James "Rhodey" Rupert Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine is the best friend of Tony Stark and the son of Roberta Rhodes. His dad, David Rhodes is in the Navy and is rarely ever at home. He is voiced by Daniel Bacon.
After Tony lost his father, Howard Stark in an airplane accident, Tony was sent to live with the Rhodes family and attends the same science-intensive high school as Rhodes, the Tomorrow Academy. Rhodes was the only one who knew about the Iron Man armor since the beginning and often shows concern when Tony does something dangerous such as when Tony sided with Blizzard in Cold War or when Tony added reverse-engineered supervillain tech to the Iron Man armor in Seeing Red.
As Iron Man's systems operator, he assists Tony via a computer terminal and can use a remote system to assume control of the Iron Man armor when Stark is unable to. Rhodey states that he knows everything there is to know about the armor and can replace the suits batteries, and he was capable of breaking down the systems. Though he is not a prodigy like Tony, he did ace his test on fusion and is a history buff.
In the second season, Rhodes now takes a more active role in fighting injustice now that he has the War Machine armor. His place as the monitor of the armor systems is now replaced by Pepper Potts. Also, he accompanies Iron Man on missions if he ever needs help.
Throughout the second season Rhodey helps Tony on many missions that involve powerful foes like Mandarin, Iron Monger, Titanium Man, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Whiplash, Blizzard, and he was a part of the team that defended the City from the Makluan race.
Rhodey has an opposite but complementary personality to Tony's. He is calm, almost withdrawn, and always thinks before taking action. His personality seems to be a little darker when in the War Machine Armor, as he threatened to drop Xin Zhang from the sky if he did not tell him where Tony and Pepper were.
Tony and Rhodey are the best of friends. Rhodes isgerous, but despite that, he is willing to help Tony out whenever he can. It may also seem that he is the only one aware of the unrevealed love between Tony and Pepper. Often commenting that the other is "jealous" when Tony is spending time with Whitney, or when Pepper is spending time with Gene. Although he was nervous about Tony being Iron Man, he still helps out of friendship and fear for his safety and began to enjoy crimefighting near the end of season 1 when he started to practice with the MRK1 armor and especially when he had to take over for Iron Man when he was looking for Gene, though his witty banter wasn't as good as Tony's.
Rhodey had apparently been Pepper's friend in high school before the start of the series and because of her hyperactive personality, Rhodey referred to her as a bit on the crazy side. He didn't want Pepper to know at first (mainly due to her big mouth) but started to change his mind when they started to all hang together more. She is the complete opposite of Rhodey in the sense that she would rather jump into the fire then think of a plan first. She was jealous of Rhodey's and Tony's close bond especially after they started teaming out as crimefighters but the jealously was based on her wanting her own armor and before that their secret about Iron Man.
Rhodey didn't get along with Gene since they met. Rhodes was eventually starting to warm up to him, even after Gene helped him pass the Test of Temperance. But when Gene revealed himself to the group as the Mandarin, he was convinced that he played them all for fools. In season 2, during almost all their battles as War Machine and Mandarin they would insult and critize each other out of a possible rivaly for both Tony's friendship and Gene's betray.
It is hinted that Rhodey has a crush on Whitney Stane, the daughter of Obadiah Stane, even though he knows that she is Madam Masque and sometimes flirts with him to do homework.
When Rhodey first saw her he called her cute and was nice to her when everyone else with the exception of Tony and Pepper but he did put Pepper in her place after she made a comment about mutants being creepy and when she told everyone her name is Jean he said he liked that better than Annie.
Powers & Abilities
War Machine Armor: Rhodey has no superhuman powers to speak of, but when he uses the War Machine Armor he has:
- Superhuman Strength: He can lift massive weights, like cars or small aircraft. Rhodes was capable of pushing Fin Fang Foom into a wall, disorienting him for a short time. It even helped lift the SHIELD Helicarrier with the help of the Hulkbuster Armor.
- Enhanced Durability: The War Machine has great resistance to all types of punishment. War Machine can withstand being hit by a helicopter rocket and a blast from Gene Khan, although the latter did knock him out for a moment.
- Flight: The armor can fly, though not as fast as Iron Man.
- Repulsor Gauntlets: The gauntlets have the abilities of:
- Repulsors: War Machine is equipped with more powerful versions of the repulsors. They are red in color. One blast can destroy a helicopter.
- Force Field: The armor can project a force field around itself to defend against attacks.
- Secondary Propulsion: The palms have a second set of proplusion jets equipped inside them.
- Unibeam: The suit can fire a unibeam from the chest power source.
- Rocket Launchers: The armor is equipped with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.
- Missile Launcher: His left shoulder has a launcher for the "XXL Bunker Buster" missile on the left shoulder.
- Laser Cannon: The armor has a laser cannon on the right shoulder.
- Gatling Guns: He is equipped with wrist-mounted gatling guns. They have the power to significantly damage a helicopter.
- Above Average Intelligence: Although not a genius like Tony, Rhodey did ace his test on fusion and he is a history buff. Rhodey has a sound tactical mind which helps him in battle.
- Armor Systems Operator: As Iron Man's systems operator, Rhodey knows the Iron Man Armor inside and out.
- Strong Will: Rhodey's will is strong enough to resist the full power of a Controller disk, enough to fry the helmet of the Controller.
- Rhodey's armor appears to be based off the Ultimate Comics version of the War Machine Armor.
- In the comics, Rhodey was a pilot who Iron Man met during the Vietnam War. After learning Tony and Iron Man were one and the same, Rhodey became Tony's best friend, and even filled in for him when Stane caused him to suffer a crisis of faith and return to alcholism. It was during his run as Iron Man that he fought in the Secret Wars and helped form the West Coast Avengers. However, Rhodey soon went mad with power and began to think everyone else was trying to take the armor from him. His actions caused to Tony to have to fight him to regain the Iron Man armor, but he later became War Machine.
- Rhodes has been referred to as Tony's mom about four times in the series. Thrice by Tony himself and once by Gene Khan.
- Ironically, when Rhodey tried out the Mark I armor in Don't Worry, Be Happy, he said he would never put on the armor again. But when he used the War Machine Armor in Tales of Suspense, he fared so much better than he did with the Mark I suit.
- Rhodey thinks of going to Empire State University or the Air Force when he is older. Pepper laughs at the latter as she fails to see him as a military man.
- Rhodey knows how to drive a car. He also owns a car, but it was wrecked by Mallen (he mentioned that he still had four years of payments on it).
- In Extremis, Rhodey's cell phone can remote unlock the Iron Man Mark II Armor.