James Rhodes was a pilot in the United States Marines stationed in Afghanistan during an U.S. military involvement in Asia. Blasted out of the sky by enemy rockets, Rhodes managed to land in one piece and was attempting to get his craft airworthy when inventor Tony Stark, clad in his Iron Man armor, happened to be passing by. Stark had just completed his original armor, had avenged his fellow prisoner Professor Yinsen, and was trying to make his way to the American defense perimeter. Attacked by enemies, Iron Man proved to Rhodes they were on the same side, and Rhodes allowed him to drain the helicopter's batteries to recharge his armor. The two then trekked through the jungle together, finally discovering a hidden enemy rocket base. Stealing an enemy helicopter, they destroyed the base, and flew to the nearest American encampment. Before leaving Afghanistan for the United States, Stark offered Rhodes a job as a pilot as soon as his military stint was over. Rhodes initially declined, but after a succession of other jobs, Rhodes finally accepted Stark's offer and became his personal pilot and chief aviation engineer. While working at Stark International, Rhodes aided Iron Man in his battles against such foes as the Roxxon Oil Company, Justin Hammer, the Dreadnoughts, and Obadiah Stane.
When devastating personal problems caused Tony Stark to abuse alcohol and become incapable of using the Iron Man armor responsibly, Rhodes put it on in order to defend Stark International from the criminal Magma. He offered to return it but Stark insisted that Rhodes take on the responsibility of being Iron Man for a while to enable Stark to enjoy himself. Reluctantly Rhodes agreed, and after Stark employee Morley Erwin helped him figure out how to operate the armor, found himself in battle with such foes as Thunderball, Firebrand, Krang, Flying Tiger, the Radioactive Man, the Mandarin, the Zodiac, and Vibro. Although he was unable to help Stark from being swindled out of proprietorship of Stark International by Obadiah Stane, he did prevent Stane from taking custody of all of Stark's Iron Man armors. With Morley Erwin and his sister Clytemnestra, Rhodes embarked upon a brief career as a mercenary in order to obtain funds with which they could begin a new business venture. By the time they succeeded in raising sufficient capital, Tony Stark had recovered from his several months-long alcohol binge, and offered to join them. The four moved out to Silicon Valley, California, where they founded Circuits Maximus, a small electronics design firm. Stark still was not interested in resuming his Iron Man role and gave his blessing to Rhodes to continue. Rhodes was initiated into the established ranks of superhuman champions when he became one of those who participated in the first Secret Wars. Soon afterwards, he was invited to join the newly-founded West Coast Avengers by chairman Hawkeye, who believed him to be the original Iron Man. After proving his worth to the group, Rhodes revealed to them he was Iron Man's replacement.
The New Iron Man
Soon after first donning the armor, Rhodes began to get severe headaches because the cybernetics in the helmet had never been properly re-calibrated for his brain patterns. Working in close proximity with Stark again, Rhodes began to fantasize that Stark secretly disapproved of him keeping the armor and wanted it back. This led to increasingly hostile and irrational behavior on Rhodes' part. As work therapy, Stark began to construct a new set of armor based on his original armor's design. When Rhodes finally began to endanger the lives of innocents by his behavior, Stark donned the unsophisticated new armor and managed to stop Rhodes' rampage. Ashamed of his behavior, Rhodes went off to look for a cure for his headaches when adjusting the helmet to his brain patterns did not end them. Stark went to the West Coast Avengers to tender Rhodes' resignation, and was invited by Hawkeye to use the laboratory facilities to create a new state-of-the-art set of armor. Rhodes returned to Circuits Maximus after the Indian mystic Shaman helped him cure his headaches, and briefly joined forces with Stark battling Obadiah Stane's latest machinations against them. Rhodes was injured in an explosion Stane engineered that destroyed Circuits Maximus and killed Morley Erwin. Consequently, he could not assist Stark in his final assault on Stane, an assault that ended in Stane's death.
