Bethany's life before she married Alexander van Tilburg is unknown.
Bethany Cabe married van Tiburg shortly after the West German government named him as its junior ambassador to the United States. Although initially happy, Bethany began to believe that van Tilburg cared more for his career than for her, and that he regarded her as nothing more than a trophy wife to impress his diplomatic colleagues.
Van Tilburg became dependent on pills and became angry whenever Bethany tried to discuss the situation with him. Believing he was destroying himself, Bethany left van Tilburg. A short time later, van Tilburg was reported to have died in a car accident. Bethany came to feel guilty, thinking it might have been due to his drug use and that she might have been able to prevent his demise had she stayed with him.
Bethany vowed that she would never again be dependent on anyone, whether emotionally, financially, or physically. She studied with police officers and street fighters from America's East Coast, and eventually became one of the world's most respected and highly paid bodyguards for diplomats, members of royalty, and socialites. She and her best friend, Ling McPherson, another bodyguard, had their own firm: Cabe & McPherson, Security Specialists.
Cabe first met Anthony Stark at a reception at the Carnelian embassy in New York City. Cabe and Stark became romantically involved with each other soon after Stark hired her as part of his security team. When Stark first began drinking heavily, Cabe worried he was destroying himself as her husband had. Unlike van Tilburg, Stark asked for Cabe's help in overcoming his alcoholism and with her aid, he succeeded leaving alcohol.
She resented Iron Man, questioning why he never seemed to be around when Stark really needed him. At some point she realized that Iron Man was actually Stark himself. Her suspicions were subsequently confirmed by Madame Masque. Shortly afterwards, Cabe learned that her husband was still alive and was being held prisoner in an East German security complex. She abruptly broke off her relationship with Stark.
Cabe went to East Germany and allowed herself to be arrested for espionage as part of her plan to break him out of captivity. As she had planned, she was sent to the same security complex where her husband was being held; officials there were attempting to force him to reveal some secret information to them. Unaware of Cabe's plan, Stark infiltrated the complex hoping to rescue her. When both Cabe and Stark were in danger of being caught there, Cabe told Stark she knew he was Iron Man and told him he had to don his armor to save them. As Iron Man, Stark got both Cabe and van Tilburg to safety. van Tilburg was in a comatose state, and Cabe felt guilt-ridden.
Van Tilburg recovered, but soon went back to his dependence on drugs. He lost his ambassadorship and his career fell into ruins. He also still refused to accept Bethany's help. She sought out Stark, hoping that he could help, but was abducted by men working for Stark's enemy Obadiah Stane, who was in league with Madame Masque. Stane had Dr. Theron Atlanta exchange the minds of Cabe and Madame Masque.
Masque, in Cabe's body, attempted to assassinate Stark. Bethany, in Madame Masque's body, thwarted the attempt. Stark then used Dr. Atlanta's mind-exchange machine to restore the minds of Cabe and Madame Masque to their rightful bodies.
Cabe had again fallen in love with Stark, but felt obligated to return to her husband. Soon back in Germany, she decided that her husband's situation was hopeless and realized that he did not want her help. She decided to divorce van Tilburg. But she soon found that he had been murdered by drug dealers. Cabe tracked down her husband's killers and had them arrested, but she did not retake her relationship with Stark.
Years later, Bethany was contacted by James Rhodes to assist him, Eddie March, Happy Hogan, Carl Walker, and Michael O'Brien - all of whom had used versions of Iron Man armor or similar suits. Although she had not worn an Iron Man armor, Jim felt she was familiar enough and could handle herself with the Iron Man Armor MK VIII against the threat known as Ultimo, who had already defeated Stark/Iron Man. After Ultimo was stopped, Tony Stark (who had just recovered from a near-death experience) offered her a position with the company again, this time as head of security.
Their romance seemed to rekindle, but Bethany mysteriously disappeared during the Crossing. Iron Man (Stark) found himself in her apartment after a blackout. Seeing it heavily damaged, he assumed someone had attacked her.
However, Bethany had received an anonymous tip and left her apartment. She apparently returned to Germany. It is possible that Madame Masque's clone warned her. She wrote Tony a letter upon learning he and the other heroes had returned from battling Onslaught.
Bethany later resurfaced in Tony's life many years later. Following the Skrulls' invasion of Earth, she was placed in charge of the War Machine Research and Development Facility in the mountains of Colorado. She began providing tactical support to Jim Rhodes and also coordinated her efforts with former arms dealer Parnell Jacobs aboard the Stark Satellite.
Bethany eventually joined two of Tony Stark's subsequent enterprises as head of security, first Stark Resilient, and years later Stark Unlimited. While at Stark Unlimited, Bethany was enslaved by the Controller, forcing Bethany to act as a mole. Bethany was only sporadically under the Controller's direct control, so for the most part she was playing a game of cat and mouse with herself. Bethany was eventually freed from the Controller's influence at the cusp of his plan's completion by roboticist Andy Bhang.
Bethany remained working for Stark, helping fight later security threats like the Spymaster. However, following Tony's de-legitimization as a human being due to the artificial nature of his body and subsequent deposition, Stark Unlimited was seized by his adopted brother Arno, and Bethany was fired for protesting its merger with Arno's other company and S.U.'s rival Baintronics.
During the robotic unrest spearheaded by the A.I. Army, Arno and Sunset Bain became the premier forces of A.I. oppression. Since Andy Bhang had remained at Stark Unlimited, Bain mistakenly believed that Bhang had become a mole and fed Bethany information to relay to the A.I. Army anonymously, under the call sign "Ghost in the Machine." Bain didn't realized that it was actually the cat Doctor Shapiro who was the mole and that the so-called "Ghost in the Machine" was Friday Stark. When Bain accused Andy Bhang of being the mole, he lied and said that was he was, leading to his firing. Bethany oversaw Rescue's mission to gather DNA samples from Tony Stark's parents to rebuild his body after he had been killed by Arno and was aided in the endeavor by Friday.
Powers and Abilities
None. She relies on her skills and armor to survive and win a battle.
Bethany Cabe is a superb hand-to-hand combatant and an excellent all-around athlete. She is highly skilled in the use of handguns. She is licensed to operate helicopters. She is fluent in German.
Bethany Cabe possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. Her strength was enhanced while wearing the armor.
All human weaknesses
She wears the War Machine 2.0 armor for armed combat.
Conventional firearms, and various weapon systems from her armor.
- It seems that Bethany's parents were US citizens who left to Germany, possibly before she was born.
- Cabe initially rescued Tony Stark from alcoholism and kept him "clean" during their first relationship. However, when she left to return to her husband, Stark quickly hit "rock bottom" with his alcohol abuse; losing his friends, his Iron Man armor, his fortune, and eventually becoming a street person.
- 123 appearance(s) of Bethany Cabe (Earth-616)
- 7 minor appearance(s) of Bethany Cabe (Earth-616)
- 7 mention(s) of Bethany Cabe (Earth-616)
- 39 image(s) of Bethany Cabe (Earth-616)
- 6 quotation(s) by or about Bethany Cabe (Earth-616)