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War Machine #4: Review

Jul 1994
Scott Benson, Gabriel Hardman

Story Name:

Right here, right now

Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #4 Review by (January 8, 2019)
It's Scott Benson and Len Kaminski scripting again.

All sites I've checked take the title from the cover rather than the highlighted words on the opening page "Attention, enemy dirt-bags!".

Eda Arul and Vincent Cetewayo are genuinely dead, and we never see Cimbuka or Agent Lydon again.

Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, U.S. Agent and Century will appear next in a tale with Hawkeye in Marvel Comics Presents #159, which USA and Hawkeye continue in #160-161. The 5 chars will then return to Force Works #3, and IM follows on with his Annual #15.

Nick Fury will next be in a different tale in MCP#159 and several more apps before he shares Night Thrasher #17 with War Machine, which occurs within our next issue.

The Advisor will be the villain in a backup tale involving War Machine, USA and Hawkeye spread across FW#12, WM#15 and IM#317. After that he will be seen no more, without ever clearing up what exactly he and his secret masters were doing.

War Machine and his supporting cast, including Sheva Joseph, continue straight into next issue. Jim unmasks in front of Sheva at the end of this issue, so she knows he's WM in #6.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Imayan rebels led by Cimbuka are beating the forces of dictator Eda Arul, but it is War Machine (still sporting strapped on weapons and bandoleers of bullets) who leads the charge. And the world watches it on the news, including:-

Nick Fury who told James Rhodes not to interfere and then sent S.H.I.E.L.D. forces to bring him to heel.

Tony Stark who thinks Jim has just outdone him in the big mistake stakes.

Tony's new team Force Works (Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman and U.S. Agent). USA cheers him on but the 2 females aren't so happy.

Jim's girlfriend Rae LaCoste who reveals to us that she actually knows he is War Machine, which will be a surprise waiting for him when he gets home.

Ranald Jeffries and Rebecca Bergier at the offices of Worldwatch who hear that their boss Vincent Cetewayo is in the middle of this. (Arul kidnapped him, WM went to Imaya to rescue him, now they're both with the rebels.) The 2 R's worry that this will discredit the peaceful work of Vincent and their Company.

Fury contacts Major Sheva Joseph in charge of the SHIELD troops there and tells them to protect the dictator who has now retreated from his palace to his bunker. She's not happy about that but what can she do? Cimbuka and War Machine lead the rebels against the Imayan troops guarding the bunker and WM blows the doors off. And in the streets of the capital protesters demand democracy.

He is the 1st 1 in the central bunker room to confront the president who only now has Major Joseph and Agent Lydon to keep him company. (We don't see what happened to the rest of the SHIELD Agents. We *definitely* don't see Rhodey or any of the rebels shooting any of them.) Lydon pulls a big gun on War Machine, but Joseph pulls a gun on *him* and tells him to stand down.

Cimbuka enters and as Acting President demands that Arul stand trial. Sheva Joseph resigns from SHIELD but makes her last official act to hand the old President over to the new President. Now *Arul* pulls a gun and tries to shoot Sheva. But WM machine guns him to death. Cimbuka leaves to talk to the press, and Rhodey remembers they left Vincent Cetewayo back at the rebel camp.

*We* left Cetewayo last issue talking to Arul's mysterious Advisor who had helped the revolution succeed. He now claims that his masters don't mind Cimbuka taking over. The Advisor had been originally assigned to help *Arul* to power, but he had in the end proven too unstable. But the real point of the current exercise was to get rid of Cetewayo, whose charismatic pacifist do-goodery were a threat to his masters' plans. Assassinating him would make him a martyr. But his involvement in this bloody conflict has damaged his image, and his death here will just be 1 of the many casualties. And he shoots him.

War Machine arrives to find Vincent dead and the Advisor still there. Rhodey blasts at him in anger but only succeeds in shredding the man's clothes. Then the unharmed 'man' teleports away in a sort-of turning to mist'ey way.

James Rhodes promises Vincent to continue his work. (Cetewayo had offered him the job of running Worldwatch in #1.) Sheva Joseph joins him in a 'borrowed' SHIELD plane and offers him a ride home. She says she's out of a job and he offers to hire her.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Advisor, Eda Arul, Rae LaCoste, Ranald Jeffries, Rebecca Bergier, Sheva Joseph, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Vincent Cetewayo.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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