Industrialist/Inventor Tony Stark has called a press conference to announce that his company, Stark Industries, will cease manufacturing weapons, which includes the MP1-2000- the War Machine armor. He also introduces his new personal defense system, the S11-211- the Iron Man. Across town, a prototype of the War Machine armor is seen in pursuit of an 18 wheeler with M.O.D.O.K. strapped on the back and A.I.M. agents along with a hostage. War Machine engages the men from A.I.M., who reveal themselves to be black, which causes him to hesitate, and whom brutally murder the hostage, as well as innocent bystanders. The remaining A.I.M. agent surrenders after killing the hostage, but War Machine takes the unarmed agent out. Afterward War Machine comes to the realization that he may be in trouble with Stark. Chuck Austen writer- Captain America, Uncanny X-Men, The Avengers (marvel), Action Comics (DC); illustrator- Elektra; creator of Independent title Worldwatch brings a tale of espionage and high-tech action in this action thriller starring War Machine.
Story- the story originally was set to be published in the fall of 2001, but due to the events of 9-11 the release was delayed. The story offers something that one never considers; the use of minorities in an terrorist organization! It is a rare thing to see the A.I.M. agents without their “bee keeper” mask, but the ethnicity of the guys under the mask is never an issue. Coincidence? Maybe; maybe not. The decision to stop manufacturing weapons; specifically the MP1-2000 has a lot of people irritated. As the story goes forward, we will see what effects this has.
Art- the format of the book is black and white, so each page has a bold, crisp look. The inanimate objects are quite detailed, and even though the book is black and white, there are no noticeable shadows. The major complaint is in how the artist draws his faces. Everyone looks alike and there is no clear delineation of expressions from one character to another.
Hardcore- this book is from the MAX comics line, which is intended for Mature Readers! (it even has the parental advisory on the front!) As stated, the book is in black and white, but that doesn’t exactly mean the graphics don’t look real.
Cover- War Machine striking a classic pose with the flag flying behind; pretty fitting for the solider we know inside the armor.
Tony Stark/Jim Rhodes relationship- From the onset these two seemed unlikely friends. Their relationship is sometimes confusing, but Jim Rhodes has been the loyalest friend Tony Stark has ever had, and the trust that Tony has in Jim is evident in the fact that Jim operates the other suit of armor that he developed. Their relationship has seen it’s good times and bad times, but has endured and developed into one of the most solid in the marvel universe.
Art- The art may throw off readers who are used to color comics; the artist’s rendering of faces could be a lot better.
High-tech action thriller! 3.5/5
Review submitted by Black Heroes member Marcus .H. Roberts