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War Machine #4: Review

Mar 2009
Greg Pak, Leonardo Manco

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Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

War Machine #4 Review by (July 18, 2012)
Suzi Endo is a cybernetics scientist who was working for Stark Industries in Force Works #6. In Iron Man #321 she was replaced by a future version called Cybermancer, as part of the Crossing event, but the original was restored at the end. She reverse-engineered the Cybermancer suit and used it during Civil War. She joined the 50-State Initiative, and helped War Machine against the Skrull Invasion in Iron Man (1998) #33-35. Her split with WM was shown in Dark Reign: New Nation.

It doesn't explain how Ares and friends got to Makazan.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
James Rhodes remembers how he first met Glenda Sandoval when they were young children, and she was killing ants because they killed a caterpillar. Now that he's War Machine Glenda, along with all the others infected by the Ultimo virus, is trying to kill him. While Glenda's husband Parnell Jacobs watches from Rhodey's orbiting satellite, and Bethany Cabe watches from her Colorado base.

Beth explains to Parnell that Ultimo is a giant alien robot designed to kill living beings with its eye-beams. And now Glenda and the other victims of Eaglestar's experiments in Aqiria are using similar eye-beams against War Machine, Ares, Jake Oh and the remaining Eaglestar mercenaries.

To the horror of Parnell and Jim, Ares shoots Glenda, and then the rest of the Ultimoids.

Jake and the medics try to save Glenda but she appears to die. She seems to have a final lucid moment and tells Jim it's OK to kill the ants. But War Machine attacks the God of War, taking the battle out into the desert. Ares can't understand the problem. WM was just as brutal against the genocidal mercenaries in Santo Marco in #1.

Rhodey gets Bethany to contact Suzi Endo in Hong Kong. He needs the technosavant/cybermancer to decode the data Beth's flying spy bugs have extracted from the virus victims, and give him a prognosis. Suzi quit working with WM because he was too ready to kill, and his later exploits like the one in Santo Marco haven't changed her mind. But he knows she won't be able to resist the lure of Ultimo tech (and hopefully saving lives too).

Then War Machine turns his attention back to Ares. He patiently explains that Glenda was innocent, while the Santo Marco mercenaries were guilty men. After Secret Invasion Rhodey used the satellite's facilities to compile a database of war criminals. He knows who the guilty are. And he's made it his job to hunt them down.

Ares says that he too fought for the right when he was young. But he fought alone against Olympus' enemies, and no-one came to his aid when he was captured. He claims that non-warriors hate and despise the warriors who defend them. And that warriors like he and Rhodes need to fight, and need war to feed and justify that instinct.

But his soliloquy is interrupted when they realise that the infected people, including Glenda, have healed and are attacking again. Moreover they have infected the medics and mercenaries, and only Jake Oh survives. War Machine rescues Jake while Ares dives into the deadly mob.

Suzi tells Jim that the virus spreads immediately by contact. She says the only option is to burn all the victims in a firestorm before they manage to get to a nearby city. Rhodey says there must be some other way, but Glenda hits him with her eye-beam. And his systems start to fail, threatening to black him out. With his last effort he unleashes a fireball, and Ares glories in the bodies burning around him.

While Jim's body is unconscious his cybernetic mind keeps running and communicates with Bethany Cabe, saying that now would be a good time to transfer him to the human body her team has been growing for him. But she is forced to admit that when her base was attacked in #1, the only thing they took was his new body. She recommends that they fly his failing cyborg body to a safehouse in Dubai, where he can be really put to sleep for the year it will take to grow another.

But Rhodey declines. He wakes up and asks Jake where Ares is.

Cut to the Aqiran capital Makazan, where US Senator Chambers is making a video to show how the civil war in Aqira is under control. When Ares and some of the Ultimo victims, including Glenda, show up. They obviously survived WM's last attack. And now Ares has the glowing red eyes of the infected.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Leonardo Manco
Leonardo Manco
Jay David Ramos
Francesco Mattina (Cover Penciler)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Bill Rosemann.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Bethany Cabe, Glenda Sandoval, Jake Oh, Parnell Jacobs, Senator Chambers, Suzi Endo.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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