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Force Works #9: Review

Mar 1995
Dan Abnett, Jim Calafiore

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Force Works #9 Review by (April 9, 2019)
The Abnett/Lanning continue as the scripting partnership. Jim Calafiore takes on the pencilling for 4 issues, and Rey Garcia is back on inks.
Tom DeFalco's post as Editor-In-Chief has been abolished. For now there are individual Executive Editors for individual groups of titles. Mark Gruenwald is EE for the Avengers group (including this title) and the Cosmic group (eg Silver Surfer). This site has no EE slot so I'll list him as EIC for this title.

Next issue Willie Walkaway will take on the mantle of Dreamguard.

The backup story leads into the memorial in Tales Of The Marvels: Wonder Years #2, and then into a backup next issue set at that memorial. As per the editorial note mentioned in the backup, all 3 bits must happen before the main Australian story in this issue and next.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Force Works #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Agoona Crossing, Queensland, Australia 2 cops are doing the rounds in their car after the pubs shut when a figure leaps onto the bonnet screaming for help. And outside they see a horde of slavering nightmare beasts.

At the same time the Hex Ship Bellerophon heads their way as Force Works answers a predictive alarm from their Chaos Computer. They pick up a distress call from another policeman and U.S. Agent steers the plane that way. Spider-Woman leaps out of the craft and saves the officer from 1 of the creatures by webbing its toothy jaw shut and then punching it through the front of a shop. Scarlet Witch directs the rest of the team into action while Spi confers with Officer Graham before punching another 1.

Wanda Maximoff follows the 1st beast into the store where the owner is trying to stop it drinking beer. A hex bolt deals with it. Century has scanned the beings with his staff Parallax and reports that they are simultaneously real and not real. 1 of them eats Agent's photon shield and 3 of them pounce on Iron Man and start draining his armour of energy.

Suddenly a large boomerang makes the 3 creatures leave IM alone (knocks them out? kills them? makes them disappear?). It returns to the hand of an aboriginal character as shown on the cover. Officer Graham recognises him as Deputy Willie Walkaway (from the car at the beginning), but he's never seen him like this before. Willie tells them to follow him and leaps along the rooftops. They find more creatures behind the pub menacing the man who landed on Willie's car.

Willie says that guy is the focus of the problem. Spider-Woman yanks him away from the monsters with her psi-web. They realise the man's drunk so Iron Man injects him with adrenaline to sober him up so they can get a coherent story out of him. And the menaces fade away. They theorise that the monsters were psychic manifestations fuelled by the man's DT's.

Graham tells them this is Alf Robbins, alcoholic petty crook. He and his partner Shane Mundy are wanted for a recent bungled bank robbery. Willie explains that his grandfather taught him the 'old ways', and when he saw the demons he figured those old ways might come in useful tonight. Alf explains that he and Shane hid out in Gowanga Gorge, which Willie says is sacred ground, the Dreaming Country. Just then his cop car partner Barry Jardine joins them with news that everyone who was asleep when the monsters struck won't wake up.

US Agent nips into the Hex Ship and drives out the Works Wagon. Willie and Alf join the team in it as they head off to the Gorge. On the way Alf gives them more details of what happened. An old aborigine shaman tried to frighten him and Shane away with the image of a beast. But it vanished when Shane shot the shaman dead. Psychopath Mundy then went to sleep, but Robbins couldn't settle. Then he saw a glow around Shane's head, and the monsters chased Alf out of the area.

Alf suddenly starts shouting that Shane is coming to get him. A blast turns the Wagon over. And the team find themselves menaced by a giant glowing red skeleton coruscating with energy.

There's a backup story called Memorial by the same creators.

Force Works' PR Manager Amanda Chaney is updating her personal computer log. It's not long after Christmas (last issue, and an editorial note says this tale occurs between then and the main story here), and the team are preparing to go to a memorial service for Wonder Man who died in #1. Meanwhile she's now going to interview the alien Century. (The interview runs in parallel with the other half of this story but I'm going to separate the 2 parts out.)

Amanda says she wants to get to know Century better. His dodgy grasp of English and human mores makes him think this is a come-on line, but she explains that as PR person she needs to know as much about the team members as possible. He reminds her that his memory is damaged and sketchy, possibly because of the way Scarlet Witch's probability hex drew him to Earth. However he admits that when Mandarin took his staff Parallax away from him (during the Hands Of The Mandarin crossover) he discovered that he was composed of multiple personalities. And last issue he had a memory flash of a wife and child. But he doesn't remember their names or anything else about them.

In the other strand Wanda Maximoff steels herself for the memorial to her old friend Simon Williams. She meets Julia Carpenter who gives her a supportive hug. Wanda reminds Julia about the mad Spider-Woman fan who tried to kill her (in a tale in #166-168 of the anthology title Marvel Comics Presents). She asks if Julia was thinking about leaving the team to take her daughter Rachel somewhere safer. Julia says she *had* thought about it, but Rachel says that this job's worth doing. Wanda says she's selfishly glad.

The pair meet up with Iron Man and US Agent, and Century reminds Amanda they should be joining them. Happy Hogan brings the limo for them to go to the memorial.

Jim Calafiore
Rey Garcia
Joe Rosas
Jim Calafiore (Cover Penciler)
Rey Garcia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Mark Gruenwald.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

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

(John Walker)

Plus: Amanda Chaney, Century, Dreamguard (Willie Walkaway), Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Force Works: Book info and issue index

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