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War Machine #5: Review

Apr 2009
Greg Pak, Leonardo Manco

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Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

5 stars

War Machine #5 Review by (July 18, 2012)
This is the end of the 1st arc, not called anything but Dark Reign. But the rest of the 12-issue run will continue to centre around Norman Osborn and Ultimo tech.

I give this issue a 5 score because it is a suitably tense and cinematic climax.

Ares now leave for a team cameo in Captain America (2005) #48 and imposing Osborn's rule in Avengers: Initiative #25, but will return with some of his teammates in #11.

Next issue is touted as Homeland part 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the Aqiran capital Mazakan Ares, Glenda Sandoval and others infected by the Ultimo virus are attacking the citizens. US Senator Chambers is there (with guarding troops). He thinks Ares of the Avengers must be fighting terrorists, so orders his troops not to fire. Until Glenda bites him like a zombie and passes on the disease.

The Ultimo virus is more like a computer virus than a biological one. Suzi Endo in Hong Kong is devising a counter-program. Parnell Jacobs, Glenda's husband, will bring War Machine's orbiting satellite down into the atmosphere to broadcast it with an e-m pulse. Meanwhile, equally remote in Colorado, Bethany Cabe is concerned about cyborg War Machine's rapidly failing body, and has sent an evac shuttle to pick him up.

But James Rhodes has cannibalised most of the shuttle to add to his damaged War Machine armour. And Jake Oh is riding the remaining part like a flying motorbike.

There's 9 minutes before Suzi's program will be delivered, which will allow the infected to kill thousands. Rhodey has major organ failure, and Beth gives him 4 minutes before his heart stops, 5 before brain death.

But WM attacks Ares and the Ultimo zombies to draw their fire, while Jake crashes his steed to create a firewall between the infected and civilians. Then Jake urges those civilians to flee. Jim gets Suzi to punch holes in the computer firewall of his cybernetics, and allows Glenda to infect him with a kiss.

(He remembers the first time he kissed Glenda when they were kids. He saw her bruises, and promised to protect her.)

Glenda suddenly finds herself recovered from the infection. As we have seen, Rhodey's cybernetics and armour are designed to absorb any kind of technology and make use of it. He has absorbed the Ultimo virus from her.

As well as giving its victims destructive eye-beams and murderous dispositions, the virus also made their bodies superhuman. It now cures all Jim's health problems!

He now grows cyber-tentacles which grab all the other infectees, including Senator Chambers, cure them and hurl them out of danger. Ares is the last to be saved. But now WM is having extreme difficulty keeping the virus contained. He's electronically connected to a wide area, and can transmit the virus that way. And he can feel the virus taking him over.

Parnell has the satellite plunging towards them, but Suzi's program isn't quite ready. Jim makes Jacobs bail out, and takes over the satellite, transforming it into giant-robot mode. The robot arrives and smashes into WM just as he shouts "I am Ultimo, god of machines, and I will kill you all!" And at the same time Suzi Endo transmits her program to it.

Suzi's program works, and the virus is dead. Ares, God of War digs Rhodey out of the wreckage, and declares him his champion, over Jim's protests. Glenda is reunited with Parnell in his escape pod. Ares goes home.

Senator Chambers can't remember being infected, and wants WM and friends arrested. But Norman Osborn (by remote connection) congratulates them instead. He claims to have known that Eaglestar was messing with Ultimo technology, but couldn't legally do anything about it. Now Glenda can testify to Congress about it. Cabe, Endo and Jacobs can be pardoned for working illegally with War Machine. (And Jake Oh gets a reward too.) And Rhodey can have the body Tony Stark cloned for him (without admitting that Osborn and HAMMER stole that body in #1).

Jim declines the offer. He's going to find out who supplied Eaglestar with the Ultimo tech. The other 5 decide to decline too, and be his support team.

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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.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

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

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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