In Captain America: Civil War, Rhodes falls from the sky and there is no parachute.

Tony Stark, in his Iron Man suit without the helmet, is holding Rhodes, in his War Machine suit. Rhodes' helmet is open at the front and he looks unconscious, lying on the grass.

But in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter falls and there is a parachute to save him.

A very blurry picture of the city taken from above. A dark rectangle shape can be seen, with hint of red and blue below. The dark rectangle shape is a deployed parachute, being used by Spider-Man in his usual red and blue costume while he's falling.

Why did Tony put a parachute in Peter's suit, but not Rhodes suit (which is actually meant to fly?)

  • 23
    Speculation, so I'm not making it an answer, but you've got the answer right there. The War Machine (and Iron Man) armours are designed to fly. Even if they're in a dead fall (as with Iron Man in Avengers), repulsors can break the fall at the last minute. The Iron Spider armour has no propulsion, so in the event that Spider Man is falling a long distance (say, knocked aside when swinging between skyscrapers), he needs a parachute. (Or a wingsuit, like the one he designed himself.)
    – jdunlop
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 3:16
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    Plus Spider-Man's a teenager, rather than a really really experienced pilot. Plus Peter's parachute nearly drowned him. Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 20:19
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    Tony initially designed the suit for Terence Howard, who was difficult to work with, and then forgot to add a parachute for Don Cheadle because of Civil War. Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 0:16
  • @jdunlop Peter might not have flying repulsors on his suit, but he does have webs, which he has frequently used to save himself from long falls. That would of course necessitate him being conscious as he fell, and also there being something tall enough above him to sling a web at (thinking of that embarrassing moment when he's just walking around in the suburbs because there's no tall buildings to swing from). Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 13:51
  • Two other things also worth noting: 1) The War Machine suit is built like a tank. There aren't many things that could disable its flight systems without destroying the suit entirely. War Machine encountering a dead fall situation is far less likely than Spider-Man encountering one. 2) Rhodes is a decorated Air Force Colonel who is well aware of the risks he's taking. Peter is a teenager who doesn't know when he's in over in his head. Tony takes personal responsibility for Peter's safety whereas Rhodes can look after himself.
    – aleppke
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 17:08

3 Answers 3


There is a common meme going around about this exact topic:

The picture is a screenshot taken from a mobile phone, and is showing a compilation of movie pictures from Marvel Cinematic Universe. The message above says: "Tony Stark learns from his mistakes...". The text is followed by 6 pictures, 3 on the left and 3 on the right, in some kind of cause/consequence. First picture says Tony Start getting kidnapped, so the second picture says Peter Parker's suit has a tracker. Third picture says Tony got stuck in a cold environment, so Fourth picture says Peter's suit has a heater. Fifth picture says Tony's best friend fell out of the sky, and sixth picture says Peter's suit has a parachute. Ultimately, the conclusion is that Tony added a bunch of upgrades to Spider-Man's suit to avoid the same problems ever happening to Peter like it happened to him or his friends and loved ones.

This would imply that Peter's suit has a parachute because of what happened to War Machine. Which makes sense, as the events of Civil War happen before the events of Homecoming.

  • 3
    Don't forget though that Peter got the suit and was using it during civil war when Rhodey fell. So unless Tony took it back and added it afterwards it was already present in the suit before this.
    – GamerGypps
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 8:20
  • 7
    @GamerGypps: Given how Tony is known to be tinkering all the time, it definitely wouldn't be weird for him to regularly deliver an upgraded version. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 9:49
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    @MatthieuM. Whilst that could be possible its not indicated that he ever delivers a new version at all until the Iron Spider Suit in Infinity war. He does take the suit (then gives it back during Homecoming but that's after the parachute has been deployed anyway.
    – GamerGypps
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:31
  • I know people love theory's but it just doesn't line up for me to be honest. Cant we just accept he had the foresight to do it.
    – GamerGypps
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:35
  • 1
    @GamerGypps: My point is not that it's the only viable theory, but that it's a viable theory. He may have had the foresight, he may have learned from his mistakes, Piper may have chimed in, ... in the absence of official explanation, who knows. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 14:14

It's entirely possible that the War Machine suit DID have a parachute mechanism, but it was likely an automatic or AI-controlled one. In the specific case of War Machine's accident, the suit's power source was destroyed - both the suit and the AI were completely dead. Rhodey was a falling tank at that point, so even a traditional parachute wouldn't have helped him... he couldn't move his arm to pull the ripcord.

Or, as an alternate explanation, one could debate that the Iron Spider suit had a parachute directly BECAUSE of what happened to Rhodey in "Civil War". Either idea works.

  • 15
    i.sstatic.net/uFegh.jpg Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 16:45
  • 14
    The second paragraph reminds me of the saying/quote "safety regulations are written in blood".
    – Kroltan
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 13:13
  • 4
    In real life, a parachute doesn't need a ripcord, a fancy AI, or a high-energy power source - pocket-sized "AADs" (Automatic Activation Device) are standard equipment, with their own batteries. They are generally set up to fire the reserve parachute if they detect a certain altitude and rate of descent.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 15:38
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    @IMSoP An overconfident lone inventor is more likely than most to assume that certain things cannot possibly go wrong.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 15:56
  • 4
    @IMSoP All true, but for an AADs to be useful a lot of assumptions have to be true. They are great for civilian skydivers (though even there there are times they can cause as well as solve problems). They are, at least not as designed in the real world, great for a machine built for combat that might descend and ascend in all kinds of controlled but extreme manners in the middle of a fight. Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 21:56

In the movies Tony takes on the role of mentor and guide for Peter Parker. This is most clearly explained in Spiderman: Homecoming where Tony takes the suit away from Peter.

An explanation to why Peter's suit has a parachute and War Machine's doesn't, is that Tony thinks "training wheels" are necessary for Peter, but not for War Machine. So he didn't just include the training wheels protocol, but also physical "training wheels" like the parachute.

  • 2
    This is a good answer. Don't sell yourself short by starting off with an explanation why you think it's not.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 10:42

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