Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D #35
Or as it is actually titled: War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D. Still another Secret Invasion tie in as we see the final battle between War Machine and the Skrulls in Russia where Winter Guard is doing there best to hold there own, and failing, I might add. It’s great to see Mr. Gage utilizing James Rhodes again. I’m a big fan of War Machine’s so any chance to see him kick some butt is fine with me. He’s an under used character who deserves much more “air time”; but have no fear War Machine lovers, your prayers are going to be answered. However, this Secret Invasion story is low on any real plot movement. Anyone going into this won’t be surprised at the ending, because nothing really important happens. It’s becoming a staple for the Marvel books as SI begins to wind down. Even the interaction between War Machine and the Winter Guard is not only predictable, but has been done before with Iron Man.. more than once. Let’s hope when the new War Machine title comes out, Rhodey gets his own original stories, and not old recycled ones. My score: C-
The Flash #246
Alan Burnett and company continue the “This is Your Life Wally West” story where they left off; with Linda West in critical condition after being attacked by a swarm of deadly bees. It seems that Queen Bee was aiming to eliminate Flash so that her master plan of acquiring a connection with the Speed Force will go unchallenged. I guess nobody’s told her Barry Allen is back in town and Jay Garrick is still alive. Either way, the main focus of this chapter of the arc really focuses on the history of Wally and Linda and the struggles they have had getting to where they are now in their marriage. It was eye opening to really see how much the two have gone through since the met. These two are probably the most stable and romantic married couples that DC has, which of course means that with the Spectre’s appearance at the end of this issue – well, it doesn’t look good for Linda. As Wally grasps at straws to save his wife, he’s unaware that Red Arrow has made a big boo-boo and sent the twins on their way with Queen Bee, disguised as Linda. Next issue sounds like there’s tragedy ahead for our scarlet speedster. All in all, not a bad issue, but Alan didn’t quite sell the emotional chaos that Wally is feeling, either. My score: B-
I regret not having started this book ages ago. Peter David is doing all kinds of great things here. He balances good story telling with great character development and that trademark humor that he likes to sprinkle all over his work. I’ve never been more interested in Jamie Maddox or Siryn. The search for Darwin is drawing to a close, and so is Theresa’s pregnancy by the look of it! This is David at his best. The book draws more on the characters interactions with each other and the situations they are in, then forced plots with two dimensional mutants. Also it’s great to see Longshot back and Strong Man is always a pleasure. I really should have been reading this from the start. My score: B
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