James Rhodes (War Machine for peace)

James Rhodes

(War Machine for peace)

By Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog


If you read last week’s Civil War II #1 you know the Marvel Universe has lost another of it’s heroes.  Jim Rhodes aka War Machine was killed in battle with the villain Thanos.  And yes I know it’s a comic book and heroes and villains are resurrected all the time, especially in Marvel Comics.  But for the sake of argument, let’s just assume this is the last we’ll see of Jim Rhodes at least for a few years.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to review his history and highlight just a few points of what made the man a hero.


  1. Understudy

Jim’s very first appearance was in Iron Man #118 (January 1979).  He started out as Tony Stark’s pilot.  He would quickly become a good friend of Tony’s, so much so that when Obadiah Stane drove Tony back to alcoholism, Tony asked Jim (in a drunken stupor) to take his place as Iron Man in Iron Man #169 (April 1983). 


2. Death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Tony would eventually clean up his act and take back the role of Iron Man in time to defeat Obadiah Stane in Iron Man #200 (November 1985).  Jim would go back to work for Tony as his pilot /bodyguard/ assistant and even put on a spare suit of armor every now and then.  But whenTony is dying and the cure causes him to fake his own death, Tony amends his will to leave everything to Jim in Iron Man #284 (September 1992). Jim became CEO of Stark Enterprises and once more took the role of Iron Man, this time very reluctantly assuming it was Tony’s last wish.  Once Jim discovered the ruse, he ended his employment at Stark Enterprises and his friendship with Tony for a few years.  This was the point when Jim wore the original War Machine armor.  Jim would move on to become executive director of the human rights organization Worldwatch in his own ongoing series. 


3. Identity Crisis

Jim would continue to act as a hero, no matter the identity or method.  After he loses the original War Machine armor after a trip through time, Jim is ready to retire until he receives the alien Eidolon Warware armor.  This becomes his new armor until it is destroyed when Jim sacrifices it to preserve Stark Enterprises when Tony is once again presumed dead. 


4. God and Country

After Tony’s return the original War Machine armor is found and Jim goes back to wearing it off and on for years.  Eventually, Shield asks Jim to take and redeem the identity of the Iron Patriot after it was used by Norman Osborn during his Dark Avengers debacle.  But eventually, once again, Jim would go back to the War Machine armor and identity.


5. Goodbye old friend

Which brings us to the present and Civil War II.  After the new Inhuman Ulysses predicts Project Pegasus will be attacked by Thanos looking for a cosmic cube, Captain Marvel Carol Danvers assembles a team to stop him, including her boyfriend Jim Rhodes.  While Jen Walters, the She-Hulk is badly injured, the only casualty of the battle is Jim himself.  


Jim Rhodes was the ultimate hero, always there for his friends and country, eventually laying down his life to protect his allies and the entire world.  Hopefully you will rest in peace until we see you again (hopefully).  What are some of YOUR favorite moments from the life and superhero career of Jim Rhodes?  Let me know!




@nightwingpdp on Twitter


You can hear me discuss this and all other Marvel topics with my cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) on our weekly podcasts All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity, part of the Nuff Said Podcast.  I also write another blog, Legends of DC.  You can find all my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com.  You can also find my podcasts, blogs, and my weekly article for tvbinges.com titled Super 5 at www.philperich.wordpress.com.


Until next time, take a moment of silence for a fallen hero.  NUFF SAID!!