‘Secret Invasion’: Was Colonel James Rhodes Always a Skrull? We Uncover the Truth

skrull rhodes
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If there’s one thing that we know about the Skrulls in ‘Secret Invasion,’ it’s that they have a lot of people in some of the highest positions in the different governments of the world, including the United States. That’s because it was revealed in episode 4 that Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, who has been working as an adviser to President Ritson, was a Skrull. But was James Rhodes always a Skrull?

The James Rhodes in ‘Secret Invasion’ is an impostor and was never the original Rhodes. That’s because Rhodey didn’t transform into a Skrull after he fell from the sky and lost the use of his legs during the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ Meanwhile, the Skrull impersonating Rhodes doesn’t use leg braces.

It is important to go back to the history of the character to understand that Col. James Rhodes, who we have seen in ‘Secret Invasion,’ was never the original Rhodey that fought alongside the Avengers as War Machine. The evidence speaks for itself as we can go all the way back to the ‘Civil War’ to prove that this is an impostor Rhodey. Now, let’s look at the evidence on the table.

This Rhodes is a fake

The Avenger that has been quite active in the different MCU series ever since the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, who has gotten a very important job as one of the advisers for the president. Of course, let’s not forget that Rhodey is one of the true OG characters of the MCU, as he goes all the way back to the events of the 2008 ‘Iron Man’ movie, where he was introduced as Tony Stark’s best friend from the military.

Of course, Rhodes has appeared in ‘Secret Invasion’ as the guy working to keep the president safe regarding the different events surrounding Gravik’s uprising. But episode 4 of the series allowed us to learn a dark secret involving Rhodey. That’s because we saw that the Skrull Varra had agreed to meet up with was actually Rhodes, who ordered her to kill Nick Fury under the orders of Gravik himself.

varra and rhodes

In that regard, it is clear that Gravik has a man close to the president as the Skrulls were now able to infiltrate the highest position in the US government. And Rhodey has been the one feeding Gravik information regarding the president’s schedule so that they could kill him and make it look like the Russians were behind the attack.

So, now that we know that Rhodey is a Skrull, questions have arisen regarding whether or not he has always been a Skrull. The standing theory is that he has always been a Skrull and was specifically installed by the Skrulls so that they could have someone to keep tabs on the actions of the Avengers and the US government. But this theory has a lot of major flaws, and that is what we are here to look at.

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Of course, we believe that this version was always fake and had just been recently installed to replace the true Rhodey. And we have to go back to the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to understand why this version of James Rhodes is obviously fake.

Back in ‘Civil War,’ Vision used his beam to attack the Falcon, who evaded the attack but allowed the laser to hit the power source of the War Machine armor while Rhodes was still up in the air. The destruction of the arc reactor caused the suit to lose all of its power, and Rhodey was left free-falling from the sky onto the ground.

We know that Skrulls transform back into their original forms whenever they are killed or, at the very least when they get severely injured. In Talos’ case, in episode 4 of ‘Secret Invasion,’ getting shot forced him back to his original form while still alive. So, if a Skrull were to be placed in a fatal situation, it goes without saying that they would return to their original form.

Going back to Rhodey, he landed on the ground pretty hard. However, he didn’t transform at all and was still the same old James Rhodes even though he had lost consciousness. He eventually survived the fall but ended up losing the use of his legs. That was why he had to use a special brace that allowed him to walk even though he could no longer use his legs in a normal way.

tony and rhodey

So, if Rhodey was always a Skrull, he should have transformed back into a Skrull after falling from the sky. And we have another piece of evidence that would further solidify that he wasn’t always a Skrull.

There was a scene in episode 4 wherein we saw a female Skrull taking a shower, only to reveal herself to be the fake Col. James Rhodes. But the interesting scene is that after she gets out of the shower, her feet are shown. She could walk on her own two feet without the use of a leg brace. And we know that the real Rhodey’s leg braces go all way down to his feet.

Rhodes leg brace
skrull feet

In other words, there is no way that this Skrull was the Rhodey that we have been following since he first appeared in ‘Iron Man.’ This allows us to conclude that this one is a fake and has only been recently installed as Rhodey’s replacement.

The real Rhodey might have been kidnapped

Of course, we know that Rhodey is an important adviser that works for the president, which is why the Skrulls targeted him as someone they could impersonate. Unlike Everett Ross, who was also replaced by a Skrull but is actually just in Wakanda, Rhodes isn’t somewhere off in another city or planet. Instead, he might have been kidnapped by the Skrulls.

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In episode 1 of ‘Secret Invasion,’ we saw that the Skrulls had been kidnapping a lot of different humans and were keeping them locked in their compound in Russia while they were in Fracking Pods that were meant to allow the Skrulls to probe into their minds. In fact, the real Commodore Robert Fairbanks was seen in a Fracking Pod in episode 3.

That would mean there’s a good chance that the real Col. Rhodes is also in the compound and has been locked up in a Fracking Pod after the Skrulls kidnapped him offscreen. Of course, the reason why the Skrulls kidnapped him and kept him in a Fracking Pod goes all the way back to the fact that his knowledge and secrets are important to the Skrulls due to his relationship with President Ritson and the different members of the Avengers.

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