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War Machine #15: Review

Jun 1995
Dan Abnett, Sandu Florea

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #15 Review by (April 30, 2019)
This is a flip book. The story in the back features the Brothers In Arms (Hawkeye, US Agent and War Machine). The 3-part story Vicious Circle is continued from the back of flip book Force Works #12 and will conclude in the back of flip book Iron Man #317.

The main story starts The Time War arc, at least according to the cover.

For WM this story happens straight after the backup serial.

Kirby Martell is a new character who will reappear in later issues of this mag.

The WWII adventures of Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos of course appeared in their own long-running title.

And the WWII adventures of Captain America and Bucky featured in many Timely comics including Cap's own title.

The flip cover for some reason has the title Cruel And Unusual.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #15 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A bunch of SHIELD troop carriers and air-cavalry are over Santiago, Chile accompanied by War Machine. Codename Crosspatch (Nick Fury) coordinates with codename Tin-Top (WM), WM and the air-cav strafe the target, the Forbidden Zone, to soften it up before Fury and the troops land. As expected the enemy are dressed in Nazi uniforms so everyone goes all-out, but James Rhodes still uses rubber bullets - not wanting to kill again.

Now we have a flashback which follows on from the last page scene in last issue where Nick Fury invaded the offices of Worldwatch to confront WM/Rhodey, Rebecca Bergier, Ranald Jeffries and Paula Lin. Fury 1st lambasts Rhodes for his 'trouble-making' in Slorenia (last issue) and San Revilla (the flip-book story here and in Force Works #12 and Iron Man #317). But he's really come to warn them that their agent Sheva Joseph may have walked into a big Neo-Nazi problem in Santiago that SHIELD is already monitoring. Jeffries confirms that they haven't heard from Sheva for several days. And War Machine insists on going to the rescue, with or without SHIELD.

In the present Fury goes as far as to thank WM for his assistance because the Nazis were better-armed than expected. Fury introduces Rhodes to Agent Kirby Martell who has examined the enemy's machinery and confirmed that it is a time-machine. They've been sending men and weapons back in time, and Fury can guess when to - WWII.

Nick wants to be sent back to deal with it personally, but Jim warns of the problems that could be caused because he's already there. He says he'll go himself because his armour should protect him from whatever dangers this time-drive poses. So that's what they do ...

... but Rhodey is surprised to find that he arrives in 1941 Berlin without the armour (but still with his white undersuit). He's immediately arrested by Nazi soldiers. But immediately rescued by Sgt Fury and Izzy Cohen and Reb Ralston of the Howling Commandos. Fury takes him to the resistance's sewer base where he's greeted by Sheva Joseph, which clues Fury in to the fact that Jim is another 1 from the future.

Sheva explains how the Allies have almost lost the War. A Nazi scientist named Grinz hatched a plan he called Zeitkrieg/Time-War. He established the Forbidden Zone base in Chile where he hoarded the best new tech until time-travel was invented. Then he sent it back to 1941 enabling the Axis to win the War. She herself was sent back for interrogation after she broke into the Zone (last issue), and Fury & co rescued her as well. She also explains his missing armour by saying that inorganic material is displaced unless you have an electronic stabiliser.

Then Captain America and Bucky Barnes arrive to tell them that the German's are examining an armoured weapons suit, which Rhodey assumes is his. Cap and Fury know they've got to get that suit out of the Germans' hands for the sake of what's left of the War.

Cap and Bucky attack the guards on their target as a diversion while Fury and Rhodes sneak in. They find the War Machine armour and Jim suits up. But unfortunately the time-trip has scrambled the onboard computer and it will take 6 minutes to reboot and give him weapons control. But they don't have that long as a huge Nazi armoured figure calling himself V3 attacks them. (Surely they haven't had time to copy the WM design?) WM tries to hold him off but gets batted aside. And then V3 kills Nick Fury. And the WM armour is still rebooting.

Story 2:- Vicious circle part 2: Face of the enemy

Script Dan Abnett. Pencils Carlos Franco. Inks Sam de la Rosa. Letters Jack Morelli. Colours Ben Sean.
Flip cover pencils Fred Haynes. Inks Johnny Greene.

Continued from the back of FORCE WORKS #12.

War Machine is in San Revilla, Central America dealing with a revolutionary group called the Shadows who are attacking government sites without regard for civilian casualties. And he's just discovered that their leader is Hawkeye.

Hawkeye tries to talk James Rhodes into backing down, but 1 of his men Striker attacks and damages WM's weapons system. While they fight Clint Barton tells his other super-powered operative Sundance to cloak them while they retreat. He fires a flame arrow which ignites some oil drums near Rhodey. He knows this won't damage War Machine but it allows the 3 super-chars plus the regular Shadow troops to escape.

However now he knows that Sundance's cloaking device is laser-based Jim can follow them by watching for distortion in his field of view. And he waylays Hawkeye in his tent. Clint claims that the US Government is backing the rebels and sent him here to train and lead them. He took the job to show what he could do, as part of climbing back from his grief over his wife Mockingbird's death (Avengers West Coast #100). Rhodey says his men have been killing innocents, but Barton says he's trained them not to do that. WM leaves but says he's got to stop them.

Rhodey monitors the groups comms and hears their orders to attack an airstrip at Preto which allegedly is receiving mercenaries for the Government. When he gets there he discovers that the planes on the ground are refugee flights, and 1 of the refugees is Luke Bergier who he came here to find last issue. He also tracks the source of the comms and learns it comes from the capital Ciudad Revilla.

He breaks into the Government buildings and locates the source - the Advisor he met in #1-4 in Imaya. The Advisor readily admits to stoking the flames in this country until it explodes. As before he claims to feed off conflict and destruction. And as before he suggests that he is a supernatural entity. He lets War Machine's blast pass through him, and then fades away with a parting taunt.

The Shadows are already at the airstrip. Hawkeye makes sure they only fire at planes not people. Then WM arrives and tries to persuade Clint he's being fed lies. But U.S. Agent shows up with Hazzerd and Troubleshooter (from last issue) to restart the fighting.

Concluded in the back of IRON MAN #317.

Sandu Florea
Tim Dzon
Ariane Lenshoek
Jim Calafiore (Cover Penciler)
Johnny Green (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Mark Gruenwald.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Advisor, Hazzerd, Howling Commandos, Kirby Martell, Paula Lin, Ranald Jeffries, Rebecca Bergier, Sheva Joseph, Striker (of Shadows), Sundance, Troubleshooter.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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