Avengers Assemble and welcome to the team, War Machine! After playing our favorite Black American Avenger, James Rhodes, in Iron Man 2, Don Cheadle earned the opportunity to join the Marvel cinematic universe as an official member of the Avengers. While we’re excited to see Rhodey kick some bad guy butt with his new superpowers, there’s also something else that makes this addition so special…it’s not just Rhodey’s first time as an Avenger, it’s also one of many steps Cheadle is taking toward becoming director for an upcoming Marvel movie! The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

What it means to be a hero

One man’s path from soldier to superhero. As a soldier, I was good at following orders and taking direction, Cheadle says. I don’t know if you can be one without being those two things. But that does not make you a leader or a hero… People think it’s easy to be an Avenger—it is not.

How far would you go? The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

The choices we make in life have a profound impact on who we are and what our future holds. There are times when we are confronted with difficult decisions that, although they may seem less than ideal at first, will ultimately lead us down a more fulfilling path of self-discovery. When life’s hard decisions strike, sometimes it is best to stand up for what you believe in; other times it is best to sit down and negotiate from a position of strength.

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What makes someone a hero? The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

In order to determine what makes someone a hero, it is important to first understand what qualifies as heroism. For example, most people define a hero as someone who exhibits extreme courage or bravery. However, most people might disagree when being called a hero themselves. That’s because being brave and courageous are traits that all humans have at one point or another. Being heroic is not about courage alone; it is about doing something outside of one’s normal character for some greater good than oneself.

Connecting with Rhodey on his journey

The character’s evolution from fellow soldier to Avenger began in Iron Man 2, when Rhodes (Don Cheadle) joined Tony Stark and President Ellis in their trip to Russia. He saved his friend’s life, getting critically injured in the process. In The Avengers, he returned as an ally that proved useful against Loki—and we saw what War Machine was capable of on his own for a brief moment during The Battle of New York.

Insight into why he became an avenger

One of my favorite things about ‘Iron Man 2’ is that even though I wasn’t in it, one of my best friends [Don Cheadle] was. Even when I was on set for an hour or two, just to hang out and visit with him, it felt like something that I had been waiting for ever since I watched ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and saw a young Captain America and then grew up watching Chris Evans become Captain America.

The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger
The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

What does James Rhodes’s evolution into War Machine mean for the Marvel Universe?

When the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War began to drop, fans were excited to see one character in particular in the spotlight – James Rhodes, aka War Machine (Don Cheadle). From his scenes in the trailers, it was clear that War Machine had assumed the mantle of Iron Man and was flying around fighting alongside his fellow Avengers and other superheroes on the quest to take down Thanos and his Black Order in their bid to destroy half of all life in the universe.

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Rhodey, the character The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

While Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man might be THE face of Marvel, Don Cheadle’s James Rhodey Rhodes is a close second. The loyal, military man is just as important to Tony Stark as Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). So who is he in Civil War and how did he become War Machine?

The real life connection

Cheadle has previously worked with real life military officials on his Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. He reportedly consulted with Colonel William Forest concerning how to authentically portray a military leader. Cheadle met several times with former SEALs at Camp Pendleton, California, and watched videos from embedded journalists in order to realistically portray an Air Force pilot in Afghanistan.

The importance of Rhodey in a movie about superheroes

All of these characters are here because they’re important to Tony, but Rhodey is arguably just as important to us. He first appeared in Iron Man #118, written by David Michelinie and illustrated by Bob Layton and John Romita Sr., back in 1979. In a way, he was an addition made out of necessity: Iron Man needed another hero to fight with and against.

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Who is Rhodey within the MCU? The Reason Why Rhodey Became An Avenger

Despite Rhodey being one of Stark’s closest friends and a member of Tony’s original armor team, it feels like we don’t get to see that bond between them in Infinity War. The fact that Rhodey is able to come up with such a piece of technology on his own is impressive. It shows us how much he has grown over time, and what he is capable of now.

Why was it important to have Rhodey be an African American man?

That kind of diversity is important in storytelling and onscreen, because it allows more people to see characters that they can relate to. Rhodey has been a major player in Tony Stark’s stories since way back in Iron Man 2, and his character’s casting isn’t new—it’s just taken a while for Hollywood to catch up with what fans have been asking for.

How were audiences received to watching a person of color be featured as a superhero on screen?

Black Panther’s debut has been met with praise, but one question looms: Are audiences ready to watch a superhero of color be featured in such a big-budget film on screen?

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