avengers endgame review

Since the release of Avengers: Endgame, we’ve learned about a lot of alternate routes the story could have taken. Several abandoned storylines and ideas have been revealed that would have given the superheroes different arcs, taken them to different settings, and teamed them up with different characters. New details about what could have been continue to arrive (most recently with word of Nova almost being included), and now we have word that one of Earth’s mightiest heroes almost became Vice President of the United States of America.

Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus, who worked with Stephen McFeely on the script, told ComicBook.com that they nearly made Don Cheadle‘s James Rhodes, aka War Machine, aka Iron Patriot, the Vice President of the United States of America. It would have been revealed after the five-year time jump that happens after the Avengers kill Thanos and no longer have the Infinity Stones to undo what the mad titan did. So why didn’t this happen? Markus explained:

“We took it out because it didn’t have any story weight, but I believe that during one draft, in the five year jump, Rhodey became vice president. Vice President Rhodey.”

While Rhodey becoming vice president might have made sense in the grand scheme of the character’s life as a Colonel in the United States Air Force, it wouldn’t have really added anything to the story. On top of that, even in a world of superheroes, I’m not sure how believable it would have been for him to become vice president. Sure, comic books have turned both superheroes and villains into politicians plenty of times before, but Rhodey might have had too complicated of a background.

Looking back at Rhodey’s life, he became War Machine and worked for The Avengers after being a liaison between the government and Stark Industries. That resulted in him becoming a sort of government-sanctioned superhero called Iron Patriot, and he ended up saving the sitting POTUS in Iron Man 3. Rhodey even came to side with the government when the Sokovia Accords came along. But he ended up defying that same government in Avengers: Infinity War by helping Captain America and the rest of the rogue Avengers when time came to prevent Thanos from getting all the Infinity Stones. In fact, Lieutenant General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), who became Secretary of State for President Matthew Ellis, even threatened to court martial Rhodey for his actions.

There’s always the chance that the American people may seen Rhodey’s defiance as heroic, especially since they needed to protect the Earth from the impending threat of Thanos. But The Avengers also failed to stop him, so why would they have any faith in Rhodey as a vice president? Surely it would depend on who the presidential candidate was, but I feel like Rhodey’s presence on that voting ticket would be problematic for a lot of people, even as just vice president. Then again, look at all the bullshit we’re dealing with now, with a cartoon character for a president who has done far worse things than Rhodey. Maybe War Machine becoming vice president is not so unbelievable after all.

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