Rhodes joined Stark in his new business venture, but even after his bones mended, he was reluctant to put the Iron Man armor on again. Stark had resumed his responsibilities as Iron Man using the new state-of the-art armor, and Rhodes not only felt a second armored Avenger would be superfluous, he also felt contrite about his irrational period.
Several years later, Tony Stark "died," and Rhodes was named CEO of Stark Enterprises. It was at this time that Stark Enterprises created the War Machine armor and Rhodes briefly took the place of Iron Man (even replacing him in the Avengers West Coast). However, when he discovered that Stark was not dead, Rhodes became furious and resigned, severing his friendship with Stark. The two would occasionally team up to battle the evil that was trying to take over, but the friendship of old was no longer the same. Around this time Jim became romantically involved with Rae LaCoste.
War Machine went solo for some time. Jim traveled to the small African nation of Imaya in an attempt to free peace activist Vincent Cetewayo. Cable and Deathlok (Michael Collins) also traveled to the war-torn country, and Nick Fury quickly sent a S.H.I.E.L.D. team to hope the situation would stabilize. In the resulting revolution the country's dictator was overthrown, but Cetewayo had been murdered by a mysterious Advisor, who warned Jim that he is present in every conflict. Jim continued to adventure and worked for Cetewayo's company Worldwatch, which investigates human rights abuses. One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents present, Sheva Joseph, left to work with Rhodes. Jim continued to adventure, but could not find someone capable of repairing the armor. Returning to Stark, the two had a confrontation about each other's recent actions. This was interrupted by the Mandarin. After Mandarin was defeated, the armor was fixed.
While visiting family and friends in Philly, Rhodey stumbled onto a group of armor wearers who hunt for sport. Tracking the leader Locomotive Breath to Slorenia, he discovered that atrocities were occurring and alerted both Worldwatch and Force Works.
Soon after that, he was contacted by Sheva, who was investigating some Neo-Nazi activity. Rhodey and Nick Fury answered her call to find a rabid faction that was attempting to send modern weapons to WWII era Germany. Rhodey followed, meeting a younger Fury, the Howling Commandos as well as Cap and Bucky Barnes. The "Zeitkrieg" was halted, although the War Machine armor was lost when time shifted.
The New Alien Armor
On vacation, Jim suddenly acquired a new alien costume, the Eidolon Warwear. A mysterious woman named Skye said only that he would need it. Hearing that something terrible had happened, Rhodes returned to the Avengers. Rhodes joined the Black Widow, the US Agent and Hawkeye to find a way to stop Tony Stark. A confrontation changed little, and Rhodey helped Force Works to disable some weapons.
He went into space to disable the STARCORE satellite. There he found another Eidolon wearer named Dirge, apparently having been sent by Kang. A dying Skye explained a bit more about the Eidolon's history, and the other wearer was destroyed. Eventually, Stark broke Kang's control and sacrificed his life to save his friends. After his death, Rhodes returned to Stark Enterprises, which was soon bought out by Fujikawa; his attitude about Stark changed for the better as well.
Sheva Joseph began to rapidly age and soon died, as a side effect of their earlier time travel. Jim's Eidolon was discovered while he was being examined for the same condition, and he briefly got into a quarrel with S.H.I.E.L.D. who wanted to quarantine him and study the armor.
As War Machine, Jim Rhodes discovered that Fujikawa was trying to gain access to some of Tony Stark's old technology. In order to save that technology from falling into another person's hands and to preserve the legacy of his old friend, he purged the computers of Fujikawa in order to destroy all the information about Stark's armor technology. In doing so, he sacrificed his alien costume by downloading it into the computers and sending it on a "search and destroy" mission.
No longer wishing for any superhero identity, Rhodes returned to civilian life to start up his own salvage company. Upon Stark and the other heroes' return from Counter-Earth, the two renewed their friendship, also dealing with the new War Machine, Parnell Jacobs.
