The original Secret Invasion comic event was one of Marvel Comics' biggest and most impactful of all time, with almost every major hero making an appearance and some even being revealed to have been Skrulls in hiding for some time.
Instead, Marvel Studios opted for a six-episode Disney+ spy-thriller featuring the special agents of the MCU, including Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Everett Ross, with the only Avenger in sight being Don Cheadle's Rhodey, aka War Machine, who so far has steered clear of his heroic roots in favor of a more political role.
Why Fans Think War Machine Is a Skrull
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Secret Invasion Episode 2.
As fans speculate which Secret Invasion characters may have been replaced by one of Gravik's Skrulls, Don Cheadle's War Machine has emerged as a popular contender as he takes on a new role as the righthand man to US President Ritson.
Going back to Avengers: Infinity War, Rhodey went as far as to ignore the orders of US Secretary Ross to arrest the Avengers due to his regret for supporting the Sokovia Accords. So, his newfound climb into such a high-ranking government position close to President Ritson does seem to be a strange one.
But the goal of the Skrull invasion comes in a desire to take control of Earth, something helped greatly by political influence - hence why the group took the place of UK Prime Minister Pamela Lawton. With Rhodey holding a role close to the US President and being an Avenger, he would certainly be worth replacing.
Rhodey being the one to fire Nick Fury from SABER also comes as a strange one, as one would think his years with the Avengers and Tony Stark would leave him with a high level of trust and respect for the super-spy. Surely, after working with him for so many years, Rhodey would know to trust Fury unwaveringly.
Undeniably, Fury vacating his powerful position only serves to help the Skrulls continue with their plans unopposed. But that may not be the only way Rhodey seemingly opens the doors to benefit the Skrulls he may secretly be one of in that short-lived interaction with Samuel L. Jackson's super-spy.
The potential Skrull-in-hiding also suggested calling upon the Avengers for help, however, Fury quickly shut down the notion due to the risk of the aliens shape-shifting into the heroes themselves, opening the doors to far more problems.
Realistically, given the threat of Secret Invasion isn't a clear physical one (yet) with Fury facing more of a political and espionage struggle, it's tough to see the Avengers becoming much help in this particular fight.
However, the Skrulls may be looking to draw Earth's Mightiest Heroes into the open in hopes of getting ahold of their advanced technology and incorporating their abilities into Gravik's Super Skrull program by gathering DNA samples.
One also can't ignore how Rhodey admitted to knowing about the secret Skrulls for 15 years now - which is actually how long has passed since Cheadle replaced Terrance Howard in the role in Iron Man 2 - although that's likely just coincidental.
Rhodey explained how he learned about the Skrulls' presence on Earth through a secret Pentagon presentation. Those present at the presentation in question may well have been targets for Gravik and the Skrulls to replace to keep their plans quiet, especially given all those in attendance will have been high-ranking officials.
Some have also noted Rhodey calling Fury "Nick" as evidence of him being a Skrull as the super spy said in Captain Marvel that no one calls him by that name.
"Everybody calls me Fury. Not Nicholas, not Joseph, not Nick. Just Fury."
However, the Avengers hero wouldn't be the first MCU character to call Nick Fury by his first name, with Tony Stark and Maria Hill having done that in the past.
Why War Machine Should Be a Skrull in Secret Invasion
Second to only Nick Fury himself, Rhodey may be the most impactful Skrull reveal Secret Invasion could possibly make. He's been a part of the MCU since the beginning, was a close friend and associate of Iron Man, and has spent time as a superhero and member of the Avengers.
The original Secret Invasion comic event was filled with reveals of superheroes being Skrulls in disguise, including Spider-Woman, Elektra, and Hank Pym. As the MCU has taken the storyline more down the route of spies and espionage, War Machine is Disney+'s only Avenger option for a dramatic Skrull twist.
The marketing of Secret Invasion has revolved around the question, "Who do you trust?" With Maria Hill dead after one episode and Everett Ross having already undergone one Skrull reveal, the options are limited for major human characters in the show who could turn out to be imposters, with Rhodey being an obvious one.
Don Cheadle has already promised Secret Invasion will set up and impact his upcoming solo movie Armor Wars. There may be no better impact the show could have than rescuing the real Rhodey from the Skrull's captivity, however long may have passed, forcing him to adjust back into a life someone else has been living.
The plot of War Machine's solo movie will see Rhodey dealing with the consequences of Tony Stark's technology falling into the wrong hands. Perhaps those hands could be Skrull, or maybe his shape-shifting imposter simply allowed that technology to land with the wrong people - either intentionally or otherwise.
Beyond just all the logic of why War Machine should be Secret Invasion's big Skrull reveal, there already seems to be mounting evidence to support just that. At the very least, the clear opposition he has taken to Nick Fury and the ways his action could support the Skrulls certainly raise cause for suspicion in the weeks to come.
The first two episodes of Secret Invasion are streaming now on Disney+.