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War Machine #18: Review

Sep 1995
Dan Abnett, Fred Haynes

Story Name:

Long weekend

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

War Machine #18 Review by (April 5, 2012)
These Comments blocks are in reverse order.

Hawkeye appears here in an unremarked-upon totally new costume since his last appearance in the team-up. Hawkeye mentions Captain America being dead, because this happens in the period between CA#443 and #449. Hawkeye also says Jim is too proud to ask Tony Stark for another armour. But Rhodey left on good terms with Stark at the end of the Hands of the Mandarin crossover in IM#312. He also mentions the Advisor when Jim says he feels he's being manipulated. This is a mysterious character who meddled in several of War machine's adventures, including the aforementioned flip-book team-up. He's not been seen again, and his actions have never been explained.

The disc bearing the label Timely Wisconsin is a clue to Skye's involvement with the Crossing. Despite this apparent connection to Kang's Timely Industries, in #23 Skye will confirm that she is working against Kang, for an unspecified power. This would suggest that the 'he' she mumbles about who sent the monster is Kang. (But next issue suggests it is her master, in order to test Rhodey.) This confusion could just be swept under the carpet by the revelation in Avengers Forever that both sides in the conflict are actually Space Phantoms working for Immortus. However it does also allow an intriguing alternative. No-one has explained what Kang himself was doing while Immortus was impersonating him in this scam. I suppose Immortus could have used the Space Phantoms' trick of sending impersonated beings to Limbo in a coma. But I'm not sure that would work on Kang. We can consider where Kang is supposed to be at this time. He could be 'dead' as seen in Avengers: The Termintarix Objective, or retired with Terminatrix to 1901 Timely as seen in an epilogue in the same issue. Or he could be really retired as Rama Tut II. But instead just possibly the real Kang was working against Immortus (on principle, even if he didn't know what Immortus's purpose was). Maybe *he* was Skye's hidden employer. Whoever she was working for was a villain, so Skye gets listed as an enemy.

I have included this issue and next as preludes to the Crossing crossover because #23 will reveal that Skye is working for Kang's opposition, and the Warwear armour will play a significant role in the conflict. They lie between Iron Man #319 and Avengers: The Crossing because next issue Hawkeye says he's on the way to the meeting Iron Man has called. I have included the issues in the Iron Man Library, even though Iron Man doesn't appear, because the Crossing is fundamentally an Iron Man story. And anyway War Machine is part of the Iron Man family. And because now that I'm Iron Man Librarian I have the power to do whatever I like. Bwah-hah-hah! The team-up mentioned occurred in the flip-book 2nd stories in Force Works #12, War Machine #15 and Iron Man #317. The WWII time travel story was in #15-17. #20 says Matlin Lake is in Canada. The new armour isn't called Warwear until #20.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #18 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This prelude to the Crossing continues from IRON MAN #319.

James Rhodes goes to Matlin Lake for a fishing vacation, which is strange because he's never fished before. He finds the place full of CIA agents, and other agencies. There have been some gruesome deaths (last issue), including an FBI agent (this issue). Their suspicions extend to Jim.

In a bar he is accosted by a woman named Skye who claims to be from one of the agencies. They're all there investigating a UFO report. She wants to know what the head of Worldwatch is doing there.

Rhodey escapes to his motel room, and flashes back over recent events:- His team-up with Hawkeye and US Agent. And the trip back to WWII where he lost his War Machine armour and killed a Nazi to change the future.

When Rhodey gets to go fishing next day he is interrupted by the arrival of Hawkeye. Clint had dropped in on Worldwatch to offer his services, and Sheva Joseph had filled him in on what happened in the time trip. When the CIA phoned from Matlin Lake to check that Rhodes was who he said he was, Hawkeye popped over to support his buddy.

Jim admits that he doesn't really know why he came here. He says he feels he's been manipulated.

They hear a scream, and Skye appears running from something. She passes out mumbling "I never thought he'd use a thing like ...". And Hawkeye finds a device she dropped labelled Timely WI.

An alien monster attacks. Hawkeye tries to hold it off while Rhodey carries Skye to safety. But the alien KO's Clint and follows them.

Jim comes across a glowing ball, which he realises called him to Matlin Lake. The light engulfs him, and when it spits him out Rhodey is encased in a new alien armour.

All along we have been privy to the alien monster's thoughts. And now it recognises that Jim or the armour is the foe it has been looking for.

This strand of the Crossing preludes continues in #19

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> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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Fred Haynes
Johnny Green
Ariane Lenshoek
Fred Haynes (Cover Penciler)
Johnny Green (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)

Plus: Skye, War Machine (James Rhodes).