Rhodes had heavily invested in Grace & Tumbalt due to its stated purpose of improving urban ethnic neighborhoods. While investigating the death of his sister Jeanette, he learned the company was corrupt, using their resources to fuel gangs and drugs. This led to his membership in the Crew.
The Civil War and the Secret Invasion
Post-Civil War, Rhodey participated in the Initiative recruitment and training program. Through as yet unrevealed circumstances, Jim Rhodes was critically injured at some point following the Civil War and had his arms, legs and parts of his face replaced with cybernetic prosthetics.
During the Skrull invasion, Rhodey received a holographic distress signal from Tony Stark. Believing that the message was sent posthumously, Rhodey followed Stark's instructions and took command of a space satellite that he had constructed in secrecy. The control pod of the station enabled Rhodey to transform the entire satellite into a giant suit of hi-tech armor. With this armor, he was able to successfully repel a Skrull armada approaching Earth.
Despite protest from Endo, Rhodes left the satellite to face Anton Aubuisson, a corrupt former French Special Forces soldier who now represented the Roxxon Energy Corporation in negotiations with the Anunquit tribe in western Canada. While his presence was legally sanctioned, Aubuisson killed the Anunquit representatives that refused Roxxon's construction of a oil pipeline on their land using polar bears enhanced with Sakaarian control disks and exoskeleton upgrades via Ultimo technology from Eaglestar International, a corrupt paramilitary defense contracting firm. Rhodes destroyed the pipeline and the bears killed Aubuisson after Rhodes destroyed his Sakaarian control staff. After the mission was complete, Endo left the satellite.
In Santo Marco, Rhodes destroyed a retrofitted Sentinel used by Eaglestar mercenaries in an attempt to exterminate Santo Marcan people who were of the same tribe as the rebel leaders that opposed Santo Marco's dictator President Augustine. After the battle, Rhodes found Parnell Jacobs, who was believed to have been killed by Stuart Clarke, among the group of Santo Marcans and forcibly recruited him to be his "one-man pit crew" at the satellite and to help reconfigure Rhodes' bionics to reduce the stress on his system. Jacobs accepted after finding out from Rhodes that Dr. Glenda Sandoval, a medic with Eaglestar, was raped and tortured while in forced imprisonment at Eaglestar. In the secret War Machine R&D facilities in the Colorado mountains , a team under the direction of Bethany Cabe developed a clone body, labeled "J. Rhodes, Repro Bod 2.0", for him to take over because the cybernetics in Rhodes were not meant to be a permanent fix. The facility was attacked and the clone body was taken by Norman Osborn. Rhodes, along with support from Jacobs and Cabe, invaded the Eaglestar regional headquarters in the occupied nation of Aqiria. Rhodes attacked Eaglestar mercenaries, but chose not to kill. With help from former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jake Oh, he found Sandoval locked in a box rigged with explosives at an Eaglestar quarantine unit. Blinding the mercenaries with a flash pulse while Oh's men tended to Sandoval, Rhodes pursued Eaglestar CEO Davis Harmon. Harmon used his code to release Sandoval, but Rhodes was ready to kill him after learning that the CEO was personally responsible for the rape of Sandoval along with the order to experiment on her with something unknown. Before he could act, the Dark Avenger Ares, having been sent to Aqiria by Norman Osborn to take care of Harmon, disobeyed Osborn's orders to hold position and intervened by fighting Rhodes.
