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War Machine #1

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By: Kyle Garret

Greg Pak
Leonardo Manco, Jay David Ramos (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: War Machine #1 arrives in stores Friday, January 2.

No. Just… just …no.

I like Greg Pak's work. I like Leonardo Manco's work. I even like War Machine, especially his days with The Crew. And I understand the difficulty in making a character who is so similar to Iron Man unique. But this? This isn't unique. This is just bad.

James "Rhodey" Rhodes is now equal parts man and machine, and he's out to save the world by killing all the people he thinks deserve to be killed or, as he puts it, "kill the %$#& out of 'em right back." He does so by heading to foreign countries and blowing people and things to pieces using his brand new, Stark-less tech, War Machine armor.

Rhodes does this with the help of Parnell Jacobs, formerly of the U.S. Army, now an illegal drug runner who Rhodes is more or less holding hostage. Jacobs is also interested in saving his wife, who is currently being held hostage in the war torn nation of Aqiria – because the Marvel Universe doesn't have enough fictional war torn countries. Oh, and Jacobs is at least indirectly responsible for all the death in Aqiria, as he sold weapons to pretty much all buyers.

Longtime Iron Man ally Bethany Cabe is also around, supposedly working on upgrades to War Machine's new system, a.k.a. finding ways to make him less machine and more human.

The art is perfectly fine, although doing more mainstream superhero work seems to have caused Manco to move back away from his rough, Jae Lee inspired style. And the story moves along well enough, even if the "surprise" ending is a bit telegraphed. It's the overall concept behind this title that's hard to get on board with. I suppose when Marvel was plotting its more grim and gritty "Dark Reign" universe, War Machine seemed like a way to darken things up.

Still, there's nothing here to be interested in, nothing unique or really even entertaining. They would have been better off making it a comedy: "War Machine: Half man, half machine, ALL WAR."







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