Bethany Cabe
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceIron Man #117
(December 1978)
Created byDavid Michelinie
Bob Layton
In-story information
Full nameBethany Camilla Cabe van Tilburg
Place of originEarth-616
Team affiliationsCabe & McPherson Security Specialists
Stark Industries
Stark Resilient
Iron Legion
Supporting character ofIron Man
Notable aliasesWar Machine
Iron Woman
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant
  • Use of firearms

Bethany Cabe is a character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, the character first appeared in Iron Man #117 (December 1978).[1] Bethany Cabe is a supporting character and love interest of superhero Tony Stark / Iron Man.[2][3][4][5] She has also been a member of the Iron Legion at various points in her history.[6][7][8]

Publication history

Bethany Cabe debuted in Iron Man #117 (December 1978), created by writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton.[9] She later appeared in the 1968 Iron Man series. She appeared in the 1989 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 encyclopedic guide series, by Peter Sanderson. She appeared in the 2008 The All-New Iron Manual trade paperback. She appeared in the 2018 Tony Stark: Iron Man series, by Dan Slott.[10][11][12]

Fictional character biography

Bethany Cabe appeared while Tony Stark was attending a party for the Carnelian Embassy. Stark was trying to draw out an assassin, known under the codename Spymaster, who attempted to kill him.[13][14] Stark was somewhat bored by the party. However, his attention was quickly captured by the presence of a stunning redhead, who was surrounded by potential suitors.

Cabe shortly afterwards became Stark's girlfriend, turning up on various missions including a covert operation involving Roxxon Oil. It was after this incident that she revealed to Stark that she was actually a bodyguard working for Cabe & McPherson Security Specialists, alongside her best friend Ling McPherson. Cabe later accompanied Stark to Atlantic City. He came into conflict as Iron Man with the Melter, Blizzard, and Whiplash. During the battle, Iron Man was nearly overcome by the combined extreme temperatures from the Melter and Blizzard. However, Cabe stepped in to save him, providing Iron Man with a temporary distraction. With her expert skills in hand-to-hand combat, Cabe made short work of Whiplash. However, this battle began a rift between Cabe and Stark's bodyguard, since Cabe believed that Iron Man should have been protecting Stark instead of engaging in the battle. The rift came to a head when Iron Man's repulsor, under the control of Justin Hammer, blasted through the Carnelian ambassador, killing him instantly. With Iron Man wanted for murder, Cabe and Stark's relationship began to cool.

Stark had already begun to drink heavily and was on his first alcoholic binge. At Stark's darkest moment, Cabe returned and gave her love, support, and friendship, which was instrumental in helping Stark to overcome his addiction. It was also during this time that Bethany revealed that she was previously married to a German diplomat, Alexander Von Tilburg, who had a similar substance addiction with drugs. Cabe explained her regret and guilt at deserting Tilburg when he needed her the most, and how he appeared to die in a car accident. Cabe believed that if she had remained with him, Tilburg would still be alive today.

Once Stark was off the bottle, Bethany resumed her relationship with Stark and became his closest confidante. However, Stark chose not to reveal that he was Iron Man at this time. Shortly afterwards, Iron Man came into conflict with Madame Masque once again. Masque and Spymaster kidnapped Cabe. Masque wanted revenge on Stark and displayed her jealousy at Cabe's intimate relationship with him. She revealed that Stark and Iron Man were one and the same, believing that this would surprise Cabe. However, Cabe explained that she already figured this secret out weeks ago. Masque, in a fit of rage, attempted to gun down Cabe, but was overcome in the process. This incident heralded the start of the long-term enmity between Cabe and Masque.

After a trip to the Caribbean where Cabe and Stark finally seemed to find happiness, Cabe arrived home to news that her husband was still alive and being held somewhere in East Germany. She was determined to rescue him, and became secretive and cagey towards Stark. Cabe eventually travelled to Germany where she was captured and held prisoner at a high-tech installation known as "Der Hand Von Himmel," or "Heaven's Hand."[note 1] Iron Man attempted to rescue her. But after assisting her to escape, he was captured and held prisoner at the installation. Iron Man battled the Living Laser in order to escape, but once he returned to the United States, Cabe informed him that she was returning to her husband. Therefore, her relationship with Stark was over.

Stark went into another alcoholic binge shortly afterwards, which was far more severe this time. Some years later, Cabe returned, looking for Stark's help. However, she was captured by Obadiah Stane, who used mind transfer technology to switch Cabe's personality with that of Masque's. Now, in Cabe's body, Masque attempted to kill Stark. However, she was thwarted by Cabe in Masque's body. Stark managed to successfully transfer their personalities back to their rightful owners. Afterwards, Cabe decided to go back to Germany to officially end her relationship with Tilburg. However, Tilburg was killed via a drug overdose. Cabe did not return for some time.

