Top 20 Black Superheroes

Photo Credit: Marvel Comics

No. 7: War Machine (James “Rhodey” Rhodes) – Marvel Comics

The military hero with the mind of an engineer was first introduced in Iron Man #118 (1979). Rhodey quickly became a member of Tony Stark’s inner circle after joining Stark International. He served as Tony’s personal pilot and as an aviation engineer. Rhodey became Iron Man in 1983 once Tony’s drinking got out of control; his first stint as Iron Man officially ended in Iron Man #200 (1985). While being Iron Man, Rhodey became a founding member of West Coast Avengers. Stark developed (and initially used) the War Machine armor in 1992. After Tony’s (supposed) death, Rhodey took on the name Iron Man once again but wore the War Machine suit. Rhodey kept the armor after Tony returned and dubbed himself War Machine; he went on to participate on various Avengers teams (including Force Works).

Rhodey has starred in several solo titles: U.S. War Machine, War Machine, Iron Man 2.0 and Iron Patriot. Unfortunately Rhodey was killed by the galactic despot at the start of Civil War II (2016). His death was the inciting event that drove a wedge between Tony Stark and Rhodes’ girlfriend Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). Happily Rhodey can still be seen in back issues and in other media until his character is resurrected. Rhodey (in and out of armor) has appeared in most Iron Man related cartoons since the 1990s. War Machine regularly appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

First Appearance: Iron Man #118 (1979)

Powers: Customized suits of armor based on Tony Stark’s Iron Man technology.

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Written by Mo Walker

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