Posted on June 16th, 2010 by The Heroic Age
James “Jim” Rupert Rhodes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He first met Tony Stark while flying combat missions in Vietnam. Rhodes’ helicopter had been shot down by Viet Cong rocket fire, and while trying to get the aircraft airborne again, he encountered Stark in a bulky prototype suit of powered armor. At that moment the Viet Cong attacked, and Stark, in his suit, helped to drive them off. Together, Rhodes and Stark made their way to a nearby enemy base where they stole another helicopter, flying it back to the American lines.
After the end of the Vietnam War, Stark, who had secretly become the superhero named Iron Man, offered Rhodes a job as his personal pilot, and Rhodes soon became one of Stark’s closest associates and confidants as well as Stark Industries’ chief aviation officer. As a result, he had numerous adventures with his employer where his daring and skills were valuable assets. When Tony relapsed into his alcoholism, James Rhodes took over the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit (War Machine). James Rhodes took up the mantle of Iron Man for some time, and would return to using this suit.
Rhodes was fired by Stark after War Machine kills two hostage takers on national TV, one in cold-blood. After his dismissal, Rhodes is attacked by former War Machine pilot Parnell in an attempt to recover the War Machine armor. The two are picked up by Nick Fury and taken to the Helicarrier. It is revealed that Jacobs had sold his stolen War Machine to Hydra for money when he learned his wife was pregnant. SHIELD was able to recover the armor and was in the process of reverse engineering the Stark technology. Nick Fury planned to field a squad of War Machines commanded by Rhodes.
He would take a break from heroics for a while, Rhodes founded his own marine salvage company, but an extravagant lifestyle and an unscrupulous accountant left him bankrupt. Rhodes had heavily invested in Grace & Tumbalt due to their stated purpose of improving urban ethnic neighborhoods. While investigating the death of his sister Jeanette, he learned the company was corrupt, using their resources to fuel gangs and drugs. He would then form a team of superheroes called “The Crew.” The team consisted of The White Tiger, Junta, and Josiah X, the son of the 1940’s super-soldier Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America. Rhodes used part of a prototype War Machine armor to face off with Triage, the head of the 66 Bridges, and the gang was dispersed by Rhodes and his allies.
While serving as a military consultant at a base in Dubai and test piloting a combat plane, the base was bombed by terrorists Rhodes had been severely injured and without limbs while fighting the terrorists . Dieing from his injuries Tony saved his with life cybernetic implants and James becomes a cyborg.
After the events of the Secret Invasion, War Machine swore to get rid of Osborn’s evil power and influence. This brought Jim to Aqiria where a friend of him, Dr. Glenda Sandoval, was kidnapped. With the help of Parnell Jacobs (Glenda’s ex husband) and Bethany Cabe, War Machine infiltrated Aqiria and fought against Eaglestar’s private army in order to free his friend
After a vicious battle, War Machine confronted Ares and also Davis Harmon, Eaglestar’s CEO and the man who kidnapped Glenda. Jim managed to defeat Ares, even for a brief moment and Harmon freed Sandoval from the confinement area. Harmon was sure that he couldn’t be prosecuted by his war crimes due to the legal status of Aqiria, but that didn’t stopped Glenda of taking justice into her own hands. But Harmon’s deep secrets were opened by Ares, a rabid pack of prisoners infected by the ultimo virus. And Glenda was of the first victims becoming an enraged slave of the virus. While this is going on Bethany Cabe is currently working on making a clone body for Jim to download his mind into because his cybernetic implants were meant to be permanent , but this is discovered by Norman Osborn who steal the body.
During this arc, James found himself facing the Doomsday device known as Ultimo, and in order to defeat it, he formed an alliance with Norman Osborn and together they defeated the robot. But Osborn revealed his true motives: to claim Ultimo for himself. While James was fighting Osborn, his Team War Machine ally Suzi Endo escaped to space with Ultimo in order to reprogram it. After Osborn defeated James, it was revealed that he was actually buying his team time in order to expose the Bainesville Ten, a group of politicians and industry captains responsible for horrific acts around the world. In order the prevent the prosecution of the Bainesville Ten, Osborn made a distraction of his own by sending Rhodes to the Hague to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The longer Rhodes’s trial continues, the more time Osborn has to thwart the prosecution of the Ten and smuggles them out of the country. Rhodes sends away his lawyers and awaits prosecution in his cell room although evidence of his innocence exists. Rhodey’s mom comes to his cell and attempts to talk him out of surrendering himself, but he tells her that he’ll never give up and contacts his team who are in possession of his clne body, and are about to get the tranbod close enough to Rhodes so they can begin the transfer process of his conciousness into the body. However their plan was discovered by Osborn and sends a team of H.A.M.M.E.R agents after Team War Machine to thwart their plan. Jim was discovered talking to his team by the guards who started attacking him until Ares appeared and fought alongside Rhodey claiming to be his “champion”. In the meantime, alll of the Bainesvelle Ten have left the U.S and Norman gave a speech claiming that Rhodes was kidnapped by Tony Stark and that a Starktech cyborg (the real War Machine) commited the “astrocities” in James’ name, while Osborn was attempting to control the clned body of Rhodes and condem the real War Machine.
In the Hague, War Machine was apparently killed while trying to protect a child. When all seemed to go well for Osborn and the Bainesville Ten, the data that was stored in James’s cyborg memory was transferred to the Bainesvelle Ten, and they started seeing every recodrding of every person that has suffered because of them over and over again causing them extreme pain. After seeing this, Osborn turned around to see James in a whole new body, and he punched him in the face. Team War Machine was successful in transferring Rhodes’ conciousness into the new body. Rhodes left Osborn to deal with his defeat. He was cleared of all charges and given a new “fresh” body.
The Heroic Age:
After the Siege storyline, War Machine joined the new Secret Avengers team, alongside Beast, Nova, Steve Rogers, Valkyrie, and Moon Knight
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