The Skrull Avenger that replaced one of the critical superheroes from the Infinity Saga has now finally been revealed in Secret Invasion.
The recently unveiled Secret Invasion storyline has at long last exposed the identity of the Skrull Avenger, who clandestinely substituted for one of the notable superheroes from the Infinity Saga. Here’s the importance behind this revelation.
After an extended buildup of suspense over three episodes, Secret Invasion has finally exposed that Don Cheadle’s character, Rhodey, is a Skrull.
This disclosure corresponds to the idea of imposter Avengers in Marvel Comics and holds important implications.
While the twist of Rhodey being a Skrull wasn’t entirely out of the box, as Secret Invasion had subtly hinted at it during Phase 5, witnessing the transformation of the Phase 2 Avenger into the female Skrull named Raava after she guided Priscilla Fury to kill Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson) was undeniably a important moment.
The revelation that Rhodey is a Skrull naturally raises some important questions, specially about the further major twists introduced in Secret Invasion episode 4.
Firstly, Emilia Clarke’s character, G’iah, managed to survive what happen to be her death at the hands of Gravik by converting into a Super-Skrull. Additionally, Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos was killed off by a new supervillain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Presently, Fury faces the challenging task of defeating Gravik without his greatest supporter, as he has already suffered the loss of Maria Hill in the initial episode of Secret Invasion and is without military assistance due to Rhodey’s unveiled as a Skrull. Here’s the importance behind it all.
Rhodey Is A Skrull, According To Marvel
In the starting episodes of Secret Invasion, the groundwork was laid for Rhodey’s character to be exposed as a Skrull. In episode 4, this revelation was finally confirmed, unveiling Rhodey as Priscilla’s superior within the series context.
Operating under Gravik’s orders, the Skrull posing as Rhodey had effectively infiltrated the US government, positioning himself in close proximity to President Ritson with the intention of eliminating him.
This action was part of Gravik’s larger scheme, which involved orchestrating a staged and explosive false flag operation.
The Skrull impersonating Rhodey pressures Priscilla to carry out the task of killing her husband, while Fury pursues Gravik relentlessly, despite receiving multiple derogatory remarks questioning his former capabilities.
Fury also becomes involved in orchestrating the assassination attempt on President Ritson. This operation is cleverly designed to appear as a Russian mission seeking retribution for a terrorist attack on Moscow that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, including Maria Hill, portrayed by Cobie Smulders.
Who Is Raava? Rhodey’s Skull Replacement Explained
The true identity of the Skrull imposter pretending to be Rhodey is revealed as a female character named Raava, portrayed by Nisha Aaliya, a British actress known for her roles in Ghosts, the UK soap Emmerdale, and the 2021 remake of The Girl On The Train, although in smaller parts.
Fans of Marvel Comics may be familiar with the name Raava from Black Bolt #1 (2017), where she is depicted as a Skrull captive known as Raava The Unskrulled. In that comic, Raava assists Black Bolt in escaping a prison where he is subjected to intense torture in deep space.
Notably, the comic version of Raava is a renegade Skrull who defies the Skrull Empire due to the tragic loss of her children. However, Secret Invasion alters her backstory entirely, transforming her into a devoted follower of Gravik within the series.
Rhodey Has Been A Skrull In The MCU For How Long?
Similar to the earlier revelation of Martin Freeman’s Agent Ross as a Skrull in the initial episode of Secret Invasion, the main question regarding Rhodey’s Skrull identity centers on the exact moment when the imposter presumed control.
Furthermore, other factors must be considered, including the current whereabouts of the real Rhodey. If the real Rhodey was still there during the events of Avengers: Endgame, that raises the question. Most likely, the actual Rhodey is currently imprisoned in New Skrullos and housed within a Skrull pod.
However, he cannot be kept alongside the other high-profile targets due to the possibility of G’iah warning Talos and Nick Fury about Rhodey being a Skrull before the truth is unveiled. Therefore, he must be concealed in a different location.