Rhodes managed to hold his own against the god of war and followed Harmon to another Eaglestar quarantine unit. Harmon told Rhodes that he couldn't be prosecuted since Eaglestar was a private multinational agency free of government jurisdiction, but Sandoval killed him. Ares opened the unit and it was revealed that the experiments conducted at Eaglestar created test subjects infected with a virus laced with the same Ultimo technology found in the enhanced bears that Rhodes faced in Canada. Sandoval was infected with the virus and attacked Rhodes and Ares. Suzi Endo, who stated that she would never work with Rhodes again after what happened in Santo Marco, assisted Rhodes and suggested that he attack the infected before they reach Makazan, the capital of Aqiria. The infected survived Rhodes' attack with Ares now among the infected. Despite being ten minutes from organ failure, Rhodes refused Cabe's offer to put him in stasis for a new body and integrated the EVAC shuttle sent for him into his armor. Rhodes was infected with the virus via a kiss from Sandoval and used the armor's technology to absorb the virus from all of the infected. With the virus rebuilding his organs and being suppressed, Rhodes took control of the satellite and had it knock him down before he could infect the city's infrastructure while the satellite's EMP blast with Endo's code destroyed the virus. Norman Osborn offered pardons to Endo, Cabe, and Jacobs while he offered Rhodes the clone body, but Rhodes refused Osborn's offer. He deduced that the Ultimo technology was developed at an Army base in the United States where Ultimo was last seen.
Rhodes headed to the U.S. with Sandoval and Oh as the medical team, Cabe and Jacobs handling security and hardware, Endo as the technology expert. After Rhodes and his team visited Rhodes' mother Roberta at the Navajo Nation and was confronted by American Eagle, Rhodes tricked Eagle into fighting Oh in a copy of the War Machine armor while he attacked Mackelroy Army Base. There he searched for evidence of Ultimo technology to use against Norman Osborn only to find the head of Ultimo that began attacking the base as well. With help from American Eagle, Rhodes was able to take it down. Rhodes learned that Ultimo's brain was split into three components and sent to three private companies for research and development. While Cabe and Oh tracked down two components at Roxxon and Transcore facilities in their new War Machine support armor, Rhodes went after Ultimo's neural net that was held in a liquid state by who he believed to be Tony Stark. Rhodes' old Avengers teammates Ronin, Mockingbird, Tigra and Wonder Man tried to stop him from hijacking Stark's jet, but Stark drank the liquid neural net and merged with Ultimo as its new host. During the battle between Rhodes and Ultimo, it was revealed that the "Tony Stark" that Rhodes was after was really Tony's cousin Morgan Stark impersonating Tony. When Rhodes used his armor's power to absorb Ultimo's technology in an attempt to stop it, Ultimo breached his armor and tapped into his neural net to give Ultimo the capability to kill. With Ultimo out in the open and destroying parts of the American Midwest, Norman Osborn arrived in his Iron Patriot armor and attacked Rhodes while he was trying to communicate with Ultimo. Rhodes incorporated Osborn's Iron Patriot armor and used it to blast the liquid metal form of Ultimo enough to reconnect with it. He tried to reason with Ultimo by showing it the lives he saved and also used Osborn to show Osborn's human side to Ultimo: the birth of his son Harry. After interfacing with Rhodes and Osborn, Morgan Stark was separated from Ultimo and the Ultimo system itself purged its extermination programming to become a clean slate. But Osborn let Rhodes tap into his neural net so he could take the clean slate Ultimo orb as his new weapon.
