Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Colours: Frank D’Armata
Release Date: 17th February 2021
After a near lethal encounter with Korvac, things aren’t looking good for Tony Stark. With a broken neck, a psychologically tortured Hellcat and a barely alive team, Tony’s on the ropes more than ever… and he’s pretty damn angry about it. But will that rage make him do something even more reckless as War Machine arrives on the scene, trying to get Tony to stop before he does something that gets everyone killed?
After thoroughly taking apart Tony Stark both physically and mentally for the last five issues, Christopher Cantwell brings in James Rhodes as the other half of the Iron Man team. We’ve seen Rhodey in the previous issues, but we’ve got him back in the armour this time around. He’s immediately someone who can and will challenge Tony, who is starting to risk running into some old addictions as he needs pain medication to not go into shock. While Tony is always the smartest man in the room, with War Machine there Tony has an equal, and it should be interesting to see how that plays out with Cantwell’s interpretation of Tony Stark. As we get into this next intergalactic arc, we’ll see if Tony’s issues come back to haunt him while the man who can see right through him is trying to stop him killing himself with another half though-out plan.
Speaking of War Machine, wow do the artistic team of CAFU and Frank D’Armata make him look good. They’ve already shown how well they can draw Iron Man, and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, War Machine is no different. It’s a more modern design, but it helps keep the armours looking unique from each other, which in turn helps to symbolise where they are as people, Tony’s in a more classic look as he tries to rebuild himself as a hero and as a person, while Rhodey knows who he is and what he needs to do with his modern, unchanged design. Frank D’Armata really helps with War Machine’s look here. He’s a character that constantly runs the risk of looking dull with black and gunmetal grey being his dominant colours, but D’Armata prevents it from looking boring and highlights every brilliant detail drawn by CAFU.
If you like Iron Man, you should have been reading this already, but if you’re a War Machine fan you need to get into this series right now. Cantwell clearly has big plans for War Machine, and given the work he has already done on Iron Man, we’re looking at the potential of some character-defining work on here. Combine that with the always phenomenal artwork from CAFU and Frank D’Armata and you have one of the best things being currently published by Marvel. We’re 6 issues in, and its quality remains at an all-time high.
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The writer of this piece was: Jonathan Mullen
Jonathan Tweets from @JonathanDMullen