts about these decisions, they were then interrupted by the arrival of Steve Rogers, who had arrived onboard the stolen Quinjet along with the wounded Vision, as well as all of the other fugitive Avengers, much to the complete shock of Ross.
While Ross and Rogers discussed the situation following the arrival of the Black Order and the disappearance of Tony Stark, Ross then ordered Rhodes to arrest them all immediately. Instead, Rhodes cut off the call with Ross, accepting that this would be a court marshal offense and would immediately cost him his Air Force career. Despite that, Rhodes happily reunited with his friends, jokingly commenting that they looked like crap, to which Sam Wilson noted that they had not been staying in five-star hotels during those previous two years. The group was then greeted by Bruce Banner, who revealed that he had returned, much to Natasha Romanoff's considerable surprise, as Wilson had then jokingly commented on the awkward situation.
Following their reunion, Rhodes and all the other Avengers discussed what was to be done about the Mind Stone, as they had learned from Banner that it was being sought by the Mad Titan Thanos in his quest to gather all the Infinity Stones and cause the Decimation. Looking at the footage of the Black Order, Rhodes commented that clearly they would soon be returning and would then be able to track them down, therefore they needed to get somewhere safe to protect Vision.
To the surprise of Rhodes and everyone else, Vision suggested that they instead destroy the Mind Stone, indicating that Scarlet Witch could do it due to her similar powers. Having agreed to do it if they could ensure Vision survived, Rhodes had pushed the group to find somewhere they could achieve this goal, to which Rogers suggested they visited T'Challa in Wakanda. The group agreed and traveled to destroy the stone before Thanos could ever get his hands on it.
Arrival in Wakanda
Upon arrival in Wakanda, Rhodes and the Avengers were greeted by King T'Challa and his Dora Milaje. As they got off the Quinjet, Rhodes was asked by Bruce Banner if he should bow in front of T'Challa, to which Rhodes told him that he should as T'Challa was the King. When Banner actually bowed and T'Challa told him not to, Rhodes grinned to himself having tricked his friend before they had followed behind the Avengers.
While Captain America spoke with T'Challa and Shuri about how they intended to remove the Mind Stone from Vision without killing him, Rhodes put on his Mark IV and awaited the battle. Before long, War Machine witnessed the arrival of the Outrider Dropships, which had exploded upon hitting Wakanda's protective shields above them all. Although the Winter Soldier had expressed his joy at seeing this, War Machine notice that more were landing just outside the shield.
With the Outrider Dropships surrounding Wakanda, War Machine and the Avengers prepared themselves for the battle as War Machine flew alongside his allies and joined the line up of Avengers, Dora Milaje and Border Tribe, who readied themselves for the battle. War Machine stayed back as Captain America and Black Widow had joined Black Panther while they had confronted the Black Order who were stood just outside Wakanda's shields, awaiting the battle to begin.
As Proxima Midnight ordered the battle to begin, War Machine had witnessed thousands of the Outriders charging towards the shields, furiously clawing at the heroes, ripping themselves apart as they all forced their way through all the shields. Needing to keep their battle controlled, Black Panther ordered Shuri to open the shields, allowing the Outriders to charge towards them, while War Machine dropped several bombs onto them, killing dozens with a massive fireball.
With the armies of Outriders pouring into Wakanda and then fighting against all of the Avengers and Wakandan soldiers, War Machine had stayed high above the ground and fired every weapon that he had on his Mark IV, causing massive explosions. However, War Machine was struck out the sky when Cull Obsidian launched his Chain Hammer at him, causing War Machine to crashland. Just as the battle seemed to be lost, Thor returned through the Bifrost Bridge, beside both Rocket Raccoon and Groot, as Thor had then furiously joined the battle.
With Thor fighting alongside them, War Machine and his allies were able to hold back the Outriders, as War Machine and Falcon joined forces to destroy one of the Threshers that Midnight had sent. Before long, the Outriders had seemingly all been destroyed, while Midnight had been killed by Scarlet Witch and Bruce Banner had destroyed Obsidian. However, Vision was now in harms way once again as yet another threat was looming over the heroes, despite their victory.
