However, this hasn’t been the case for the MCU as the writers have delegated a bit away from the comics. Nevertheless, while the exact future of Iron Man is unclear at the moment, Rhodey still has a big part to play, with him playing a part in FATWS, and the upcoming Armor Wars and Ironheart series. His history in the comics might provide some context for where Rhodey is going.
Personal Pilot Of Tony Stark
James Rhodes makes his debut in Iron Man #118, back in 1979. He was co-created writer David Micheline and artist John Byrne. He’s introduced as the personal pilot of Tony Stark, flying him in helicopters or planes wherever the executive needs to go.
It’s later revealed the two met in Vietnam and Rhodes was instrumental in helping Stark escape from his prison there. The two become close friends, with Rhodes being one of the few people to call the powerful and wealthy Stark on his mistakes.
Becoming Iron Man
Rhodey truly came into prominence when Tony Stark had a relapse with his alcoholism. This occurred after his business suffered major losses during the Armor Wars, with the likes of Firepower and Stilt-Man using Tony’s armor designs to their benefit.
With Stark stepping back from his Iron Man role to focus on his recovery, Rhodey took his place instead. He fought against Magma in his first battle and continued against major Iron Man villains like The Mandarin. His stint as Iron Man carried through the epic 1985 Marvel crossover Secret Wars that brought all the superheroes and villains together.
Forming The West Coast Avengers
While still Iron Man, Rhodey helped form the first major offshoot of the Avengers team, the West Coast Avengers. This team featured former Avengers Hawkeye, Mockingbird, The Vision, and The Scarlet Witch. During this time, Rhodey began to suffer side effects from the Iron Man armor.
The suit was designed to operate off of Tony Stark’s brain waves, and Rhodey suffered severe headaches trying to make it work. It also began to affect his mental health, leading him to step down from the role of Iron Man.
Variable Threat Response Battle Suit
Rhodey wasn’t out of action for long. He would fill in for Iron Man on a few occasions after, reluctantly. Things changed for the better when Stark designed a new Iron Man suit (the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit) to combat the growing threat of The Masters Of Silence. This heavily armored and armed suit became the War Machine.
After defeating The Masters Of Silence, Rhodey stayed in the armor as Stark designed it for him. He went on many adventures, (many of which could become storylines in the MCU,) and ultimately rejoined the West Coast Avengers.
Punisher War Machine
Rhodey isn’t the only person to wear the War Machine armor. In the aftermath of the cataclysmic comics storyline Civil War II, Rhodey discovers that Frank Castle has been using his original set of armor to hunt down HYDRA agents, who had wronged him in another epic Marvel event – the controversial Secret Empire. Rhodey would get the armor back and Castle would turn himself in, bringing an end to the bloody rampage.
The Eidolon Warwear System
Like Iron Man, War Machine has utilized a variety of different versions of armor over the years. One of the most unique had an extraterrestrial origin. In the early 90s, War Machine bonded with an alien symbiote similar to Venom but not.
This alien was the Eidolon Warwear, a system of super-advanced armor designed by a mysterious race of aliens. The aliens intended the suit for a champion who would defend their world from Kang The Conqueror. The armor was ultimately destroyed and Rhodey went back to a conventional War Machine suit.
In the early 2000s, Rhodey was part of a special superhero team known as The Crew. Led by Black Panther, and including Storm and Misty Knight, this team fought for peace and justice in New York City. The first series was written by Christopher Priest and illustrated by Joe Bennett.
The second series was written by Ta-Nehisi Coates with art by Butch Guice in 2017. This could serve as an inspiration for the upcoming World of Wakanda Disney+ series.
In Iron Man 3, Rhodey wears the Iron Patriot armor. This was inspired by the comics and the Iron Patriot suit that Rhodey designed himself. The Iron Patriot had a dark legacy, though, with the original concept being worn by Norman Osborn, (otherwise known as the Green Goblin).
Rhodey briefly wore his suit in the Secret Avengers comic book series as well as the Iron Patriot series. The Iron Patriot also had many variant drones, which were utilized in battle against some Avengers enemies (like the Red Skull).
Killed By Thanos
While Rhodey played an integral part in the Civil War movie, the storyline in the comic book ended up taking a tragic turn. In the Civil War II comic book, he was killed by none other than Thanos after the Titan strikes him in a battle over the Cosmic Cube.
The tragedy is amplified by the fact that Project Pegasus, the precog initiative championed by Captain Marvel, anticipated the attack by the Mad Titan. Ultimately, it led to the death of one of the Avengers’ own. However, Rhodey didn’t remain dead for long and was soon resurrected by Tony Stark from the DNA sequencing Stark had once used on himself.
Romance With Carol Danvers
The tragedy of Rhodey’s death in the comics was also compounded by the fact that he and Carol Danvers have been in a romantic relationship for years. The romance started in 2013 when Carol took up the mantle of Captain Marvel after having been Ms. Marvel for years.
The two Air Force veterans have been together off and on since, though just recently, they appear to be on the outs again. Carol turned to a very unexpected new suitor in Doctor Strange in the most recent issues of her comics
Source: Screen Rant .