There are many new shows on the horizon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will stream on Disney +. Joining the ranks of successful shows like WandaVision spirit Moon Knight will include shows about characters fans have met, as well as brand-new ones. These series are a great opportunity to learn more about characters who have been subject to supporting roles.
One of these characters is James Rhodes, played by Don Cheadle. The character has had a minor role in many of the Avengers movies but will be starring front-and-center in his own series, Armor Warswhich is set to arrive in either 2023 or 2024. Given the series’ obvious origins in the comic book arc of the same name, here’s what fans can expect from the series.
10 Don Cheadle Takes The Spotlight
As previously mentioned, Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes has only had a minor role in the MCU thus far. The actor inherited the role from Terrence Howard in 2010’s Iron Man 2, where he also made his first appearance as War Machine. The character has since been a key player in conflicts like Captain America: Civil War spirit Avengers: Endgame.
Armor Wars will be James Rhodes’ first solo adventure in the MCU, which makes sense. The comic book run featured both Rhodey and Tony Stark, though Marvel’s Tony Stark is dead after the events of Endgame. Cheadle’s starring role has long been overdue, and hopefully, fans will enjoy getting to learn more about their favorite Iron Patriot.
9 A New Iron Man
Armor Wars may also have close connections to another Disney + series set to debut around the same time. That show is Ironheart, which plans to center around Riri Williams, a teenage girl who builds her own Iron Man-like suit of armor. The character is already set to debut in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever prior to her solo series.
Considering the subject of Armor Wars, it makes sense that this Iron Man successor should at some point interact with James Rhodes. It’s possible Rhodey and Riri could have some sort of mentor-mentee relationship during either Armor Wars or Ironheart or both. Whatever the case may be, Rhodey will definitely be interested in taking Lady Ironheart under his wing.
8 The Return Of Sam Rockwell
Armor Wars may also be a great opportunity to bring back an old adversary of Tony Stark. In Iron Man 2, the same film that found Don Cheadle first wielding the War Machine armor, Sam Rockwell played a small role as Justin Hammer. In that film, Hammer was a rival CEO of Stark Industries, using his fortune to replicate Stark’s technology with terrorist Ivan Vanko.
Hammer’s last appearance was in a Marvel One-Shot that takes place after the events of Iron Man 3, finding the former weapon manufacturer in prison. Given Hammer’s rivalry with Stark and his desire to best his legacy, it would be interesting to see Hammer return in Armor Wars. It’d be a shame to waste an actor like Sam Rockwell on only two brief appearances.
7 White Vision Wanders
One of the many plot threads from WandaVision that has not been wrapped up yet is the status of White Vision. In the show’s final episode, Wanda’s Hex-Vision restored the memories of the remodeled Vision that was being utilized as a weapon by SWORD The White Vision then flew off, away from Westview, his location and destination currently unknown.
Many fans expected to see Vision make some sort of appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Wanda Maximoff. However, that did not pan out, which leaves Vision’s whereabouts a mystery. It’s very possible that Vision is looking for his creator in either Bruce Banner or Tony Stark, so perhaps the path to Stark leads him to James Rhodes.
6 New Wakandan Tech
With Tony Stark gone, Wakanda seems to be the new source of tech for the biggest superheroes in the Marvel universe. The Wakandans appeared most recently in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, gifting Sam Wilson with a new, comic-accurate Captain America suit. Perhaps this will not be the only generosity displayed by the Wakandans in Phase 4.
Given Ironheart’s yet-to-be-revealed connection to the country in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it makes sense that the young inventor would be recruited by Shuri to work for her. Perhaps James Rhodes will at some point be another recipient of new-and-improved War Machine technology. It would certainly be an upgrade from Stark’s sometimes-junky suits.
5 The Status Of The Avengers
Many of the Disney + shows have given status updates on the familiar members of the Avengers, including Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Bruce Banner. However, the status of whether the Avengers are still an organization is up in the air. It’d certainly be interesting to see some kind of team re-group at some point during Phase 4.
Perhaps Armor Wars, focusing on the future of the MCU after Stark’s death, will have some answers. It’d be cool to see what Wilson is up to as the new Captain America, or perhaps to see characters like Kate Bishop or Jennifer Walters introduced to the team. A show all about superhero tech would definitely be a good place to do that.
4 Tony Stark’s Legacy
A big theme of Armor Wars, according to press releases, is that the show will focus on the legacy of Tony Stark. In the post-Endgame MCU, Stark’s only comeuppance has been in Spider-Man: Far From Home, finding Peter Parker questioning how he can continue on without Tony’s guidance. However, Peter was not the only one affected by Tony’s work.
Obviously, Rhodey will be asking himself the same questions Peter was: does he have it in him to be the next Iron Man? If not, who will be? Perhaps there will even be appearances by Pepper Potts or Morgan Stark, to get some kind of update on how Stark’s family is handling the loss of not only Earth’s mightiest hero, but a great father and role model.
3 Threats From The Multiverse
The various comic runs of Armor Wars may also clue MCU fans in on what to expect from the Disney + series. One run from 2009 takes place elsewhere from the MCU’s familiar Earth-616. “Ultimate Armor Wars” focuses on a Tony Stark from Earth-1610, known as the Ultimate Universe. Perhaps this will inspire some multiverse shenanigans in Armor Wars.
It would be interesting to see how Earth-616 could be affected by the arrival of multiverse-traveling heroes. Rhodey could seek help from America Chavez, the multiverse jumper introduced in Multiverse of Madness. It would also be interesting to see Tony’s brother in the comics, Arno Stark, appear as a villain from another universe where he became Iron Man.
2 A New Home For Happy Hogan
Of course, a series focusing on characters from the Iron Man movies may force fans to wonder one thing: where’s Happy Hogan? Jon Favreau’s character has appeared as a supporting character in the Spider-Man trilogy. As of No Way HomeHappy unfortunately has no memory of Peter Parker, meaning his MCU future is currently up in the air.
However, Happy is still the Head of Security at Stark Industries. If Armor Wars plans to dive into the legacy of Tony Stark, Happy is deeply involved in that. Plus, Hogan and Rhodey could have a relationship that parallels Happy’s own with Tony. It would also be good to know if Happy’s luxurious condo was ever repaired after the damage dealt by Spidey’s rogue gallery.
1 An Ex-Stark Employee Reckoning
Tony Stark’s legacy post-Endgame is a complicated thing to grapple with for one TV show, let alone a movie. Fortunately, the MCU has created a lot of groundwork for Armor Wars to work off of. Some of the most unresolved of that groundwork was in Spider-Man: Far From Homewhich found Peter facing a group of ex-Stark Industries employees hungry for power.
This group was responsible for fabricating Quentin Beck’s heroism as Mysterio until Peter thwarted Beck’s plans and the former Stark employee was killed by his own drone. However, Beck’s associates are still out there, most recently leaking the doctored footage that revealed Peter’s identity. Perhaps that was only the beginning of their revenge against Stark’s legacy.
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