Rhodes and Sandoval tricked Osborn into thinking that his health was failing from the Ultimo battle and Rhodes merged with the H.A.M.M.E.R. transport vehicle. He freed the Ultimo orb and asked Endo to take the orb off-planet to keep it away from Osborn and to tap into its code to teach it right from wrong. After Endo escaped with the orb, Rhodes asked Tigra, Ronin, Mockingbird, and Wonder Man to evacuate the civilians and informed them of his plan being set in motion. Rhodes fought Osborn and denied Sandoval's transmission to the other Team War Machine members to help Rhodes when Osborn found a way to jam his assimilation technology. The other heroes along with Endo and Oh formed strike teams to confront certain criminal targets and upload proof of their targets' crimes. While Rhodes was defeated by Osborn and his H.A.M.M.E.R, agents, Rhodes plan was carried out during the battle: a security breach of a H.A.M.M.E.R. satellite exposing the deeds of a the "Bainesville Ten", a group of high ranking government officials and industry captains responsible for worldwide crimes such as torture and assassinations. To distract from the indictment of the group, Osborn arranged to have Rhodes put on trial at The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity while he attempted to thwart the prosecution of the Bainesville Ten. Rhodes was intent on foiling Osborn's scheme by quickly getting himself convicted. On the side, he had his team retrieve his clone body and have his mind transferred wirelessly. Unfortunately, Osborn had anticipated their move and gave the order to kill Rhodes. He fabricates a story to the public that Rhodes' cyborg body was manufactured by Tony Stark and that H.A.M.M.E.R. recovered the "real" one, absolved of all charges. However, Rhodes was transferred to his new body before his cyborg one. He revealed to Osborn that he also had Endo use liquid drops of Ultimo to infect the Bainesville Ten, causing them to forever see the people who were killed, tortured and raped on their orders. Rhodes then leaves to embrace his second chance at life.
Rhodes went to Broxton, Oklahoma, where Tony Stark was left in a persistent vegetative state, in order to reboot his brain. Following recorded instructions from Stark, Rhodes extracted wires from Pepper Potts' Rescue suit to use to connect the Captain America's Shield to the implant on Stark's chest, which would be started by Thor's lightning.
After the Siege on Asgard, Steve Rogers asked a handful of heroes to join his specific superhero teams. Rogers asked Rhodes to be a member of Rogers' strike force known as the Secret Avengers. Rhodes accepted Rogers' offer.
Rhodey then (with Tony Stark's permission) went to work for the U.S. government as "Iron Man 2.0". This was an attempt by Stark to keep the government from building their own Iron Man without his permission. He considered Rhodey the only person he trusted to pilot the government-owned suit. After Rhodes' War Machine armor was severely damaged, Stark upgraded it. The new armor has phasing and invisibility abilities.
To prevent the arrival of the Phoenix to Earth, Rhodey, using a new version of the JRXL-1000 armor, joined some of the Avengers in a suicide mission to destroy the powerful cosmic force, which was coming to Earth in search of a new host. The mission was a failure as the Phoenix Force wasn't defeated, and the heroes returned Earth at the same moment the Phoenix did.
Long Way Down
Rhodey helped Iron Man when the Mandarin attacked the Three Gorges Dam in China. As part of Tony's plan of letting Mandarin win this battle, Rhodey faked his death after fighting the Melter, Whirlwind and the Living Laser.
When Stark had to quit being Iron Man and get his armor out of his body, he gave Rhodey a new one to keep fighting against Mandarin's forces. After Tony was kidnapped by the Mandarin, Rhodey kept fighting in his place. Rhodey's activities as the new Iron Man in a new high-tech suit had got Rescue's attention and caused a conflict with her. She finally discovered that Rhodey was the new Iron Man, and after the conflict with the Mandarin was over and Tony rescued from his claws, Tony took Rhodey's armor from him.
After A.I.M. stole a fleet of Iron Patriot Drones, the drones' low-level A.I. was grown considerably, creating a sentient army which A.I.M. used to incriminate the United States in numerous international attacks.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Intel came to the conclusion the androids could be reasoned with, and agent Phil Coulson asked Rhodey to talk to them, as he had experience and military training. Using holographic communication, S.H.I.E.L.D. hacked into A.I.M.'s network and allowed Rhodes to talk to the suits, who recognized him as "the Pilot", and Tony Stark as "the Maker". Rhodey managed to make the Iron Patriot army understand their actions of abruptly attacking tactical points of enemies of the US were unacceptable, and stated he could teach them better if he could just show them, for what the androids sent Rhodes a different version of Iron Patriot armor. With the army of droids at his command, Iron Patriot helped the Secret Avengers in their assault on A.I.M. Island. Rhodey later left the team based on the lack of transparency of Maria Hill involving the assault on A.I.M. Island and the information that Mockingbird had been kidnapped.
