[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.)

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