Deciphering the timeline of Rhodey’s substitution by a Skrull presents a complex challenge, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has shed some light on the matter.
According to his insights, Feige proposes that Rhodey transformed into a Skrull prior to the events of Secret Invasion, implying that the comprehensive explanation behind his infiltration will reveal the precise moment when Skrull disclose his identity.”
Feige has expressed the notion of fans revisiting past appearances of Rhodey and coming to the realization that the character they believed to be him was, in truth, the imposter Skrull.
This further complicates the situation, specially when considering Rhodey’s role in Avengers: Endgame. In the film, he was seen as an loyal ally to the Avengers and playing a pivotal part in the defeat of Thanos and the Black Order.
There are no clues of internal sabotage. It is plausible that Rhodey’s Skrull replacement was not yet an extremist under the leadership of Gravik but rather a strategic target identified by the benevolent Skrull council.
However, this scenario contradicts the established relationship between Nick Fury and Talos, as it is unlikely that either would endorse the replacement of an Avenger.
Another instance to consider is Don Cheadle’s brief appearance in Falcon & The Winter Soldier, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination. In his limited scenes, he conversed with Sam Wilson about the significance of Captain America’s shield, expressing that the world is in disarray, with allies turning into enemies and alliances falling apart.
He remarked that the world is broken, and everyone is searching for someone to fix it. Some speculate that this dialogue could have deliberately hinted at Rhodey’s Skrull secret. However, it raises the question of what benefit Rhodey would have in ensuring Wilson’s continuation as an Avenger.
Adding further complexity, if Rhodey were a Skrull in Falcon & The Winter Soldier, it would undermine the two scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Rhodey bonded with other black characters over shared experiences.
Those moments would be invalidated as false, stolen memories. Embarking down such a path consciously is not something anyone should do.
Despite Feige’s hint, it appears more plausible that War Machine, also known as Rhodey, was replaced by a Skrull after the events of Endgame, potentially following the demise of Iron Man.
This timing would explain the upcoming events in Armor Wars, where Rhodey addresses the repercussions of Tony Stark’s technology falling into the wrong hands. If Rhodey had been replaced after Stark’s death, the Skrull impersonating him could have focused on advancing their political career to gain proximity to the president.
Accordingly, any instances of Stark tech theft would go overlooked, as Rhodey’s attention would be elsewhere. This might be responsible for the apparent contradiction between Rhodey’s ascent in the US government and his insubordination towards General Ross in Endgame.
Why Rhodey Was Selected As The Skrull Avenger by Marvel
In light of the attack in Moscow, Nick Fury made it clear that he would not summon the Avengers, as he feared that Gravik’s warriors would overpower them and attain their powers to create even stronger Super-Skrulls.
This decision is logical considering the impressive abilities of heroes like Captain Marvel, the Hulk, Thor, and other genetically advanced individuals. Even Doctor Strange, with his learned magic, is a valuable target for Skrulls since they can extract knowledge from minds.
Consequently, the Avengers, the second most important, were the most likely candidates for replacement in the Secret Invasion narrative. The aim was to avoid rendering the Super-Skrulls too dominant and difficult to defeat.
Regrettably, for Rhodey, he can be seen as the least potent Avenger but possesses important value due to his military rank and his shot to get close to President Ritson.
With no innate superhuman abilities, MCU utilized Rhodey to prevent the Super-Skrulls from becoming overly formidable while adhering to their rule of keeping the core superhero team out of reach.
Politically speaking, Rhodey is an perfect candidate for infiltrating the US government and assisting Gravik’s false flag operation, which aims to initiate a global conflict.
Thus, Rhodey’s selection is based on more than just his perceived vulnerability but also his strategic suitability. The revelation in Secret Invasion sheds light on War Machine’s value, despite the Avengers not fully exploring his potential.
This sets the stage for an intriguing future story when the actual Rhodey returns and must once again rectify the mess left by Nick Fury.