Time Runs Out
Soon after Steve Rogers had declared the Illuminati enemies of the Avengers, Rhodey became an Avenger once again, under the authority of S.H.I.E.L.D., as the pilot of a fleet of War Machine Drones. He would deploy the suits in attempts to capture the Illuminati.
|Power Grid |
Rhodes has no powers of his own but they are derived from his War Machine Armor.
- Skilled Engineer: Rhodes served several tours in Southeast Asia, studying while in the service to become an aviation engineer.
- Skilled Aviator: He is a skilled helicopter pilot and is capable of maneuvering most if not all Stark-designed armors.
- Skilled Combatant: Rhodes military training made him a very skilled hand to hand combat.
- Skilled Marksman: Aside from his armor's weaponry, he is a very good marksman.
- Skilled Survivalist: With intense military training, he can survive explosions and blasts.
Without the armor, James Rhodes possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. In armor, he can lift roughly 85 tons.
- Armors: War Machine wears a sophisticated suit of body armor containing various offensive weaponry. He first operated as Iron Man using the Iron Man Armor Model 4. Rhodey later received his own identity with the War Machine Armor, which has also gone through multiple variations. Its standard features in most models include:
- 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.
- Superhuman 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.
- Gatling Gun A powerful automatic machine gun added to his right shoulder, which fires many bullets simultaneously.
- Rocket Launcher An automatic missile launcher added to his left shoulder, which fires a variety of missiles of any type.
- Miniature Heat Seeking Missiles A small version of the heat seeking missile designed to hit the targets emitting heat signatures.
- Other armor systems Jim Rhodes has used include the Iron Patriot Armor, Eidolon Warwear, Holo Armor, and Sentinel Squad Armor.
- He is Tony Stark's best friend.
- Jim's blood type is AB Positive.
- Rhodes' switch of aliases from War Machine to Iron Patriot was inspired by the Iron Man 3 film.
- Jim's parents once told Rae he had a son, but it may have been an attempt to dissuade their relationship.
- Was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was the pilot that took Red-Wolf and Father Janes's team away from Bengal's village. 
- 550 Appearances of James Rhodes (Earth-616)
- Media James Rhodes (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 126 Images featuring James Rhodes (Earth-616)
- 59 Quotations by or about James Rhodes (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: James Rhodes (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: James Rhodes (Earth-616)
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #2
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Secret Avengers Vol 2 #6
- ↑ World War Hulks: Wolverine & Captain America #1
- ↑ Iron Man #228
- ↑ Iron Man #170
- ↑ Iron Man 2.0 #1
- ↑ Gambit Vol 5 #13
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #1
- ↑ Noticing how Stark's place of origin as Iron Man has been changed from Vietnam to Afghanistan, it is implied Rhodes' history suffered similar changes
- ↑ Iron Man Vol 4 #33-34
- ↑ Dark Reign: New Nation #1
- ↑ Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #17
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #1
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #2
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #3
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #4
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #5
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #6
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #7
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #8
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #9
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #10
- ↑ War Machine Vol 2 #11-12
- ↑ Invincible Iron Man #21
- ↑ Iron Man 2.0 #3
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #1
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #3
- ↑ Invincible Iron Man #513
- ↑ Invincible Iron Man #515
- ↑ Invincible Iron Man #517
- ↑ Invincible Iron Man #527
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Secret Avengers Vol 2 #4
- ↑ Secret Avengers Vol 2 #7
- ↑ Secret Avengers Vol 2 #16
- ↑ Iron Patriot #1
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 Avengers Vol 5 #39
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #35
- ↑ Secret War From the Files of Nick Fury #1
- ↑ Iron Man #216
- ↑ War Machine #12-13
- ↑ Daredevil #258
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #13
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 13
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