Iron Man 2 - War Machine

It seems like only yesterday that Iron Man flew into theaters and stole our hearts. Aww. The first film was enough of a rousing success that a sequel was warranted and this time, there's more of everything. Some of the new characters you may not be familiar with, so every Tuesday and Thursday until the film's release Omnicomic will be profiling one of the characters in the film.

Real Name: James Rhodes

First comic appearance: As Rhodes- Iron Man #118 (1979)
As Iron Man- Iron Man #170 (1983)
As War Machine- Iron Man #284 (1992)

Origin: A soldier and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rhodes encountered Iron Man while on an active tour of duty. Stark was impressed with the pilot’s cool head under fire and offered him a job flying for Stark industries.

Rhodes also became one of Stark’s closes confidants. At a time in his life when alcoholism was forcing everyone away, Rhodes was one of the only friends Stark had left to turn to. Eventually, Stark asked Rhodes to step in AS Iron Man, knowing that he couldn’t use the suit safely until his drinking was under control. Eventually, Rhodes became more of a partner than a stand-in. He showed a certain affinity for one of Stark’s alternate designs- the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit, Model XVI, Mark I- dubbed War Machine.

Powers/ Abilities: The War Machine suit’s capabilities are nearly identical to the Iron Man one, save that it trades some of it’s forerunner’s mobility for offensive power. War Machine’s armor is like a walking, one-man tank battalion. Besides repulsor blasts, supersonic flight capabilities and enhanced strength, the wearer also has access to a wide variety of standard military ordinance (large caliber guns, missiles, etc.).

A well decorated soldier and war hero, it isn’t surprising that Rhodes is skilled with such weaponry and brings the full potential out of the armor’s offensive capacity.

Backstory: First and foremost, Rhodes’ loyalty is to his brothers-in-arms. As a trained marine, Rhodes knows the horrors of war all too well. While one of Stark’s closest friends, his relationship with Tony has often been strained over differing views on the proper use of Stark International’s hardware. While Stark refuses to let his work fall into government hands, Rhodes recognizes the number of U.S. soliders who would be saved if such technology was at their fingers.

While more even-tempered and less risky than Stark, Rhodes is willing to tell Tony things he needs to hear, even if Stark doesn’t like it. Ultimately, he’s become of on Stark’s closest allies.

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