• Key Collector Comics

Comic Misconception #2

Iron Man #282 is widely considered the first appearance of War Machine but it isn't James Rhodes who is piloting the armor nor is it the first time the suit is introduced. Keep reading for the specifics and for more information on comics, download the FREE Key Collector Comics app HERE.

James Rhodes, or "Rhodey" as he is sometimes called, was a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps who made his first appearance in Iron Man #118 (1979) as Tony's personal helicopter pilot


In Iron Man #170, Rhodey assumes the full mantle of Iron Man after Tony relapses into alcoholism. For years, Rhodey wore the classic armor while Tony recovered.


Eventually Tony returns, wearing the newly invented Silver Centurion armor and fights alongside Rhodey who continues to wear the original suit until issue #231 when Stark reclaims the classic red & gold armor.


In Iron Man #281, Tony Stark unveils a new suit of armor in a montage of panels displaying its excessive firepower.

On the final page of Iron Man #281, the armor is fully revealed but Tony Stark does not rename himself War Machine.

Iron Man #281

In Iron Man #282, the War Machine armor takes center stage on the cover. The only indication we are given that this suit has a name is the text that overwrites the title.


A couple of issues later in Iron Man #284, Tony Stark "dies" and Rhodey once again takes his place. This time, he makes a personal affirmation to honor his friend. He accepts the armor and the code name Iron Man.

Iron Man #284

It isn't until Avengers West Coast #94 (1993) that James "Rhodey" Rhodes officially announces himself as War Machine, engraving the name in comic book history.


If you have a comic book misconception to share, please email nick@keycollectorcomics.com. To download the free Key Collector Comics mobile app, click HERE.

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