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For alternate versions of Matthew Ellis, see Matthew Ellis' Character Hub

"I think we should be careful, the words we start throwing around. The last thing we need is panic in the streets. Any threat will be eliminated, I can assure you."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

Matthew Ellis is the 45th President of the United States. While vowing to stop the attacks from the so-called Mandarin, Ellis was kidnapped and nearly assassinated by Aldrich Killian, but was rescued by Iron Man and Iron Patriot, allowing Ellis to continue his Presidency. During the HYDRA Uprising, Ellis was targeted again by HYDRA's Project Insight, but was saved by Captain America.

The following year, Ellis authorized the creation of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, an agency tasked with dealing with the threats of the Inhuman Outbreak on American soil. Due to the recommendation of Rosalind Price, Ellis began recognizing the work of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. under the leadership of Phil Coulson. When Price was assassinated, Ellis put Glenn Talbot in charge of the ATCU. Time later, Ellis allowed the relegitimization of S.H.I.E.L.D., putting Jeffrey Mace in charge. Ellis was succeeded by Donald Trump, who continued to oversee the development of Project Patriot.


President of the USA

Banning Immoral Biotech Research

"After years dodging the President's ban on "immoral biotech research", my think tank now has a little something in the pipeline."
Aldrich Killian[src]

Matthew Ellis was elected President of the United States of America, replacing Barack Obama.[3] During his early presidency, he banned biotechnology research that he deemed immoral, frustrating Aldrich Killian as he was trying to develop Extremis.

When the Roxxon Corporation faced scandal after a Norco spilled a million gallons of crude oil off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Roxxon's political ties to Ellis made sure not a single Roxxon executive saw a day in court.[1]

Return of Captain America

"Welcome back, Cap."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

Ellis congratulated Captain America for his return in modern times, with an informal "Welcome back, Cap" quote. The quote was made notable enough to be displayed at Captain America's exhibit which featured display information of the Howling Commandos and Bucky Barnes.[4]

Aldrich Killian's War

Introducing the Iron Patriot

Ellis introduces the Iron Patriot

"Central to my administration's response to this terrorist event is a newly-minted resource. I know him as Colonel James Rhodes. The American people will soon know him as the Iron Patriot."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

In response to the Mandarin's terrorist attacks on the United States, Ellis ordered War Machine to be rebranded in the colors of the American flag and to be renamed as the "Iron Patriot". He gave a televised speech announcing that Rhodes would personally take charge of hunting down the Mandarin. Ellis' efforts were joked about in the world's media; however, he remained determined to track down the terrorist as more attacks continued across America, destroying national landmarks like the TCL Chinese Theatre, killing dozens of civilians.[1]

Mandarin Threats

Ellis witnesses the Mandarin message

"There's just one lesson left, President Ellis, so run away, hide, kiss your children goodbye because nothing, not your army, not your red, white and blue attack dog, can save you. I'll see you soon."

In one video from the Mandarin, he threatened to kill Thomas Richards if Ellis failed to call him within 30 seconds. Ellis watched the video from Air Force One, and demanded to know how the Mandarin's number ended up on his phone. Although his personnel advised against negotiating with the terrorist, Ellis decided to obey the Mandarin's order to save Richards.

Ellis orders James Rhodes to kill the Mandarin

Although Ellis complied with his request and called the phone, the Mandarin ignored the call and seemingly shot Richards in the head on live television. While Ellis was horrified at the sudden act of murder, the Mandarin warned the President that no matter what he did, he would never be safe and nobody would be able to save him before hanging up. Ellis ordered James Rhodes to locate the Mandarin's hideout as soon as possible.[1]

Attack on Air Force One

Ellis greets the Iron Patriot

"What do you want from me?"
"Oh, nothing, sir. I just needed a reason to kill you that would play well on TV. You see, I've moved on. I've found myself a new political patron, and at this time tomorrow, he'll have your job."
―Matthew Ellis and Aldrich Killian[src]

While boarding Air Force One with his security team, Ellis witnessed the arrival of the Iron Patriot, who had arrived to act as his bodyguard. Upon seeing one of his most trusted men, Ellis saluted the Patriot and commented on how he felt safer already.

Ellis is kidnapped by Eric Savin

However, as the plane took flight, Ellis was attacked by the Iron Patriot, who trapped many key staff members in one of the rooms while killing the security team. Ellis was quickly discovered and captured by Eric Savin, who revealed he had hijacked the Iron Patriot Armor after James Rhodes was taken prisoner. Ellis bravely ordered Savin to execute him if that's what he intended, but Savin simply replied that it was not how the Mandarin worked.

