Comic Browser:


Force Works #5: Review

Nov 1994
Dan Abnett, Paul Ryan

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Force Works #5 Review by (January 15, 2019)
Paul Ryan is guest penciller for this issue, starting a short run of of 1 or 2-issue pencillers. Tom Tenney who did #1-4 does this issue's cover but then leaves the series. Soon afterwards he returned to his 1st love rock music and related artwork.

The Slorenian characters will return to continue their story in War Machine #14 leading in to our #11-12.

Meanwhile Julia Carpenter and daughter Rachel feature in a tale within Marvel Comics Presents #166-168 where a sniper seeks publicity by repeatedly targeting Spider-Woman. All our regulars except Fisher Todd and the Recorder cameo in 1 issue or another.
Then Iron Man battles VOR/TEX in his #307-309 as the menace of the Mandarin grows in the background. He and James Rhodes bring their dispute out into the open in WM#8 and IM#310. But they are captured by Mandarin which leads to the 6-part crossover Hands Of The Mandarin beginning in our #6.
The Recorder will be in #6 but Rachel, Fisher and Amanda Chaney keep a low profile until it's over in #8.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Force Works #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the Force Works Chaos Computer directed them to a crisis in Slorenia. When they flew there by hex-ship they were shot down along with 2 escorting Slorenian jets. Their armoured foe met them on the ground among dead Slorenian troops and broken tanks. He defeated our heroes and when they awoke he was gone. But another armoured guy named Black Brigade backed by a bunch of robots blamed them for the death and destruction of government forces.

The guy doesn't list to reason until Scarlet Witch zaps him with a hex and then speaks to him in Slorenian. She gets him to reign in his drone robots and contact his superiors. Who explain that they are welcome visitors, so they go to the capital Tblunka. (It is unclear whether Force Works travel here in their own hex-ship which crashed last issue. They certainly have a hex-ship, here named Pegasus, when they get there.)

They are greeted by a man named Boshlovor on behalf of the ruling council the Tabissara. He explains that they fell foul of civil unrest by the minority Dudaks against the ruling majority Slorenes. And Black Brigade reports that the rebel Ember escaped again. It seems that is who they met last issue. He is supposedly a demon from Dudak folklore who is causing all the trouble. Which is why the Tabissara hired Black Brigade and his drones to to hunt him down. They are glad that Tony Stark's team is now here to help them. That isn't why they are here but Iron Man decides to go along with it until they find out more about what's happening.

Scarlet Witch goes to liaise with Black Brigade. Iron Man takes a call from Captain America in their hex-ship to update him with the ongoing situation re War Machine. SHIELD and the UN are unhappy with WM over his actions in Imaya (WM#1-4) and some of their anger is spilling over on to Tony Stark who designed WM's armour. And now Caps' worried about what Force Works is doing in Slorenia. But Stark cuts him off rather curtly.

Black Brigade and Boshlovor go into a basement throne room to report to a mysterious Supreme Commander. BB says the Americans haven't found Ember yet so they should be dismissed because they're getting in his way. Boshlovor points out that Black Brigade has failed at the task for months. The Commander shuts them both up and tells them to let Force Works lead them to Ember and then BB can destroy "my ancient enemy".

Century and Wanda Maximoff try a new tack. Scarlet Witch adds her magic to the tracking skills of Century's staff Parallax and it leads them to the old fortress palace outside the city, which was abandoned after the previous Slorene dictator was overthrown. On the way Wanda mentions that a Tabissara should have 11 members but so far they've only met 10. Black Brigade doesn't join them but he's watching and waiting with his drones.

When they get to the fortress they split up. Century and Spider-Woman go in 1 direction but don't get far before they are attacked by BB and his drones (a bit prematurely I'd think). Our duo fight back and call for backup, and Iron Man joins them. The other 2 start trashing the drones while IM fights the boss, who tells them to go away and leave Ember to him.

Meanwhile solo U.S. Agent hears the fighting but is himself assaulted by Ember. USA manages to hold him off for a while because the foe seems weakened. Then Scarlet Witch arrives and downs Ember with a hex blast, and invites him to surrender in Slorenian. Ember removes his helmet/mask to reveal a grey-haired man who admits that his power is drained.

Ember says he is Dudak historian Pavel Chenklo and he leads them down some stairs to show them the source of his power. He says he came here after the dictator was overthrown to catalogue the art treasures around them. But he shows them a glowing artefact which he says is a triptych, holy to the Dudaks. When he touched this it transformed him into Ember the mythical Dudak hero. He sensed an impeding disaster to the Dudaks and set out to prevent it. But the resulting persecution of his people has made him realise that *he* may be the disaster, so he has come here to destroy the triptych.

However before he can do so the battling Black Brigade and Iron Man smash through a wall, followed by Century and SpW. A blast from BB  opens a hole in the floor to a chasm below, and Ember falls in with the triptych. Agent falls in too but is saved by Spi's psi-web.

BB is satisfied with the outcome but Wanda threatens to complain about his actions to the Tabissara. However Iron Man overrules her and says they're leaving. In the hex-ship he explains that as soon as Ember fell into the chasm the Chaos Computer declared the crisis over. Wanda protests that Tony Stark made *her* team leader and she believed the Dudaks needed protection against the Tabissara. Tony replies that it's important that Force Works not undertake personal crusades like War Machine did in Imaya.

Back at The Works HQ Recorder RE-404 notes another crisis flagged up by the Chaos Computer building up in China. Again he takes steps to ensure that the team don't learn of it in time to nip it in the bud. This time he is discovered by P.L.A.T.O., but he somehow successfully commands the AI to forget about it.

Again there's a 2nd short story this issue, following on from the 1 last issue:-


Pencils: Tod Smith, inks: Kevin Yates (as last issue).

Last issue Fisher Todd offered to show little Rachel Carpenter secrets of the base. Now they're in the Vroom Room and Rachel faces a hologram of the Rhino. He switches that off and asks if she'd like to see Thor. But outside Recorder locks the door and activates a program in dangerous mode. The pair are menaced by the alien Scatter (from #1-3).

Force Works arrive home from Slorenia in their hex-ship. New PR person Amanda Chaney confronts Iron Man and complains that she hasn't been able to contact Tony Stark so she's bringing her problems to *him* to relay to his boss. She's very concerned about the presence of the alien Century and the Recorder. And their trip to Slorenia has brought protests from the Avengers, SHIELD. NATO and the UN.

Meanwhile Julia Carpenter has gone looking for her daughter. PLATO tells her she's in the Vroom Room with Fisher. When Spider-Woman finds the door locked with a top-level simulation running she uses her super-strength to break the door down. As she takes on the aliens menacing Rachel, Fisher sidles with Rachel to a control panel and smashes it with a spanner. This certainly stops the program running.

Todd tries to explain that the system must have malfunctioned, but Julia drags her daughter away and tells Fisher to keep away from her.

Paul Ryan
Rey Garcia
Joe Rosas
Tom Tenney (Cover Penciler)
Rey Garcia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

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

(John Walker)

Plus: Amanda Chaney, Black Brigade, Century, Ember (Jason Pierce), Fisher Todd, P.L.A.T.O., Rachel Carpenter, Recorder RE-404, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Force Works: Book info and issue index

Share This Page