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War machine, a travelling arsenal

Máquina de guerra portada

Who is War Machine?

Like many other heroes of the Marvel Universe, the story of James Rhodes, also known as Rhodey, begins in the United States Army, specifically as a pilot in the Marines. On a mission in Afghanistan his plane is shot down and while he is trying to repair it and escape from enemy territory he meets a Tony Stark who has just created his first armor to escape from the Taliban who had him in prison. Tony recharges the batteries of his suit with the plane and together they manage to get a helicopter. Tony is so impressed with James that he offers him a job as a pilot at Stark Industries. James didn’t imagine that this job meant that when personal and alcohol problems forced Tony Stark to leave Iron Man’s armor, he would be in charge of assuming Iron Man’s responsibilities.

Once Tony has recovered, James has a hard time finding his place, even more so when the armor he wears becomes obsolete compared to the one Tony Stark wears, he starts to give them mental problems because of his cyber-electronic adjustments, which makes him stop wearing it. However, after one of Tony Stark’s many “deaths”, the company remains in his hands and builds an armor for him this time, and begins to wear it under the name War Machine. Unfortunately, when Tony “resurrects” Rhodes, he feels betrayed and decides to cut ties and go off and live his own adventures.

In search of his place in the world, Rhodes’ solo adventures lead him to free an African country from its tyrants, to take over an alien armor, or, during the war with the Skrull, to repel an entire Skrull fleet with the help of an armor the size of the International Space Station. Even if I cut ties with Tony, that doesn’t mean I won’t go to this or the Avengers’ distress calls, especially the West Coast team led by Hawkeye. In one of these clashes with the Avengers, the War Machine dies trying to stop Thanos and is buried with honors in the Arlington cemetery.

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The personality of War Machine

Rhodes fully adheres to the motto that great power carries great responsibility and he is aware that wearing his armor is fortunate and forces him to work for the good of others. He wants and believes that he can change the lives of others for the better and he tries to correct everything that he considers unfair, even if he sometimes has trouble knowing how to do it. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect because it’s quite temperamental and difficult to please. It is true that this makes him angry with the people around him, especially Tony Stark who also has his problems, but that does not prevent him from being a person who, above all, appreciates and practices loyalty.

Friends and enemies of War Machine

His close relationship with Iron Man has made some of the magnate’s enemies his enemies as well. Along with Tony, he takes on Obadiah Stane on the battlefield and in the offices when he tries to take over Stark Industries and Iron Man suits. He also faces the classic villain El Mandarin on many occasions and even rescues Tony from his clutches on more than one occasion. As a nomad who ends up being a collaborator with S.H.I.E.L.D. and especially with Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Finally, it should be noted that many of his missions have led him into space and into the face of the attempted Invasion of Asgard by Norman Osborn and the god Ares and terrorist organizations such as A.I.M. and H.A.M.M.M.E.R. itself. of Norman Osborn.

War Machine in the Kinematic Universe of Marvel

War Machine has the dubious honor, along with the Hulk, of being one of the characters that the Marvel Universe has been forced to switch between film and film. James Rhodes debuted alongside Marvel’s Kinematic Universe in Iron Man (2008), starring acclaimed actor Terrence Howard, and although not yet in armor, he serves as a liaison between Tony Stark and the United States Army. Iron Man’s success was enormous and served to sustain everything that followed. For better or worse, much of this success can be attributed to the performance of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and who has ended up catapulting him into the role of headliner along with Chris Evans. Obviously, this condition is inherently linked to a pay rise for each film in which it appears and which makes for huge disparities in cast salaries – he pocketed 60 million in Iron Man 3 while Chris Hemsworth only got 6 million in Thor), which Terrence Howard didn’t seem willing to accept.

For this reason, in Iron Man 2 Don Cheadle was already in charge of playing the role of James Rhodes, and this time the armor was sheathed like a war machine. He has since appeared on Iron Man 3 and Avengers: The Age of Ultron, at the end of which he joined the new team with Falcon, and the Maximoff brothers. However, his moment of protagonism comes in Captain America: Civil War where in the famous fight at the airport between the Iron Man team and Captain America’s team is seriously injured, probably losing the mobility of the legs. Although he is likely to regain mobility for Avengers: War of the Infinite and re-sheathing his armor, War Machine dies in the comics fighting against Thanos which makes him have many tickets to be one of the heroes who perishes before the Mad Titan.

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What powers does the War Machine have?

James is a normal guy who’s not even too fit. However, its armor literally makes it a War Machine loaded with an arsenal capable of fighting several wars. Gatling machine guns, heat-guided missiles, lasers and the typical repellents as well as the most advanced enemy detection and defence systems. All this without forgetting that it gives him superhuman strength and is capable of absorbing most of the blows.

#InFewWords: A War Machine Conclusion

A walking arsenal

War Machine perfectly represents the figure of the companion who ends up having to become independent from the main hero, in this case Tony Stark. Although born as a literary resource that allows Tony to explore his personal problems and grow as a character while still having an Iron Man in comics, James is growing in importance and defining himself as an independent character of Tony. His story reflects the path of a hero who does not know his place but who does not stop fighting until circumstances – in this case a circumstance called Thanos – overcome him and can leave just as a hero would. Sacrificing himself.

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