[identity profile] thanekos.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
(a note: not to be confused with the non-MAX War Machine series, which has less self-dating art and is actually in continuity, as this one is clearly not.

also, lotta images sized to 800 x 1000.)

so yeah, U.S War Machine: it's written by Chuck Austen, the art is kinda Adi Granovian in the sense that Rocman X is like anything Mega Man, and the plot's pretty stock.

But come on: James Rhodes picked up by SHIELD to lead a team outfitted with covertly acquired Starktech onto Latverian soil to stop an AIM plot? It just sounds cool, doesn't it?

we open on War Machine dealing with strange-speaking AIM terrorists driving a stolen truck with a catatonic MODOK stolen from SHIELD custody:

yeah, the typesetting.

... yeeeeah, the art.

look, just repeat to yourself: starktech and AIM.

it'll get you through some of the worse parts of this.

... well, considering the fellow just did what he did with the rocket launcher, I'd say he deserves it.

And he seems cool with it, any rate.

... quite an odd concern, LADY WHO'S GOT A GUN TO HER HEAD.

Jimmy's response to that?

inwardly, he's thinkin':

so, anyhow, this and some recent kerfluffle involving Iron Man, War Machine, lethal force, and Latverian armed forces (plus a Stark press conference that involved a firm statement of War Machine's retirement, plus the fact that the highway incident kinda caused some people to die because of how it was handled [in addition to that deflection bit, Jim kinda knocked over the Crazy AIM Guys' truck, causing a heck of a pileup]) lead to:

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(they think he's a racist because he shot black people with micro RPGs. also, the media can't tell the difference between War Machine and Iron Man.)

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oh, Tony. taking out his somewhat justified rage in odd ways. also, with booze.

anyhow, Jim goes to get the contents of his office... only to have a 3-page fight sequence with war buddy and Stark armor thief/Stark-derivative arms dealer Parnell Jacobs (who exists in 616, and apparently is dealing with the stuff his MAX counterpart's gonna be dealing with soon), who wants Jim's armor after selling his own stuff... to HYDRA.

But it's okay, because AIM wanted him to get them a War Machine suit or else they'd kill his scientist wife they captured.

though Jim, on the helicarrier (which, yeah, is SHIELD HQ) has a fun response to it:

oh, Fury. you know exactly what to say.

anyhow, what's he got to show?

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and what is it Uncle Fury wants?

SHIELD has Creative Services? Really?

and to complete the setup, some exposition on the nature of AIM's new leading force, courtesy of a captured AIM member (somehow, I think the time Aaron Stack's brother took over was better):

yes, because I've always wondered " What if AIM was run by racially motivated people? "

yeah. Jim's pissed.

so! on to the adventures of SHIELD's War Machine unit!

like Jim Rhodes discovering, courtesy of the dumbest smart guy ever, that SHIELD has an insane Darkhawk in the basement:

(in this universe, he's explained as an unfortunate attempt to hybrid Starktech and alien tech. Yeah. Now the poor bastard who volunteered to try it out is trapped inside, and insane.)

or that Fury seconded morons to his unit (but he's also got Dum-Dum Dugan, too):

(scan cut off, obviously. not missing much. and yup, these evil AIM folk have set their base in Latveria. I guess they're not really that smart.)

and that this art can produce some pretty neat shots (who knew, Chuck Austen. who knew?):

so, now, the team in action:

I'd show more, but it's rather pointless; basically, the team hits the site, gets attacked by preternaturally aware henchmen, two of the War Mechs decide to play like they're Agent 47 for some stupid reason, and a rather glaring design flaw in the War Mechs is highlighted:

(Glenda = Parnell's wife from way up there, who's being held at this site; won't see much of her in these, but I think she turns up in current in-continuty War Machine.)

and the freaky henchmen from before come back:

so, anyhow, the operation's a bust- they cut and run, leaving Jacobs's wife behind but capturing Freaky Not-Dead Henchman.

first thing Jim does when he gets back? Takes the idiot boy genius that built the armor to task.

... hey, look, one of his guys lost an arm because of those design flaws. i'd be pretty angry too.

so Jim reorganizes his team, picking up...

(... man, this took a long time to pick up. also, that thing's that more or less near-dead MODOK from earlier.)

oh yeah. also, we learn how the freaky henchmen work:

(see, some supertech! now shit's getting good.)

and Evil Racist AIM reveals their plan:

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no nanomachines are involved, thank god.

anyhow, he also picks up Darkhawk, who's kept psuedo-sane via some.. interesting fantasy scenarios:

and they have a chat with Doom, since it's his country they're going into:

(yeah, he thinks Rhodey is Tony.)

... different universe, man. just repeat that.

(also, yes, that is Dum-Dum Dugan in Starktech. With a bowler hat.)

anyhow, the team make their drop, and the fight's on to secure the virus(ii?) and stop bad stuff from happening (War Machine and Darkhawk are paired together, hanging off the back of the dropship; this is so that there's someone to keep Darkhawk sane, you see.)

so let some actual action commence, with Parnell Jacobs.

... man, Darkhawk needs to lay off the crack.

dialogue's a bit action movie, but eh.

the action's okay.

Oh, and Dugan gets a moment with an AIM scientist, after being blasted through a wall:

so yeah, shit happens.

ultimately, rhodes has a long sitdown with AIM's wacky mulatto white supremacist leader, who's got Jacobs's pregnant wife as his planned patient zero: darkhawk bursts in, leading to this little active bit:

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and then Doom walks in, once the villain's been taken down (all AIM forces have been neutralized, that is.)

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yeah, the art. and the renders. don't worry, we're home stretching it now.

first, an amusing interlude from some enterprising reporters:

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anyhow, these guys have a front row seat to Doom, who's out to take some vengeance on Rhodes (well, Stark's not there, so you take what you get) for scarring him now that he's dealt with the men from AIM. (like I said, DIFFERENT UNIVERSE. oh, Chuck Austen.)

