War Machine is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in comic books set in the Marvel Comics universe. The character of James Rhodes first appeared in Iron Man #118 (January 1979) by David Michelinie, John Byrne and Bob Layton. The War Machine armor, which became Rhodes' signature armored battlesuit, was designed by Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood. Also known by his nickname Rhodey, Rhodes has been a featured character in the Iron Man animated series, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and The Invincible Iron Man animated film.
A warrior outfitted in hi-tech armor, War Machine defeats his opponents with a powerful array of futuristic weapons. Tony Stark, the creator and wearer of the Iron Man armor, became overwhelmed with his numerous duties and needed someone to help him. He turned to his good friend James Rhodes, whom he met in Vietnam and who was now his personal pilot. Rhodes began filling in for Tony as Iron Man, and when Stark became an alcoholic Rhodes wore the armor full time. After several years, Stark finally overcame his problems and decided to once again don the Iron Man armor. Rhodes was given his own set of advanced armor, and adopted the identity of War Machine. Rhodes initially felt animosity over losing the Iron Man armor to Stark, but the two eventually patched things up and remain friends to this day.
Rhodes' powers are derived from his War Machine Armor.
- Superhuman Strength: He is capable of lifting between 85-100 tons when wearing his armor.
- Superhuman Speed: Even when not traveling for extended distances, the armor enables the wearer to move and react at high speeds.
- Enhanced Durability: His armor is very durable, capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of punishment. It can withstand high caliber bullets with ease. He can also withstand rockets, torpedoes, and such, although he does take damage.
- Flight: The armor can fly and travel at supersonic speeds.
- Power Cells: The armor is powered by a combination of solar converters, electrical batteries and an on-board generator that uses beta particle absorption as a fuel source.
- Energy Conversion Power Recharge: The armor 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.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System & Environmental Protection: The armor can be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, providing its own life support, and is shielded against radiation.
- Repulsor Rays: The armor can fire particle beams from either or both the palm gauntlets which can repel physical and energy-based attacks, traveling as a single stream or as a wide-field dispersal.
- Unibeam: A powerful searchlight capable of projecting beams in virtually every light spectrum.
War Machine's gameplay is often based and derived from Iron Man. In Marvel vs. Capcom he plays almost exactly like Iron Man does in Marvel Super Heroes, with some changes and more animations. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, since Iron Man is once again part of the playable roster, War Machine's gameplay has changed a bit. He now fires missiles instead of energy with his Shoulder Cannon (Same happens with his Proton Cannon). To make it more different, War Machine is considered a power-based fighter since Iron Man can perform better air combos longer compared to his air combos that actually fall short.
- Laser Shot: War Machine kneels and fires a laser from a shoulder mounted gun. He shoots a missile back in Marvel vs. Capcom.
- High Shoulder Cannon: Fires missiles at the opponent. Light Version shoots three missiles with fast motion. Hard version fires five missiles but a bit slow start. (Can also be done in the air)
- Low Shoulder Cannon: Same as the Shoulder Cannon but does the move in a crouching pose.
- Repulsor Blast: Creates a laser ball that shoots out mutiple beams in different directions.
- Smart Bombs: Releases multiple bombs from the shoulder. Has a arcing motion. (Can also be used in the air)
- Flight: Gives War Machine the ability to fly for a period of time. (Can also be used in the air)
|α||Projectile||Shoulder Cannon||Shoulder Cannon||Proton Cannon|
|β||Anti-Air||Repulsor Blast||Repulsor Blast||War Destroyer|
|γ||Variety||Smart Bomb||Smart Bomb||War Destroyer|
- Proton Cannon (Level 1): War Machine summons a gigantic shoulder-mounted cannon and shoots out a powerful laser cannon. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, it is replaced by rapid firing missiles.
- War Destroyer (Level 1): Added since Marvel vs. Capcom, he shoots multiple rockets towards the sky then eventually falling down towards the opponent wherever it goes.
- War Machine is a playable character in two Marvel vs. Capcom games. In both of these, the character's voice was provided by Wayne Ward.
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes - The in-game design was based on Iron Man from Marvel Super Heroes (1995) with the palette swapped and the addition of new animations such as a shoulder cannon instead of a chest unibeam and spiked smart bombs. The game also contains a gold colored "hidden character" version that cannot block or fly, but is never stunned.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes - The character design was modified further, incorporating elements of the Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes hidden character, to differentiate him from Iron Man.
- Notably, while there are a few design differences between Iron Man's and War Machine's armors, War Machine's armor has always appeared as a recolor of Iron Man's in the games he appeared. This is especially noticeable when comparing Akiman's artworks with the in-game sprites.