MCU Phase 5’s Brutal Armor Wars Tease Perfectly Sets Up A Missing Avenger’s Return

One major missing Avenger could return in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Armor Wars after the events of Secret Invasion. Don Cheadle has portrayed James “Rhodey” Rhodes since 2010’s Iron Man 2, taking over the role from Terrence Howard in Iron Man. Since then, Rhodey has been pivotal to Tony Stark’s MCU adventures, but in the wake of Iron Man’s demise in Avengers: Endgame, Rhodey must now pave his own path in the MCU’s future. Cheadle briefly appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier before making a more prominent return in Secret Invasion, though the Phase 5 series included a major reveal that changed several of Rhodey’s prior appearances.
Secret Invasion revealed that Rhodey was a shape-shifting Skrull in disguise, leading to speculation surrounding when he had been replaced. When Rhodey was freed in Secret Invasion’s finale, he sported the same hospital gown that he wore after his catastrophic accident in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, suggesting that he had been a Skrull during the events of Infinity War, Endgame, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Cheadle’s appearance in Secret Invasion will lead directly into his solo MCU debut, Armor Wars, and the upcoming film could include one more Avenger, since Secret Invasion director Ali Selim has revealed new details about Rhodey in the MCU’s Phase 5.

MCU’s Armor Wars Teases Set Up White Vision’s Return

During an interview with Screen Rant, Ali Selim revealed how Secret Invasion sets up Rhodey’s role in Armor Wars, noting that he was given requirements from Marvel Studios to “make sure that Rhodey’s legs don’t work for Armor Wars.” This suggests that Rhodey’s injuries will be a major part of Armor Wars’ story, which reinforces the idea that Rhodey was replaced by the Skrull Raava immediately after his accident in Captain America: Civil War. These injuries were sustained during the Avengers’ battle at a German airport, and caused when Vision inadvertently disabled Rhodey’s War Machine suit, sending him plummeting to the ground at an incredible speed.
If Rhodey was replaced after Civil War, this accident will be the most prevalent and recent memory in his mind, meaning his injuries will still be raw. This could lead Rhodey to track down Vision, particularly since his best friend, Tony Stark, is dead, and Armor Wars is expected to find Rhodey hunt down missing Stark tech – which could include Vision himself. Although Vision was killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Phase 4’s WandaVision saw SWORD rebuild the synthezoid, creating White Vision. White Vision’s current whereabouts in the MCU are unknown, so an appearance in Armor Wars could help to set up the WandaVision spinoff, Vision Quest.

Armor Wars’ Early Plot Reveal Makes MCU’s Civil War So Much Worse

Secret Invasion featuring Rhodey waking up from Skrull captivity without the use of his legs and still sporting his hospital gown suggests that he was replaced before Stark had designed his leg supports, making the Clash of the Avengers that much more brutal in retrospect. This would explain the requirement that Rhodey’s legs not work in Armor Wars, though it also disturbs several tender moments between Rhodey and Stark in the MCU after the Civil War injury. This also means that Rhodey’s last memory of his best friend will be the battle between the Avengers, and he will have to learn of Stark’s death in the MCU’s upcoming Armor Wars, so perhaps the appearance of a familiar face with the return of White Vision would be welcome.

Leave a Comment