Re: Iron Patriot (War Machine) in CA:TWS?
I didn't see The Incredible Hulk before seeing The Avengers. Considering it only made 135 million, I don't think a lot of people did.
Hawkeye wasn't mentioned in the other three films so how does that hint to the timeline? The modern scenes of Captain America did NOT have the Stark Expo. The scenes with the Tesseract and Odin's treasure were all in the past and not related to Iron Man 2.
I still feel the average moviegoer didn't get that at all except for Iron Man 2 and Thor because Coulson said he was going to New Mexico and after the credits, it showed him with Mjolnir.
However, the average moviegoer is asking where everyone is in each solo film. The average moviegoer is more like my nephew who watched the Agents of SHIELD trailer and kept asking, But where are the Avengers in it?
If the world is connected, I like having proof of that like having Natasha team up with Steve. I agree that you can't put too many characters or plotlines in a film, but one scene with Rhodey couldn't hurt. It might even just be a phonecall or someone watching Iron Patriot on the news.
Then again, Iron Man 2 was my favorite film because of all the touches like Coulson, Natasha, Stark's prototype for Steve's shield, seeing Howard Stark on the reel, etc. and the Disney references as well.