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War Machine #2: Review

May 1994
Scott Benson, Gabriel Hardman

Story Name:

Between Deathlok and a hard case

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

War Machine #2 Review by (January 2, 2019)
Scott Benson shares the scripting with Len Kaminski again.

The original Deathlok was cyborg Luther Manning in #25-28,30-36 of the 1971 Astonishing Tales, set in what was the 1990 future. He later came back in time to Captain America #286-288 to stop the project which created him (ie create an alternate future in which the Deathlok cyborg wouldn't exist).

But then in the 1990 Deathlok mini-series followed by a 1991 ongoing series Michael Collins was turned into the equivalent being in this timeline. His brain was transferred into a Deathlok cyborg which initially obeyed the orders of its masters. But after a while Collins gained control of the body and stopped it from killing. The ongoing series finished just before he guest-stars here.

Cable leaves (after a flashback next issue) for X-Force #35-36 where they battle a rebuilt Nimrod super-Sentinel.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
War Machine has come to Imaya to rescue Vincent Cetewayo from the clutches of President Eda Arul. Cable has come to stop him from causing an international incident which will derail a future peaceful outcome (he's from the future so he knows). Deathlok arrived at the end of last issue also intending to rescue Cetewayo, but pausing to stop the other 2 fighting.

But now he decides to leave them to fight and just get on with the job, but Cable blasts him in the back. Now it's James Rhodes turn to stand between the other 2, except Cable just shoots *him*. Deathlok finally figures out which side he belongs on, but WM holds *him* back from attacking Cable - which confuses DL again and allows Cable to shoot *both* of them. Rhodey punches Deathlok into Cable and blasts *them* both. He makes it clear to DL that they both want to rescue Vincent, and Cable can either help them or go away. Nathan Summers chooses option 3 and raises his big gun again ...

... but then they are all attacked by the Imayan army. Cable teleports away and leaves the other 2 to deal with them. They launch into the soldiers and tanks. Deathlok makes sure the computer controlling his weapon is obeying the 'no killing' order. Jim connects to DL's comms frequency and they discuss tactics. Deathlok says they should abandon the fruitless battle and head to his Dragonfly airship. WM picks him up and flies where directed.

But when they get there Deathlok sends the Dragonfly off on automatic to head to the ocean. Imayan jets chase it, and the ground troops follow. The duo stop the last vehicle in the convoy and KO the only occupant. Then Rhodey takes his armour off and disguises himself in the man's uniform.

We now look in on Vincent Cetewayo in his prison cell. He's visited by Arul's Advisor, and then Arul himself enters to beat him up. The Pres is angry about the 'lies' Cetewayo wrote about him in his book, and he leaves to arrange for torture. The Advisor remains and Vincent is sure he knows him from somewhere. The man enigmatically says they've shared many trouble spots, and shows he's something more than human by pointing at a candle which spontaneously ignites. Then leaves Cetewayo to his fate.

On their way at the rear of the convoy Rhodey and Michael Collins compare reasons for being here. Jim says he met Cetewayo last issue and didn't treat him the way he should have. Collins attended a lecture by the man in college and was impressed. As they pass through a devastated village the natives throw rocks at the convoy. Their parlous state makes Deathlok reconsider his non-fatal stance.

The chief torturer arrives with his equipment in Cetewayo's cell. But Cable is right behind him and knocks him out. (So he didn't just abandon the problem.)

The convoy reaches a checkpoint and DL and WM's cover is about to be blown. Rhodey turns the vehicle around and heads back where they came from. Deathlok jumps out to hold off pursuit while Jim puts his armour on. A shoulder-launched missile destroys their transport. But War Machine comes blasting out. The pair shoot their way through the soldiers and head for the Presidential Palace.

Eda Arul rants at them from the palace steps until his Advisor advises him to retire to a secure location. Then the Advisor surprises our heroes by offering to take them to Cetewayo. He does lead them to the right room, but they find it empty. And when they leave the room they are faced with a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Agent Sheva Joseph (from last issue) there to arrest them.


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> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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Gabriel Hardman
Pam Eklund
Ariane Lenshoek
Gabriel Hardman (Cover Penciler)
Pam Eklund (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Plus: Advisor, Cable, Deathlok (Michael Collins), Eda Arul, Sheva Joseph, Vincent Cetewayo, War Machine (James Rhodes).