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Force Works #20: Review

Feb 1996
Dan Abnett, Hector Oliveira

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Story Name:

Siege Perilous

Review & Comments

3 stars

Force Works #20 Review by (May 2, 2012)
This issue of the Crossing crossover follows on from War Machine #22, and runs in parallel with Iron Man #324. Iron Man isn't actually in this issue, except as the holograms Virgil creates, although he gets mentioned a lot. But I include it in the Iron Man database for completeness. Cybermancer lets slip here that her technology is a decade or more ahead of current Marvel universe standards, which will be explored in more detail in #21-22. This leg of the crossover continues with War Machine in War Machine #23. Force Works don't actually link up with the Avengers. But Scarlet Witch arrives in Avengers #395 to pick the Avengers up when it's all over.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Force Works #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This part of the Crossing crossover continues from WAR MACHINE (1994) #22.

From the basement of Force Works HQ, Cybermancer and Stark's secret computer Virgil, in the holographic guise of Tony Stark, have taken over the building from the nice computer Plato. Scarlet Witch, U.S.Agent and War Machine try to break in, but have to fight holographic Iron Men. Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) comforts her daughter Rachel, while Fisher Todd tries unsuccessfully to overcome the damage caused by War Machine and Iron Man's fight in War Machine #22.

Iron Man has been a secret puppet of Kang and Mantis. Strictly speaking no-one knows this yet, but they now have enough pieces to more-or-less figure it out. Cybermancer is Iron Man's agent within Force Works.

We learned in War Machine #22 that Virgil is running a program designed to fire Stark's chronographic weapon in a few hours time. The weapon will flood the Earth with temporal energy. As revealed in #19 this will shift it to join the vanished Vietnam, and provide Kang with a mutated army.

Most of the team have been in a reality-displaced Vietnam since #17, where they encountered Kang's Anachronauts, and Moonraker recovered his memories as Libra (Gustav Brandt), and his knowledge of the plot of Kang with Libra's daughter Mantis.

The team break off the fight to reconsider and plan. Black Widow calls to say that Century has teleported her and Moonraker to the Avengers at Janet Van Dyne's house. They left in War Machine #22 to take details of Kang's plot to the Avengers. The other end of the phonecall with Black Widow is seen in Iron Man #324.

War Machine and Spider-Woman are sent to infiltrate the basement via a heat-exchanger duct that Virgil can't see inside, while the others keep Cybermancer and Virgil distracted. Cybermancer detects that the heat-exchanger isn't working properly. This gives her an idea. She gets Virgil to mess with the environmental support for the rest of the building, while she investigates the heat-exchanger.

Spider-Woman and War Machine fight Cybermancer until Spi KO's her. Plato surfaces enough to help Fisher recalibrate the Anachronaut's temporal device (that Moonraker used to get the team home in Force Works #19/War Machine #22) to teleport Scarlet Witch and U.S.Agent past the defences and into the basement.

Scarlet Witch scrambles Virgil with a hex, halting the countdown for Stark's chronographic weapon. But the weapon itself is up in Stark's Starcore satellite. Stark won the contract for the Starcore satellite in the Crossing prologue in Iron Man #319. We learned to be suspicious of his plans for the satellite in Iron Man #320.

War Machine flies up to the satellite. Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman and U.S.Agent take a Hex ship to join the Avengers.

This leg of the Crossing continues in WAR MACHINE (1994) #23.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Hector Oliveira
Rey Garcia
Ian Laughlin
Hector Oliveira (Cover Penciler)
Rene Micheletti (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

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

(John Walker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Cybermancer, Fisher Todd, Rachel Carpenter, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Force Works: Book info and issue index

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