With Marvel closing down the short-lived Legacy era down in order for Fresh Start to begin, a lot of characters have returned. One character noticeably absent is James Rhodes, our beloved War Machine.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Marvel Legacy #1 saw Logan return, Jean Grey had her own Resurrection, Black Widow is confirmed alive as of Infinity Countdown #1, Avengers: No Surrender brought Bruce Banner back, Adam Warlock has returned on the cosmic front, even Blink finds herself with a new team of Exiles.
Marvel has brought a lot of key players back but there’s one name still missing from active duty. Where is our beloved Commander James Rhodes?
He was the shocking sacrifice made on Free Comic Book Day years ago to get the lackluster Civil War II started. His death played a major role in where Carol Danvers and Tony Stark have gone from that point forward. Carol was Rhodey’s lover and Tony was his best friend, both seemingly lost without him.
Captain Marvel has been in an absolute tailspin ever since Rhodey fell. Civil War II was a character assassination of Carol that she still hasn’t recovered from. Bringing her deceased boyfriend back could provided her with a legitimate connection to Earth again, other than bailing Jessica Jones out.
If you’ve been reading Invincible Iron Man, you know Tony has been slowly but surely finding his way back to action. With Dan Slott taking over soon, maybe we’ll see him bring War Machine back?
A lot has changed for Tony in his absence. His company is being run by an A.I, Mary Jane Watson, and his birth mother that he has barely met. His armor has been flying around without him, piloted by Riri Williams and Victor Von Doom. He’s also got a lot to answer for from CWII even if we’d all like to just brush that under the rug entirely (like Marvel has been trying to do).
With Stark getting a “Fresh Start” in more ways than one, who better than his best friend to help him sort out the mess that his life has become? We know from his decade of writing Amazing Spider-Man that Dan Slott doesn’t shy away from resurrections.
How about the War Machine armor? Nick Fury Jr. repurposed it and handed it over to Frank Castle. While Punisher: War Machine has been a ton of fun, nothing lasts forever (especially in comics). If anyone is going to get Frank to hand over his new favorite toy, it’s James Rhodes.
Continuity aside, War Machine is an important character at the forefront of representation in comic books as well. If his death meant anything, it would be a different story.
One of the most prominent black characters in comic books has been sitting on the shelf because of an event that both fans and the publisher itself like to pretend never happened. It’s time to bring Rhodey back.
If Marvel is going to truly give us all a true “fresh start,” why not give Rhodey one too? What do you think?