The Secret Invasion’s newest Skrull failed to replicate one of the Avengers’ most important traits

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Secret Invasion has created a new level of trepidation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the infiltration of renegade Skrulls into the world’s governments causes public unease. To make matters worse, they’ve also taken on the identity of at least one Avenger, James Rhodes. It’s uncertain how long the Skrull known as Raava has assumed Rhodey’s identity will last, but she’s already done significant harm as an accomplice in a dirty bomb detonation. In “Beloved,” Episode 4 of the series, Rhodey plots an assassination attempt on President Ritson, which would not have been possible if Rhodey had not worked his way up the ladder. In truth, Rhodey’s position as the president’s right hand should have been the clearest indication that this version of the hero was phoney. That’s because, as history has proved, Rhodey’s strongest quality was that he never entirely embraced government requirements. However, with the universe in disarray, Raava had an opportunity to forget that crucial characteristic, allowing Rhodey to become a genuine villain.

The Infinity Saga marked the end of one chapter in the greater MCU and culminated in the growth of all of its characters. Rhodey, in particular, underwent significant transformation as a result of the events. After the Avengers split indefinitely, Rhodey sought a position in government, eventually working alongside the president. The most intriguing aspect of him was that he hadn’t been seen wearing armour since the Battle for Earth, hinting Rhodey had taken on a more political position. Yet, now that Rhodey was revealed to be a Skrull, his techniques made more sense than before. It’s unknown when Rhodey was replaced with a Skrull, but Raava has done her share to persuade his comrades that nothing has changed. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he supported Sam Wilson’s choice to give away the shield, behaving as if he was keeping an eye on Wilson in the hopes that he wouldn’t become an adversary. Since then, Rhodey has sat close to the president, to the point where he is more in charge of the country than Ritson. In the grand scheme of things, Rhodey had evolved from a hero doing the right thing to a political figure who made calculated manoeuvres to secure a wider win. If someone like Fury had paid closer attention to this progression, he could have noted how Rhodey accepted his political position, which was unusual for a hero who frequently disobeyed his superiors.

James Rhodes, the original Iron guy, was a guy whose sole objective was to aid humanity at whatever cost. When Tony Stark decided to go up against Iron Monger to defend Pepper, he called off the Air Force intervention before any fighter planes were dispatched. He returned in Iron Man 2 and attempted to disobey the Senate, who attempted to use Rhodey’s criticism of Stark’s new job against him. Even though he stole the Iron Man armour, he believed it was unethical to modify it and dissect his friend’s work, even refusing the Air Force the opportunity to reverse engineer his technology. These instances demonstrated Rhodey’s commitment to his buddies, which was the driving factor that drove him to challenge his superiors.

In Iron Man 3, he adopted the Iron Patriot alias because it performed well in focus groups, although he still pined for his War Machine identity. In the end, the title didn’t stick, but that didn’t stop him from doing everything he could to defend the president. It is telling, though, that he saved the president without his armour, as if to demonstrate thematically that he saved lives because he decided to rather than because his commanders demanded it. Even yet, Captain America: Civil War tested his morals since he wanted to do what was right as a citizen of the country while also supporting his comrade, who had suffered as a result of his decisions in Sokovia. when a result, Rhodey split the difference, signing the Sokovia Accords, which lost him his legs when he attempted to stop Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes from departing.

The loss of his legs most likely taught Rhodey the value of doing what he believed was right rather than what others told him was right, which is why he rejected the Sokovia Accords in Avengers: Infinity War. He was just as much a criminal as his pals for harbouring Captain America’s covert Avengers squad, but it was apparent what the appropriate decision was, especially with a menace like Thanos on the horizon. In the end, with so much of his background related to blindly following his leaders to a point, Rhodey’s willingness to blindly accept government decisions and grow closer to the higher-ups was the clearest indication that he was a Skrull spy.

For those who were not obliterated by the Snap, including The Avengers, everything altered. But Rhodey, who had taken on a more humorous role than usual, seemed to flourish throughout it. While Rhodey has always used sarcasm to make people laugh, it increased significantly during Avengers: Endgame. This alteration, though, might have been the first indication that Rhodey wasn’t who he claimed to be. Once the planet had been spared, it was rattled anew, and Rhodey used the upheaval to continue his rise up the governmental ladder. With the Earth’s heroes split and dealing with challenges such as the Flag Smashers and multiversal intrusions, Rhodey was free to travel about and make seemingly unorthodox decisions. The dismissal of Nick Fury is a wonderful illustration of this, something the real Rhodey would never do since he trusted his judgement and would have likely collaborated with him against the Skrulls. In addition to dismissing him, he delivered the news to Priscilla Fury with the same humorous snark as Endgame’s Rhodey. In the end, that may have demonstrated how long it took Raava to win the trust required to behave out of character during a time when the rest of the world was not paying attention.

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