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War Machine #12: Review

Dec 2009
Greg Pak, Wellinton Alves

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Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #12 Review by (August 9, 2012)
This is the final issue of the series. Still titleless, but Marvel's blurb says War Crimes part 2.

This is the only appearance of Daniel Cetewayo. The Official Index says he is the nephew of Vincent Cetewayo from #1-4 of War Machine vol 1.

What are the Bainseville Ten guilty of? Originally in #10 they were accused of corruption and atrocities. Last issue War Machine said the Ten were guilty of atrocities in Aqiria. The Index says the Senator in this issue is Senator Chambers who we met in Aqiria in #4-5.

The Index also says that Bainseville is the name of the National Forest where Ultimo hatched its latest plan in #8-9. Does this mean the Ten have been linked to Ultimo? Eaglestar in Aqiria were part of the Ultimo scheme. But Reginald Gunderson, identified as behind the Ultimo scheme in #8, doesn't appear to be one of the Ten.

What's it all got to do with Norman Osborn? Why was he so desperate to squash the investigation into the Ten? Would it lead back to him? Was he behind Reginald Gunderson? Why did he want Davis Harmon in Aqiria dead in #4? It's all very confusing really.

Presumably Osborn intended Jim Rhodes' clone body to stay 'dead', and would add Rhodey's death to Tony Stark's crimes.

Osborn and Ares go on to more Dark Reign stuff, starting with Dark Wolverine #75 and the DR: Hawkeye mini-series. Osborn will be targeted by Punisher in his new #1-2, and then he'll visit Moon Knight #30. The whole Dark Avengers team will be dragged in to Time: 2099 #4 and Ms Marvel #39-46. Norman will send Bullseye to kill Elektra in DR:El#2-5 and then he'll use his new Thunderbolts in their #128-129 to get rid of evidence that he went Green Goblin earlier in that series..

James Rhodes won't be seen again until near the end of DR when the last half of Iron Man's World's Most Wanted arc will lead to Rhodey's cloned body meeting Tony Stark's mindless one in Stark Disassembled.

War Machine's allies now split up.

Suzi Endo will reappear in Silver Surfer (2011), temporarily gaining the Power Cosmic as Seeker, Herald of the High Evolutionary. But then it's back down to Earth again in James Rhodes next series Iron Man 2.0.

Bethany Cabe will be hired by Stark Resilient as Security Chief in Iron Man during Fear Itself.

Parnell Jacobs, Jake Oh and Glenda Sandoval are currently in comicbook limbo.

So is the good proto-Ultimo. But the murderous Ultimo has been seen again. Norman Osborn presumably manages to salvage some of the Ultimo-tech from the wreckage, because he will send the robot against the Avengers in New Avengers #17 (during Osborn's post-Dark Reign attempted comeback).



Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Daniel Cetawayo has taken War Machine's defence in his war crimes trial. He and Mrs Rhodes are discussing tactics in Rhodey's cell. Cetawayo intends, for instance, to use the WM armour's black box top prove that James was protecting the life of a young boy when he killed some soldiers in Santo Marco. And the boy and other villagers are here to testify to it.

But Jim still doesn't want a defence because it would prolong the trial. Daniel leaves Mrs Rhodes to persuade her son. Jim says that Norman Osborn is using the trial as a smokescreen while he smuggles the Bainesville Ten to safety.

Most of War Machine's team are flying cyborg Rhodes' rescued cloned human body towards him. Technomath Suzi Endo in the Ultimo satellite is in communication with them, and says she can transfer Jim's consciousness to the clone when they get within 1000 miles.

But Osborn breaks into their conversation and lets them know he's onto them. As HAMMER craft attack them. Victoria Hand informs Norman that the last of the Ten are safely out of the country. And Dark Avenger Ares bursts into the cell.

But Ares isn't there to kill his champion War Machine, but to save him. Osborn's real plan is to attack Rhodes' prison with HAMMER forces.

His men have recovered Jim's cloned body. And Norman goes on air to say that War Machine is a cyborg created by the fugitive traitor Iron Man, while keeping the 'real' James Rhodes in stasis. That Jim Rhodes is now given a full pardon. Because the cyborg is infected by the Ultimo virus, it must be killed at all costs.

The real reason Osborn wants War Machine destroyed is to wipe out his database of evidence against the Bainesville Ten.

Ares is helping Rhodey escape. Jim is shielding his mother. Suddenly the boy from Santo Marco rushes onto the scene. War Machine dives to protect him from harm. His plastic cyborg body can't stop him from taking damage. And the body dies.

Later, after the cyborg body is destroyed, Osborn contacts the Bainesville Ten. Matt Murdock's prosecution has made things too hot for them to return to the US immediately, but Norman is sure he can get them Congressional Immunity. One of the Ten, a Senator, blames Osborn for their problems. But then all 10 get sudden headaches and sickness.

And then James Rhodes' clone body steps out of its stasis tube, and punches Osborn in the jaw. Osborn is surprised by this because he made sure he kept the body more than 1000 miles away from the dying War Machine. But it turns out Rhodey's gang deliberately let him hear their conversation, to lure him into taking the body with him. There was no distance limit for the transfer of Jim's mind.

Rhodes/Suzi Endo wipe all records of Jim's allies from the HAMMER database. And Rhodes explains to Osborn that Suzi infected each of the Ten with a drop of the liquid metal Ultimo. Now their minds will keep replaying all the pain and suffering that was inflicted on their orders. Rhodey thought of doing the same to Osborn, but figured he was so twisted he might like it.

The proto-Ultimo and War Machine's gang come and take Jim away.

2 weeks later he visits his mother, who's safely back in the Navajo Nation.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Wellinton Alves
Walden Wong
Michael Kelleher
Francesco Mattina (Cover Penciler)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Matt Murdock)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Bethany Cabe, Glenda Sandoval, Jake Oh, Parnell Jacobs, Roberta Rhodes, Suzi Endo, Ultimo, Victoria Hand.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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