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Force Works #17: Review

Nov 1995
Dan Abnett, Jim Cheung

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3 stars

Force Works #17 Review by (April 18, 2012)
These Comment blocks are in reverse order.

When Moonraker is in shock over the disappearance of Vietnam, he calls out the names Lua and Khrull and mentions fire. This betrays his deeply-hidden identity of Libra (Gustav Brandt). It refers to his wife Lua killed in a fire ordered by her brother Monsieur Khruul in Vietnam, as seen in a flashback in Avengers #123. The disappearance of Vietnam is more than just an escalation of Mantis's removal of the Temple of Agaphaur. What happens to Kim is the 1st sighting of Kang's plan to grow his army, and what happens to Vietnam will happen to the rest of the world if Kang has his way. The crossover continues directly in War Machine #20.

Iron Man states that Marilla and Yellowjacket's deaths have only just been discovered. This, combined with a caption comment that Rachel Carpenter only met Moonraker yesterday, suggests that this issue follows directly from #16 and Avengers #392. However these conflict with statements in Iron Man #320 and #321 which indicate it is a week later. I have chosen to believe the Iron Man issues. This is the first time since Avengers: The Crossing that Iron Man has been seen with Force Works, so it can be construed that it is the first opportunity he has had to tell them about the deaths. It *is* true that he has only just yesterday (Iron Man #321) scanned the tape that appears to incriminate Hawkeye. We know from Avengers: The Crossing that Iron Man murdered Marilla and Yellowjacket. We also know from the latest Iron Man issues that he has blackouts, and doesn't remember the murders. In Iron Man #321 he saw the tape with his own image on, then blacked out. Presumably during this blackout he doctored the tape and the other evidence against Hawkeye.

We will discover later that this Suzi Endo/Cybermancer is not the one Stark brought over from his Hong Kong office in #16 and Iron Man #321. It is Suzi's alternate future counterpart, seen watching her from the shadows in Iron Man #321. It will also transpire in #21 that the original Suzi Endo didn't develop the Cybermancer suit, it belongs to the future version. The local Suzi will be discovered held in stasis in Stark's secret basement in #19. Iron Man has been promoting the interests of the villain behind this crossover (whether it be Kang or Immortus) during his blackouts. He obviously expected a Suzi Endo with a Cybermancer suit, but also obviously knew the local Suzi Endo didn't have one. So all his contacts with the 'real' Suzi must have been during blackouts. Unless he can be manipulated to do innocuous tasks without blacking out.

This issue of the Crossing continues straight from Iron Man #321. I can only guess that the Priests of Pama were captured by Mantis's minions after they discovered their Temple of Agaphaur missing in Iron Man #320. And this is a Priest trying to escape from the place where the temple has been taken to. Presumably the Priest is pulled back into that place, and possibly Kim gets accidentally taken with him. This is the last actual appearance of a Priest of Pama in the crossover. In #19 Moonraker will claim that Mantis is eradicating the past she wants to deny. The Priests and their temple are part of it, as is the Cotati Swordsman she captured in Avengers #392.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Force Works #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This part of the Crossing crossover continues from IRON MAN #321.

A Priest of Pama materialises in Vietnam and collides with a boy, Kim. They both disappear, and Kim's friends lose all memory of him. Kim reappears in another reality, in pain, and is located by a group who call him a 'positive'. They will reveal themselves next issue as Apocryphus and the team who attacked Gilgamesh in Avengers #391.

Iron Man introduces Suzi Endo from Iron Man #321 to Force Works as their new member Cybermancer, to replace Century who took leave of absence in #15. The team have met Suzi before in #6-7 during the Mandarin crossover. But now she has adopted the Cybermancer suit, which gives her various cybernetic powers. Stark tells them she has been working on this suit for 3 years in the Hong Kong office of Stark Enterprises.

The team, especially Scarlet Witch, are unhappy with the way Iron Man imposed Cybermancer on them. During this issue Suzi also causes offence, especially to U.S.Agent. She seems to be Iron Man's pawn, and not to care about the others.

Iron Man informs them of the discovery in Avengers #392 that Marilla and Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) were murdered during the reunion in Avengers: The Crossing. He also tells them of the security tape he viewed in Iron Man #321. The image he shows them indicates that Hawkeye was the murderer. He also claims that his lab has found traces of Hawkeye's incendiary arrows in tissue remains he sent them.

U.S.Agent refuses to believe Hawkeye is guilty. U.S.Agent and Hawkeye were the opposite of friends in Avengers West Coast. But in their frequent meetings since Hawkeye went solo (e.g. Marvel Comics Presents #159-161) they have become buddies.

Team leader Scarlet Witch insists that the Agent be given a chance to bring Hawkeye in peacefully. But Iron Man and Cybermancer follow him and knock Hawkeye out.

There's been continuous friction between Iron Man and Scarlet Witch in Force Works, and this is the last straw. Scarlet Witch throws Iron Man off the team when they bring unconscious Hawkeye back (but strangely keeps Cybermancer).

The mystery team member Moonraker (who was first seen last issue, but the team act as if he's been with them a long time) is more than shocked to find that Vietnam has vanished from Force Works database, especially when his teammates claim never to have heard of the country. Leaving U.S.Agent to watch Hawkeye and Cybermancer, Scarlet Witch takes Moonraker, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) and their technician Fisher Todd (as pilot instead of U.S.Agent) to investigate the area, where they break through an energy barrier.

U.S.Agent starts to phone War Machine.

The Crossing continues in WAR MACHINE (1994) #20.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Jim Cheung
Rey Garcia
Joe Rosas
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Rey Garcia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

Plus: Amanda Chaney, Apocryphus, Cybermancer, Fisher Todd, Moonraker, Rachel Carpenter, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Force Works: Book info and issue index

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