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War Machine #17: Review

Aug 1995
Dan Abnett, Sandu Florea

Story Name:

... a time to keep, and a time to cast away

Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #17 Review by (May 8, 2019)
Phil LaSorda was 1 of the founders of Comico, and he did a little bit of comic work for them in the 80's. This cover is his only work for marvel.

Parnell Jacobs will find the missing War Machine armour and uses it in Iron Man (1998) #11-12 and #18-20. Jacobs' later apps have him without the armour and we don't find out what happened to it.

The next time James Rhodes appears in War Machine armour is in Avengers: Initiative. And it turns out that version isn't Stark tech.

Nick Fury will go off to do his own thing, starting in Avengers #385 and then another of his mini-series, this 1 called Fury Of SHIELD involving his son Mikel.

Rhodey will get a new type of armour in #18-19, part of the lead-up to the Crossing event.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
War Machine has been sent back to 1943 Germany to stop the Nazis from winning WWII with weapons from his present. He and 1943-Captain America have gone to Meinz to capture Commandant Grinz who's scheme the Zeitkrieg/Time War was. (He arranged for a secret Nazi base in Chile to wait for time-travel to be invented.) Last issue ended with the duo facing a Division of tanks ...

... which WM has demolished between issues. Now they take Grinz hostage and use him to access his personal transport - a helicopter. Of course Cap has never seen such a thing before. But of course James Rhodes knows how to fly it. They get away, with the War Machine armour confusing German radar.

Meanwhile the Howling Commandos, Bucky Barnes and Sheva Joseph have captured the Time-Drive Base in Berlin. The chopper lands. The Commandos hold off German troops while Cap and Rhodey try to persuade Grinz to tell them how to operate the time machine. He says he doesn't know. The Nazi from WM's present, Raeder, designed it at that end.

Jim and Sheva fall back on Plan B. They'll take Grinz to the future and try to solve the problem from there. Sheva gives War Machine a cohesion monitor so that he won't get separated from his armour as he was on the trip down. The 3 get on the time-platform, and Cap says he, Bucky and the Howlers will escape through the sewers. Jim reminds them that if it works time will be reset and all this won't have happened. Nick Fury will still be alive (he was killed in #15), the Nazis won't be winning the War and they will go on to the destinies he knows about.

But as the 3 are left alone with the time machine Grinz grabs Sheva's gun and threatens to kill her. But as he tells War Machine what to do he mentions that Raeder is his future son. This give Rhodey an idea how to solve the whole problem. Grinz and Sheva realise what he's going to do too. And War Machine shoots Grinz dead in cold blood. Now he can't have a son Raeder to create the Time-Drive and bring advance weapons back to 1943.

(Surely taking Grinz to the future and keeping him in prison would prevent Raeder from being born too?)

The Time-Drive takes WM and Sheva Joseph back to their future. But for Jim the return journey is different from the original trip, and much worse.

He wakes up in a hospital bed in a SHIELD medivac copter with Nick Fury still alive. His gambit worked and the Santiago Nazi base was destroyed by a time-quake (which also caused the bumpy ride home). SHIELD scientist Kirby Martell (we met her in #15) gives him something to counteract acute time fatigue. Sheva pops in so she made it too.

But then they drop the bombshell. The time-quake messed with the cohesion monitor so he lost his armour *again*. And they have no idea what's happened to it. Fury suggests he ask Tony Stark for another 1. Sheva says that's not going to happen. (I don't know why because Jim and Tony are best friends again now.) Anyway Rhodes prepares to face life back as a civilian.

5 days later he's working late at Worldwatch, still haunted by guilt over the man he killed. Rebecca Bergier thanks him for saving her brother Luke in San Revilla (in the Brothers In Arms flip book tale in Force Works #12, our #15 and Iron Man #317). She suggests he take a vacation.

Next Sheva comes to talk to him. She again suggests he talk to Tony about new armour. Or get Archie Parks to build him something new. But he say he wants to try to put his life back together. He's had no contact from girlfriend Rae LaCoste or his parents since their disastrous meeting in #12-13. So he says he's going to take a long weekend fishing, which Sheva didn't know he was into. After he's gone she rings up Fury to tell him she's worried about Jim.

Rhodey does drive out to the country, and we get an epilogue set in what is presumably his destination. 2 Federal Agents accompany Mitch McGill to where he says he saw lights in a lake. Something is watching them and it sounds like they get killed.

Sandu Florea
Tim Dzon
Ariane Lenshoek
Phil LaSorda (Cover Penciler)
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)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Howling Commandos, Kirby Martell, Rebecca Bergier, Sheva Joseph.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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