The other War Mechs have to evacuate, having spent their ammo, leaving Jim alone... but Darkhawk and MODOK are there. Surely they can help?

... well, it's good Doom at the least.

maybe MODOK can do it?

how strong is he?


so the fight continues, until one of the War Mechs is all " So, yeah, he pretty much just saved your people from being ethnically cleansed. " Doom pauses, then lets them go- but orders them to leave the mulatto AIM guy behind, to be punished. They leave, Darkhawk reawakens, and things go on. Oh, maybe Tony's a little pissed....

And that's it. This is okay, all things considered; could've been better if we hadn't spent so many issues setting plot up and doing that whole ' first team ' thing. Running with MODOK, Darkhawk, and Dugan out of the gate.. oh, if only.

(this is legal, don't worry; 12 issues total, not more than 7/21+ pages taken out.)

Date: 2009-09-02 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Wait, this has to be a joke. This is real art from a real comic Marvel really put out?

And I'm worried that MY work doesn't look good enough? You just gave me much more confidence. Man.

Date: 2009-09-03 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blakeyrat.insanejournal.com
After seeing this, Disney is demanding a refund.

Date: 2009-09-02 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkblade.insanejournal.com
I can't help but think this Darkhawk looks very Evangelion-esque.

Date: 2009-09-02 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zordboy.insanejournal.com
I thought that too.

just read this a few weeks ago!

Date: 2009-09-02 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pensive1.insanejournal.com
I alternated between AUGH, HELL YEAH, and EHH.

Think that art is bad? Read volume 2! Auuuggghhh! Hardly a volume really, at 3 issues, but it has nude Bethany Cabe fuckyearh.

I know it's MAX canon, but I thought this comic really explored the Tony/Rhodes dynamic.

And damned if I didn't love that hideously cute lil MODOK dawwwwww

Date: 2009-09-02 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timgueguen.insanejournal.com
The Scarlet Witch and the other female Avengers have some disturbing looking breasts.

Date: 2009-09-02 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] esc0.insanejournal.com
jeez no kidding but the worst were the sagging ones from the female soldier who made that joke about "Do you all share a pencil"

Date: 2009-09-02 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] esc0.insanejournal.com

This is Uwe-Boll-sized Fail

The only decent part was the last Doom stuff and to a lesser degree the weird/insane Darkhawk fantasy whatever that was

Date: 2009-09-02 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neuhallidae.insanejournal.com
Holy fuck. The art, the dialogue, the type... there's nothing about this that isn't bad.

Date: 2009-09-02 11:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Honestly, I was looking at this thinking it had to be a web fancomic done with the same program that makes avatars.

Date: 2009-09-02 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] proteus_lives.insanejournal.com
I don't why but I liked this strange little mini.

And I liked how Doom dealt with the AIM leader guy.

Date: 2009-09-02 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omgwtflolbbqbye.insanejournal.com
Jesus, everyone looks like they're made out of Legos.

Date: 2009-09-02 07:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] filthysize.insanejournal.com
It's like a trip down a broken lane.

The only thing I remember from this mini was Rhodey flipping out when a white dude called him "African-American." That was amusing.

Date: 2009-09-02 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arilou_skiff.insanejournal.com
"Granovesque" works: It looks decent for tech but horrible for people.

Date: 2009-09-02 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nagaoka.insanejournal.com

Too many things to mention so I'll just pick one.

Shooting a woman in the head makes a "CRACK" sound?

Date: 2009-09-02 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tacobob.insanejournal.com
Ouch! My art-brain! Now I know how MODOK felt.

Date: 2009-09-02 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blake_reitz.insanejournal.com
I remember picking this up and really liking it at the time. Sure, there's some really awful art, but there were some great beats. Also, it came out weekly (at the time that was pretty unusual for Marvel), And it was nice knowing that I'd get a complete story, week after week for three months.

Date: 2009-09-02 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blake_reitz.insanejournal.com
Oh, also: each issue was a dollar. One dollar! Yeah, it was oft cruddy rendered art on cheap newsprint, but you're already spending two-fifty to three on everything else, and extra buck for each chapter of this is nothing.

Date: 2009-09-02 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seriousfic.insanejournal.com
Oh, also: each issue was a dollar.

Then it looks like this comic was *puts on sunglasses* overpriced.

Date: 2009-09-02 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blake_reitz.insanejournal.com
From: [identity profile] jazzypom.insanejournal.com
Just... whoa. Whoa!

But still... in some cases, better than Larroca.

In my best Fight Club voice:

Date: 2009-09-02 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] box_in_the_box.insanejournal.com
His name was Robert Paulsen Chuck Austen. (http://www.dailyraider.com/index.php?id=4060)

:D :/ :(

Date: 2009-09-02 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jazzypom.insanejournal.com
I hate you. LOL. I'm going to be on this site now. When I should be knitting. LOL.

Date: 2009-09-02 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halloweenjack.insanejournal.com
And to think that he started out his career on Miracleman with Alan Moore. (Following up Alan Davis' work on that title, no less, when Eclipse ran out of Warrior material to reprint.) How far downhill can someone's career go from there? The hill has no foot, that's how far. Even his porn was better than that nipple-licious panel of Wanda.

Date: 2009-09-02 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goblinthebamf.insanejournal.com
it's... mesmerizing. also, I think "your drinking" is supposed to be "you're drinking".

Date: 2009-09-03 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zippthorn.insanejournal.com
Why do you hate us?

Date: 2009-09-03 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salad_barbarian.insanejournal.com
In that second to last page MODOK looks so happy!

MODOK: "I'm helping!"


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