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War Machine #11: Review

Feb 1995
Scott Benson, Stewart Johnson

Story Name:

Friendly fire

Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #11 Review by (March 26, 2019)
This issue starts a trend where the covers will have the FW icon linking them to Force Works and Iron Man.

This issue is scripted by Scott Benson alone, and Len Kaminski helps him with the plot. Stewart Johnson pinch-hits as penciller.

As mentioned in the synopsis War Machine has just returned from the Hands Of The Mandarin crossover ending in IM#312, with a follow up in a flashback in IM#313.

During the week gap in the middle of this story he guests in Thor #484 and Thunderstrike #21. These tales are unrelated except that Loki is the villain in both.

Despite Rhodey knowing him from Stark Enterprises, Archie Park hasn't actually appeared before.

And this is the last appearance of Mack Mendelson. (That's what you get for turning down a job with a superhero. You'll never work for this comic company again.)

Our cast launch straight into the next issue when Jim and Rae go to meet his parents.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
James Rhodes is back home from the Hands Of The Mandarin crossover in #9-10 with Iron Man and Force Works, and spending time with his lover Rae LaCoste. She's glad that he's patched things up with their mutual friend Tony Stark (at the end of IM#312 where Tony offered to repair the War Machine armour and in a flashback in IM#313 where he gave him the specs so he could get any more repairs done easier).

But Rhodey's still not happy with everything he's done as War Machine. He tried to rescue his friend Vincent Cetewayo from Imayan dictator Eda Arul in #1-4 but saw him killed. In #5-6 the UN tried to sanction him for invading Imaya, and an 'unkillable' hitman Deathtoll attacked him for unknown reasons. And he accepted the Directorship of Worldwatch to honour Vincent's memory but he's not told them he's War Machine even though WM's actions have tarnished their reputation as an independent force for good. (He seems to have given up agonising over having killed Arul and Deathtoll since talking to Hawkeye about it in #7.)

Rae points out that *he* made the decisions, not the suit of armour. Jim agrees that he has to take responsibility for his actions. And Rae promises to continue to support him.

James goes to Worldwatch intending to 'fess up about his super-id. But the negative publicity and Jim's unexplained absence (during Hands) has made Ranald Jeffries decide to shut the operation down. It seems Jeffries has guessed who WM is. Ranald doesn't know whether Rebecca Bergier has figured it out too so Rhodey decides to tell her next.

But when he enters her office she's more concerned about a different big revelation he's missed while he's been away. She tells him how a tabloid TV show tried to blackmail her (#5-6), but she instead shared her secret with the others in Worldwatch and they stood behind her. Jim still doesn't know what she's talking about so she tells him she's a lesbian, which lost her a previous job and some friends.

Rhodey is angry for her and blurts out his own secret. Rebecca's response is to laugh her head off. He may have come out too, but he must have had a bigger closet.

Rebecca and Dr Jeffries convene a meeting with the other staff Paula Lin, Travis Berkeley and Sheva Joseph. And Rhodey enters in the WM armour, but with the helmet off. Sheva has known since #4, but it's a surprise to Paula and Travis. James asks them all to consider continuing Worldwatch with War Machine as an asset who could step in where necessary. And it will be a joint decision as to when that is. He trusts their judgement because Cetewayo hired them all (except Sheva who Rhodes hired in #4). But it's Sheva who isn't convinced. She's worked with Mossad and SHIELD and she's seen what people claiming to have the world's best interest at heart can do. Jim says he'll go home and let them think about it, and if they don't want him then he won't come back.

He and Rae have to wait a week for an answer, but when it comes it's "Yes". Dr Jeffries has arranged a celebratory dinner which Jim invites Rae to (it was *she* who introduced him to Ceteweyo, Jeffries and Bergier in #1). He also suggests that the 2 of them go visit Jim's parents for New Year.

In the meantime Rhodey rings Mack Mendelson, Hawkeye's mechanical genius friend who he met in #7, and asks him to be the full-time fixer for the WM armour. But Mack prefers his independence and declines the offer. So he rings up a guy he knows called Archie Park at Stark Enterprises and offers *him* the job. Archie is interested but they'll have to work it out with Tony.

Then Rae and the Worldwatch team have their dinner, including a toast to Christmas.

Stewart Johnson
Don Hudson
Ariane Lenshoek
Dave Taylor (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Archie Park, Mack Mendelson, Paula Lin, Rae LaCoste, Ranald Jeffries, Rebecca Bergier, Sheva Joseph, Travis Berkeley.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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