Ellis is greeted by Aldrich Killian

Ellis was kept alive and imprisoned inside the Iron Patriot Armor by Savin. The suit was put into the automatic flight and forcibly flew Ellis to a decommissioned Norco. Once he arrived, the suit opened up and Ellis fell to the feet of Aldrich Killian, who was currently speaking to the captured and tortured Pepper Potts. Killian mockingly saluted Ellis and welcomed him onboard the ship while Potts looked on in horror.

Ellis learns of Aldrich Killian's plans

Killian revealed to Ellis that he had brought him to this specific place because due to the president's work when the Norco spilled a million gallons of crude off Pensacola, none of the Roxxon Corporation representatives responsible were bought to justice. When Ellis asked what Killian wanted from him, he explained Ellis was nothing more than a pawn since Rodriguez was his affiliate and would soon become the next President, granting Killian total control over the United States.[1]

Battle on the Norco

Ellis is left to die in the Iron Patriot armor

"The President is secure, Tony. I’m clearing the area. Ready, sir?"
"What do you mean ‘ready’?"
James Rhodes and Matthew Ellis[src]

Aldrich Killian's team of Extremis Soldiers forced Ellis back into the Iron Patriot Armor and strung him up between the ships, ready to be killed by having oil poured over him and ignited. While he hung helplessly, Killian's men recorded Ellis from multiple cameras, preparing to broadcast his murder across the country and blame the assassination on the Mandarin while Rodriguez took power.

Ellis is rescued by James Rhodes

Tony Stark and James Rhodes traced Ellis and Killian to the Norco. Despite attempting to go unseen, the pair were soon spotted by Killian's soldiers and a huge battle broke out between the Extremis Soldiers and the Iron Legion, who arrived to assist in the battle while controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S.. Rhodes ran to rescue Ellis while Stark confronted Killian and saved Pepper Potts.

The Iron Patriot takes Ellis back to Washington, D.C.

Rhodes was able to find Ellis quickly and attempted to free him. However, he was first forced to fight three Extremis soldiers who attempted to kill him. Outwitting the soldiers, Rhodes managed to defeat them in an explosion before freeing the President and swinging away from the blast. After taking back his Iron Patriot suit, Rhodes returned Ellis to Washington, D.C. as Stark and Potts successfully defeated the remaining soldiers and Killian.[1]

HYDRA Uprising

Ellis is targeted by HYDRA's Project Insight

"The organization we had in place to protect us, S.H.I.E.L.D., brought airships raining down in our nation's capital."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

Ellis was later targeted by the Project Insight as an enemy of HYDRA, but the targeting Helicarriers were successfully destroyed by Captain America and his team. After the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., many people began calling for the resignation of Ellis and discussed how he allowed a terrorist organization to become a member of the intelligence community.[5] After the HYDRA attack on the United Nations Headquarters, Ellis stated in an interview that the HYDRA crisis was "blown out of proportions".[6]

Inhuman Outbreak

The New Protection Agency

Ellis tells the world of the Inhuman Outbreak

"By executive order, I have created a special task force to neutralize these alien threats on our soil. The Advanced Threat Containment Unit, or ATCU, will be given full license to act with whatever authority is necessary."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

Following the Inhuman Outbreak, Ellis authorized the formation of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, the replacement for S.H.I.E.L.D., headed by Rosalind Price. The ATCU was instructed to contain potential threats caused by people with superpowers. As the incidents became more and more public with Joey Gutierrez losing control of his powers in the middle of a city, Ellis had a press conference announcing his decision to the world.[7]

Weeks later, Ellis began to pressure Price for positive results.[8] Shortly after, Ellis and his advisors organized a meeting with other world leaders at NORAD to discuss the future of enhanced people.[9]

Meeting Phil Coulson

Ellis arrives at Rosalind Price's home

"Rosalind said you called them Inhumans. Heads of state are calling, not sure what's happening, Watchdogs agencies hurling accusations, FOX News won't shut up! I don't need to tell you how delicate the situation is, but we have to do something."
"With all due respect, Mr. President, we are doing something."
―Matthew Ellis and Phil Coulson[src]

A while after the assassination of Rosalind Price at the hands of Grant Ward, Ellis met with Phil Coulson in Price's apartment to discuss their next course of action. Even though he couldn't openly reauthorize S.H.I.E.L.D., Ellis trusted Price's judgment and decided to semi-legalize the outlawed agency to serve as the black ops unit against the advanced threats due to their superior knowledge.

Ellis meets Director Phil Coulson

At the same time, even though the Advanced Threat Containment Unit would publicly remain the Government's only task force to battle HYDRA and deal with the Inhumans, the agency's new director, although they had not yet been appointed, would receive orders directly from Coulson. When Coulson asked him to publicly condemn Gideon Malick for his participation in Price's murder, Ellis replied that there was not enough evidence against Malick, and he was so powerful that even he could not take him down. However, working from the shadows, Coulson was given free rein to do just that.