While all the Avengers had begun to regroup, they had then suddenly witnessed a Wormhole opening up in the center of Wakanda, as they watched in complete horror as the Mad Titan Thanos then stepped onto the battlefield. Once Thanos had arrived in order to finally obtain the Mind Stone from Vision, War Machine and his allies then attempted to stop him, determined not to allow him to win as War Machine furiously unleashed the full power of his Mark IV's weaponry against the Mad Titan.
However, despite the powerful weapons at his disposal, War Machine still proved to be completely outmatched by Thanos' skill with all 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. With War Machine unable to continue the fight, he witnessed the other Avengers also being defeated before Thanos had brutally ripped the Mind Stone from Vision's head, killing him.
Once Thanos obtained the Infinity Stones, he proceeded to snap his fingers and caused the Decimation, which then wiped out half of the people in the universe. Once Thanos had escaped, Rhodes had then called out to Sam Wilson, just as Wilson disintegrated to dust, along with trillions of others across the Multiverse. Shocked by the death of his allies, Rhodes was just able to ask Steve Rogers what happened out of disbelief and despair before they began to lament the loss.
Meeting Captain Marvel
Following the failure of the Battle of Wakanda, Rhodes, alongside the surviving Avengers, returned into their New Avengers Facility. Having discovered the Transmitter Pager that had been reactivated by Nick Fury prior to his death, the Avengers then successfully bypassed the pager's battery in order for it to continue to send out its signal. Rhodes had then personally monitored the pager and informed Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff that the pager had just stopped transmitting the signal.
As Rhodes and the others looked it over to try and understand what had happened, Rogers had requested that they attempt to reboot the pager and resend that signal, only for Bruce Banner to respond that they had no idea what the signal was for. As Romanoff explained that Fury knew whom the signal was for, and she wanted to know who it was as well, she came face to face with Captain Marvel herself, who had then demanded the Avengers tell her where Fury was.
After explaining to Captain Marvel that Tony Stark was still missing in space, she went in search of him. Stark was brought back to the New Avengers Facility along with Nebula. Rhodes supported his weak and malnourished friend while he recovered.
The remaining Avengers, alongside Captain Marvel, then traveled to Thanos' location on Titan II. As Thanos sat down in his hut, Captain Marvel burst into his home, placing him in a headlock. Bruce Banner in the Mark XLIX armor quickly joined her, restraining the Infinity Gauntlet, with War Machine joining him by holding Thanos' other hand. Thor then arrived and sliced off Thanos' left arm with Stormbreaker, releasing the Gauntlet and causing great pain to the Titan.
As the other Avengers then entered the hut, and they were all shocked when they saw that the Infinity Stones were no longer in the gauntlet. Under interrogation, Thanos revealed that his most recent usage of the Infinity Stones had been to destroy them, ensuring that he could not be tempted to use them again and that the Decimation could not be undone. The Avengers initially believed Thanos to be lying, to which Nebula replied that while her adoptive father was many things, he was not a liar. Thor then cut off Thanos' head, killing him. He left, leaving a feeling of despair amongst them all.
During the five years after Thanos' death, War Machine helped keep order around the world, alongside Nebula and Rocket Raccoon, under the command of Natasha Romanoff. At one point he went to Mexico to track down Clint Barton, where he found deceased gang members which Barton had massacred.
- "I wasn't always like this."
"Neither was I. But we work with what we got."
- ―Nebula and War Machine
Once Tony Stark had finished the time machine, the Avengers were split into teams to retrieve the Infinity Stones from the past. War Machine was then teamed up with Nebula to collect the Power Stone from Morag, while Black Widow and Hawkeye joined them on the journey before departing to Vormir for the Soul Stone. While on Morag, War Machine and Nebula had soon come across Peter Quill dancing to the music from his Walkman, which did not impress War Machine who had simply called Quill an idiot. The pair then proceeded to knock Quill unconscious and take the Power Stone.