Years later, after Stark's nervous system had been manipulated, forcing him to fake his own death, the giant robot Ultimo began attacking Los Angeles. Jim Rhodes, in the armored guise of War Machine. recruited a handful of Stark's former friends and employees, in order to form a temporary group consisting solely of former incarnations of Iron Man known as the Iron Legion. Cabe was among those recruited. She wore the armor which Stark had donned after the Armor Wars, and, along with War Machine and the other Iron Men, battled Ultimo. Cabe and Rhodes were the only Iron Men left standing before Stark returned to destroy their enemy. After the battle, Stark recruited Cabe as his new Head of Security at Stark Enterprises.

Bethany stayed on as Head of Security purely in a platonic capacity. However, shortly before the Crossing incident, Tony Stark renewed his relationship with Cabe once more. This relationship was not developed as Iron Man vol. 1 soon came to an end, and was not revived in subsequent volumes.

Cabe reappeared as Rhodes' benefactor. During this she wore a War Machine Armor similar to his and assisted Rhodes in his battles.[15] After several attempts at his employee's lives, Stark hires her as head of security in his new company Stark Resilient.[16]

At the behest of Stark, Cabe was rehired by Pepper Potts to beef up the security protocols for the fledgling startup Stark Resilient and its employees. Distrusting Cabe, Potts attempted to undermine her position several times, lying about the lack of pay, to discourage her from taking the job, and withholding potential information about a mole within the company. Cabe retaliated by secretly capturing video of Pepper, dressed in her personal "Rescue" armor, crying during the Marvel-wide Fear Itself crossover event, then leaking the footage to shareholders.

Cabe later defended Stark Resilient against an attack by the mole, who was revealed to be Spymaster.


Critical response

Nishid Motwani of Comic Book Resources called Bethany Cabe "beautiful, smart, and attractive."[17]

Other versions

Iron Man: The End

An alternate version of Bethany Cabe appears on Earth-9119. She and Tony Stark ultimately get married. In their old age, they retired to a Stark-designed space station orbiting Earth.[18]

US War Machine

An alternate version of Bethany Cabe appears on Earth-112001. She is Tony Stark's bodyguard and lover, and is also a wearer of one of the Stark-designed armors.

In other media



  1. ^ The correct German denomination would be "[Die] Hand vom Himmel" = "[The] Hand from Heaven" oder "Himmelshand" = "Heaven's Hand".


  1. ^ Ashford, Sage (2021-07-08). "Iron Man: 10 Best Comic Book Runs Ever, Ranked". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  3. ^ Dietsch, TJ (August 1, 2019). "The Many Loves of Tony Stark". Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  4. ^ Keyes, Rob (March 14, 2013). "What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  5. ^ Milanese, Jarod (August 24, 2020). "10 Love Interests Of Iron Man, Ranked From Worst To Best". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  6. ^ Marston, George (January 27, 2022). "Iron Mantle - all the people who have worn the Iron Man armor (besides Tony Stark)". Newsarama. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  7. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (October 11, 2020). "Iron Legion: Every Marvel Hero in Iron Man's Armor Squad". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  8. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (August 31, 2016). "Iron Man: 17 Other Characters Who Wore the Armor". IGN. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  9. ^ Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 187. ISBN 978-0756641238. In December [1978], co-plotters David Michelinie and Bob Layton, and penciler John Romita, Jr....came up with Bethany Cabe, a highly capable professional bodyguard and a different sort of leading lady.
  10. ^ Bacon, Thomas (March 13, 2018). "Iron Man Gets New Love Interest in His Comic Reboot?". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  11. ^ Gerding, Stephen (March 12, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Tony Stark: Iron Man Welcomes Back Two Missing Marvel Heroes". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  12. ^ Burlingame, Russ (March 12, 2018). "Marvel Teases 9 New Iron Man Suits". Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  13. ^ Iron Man #117. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 187. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  15. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #8
  16. ^ Invincible Iron Man #503
  17. ^ Motwani, Nishid (January 19, 2021). "10 Marvel Characters Iron Man Had A Relationship With". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  18. ^ Iron Man: The End #1. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ Phillips, Emily (July 22, 2009). "Brand New Iron Man 2 Shots". Empire. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  20. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (April 20, 2013). "The A-Z of Iron Man". IGN. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  21. ^ Hedash, Kara (November 29, 2020). "MCU: Here's How Kate Mara's Iron Man 2 Character Could Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  22. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (January 23, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Kate Mara to Iron Man 2 Fans: 'I'm Not Playing Bethany Cabe' Archived 2010-01-29 at the Wayback Machine" Movieline. Retrieved on January 29, 2010.
  23. ^ Mason, Ian (January 24, 2010). "Kate Mara ends 'Iron Man' rumour". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  24. ^ Wigler, Josh (January 24, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Kate Mara Is Not Bethany Cabe In 'Iron Man 2,' Says Her Role Is Very Small".
  25. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (January 8, 2010). "Rumor Control On Iron Man 2, Avatar 2 And District 10. Plus Doctor Who Writers Confirmed!". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2023-04-23.