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War Machine #9: Review

Sep 2009
Greg Pak, Allan Jefferson

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Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

War Machine #9 Review by (August 3, 2012)
This issue hiccups and skips a month in an otherwise smooth run. It still doesn't claim to be part of Dark Reign, but the cover does say 'War Machine vs Norman Osborn'. And there's still no issue title, but Comic Book DB has this as the end of the Homeland arc. The Official Index implies Basinville here is a misspThis issue hiccups and skips a month in an otherwise smooth run. It still doesn't claim to be part of Dark Reign, but the cover does say 'War Machine vs Norman Osborn'. And there's still no issue title, but Comic Book DB has this as the end of the Homeland arc.

The Official Index implies Basinville here is a misspelling of Bainsville.

We see 3 examples of Norman Osborn's murders. The iconic death of Gwen Stacy was back when he was originally the insane Green Goblin. The death of Terri Kidder (a Daily Bugle reporter [obviously a combination of the names of Lois Lane actresses Teri Hatcher and Margot Kidder] in The Pulse #2 led to Osborn being outed as Green Goblin and sent to jail. Skrull Queen Veranke in Secret Invasion was when he was under medication to subdue his Goblin persona, but he was leading the government-sanctioned Thunderbolts, and saved the world for the first time.

Do I believe the way Ultimo gives up just because Osborn once had a good emotion? No!

Next issue isn't officially attached to any arc, but I think it counts as an epilogue to this one.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

War Machine #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Ramblers in the Bainsville National Forest are dismayed to find the vegetation turning to sharp metal, and the voice of Ultimo telling them this is his plan to wipe out all life on Earth. Without plants they will suffocate, if they don't starve first or just get killed by the pointy bits. 2 such citizens see War Machine trying to contain the outbreak with a firewall.

Ultimo's plan was almost stillborn last issue because without the emotional core that WM's crew destroyed he didn't have the motivation to carry it through. But then he borrowed motivation from War Machine - all the horrible things James Rhodes has witnessed people do to each other.

Norman Osborn is on his way as Iron Patriot. He contacts Suzi Endo to find out what's happening. She and others of Rhodey's crew are helping civilians in the forest. The ex-West Coast Avengers from last issue (Mockingbird, Ronin, Tigra and Wonder Man) are helping War Machine with fire breaks. But Osborn accuses Rhodes of aiding Ultimo. He directs Susi's attention to where strands of the metal vegetation have attached themselves to Jim's armour.

Iron Patriot slams into War Machine, separating him from the tentacles. But Rhodes complains that he was trying to talk Ultimo down. WM smashes IP with the shovel from an earthmover, then takes over his armour and opens his visor. Jim prepares to use the optic blast he assimilated from Ultimo in #7 on Osborn's exposed head.

But he stops, and Osborn closes his faceplate. Rhodey's database of multiple murderers reveals that all Osborn's kills were either in the service of his country, or when he was insane. So War Machine can't justify executing him. Ronin and Wonder Man are quite willing to kill Osborn, but Jim stops them.

They see the liquid metal proto-Ultimo reforming, and Suzi calls to say that it will probably explode again like last time, spreading it's infection beyond the flame barriers. War Machine sends his friends to evacuate a wider area, leaving him with Iron Patriot.

Rhodes uses War Machine's technology-scavenging power to link his armour to Osborn's, and attacks Ultimo with the combination, including the stolen eye-blasts. His purpose is to blast a hole to the centre of their foe, and reconnect to its neural net. Once there he bombards the giant alien robot with his good memories, to counteract the bad stuff Ultimo got from him before.

We now learn that Morgan Stark is still alive in there. He wasn't killed when Ultimo blew up last time. And Morgan says Ultimo knows from Jim's brain that all his happy moments are connected to unhappy ones.

Rhodey then makes a big gamble. He connects Osborn to Ultimo, and tells him to save the day. Osborn protests that Rhodes can't possibly expect his character and memories to sway Ultimo!

But Norman thinks hard about holding his newborn son Harry. And Ultimo powers down, releases Morgan, and according to Suzi it wipes it's murderous programming. Norman Osborn has saved the world (again)!

But then he blasts the unprepared War Machine, and prepares to take the proto-Ultimo under his charge - a thing with devastating potential he can program to do whatever he wants!


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Hideth #1 comic

Allan Jefferson
Nelson Pereira
Jay David Ramos
Francesco Mattina (Cover Penciler)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Bill Rosemann.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ronin
Ronin

(Clint Barton)
Tigra
Tigra

(Greer Nelson)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Morgan Stark, Norman Osborn, Suzi Endo, Ultimo.

> War Machine: Book info and issue index

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