This post includes spoilers for episode 4 of Secret Invasion.
The original Secret Invasion comics hinged on a uniquely enticing twist: Literally any Marvel hero could secretly be a Skrull.
In theory, the new Disney+ adaptation should offer a similar hook. But since the show includes very few A-list MCU characters, the stakes don’t feel as high. This limited cast led many fans to guess one of the secret Skrulls in advance: Rhodey (Don Cheadle), the only well-known superhero in the show.
It didn’t help that Cheadle said months ago that his Secret Invasion role was “very surprising.” But regardless of whether you picked up on the clues, this week’s episode confirmed it. “Rhodey” is actually a Skrull name Raava (Nisha Aaliya), now a key antagonist for Nick Fury.
The question now is how long Rhodey has been a Skrull.
@zerow0ntmiss Been injured ever since.. #Marvel #MCU #MarvelStudios #MarvelTok #NickFury #Skrull #SecretInvasion ♬ Spot Holes 2 – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Daniel Pemberton
MCU boss Kevin Feige said he pitched the idea to Cheadle early on, suggesting that Rhodey was already a Skrull in earlier parts of the MCU. “We like the idea of fans going back and watching some of the other appearances of Rhodey and realizing that that wasn’t him.”
Was Rhodey a Skrull in Avengers: Endgame?
Feige’s comments raise an obvious question: When was the original Rhodey replaced by a Skrull? At the very least, it was before his most recent appearance, a single-episode role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Before that though, Rhodey’s last appearance was in Avengers: Endgame. So is the MCU bold enough to make Rhodey a Skrull during his biggest superhero role, overlapping with the death of his best friend Tony Stark? Was it Rhodey at the funeral, or Raava?
Some fans have drawn attention to an Endgame scene where Nebula says “I wasn’t always like this” (referring to her robotic hand) and Rhodey replies, “Me either.” This initially seems like an exchange between two characters discussing their disabilities and prostheses, but Rhodey’s comment could also have a double meaning.
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The MCU being what it is, the more conservative theory is the most plausible: Rhodey was replaced by a Skrull after Tony’s funeral in Endgame. But some fans are wondering if Rhodey was a Skrull as far back as Captain America: Civil War, when his injuries provided a perfect opportunity for a Skrull body-swap.
The boldest theory of all is that Rhodey was a Skrull all along and that he/Raava formed a real bond with Tony and the Avengers while undercover. If true, that would be an exciting move for a show that’s otherwise had surprisingly little impact on the MCU at large.