With all the Infinity Stones collected, Tony Stark proceeded to build the Iron Gauntlet with the assistance of Bruce Banner and Rocket Raccoon. With everything in place, the Avengers then began to debate who should be the one to wear the Gauntlet and reverse the Decimation, until Banner volunteered, reasoning that he is the only one strong enough to withstand the resulting burst of cosmic energy that had nearly killed Thanos. Rhodes was among those present in the room when Banner finally donned the gauntlet and snapped his fingers, successfully resurrecting all the other half of life in the universe, but unaware that Thanos and his Warships had arrived into 2023 through the time travel machine. Just as the Avengers realize the gauntlet had worked, Thanos' warship unleashes a hailstorm of energy blasts from the sky and turns the New Avengers Facility into a smoldering crater, as War Machine and Rocket were dragged underneath all of the rubble.
Rhodes became trapped on a lower level of the New Avengers Facility, which is quickly flooding with river water, with Rocket Raccoon and the Hulk also trapped. Once Rhodes had managed to get free of the Mark VI armor, he helped free Rocket who is trapped under some fallen rubble while Ant-Man heard their calls for help and came down to help free them all.
Rhodes joins the resurrected Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and various other heroes who were disintegrated in the Decimation emerge from numerous portals opened up by Doctor Strange and Wong, along with the combined armies of every hero group from Earth. After everyone formed up to face Thanos and his forces, Captain America called on the Avengers to Assemble as the two opposing armies then charged at each other and fight.
As the battle reached its conclusion, Iron Man then stool the Infinity Stones back from Thanos, forms his own gauntlet with his suit, and then snaps his fingers, causing Thanos and his army to disintegrate. War Machine is there with Spider-Man and Pepper Potts to tearfully witness Stark dying from his injuries caused by the resulting cosmic blast.
- "How long are you going to play both sides?"
- ―Sam Wilson
James Rhodes is a proud and highly distinguished officer of the United States Air Force. 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. Rhodes was upset at Stark's decision to stop weapon manufacturing, although he chose to aid Stark to defeat Obadiah Stane by preventing the Air Force's involvement. However, shortly after Stark officially became Iron Man, his disrespect of government officials and refusal to relinquish his armors to them placed Rhodes in a difficult position since he has to balance his responsibilities to his superiors and respect his friendship with Stark, forcing Rhodes to side with the government and steal the Iron Man Armor: Mark II. As liaison to Stark Industries, Rhodes strives to maintain a copacetic relationship between Stark and the United States 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 United Nations labeling his friends as criminals so much so that he chose to receive a court-martial 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 strong mutual respect and friendship. Rhodes also takes great personal pride in his work; when attending the party following the retrieval of the 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 that 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. After the friendly fire incident that left him paralyzed he also held no animosity against Captain America and his team.
Despite his sense of professionalism, however, he enjoys wearing the War Machine suit and is largely disappointed when it underperforms, such as when the Ex-Wife Missile installed in his suit did not work when fighting Whiplash. Though he states that being rebranded as Iron Patriot comes across well as it was less aggressive, he secretly prefers being referred to as War Machine and quickly goes back to this persona following the end of Aldrich Killian's War. 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 re-designed by the Hammer Industries to become War Machine. The armor allows him to fly, possess superhuman strength and durability and contains various weapons for battle. Rhodes' armors are more devised for military oriented purposes; therefore they are more heavily armored and weaponized than Stark's 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 Mark IV Armor. When the Mark II Armor was transformed into the War Machine Mark I armor, it was sufficient enough to nearly overpower the Mark VI (while under Ivan 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. He could also knock out the half-Celestial Star-Lord with a single punch.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The armor, like Stark's, has motors for movement. It is extremely fast and responsive in flight, and during combat, as 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 onboard 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 onboard 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, even being able to sustain Rhoads in the Quantum Realm.
- Superhuman Durability: The armor is made of a solar charged carbon-composite-based external plating armor and has a chest plate 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 Tony 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 the damage done on it by the Whiplash 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 epicenter of an explosion, Falcon's weapons, Ant-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 decimates a small area like when he and Iron Man both fired their repulsors at each other and the resulting event destroyed much of Stark's mansion.
- 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 Industries rocket bunker busting Ex-Wife Missile designed by Justin Hammer which was useless against the 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, and once on Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man.