Ellis names Glenn Talbot as the leader of the ATCU

Ellis later contacted Coulson and Melinda May at their base at the Playground to inform them that he had assigned Glenn Talbot as the new head of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit. Although Coulson noted that Talbot would likely be unhappy with the move as the pair had previously been enemies during the HYDRA Uprising and they had never gotten along in the past; however, Ellis insisted that it was the right move as Talbot was a highly respected soldier and due to his time with S.H.I.E.L.D., he had experience with such threats.[10]

International Incident

Ellis speaks to Dimitri Olshenko

"These two are obviously working for either your government directly or indirectly, as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
"You know very well, Prime Minister, there is no S.H.I.E.L.D. It was dismantled."
"Mr. President, do you think we are all naive? S.H.I.E.L.D. is alive and well and working with your government to get ahead of us."
Dimitri Olshenko and Matthew Ellis[src]

When Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter were caught in Russia at the site of an attempted assassination of Dimitri Olshenko, Ellis, on Coulson's request, got Interpol to step in and interrogate them. The two agents were accused of killing Yuri Krupin, Androvich, and Anton Petrov, but they were actually preventing a coup orchestrated by Petrov and Gideon Malick.

Later, Ellis and Coulson personally arrived at Moscow to deal with the situation themselves. Olshenko confronted Ellis, stating that Morse and Hunter were S.H.I.E.L.D. agents working for US Government which Ellis denied. However, Olshenko did not believe Ellis, and although Morse and Hunter saved his life, he demanded Ellis to make sure that they will answer for the incident, threatening Ellis with another Cold War.[11]

The End of HYDRA

When Phil Coulson passed the HYDRA-related information acquired from Gideon Malick to Glenn Talbot, he led the United States Air Force and the ATCU in a successful worldwide offensive against the terrorist organization.[12] Not long after, Ellis officailly announced to the public that HYDRA was eradicated.[13]

Sokovia Accords

Interview with WHiH

Ellis is interviewed by Christine Everhart

"Isn't it essential that our heroes be able to maintain their independence?"
"Well, my appreciation for their efforts shouldn't be misconstrued as a blank check. The Avengers need to collaborate with governments around the globe."
Will Adams and Matthew Ellis[src]

In 2016, Ellis gave Christine Everhart and Will Adams of WHiH News an exclusive interview, citing his position on whether the Avengers and other enhanced individuals needed to be monitored in their activities. While assuring that he was completely sensitive to the fear and concern created by the more recent incidents involving the Avengers he recognized the heroism of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and their teammates in the face of the attacks.

Ellis noting on promoting Thaddeus Ross

However, he clarified that, while he appreciated the Avengers' efforts, he did recognize a need for them to collaborate with governments worldwide, pointing out that his administration was exploring ways to create an official relationship with the Avengers. Citing newly appointed Thaddeus Ross' experience with enhanced individuals including Hulk, as well as his exceptional service to his country, Ellis voiced his confidence that Ross would be able to work in conjunction with both his allies abroad and the Avengers.[14]

Attack on the IFID Headquarters

Ellis speaks about the attack in Lagos

"It is crucial that we unite and stand together to ensure that peace and security prevail over chaos and fear."
―Matthew Ellis[src]

On May 3, 2016, Ellis gave a press briefing after the Attack on the IFID Headquarters occurred in Lagos, Nigeria, declaring it a disastrous situation and that he will cause all manpower available to be deployed to apprehend the terrorists responsible.[15]

New S.H.I.E.L.D. Director

"I'm here because the President sent me. The Sokovia Accords are the law of the land now and he's concerned you might have some undocumented assets working for you."
"And why would he think that?"
"Cause he's not a moron."
Glenn Talbot and Phil Coulson[src]

Following the Avengers Civil War, Ellis sent Glenn Talbot to speak with Phil Coulson about registering all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "undocumented enhanced assets" as required by the newly established Sokovia Accords.[16] Ellis was later informed by Talbot about the exact location of the Playground base which eventually led to S.H.I.E.L.D. accepting the Sokovia Accords and becoming legal again.[17]

Coulson announced to Ellis his lack of desire to be the face of the organization since he was believed to be dead. Coulson wished the new director would be a powered person who the American people could trust, such as Steve Rogers, but as Rogers became a renegade during the Avengers Civil War, they needed someone else.[18] Ellis assigned Talbot to start Project Patriot, through which Jeffrey Mace, who became a hero when the public misinterpreted his actions during the Bombing of the Vienna International Centre, was given the superpowers, and was appointed S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new Director.[19]


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Appearances for Matthew Ellis

In chronological order:


Behind the Scenes


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