One of the films that changed the way of seeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe was ‘Doctor Strange’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch, same that first introduced the existence of magic and other universes within the franchise, but a detail that many believed to have understood seems to be that it was not, since ‘Doctor Strange’ does not refer to War machine prior to his accident, but to another Marvel movie.
The ‘Doctor Strange’ movie hit theaters on October 2016 and months before the second film by the Russo brothers had been released ‘Captain America: Civil War’, specifically in April where the War Machine character suffers an accident when struck by a Vision beam, which caused an injury to his spine and legs.
During the beginning of the movie of the supreme sorcerer we heard that one of his assistants tells him about an important case, where an air force colonel shreds his back in an experimental type of armor, which made many think about the accident Civil War, but in reality ‘Doctor Strange’ does not refer to War Machine, but to another armor, the one seen in ‘Iron Man 2’.
During the trial of Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man 2’ 2010, this character shows that Justin Hammer is testing with a type of experimental armors and in one scene you can see that one of them injures a person from the back when doing a turn.
The answer of this reference has to do with the chronology, since the events that occur at the end of ‘Doctor Strange’, that is, the confrontation against Dormammu happen after ‘Captain America: Civil War’, But his accident was several years ago, since he had a long recovery, as well as a long stay in Kamar Taj, so it could not be War Machine.