War Machine (Comic Book)

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    War Machine is a Marvel Comics character created by David Michelinie and Bob Layton first appearing in Iron Man #118 (March, 1979). Stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, then Marine combat pilot Lt. Col. James Rupert Rhodes first met Iron Man after his helicopter was shot down by Viet Cong rocket fire during one of his tours of duty. Iron Man himself, fresh off escaping his captors with a suit of armor made with a box of scraps, encounters Rhodes. Together, they defeat the Viet Cong and fly to safety in a stolen helicopter.

    After the war, playboy billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who secretly was Iron Man all along, thanks Rhodes for saving Iron Man and offers him a job as Stark's personal pilot. Rhodes initially declines, but after trying other career options, including being a mercenary, he eventually takes Tony up on the offer. He also becomes the chief aviation officer.

    Tony and Rhodes become close friends to the point where he becomes one of Tony's/Iron Man's secret keepers and given the nickname "Rhodey". When Tony was battling Obadiah Stane for control of his company as well as his own issues with alcoholism, Rhodey became Iron Man for a brief time. As the shellhead he successfully battled against Iron Man's Rogues Gallery and became a founding members of the West Coast Avengers (though they thought it was Stark at the time). Issues including headaches caused by the armor’s helmet's neuralink control interface not being properly calibrated for Rhodes for longterm use and being gravely injured in a bomb attack by Stane forced Rhodey to give up being Iron Man.

    He became Iron Man a couple more times during his time at Tony's new company, Stark Enterprises but only temporarily. When Stark seemingly dies, Rhodey takes over running Stark Enterprises and becomes Iron Man once again. This time he uses the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, a silver and black suit with a mix of laser guided munitions, ballistic weaponry, a flame thrower and respulor and unibeam technology used in other versions of Stark's armor. Designed for all-out warfare, the armor was nicknamed "War Machine". After discovering Tony faked his death, Rhodey quit the company. Tony told Rhodey to keep the "War Machine" armor stating that the armor always belonged to him (with it properly attuned to Rhodey's brain patterns of course). After which, he decided just to call himself War Machine while he wore the armor.

    Rhodey and Stark would make-up and break up several more times with the former sometimes going solo or joining a separate cause from the latter. Eventually he would rejoin the West Coast Avengers, this time as himself using the War Machine armor. He would also join the Secret Defenders and Force Works (A reorganizing of the West Coast Avengers). He would also retire, only join up with The Crew--without Power Armor at his disposal--after his sister was killed by a powerful street gang. Eventually, he returns to superheroics and is currently he is a member of the Secret Avengers.

    Ever since he started wearing the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, War Machine has been featured in media outside of the comics. His most notable appearances were in the Iron Man films, played by Terrence Howard in the first in 2008 and Don Cheadle in the second in 2010. Prior to the movies, he appeared in the Iron Man Animated Series in 1994. He also appeared in Iron Man: Armored Adventures and made guest appearances in The Superhero Squad Show and season 2 of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

    In terms of Video Games, War Machine was a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom Clash of the Superheroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online and the video game version of Iron Man 2.

    Not to be confused with the future War Machine Video Game.

    War Machine (Comic Book) provides examples of the following tropes: