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War Machine #22: Review

Jan 1996
Dan Abnett, Fred Haynes

Story Name:

The Last Stand

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

War Machine #22 Review by (April 26, 2012)
This issue of the Crossing crossover follows from Force Works #19. Siege Perilous and Mordred are both Arthurian references (for no apparent reason). Note that at this point the Avengers family obviously deduce that Iron Man and Kang are in league, and the Siege Perilous program is implementing what Moonraker said in Force Works #19 was Kang's plan. Previously the only hint they had seen of Kang's involvement at all was the mentions of Timely Industries, and Kang's minion Deathunt coming after Hawkeye's group last issue. They don't really have any concrete evidence that Iron Man and Kang are connected to other events like the death of Gilgamesh in Avengers #391. But it would be possible to join the dots between most things from things they have seen and information they have been given. E.g. Kang to Mantis to Cotati Swordsman to teenage Luna. The crossover now splits into 2 parallel streams. One group go through Force Works #20 and War Machine #23, while the other does Iron Man #324, Avengers #394, Avengers: Timeslide and Iron Man #325. They meet up again, slightly, in the finale in Avengers #395.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This part of the Crossing crossover continues from FORCE WORKS #19.

This is a big battle issue. War Machine squares off against Iron Man. Century returns from taking Rachel Carpenter to safety, to find Amanda Chaney dead in Stark's secret sub-basement of Force Works HQ. He fights Cybermancer.

Iron Man was exposed as a killer in Iron Man #323. War Machine was told in Force Works #19. No-one yet knows that he has been under the intermittent control of Mantis and Kang. He is now fully under their thumb. They sent him to initiate the Siege Perilous in Force Works #19. It doesn't say here that the flood of temporal energy will take the whole Earth to join the missing Vietnam, and swell the ranks of Kang's Anachronaut army, as described in Force Works #19.

This is the first time Iron Man has seen Rhodey's new Warwear armour.

Century defeats Cybermancer, a new recruit to Force Works (since Force Works #17), who is working for Stark. He finds the secret computer Virgil running the Siege Perilous program, which will flood the Earth with temporal energy in less than a day.

War Machine has Iron Man at his mercy, but can't bring himself to kill him. Stark blasts him and flies off. On the way out he instructs Virgil to defend itself with deadly force as per program Mordred.

Century brings Amanda's body up from the basement (but foolishly leaves the unconscious Cybermancer down there). Iron Man killed Amanda in Force Works #19 because she found the secret sub-basement.

Black Widow and U.S.Agent arrive at Force Works HQ, after following Rhodes by road. Black Widow, U.S.Agent and War Machine were helping Hawkeye defend himself against Iron Man's framing him for murder. Since the truth came out the trio headed for Force Works HQ in case Iron man turned up there. Rhodey flew ahead in Force Works #19.

Moonraker, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) and Fisher Todd materialise from wherever Vietnam has been taken to. They have been investigating the disappearance of Vietnam since Force Works #17. This issue only hints at what they found out there about Moonraker, Mantis and Kang, but behind the scenes the various actors bring each other up to date.

The Warwear repairs itself and Rhodey.

Century takes Black Widow and Moonraker to the Avengers to tell them about Mantis and Kang. Scarlet Witch, U.S.Agent and War Machine invade the sub-basement and run up against Virgil's defences.

The Crossing now splits into two legs, and continues in IRON MAN #324 and FORCE WORKS #20.

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Fred Haynes
Johnny Green
Ericka Moran
Sergio Cariello (Cover Penciler)
Sergio Cariello (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Century, Cybermancer, Fisher Todd, Moonraker, Rachel Carpenter, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), U.S. Agent, War Machine (James Rhodes).