Black History Month – Feb 6th, 2021 – Character Profile: War Machine

Tony Stark’s best friend, James Rhodes, is one of the few to wear the Iron Man armor, other than Tony Stark himself. Although he initially took on the role when Stark was dealing with his demons, Rhodes has reprised the role over the years.

While growing up in South Philadelphia, James Rhodes was frequently bullied, and he longed to forge a new life for himself by moving away. Despite his hardship, he remained noble and good, even forming a close childhood bond with a girl named Glenda Sandoval and defending her from other children. However, when he gravely injured another child in the process, Rhodes was sent to a juvenile correctional facility

Later in life, Rhodes joined the Marines. He served for several tours in Southeast Asia, while also studying to become an aviation engineer. He became particularly close to fellow Marine Parnell Jacobs, who he even introduced to his childhood friend Glenda; they fell in love and later married.

Despite his military background, Rhodes hated taking lives and it took a toll on him. After his helicopter was shot down during a mission, he was found by Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, after the latter’s own situation had gone awry. The two worked together to escape. Out of the Iron Man armor, Stark offered Rhodes a job as his pilot, which he took once his tour of duty was complete.

While Rhodes doesn’t have super human powers, the War Machine armor designed for him by Tony Stark gives him unprecedented strength and a massive arsenal of weapons. War Machine can fly at Mach 2 and is equipped with a variety of projectile weapons such as repulsor rays, bombs, guns, and missiles. A unibeam in the chest plate can project virtually every light spectrum, a laser beam, and an electromagnetic pulse generator that can shut down electronic devices within a 50-yard radius. The armor can reboot itself within minutes.

War Machine with the full arsenal contained in his suit

The War Machine armor also keeps Rhodes safe from radiation and physical attacks and is specially coated to resist radar detection. A holographic generator can alter the appearance of the armor, rendering War Machine unrecognizable. The armor’s systems are operated by a cybernetic link to Rhodes that shields him from mental attacks. They also include a targeting computer, radar and environment sensors, and a sophisticated subspace/satellite radio communications array that can detect local radio signals.

If War Machine is attacked, the armor contains life support systems, including an hour’s air supply, and can be sealed for space and underwater travel.

Powers: Blast Power – Electronic Disruption – Electronic interaction – Energy Shield – Flight – Gadgets – Implants – Insanely Rich – Intellect – Invulnerability – Leadership – Power Suit – Stamina – Super Hearing – Super Speed – Super Strength – Unarmed Combat – Weapon Master


Skilled Engineer:

Rhodes served several tours in Southeast Asia, studying while in the service to become an aviation engineer.

Skilled Aviator:

He is a skilled helicopter pilot and is capable of maneuvering most if not all Stark-designed armors.

Skilled Combatant:

Rhodes military training made him a very skilled hand to hand combatant.

Skilled Marksman:

Aside from his armor’s weaponry, he is a very good marksman.

Skilled Survivalist:

With intense military training, he can survive explosions and blasts.

Skilled Tactician

He can make strategies in order to win.

Character Profile

  • Height: 5’8″ (6’1″ in armor)
  • Weight: 182 lbs (470 lbs in armor)
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Citizenship: American
  • Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Terrence Rhodes (father, deceased), Roberta Rhodes (mother), Jeanette Rhodes (sister, deceased)
  • Base of Operations: Stark Unlimited HQ, Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, New York


Variable Threat Response Battle Suit

Variable Threat Response Battle Suit
Variable Threat Response Battle Suit

Rhodey first wore the War Machine armor which holds various weapons such as repulsors, unibeam, concussion pulses, twin barreled cannon in right gauntlet, laser blade in left gauntlet, wrist-mounted flamethrower, shoulder mounted gatling gun, shoulder mounted box rocket launcher and shoulder mounted particle beam. The armor has more plating and shielding than standard armors. It has a muscularly aligned matrix of crystallized iron enhanced by magnetic fields over layers of other metals like titanium, which grants him endurance capable of withstanding high caliber bullets with ease. He can withstand rockets, torpedoes and such, although he does take damage.

A additional polyprismatic coating was developed to counter laser fire.

Strength Level:

Every Platform since the MARK VI amplifies the wears strength by at least 500x at 100% power. So under optimal conditions, James Rhodes can lift/press more than 200Tons when wearing a sufficient charged set of armor.

Armor Set “Baseline Abilities:”

Much like the Iron Man Platform, The WarMachine battlesuit can maintain sustained flight at high speeds, exceeding the speed of a jet airplane, due to the rocket propulsion units in the armors boots, and palms. War Machine’s flight speed varies from a ‘casual’ cruising velocity of about 540mph up to MACH2 (twice the airspeed of sound). The suit is capable of moving at greater speeds for shorter distances.

War Machine’s suit has many power sources, such as solar converters, electrical batteries and an on-board generator that uses beta particle absorption as a fuel source. The suit is also able to convert nearby energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy into electricity, or even drain electrical energy directly into the batteries for recharge. Although the suit has some open holes to allow the wearer to breathe normal air, it can be sealed off, allowing the pilot of the suit to go underwater or into space by granting its own life support and limited air supply systems.

Stark also has equipped the War Machine armor with numerous weapons over the years, making the suit more powerful with each upgrade. The most often used weapons are the repulsor rays (magnetically channeled beams of super-heated plasma) that are fired from the suit’s palms or gauntlets. Other weapons that are built into the armor include the uni-beam projector in its chest (controlling the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum from blinding searchlights to cutting lasers), pulse bolts that pick up kinetic energy along the way, so that they hit harder the further they have to travel, an electromagnetic pulse generator and energy shield. Of course a number of conventional munitions-focused micro-tech weapons (RPGs, micro-burst missiles, armor piercing rounds, mini-Gatling gun turret) are also part of the War Machine armor’s weapons array.

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