- "Sorry, Cap. This won't kill you, but it ain't gonna tickle either."
- ―War Machine to Captain America
- War Hammer: A baton 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 Tony Stark's attack on Aldrich Killian, Rhodes was able to deflect several attacks from Extremis Soldiers with pure strategy. He also played a key role in fighting and coordinating strategy during the Battle of Wakanda.
- Expert Martial Artist: Rhodes' military training made him a very skilled fighter. He was more than able to handle himself against 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 Stark in their ferocious brawl during Stark's birthday when Stark got drunk while he 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 Armors
- Iron Man Armor: Mark II
- War Machine Armor: Mark I
- War Machine Armor: Mark II (temporarily Iron Patriot Armor)
- War Machine Armor: Mark III
- War Machine Armor: Mark IV
- War Machine Armor: Mark V
- War Machine Armor: Mark VI
- War Machine Armor: Mark VII
- Ex-Wife Missile: Rhodes took weapons from Justin Hammer including "Hammers greatest invention"- the EX-Wife Missile. Later, Rhodes attempted to use it while fighting Vanko, but it failed.
- Beretta 92FS Inox: Rhodes took a handgun 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 beside him during the party at the Avengers Tower, resorting to use it against the Iron Legion drones hijacked by Ultron.
- Stark Sonic Cannon: To be added
- Arc Reactor: Creation of Tony Stark to power the War Machine Armor.
- Leg Braces: When both of Rhodes' legs had been completely paralyzed during the Clash of the Avengers, Rhodes was given new Stark Industries leg braces designed by Tony Stark which would enable him to walk again. Although Rhodes initially had trouble using them, over time he had gotten used to them and could walk normally again.
- Transmitter Pager: A communication device used by Nick Fury, an ordinary Earth pager modified by Carol Danvers using Kree technology for use as an instrument of last resort in extreme emergencies. Fury was eventually forced to use it in response to the Decimation. It was found by the Avengers.
- Advanced Tech Suit: This suit was designed in order to time travel through the Quantum Realm safely. It is a white, red and black suit that materialize around the wearer's regular clothes, managing to be summoned when time travel is required again, and disappear when no longer in use. It has size-shifting adaptability down to subatomic levels and a wrist gadget that allows for displacement through time and space.
- Orb: To be added
This section requires expansion
This section requires expansion
- Edwards Air Force Base: To be added
- Avengers Tower: To be added
- New Avengers Facility: To be added
- Temple Vault: To be added
- Aldrich Killian's Mansion: To be added
|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". Suffering injuries, Rhodes was rebuilt as a cyborg, though his brain was later transplanted into a healthy cloned body.
- In Iron Man 3, Rhodes is known as the Iron Patriot. In the comics, the identity of Iron Patriot was firstly adopted by Norman Osborn. After the release of Iron Man 3, for a time, the mainstream counterpart of Rhodes has also taken the mantle of Iron Patriot in the comics, before later going back to the War Machine armor.
- Rhodes has to change his password every time Tony Stark hacks into his profile; at least once, his password was WARMACHINEROX.
- War Machine is the only Avengers member that is not an original founding member to remain alive after the Decimation.
- War Machine is the longest-serving Avenger, having joined in 2015 and having an uninterrupted service since due to signing the Sokovia Accords and being a survivor of the Decimation.
Behind the Scenes
- James Rhodes is one of the few characters who is 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 greenlit at Marvel Studios, with Joe Robert Cole as a writer, but the plan was changed after Iron Man 3.
- Don Cheadle was uncredited for his appearance in Captain Marvel.
- 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 and Nev Smith were stand-ins for Don Cheadle in the role of War Machine.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Iron Man
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Iron Man: Fast Friends
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Iron Man - List of Deleted Scenes
- ↑ Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Iron Man 2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Iron Man 2 - List of Deleted Scenes
- ↑ Iron Man 3 Prelude
- ↑ Iron Man: The Coming of the Melter
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Iron Man 3
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron - List of Deleted Scenes
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ Captain Marvel Mid-credits Scenes
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ ‘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