I had planned to do an 'Only a Mother Could Love' post today but while catching up on all of the Secret Invasion hoopla that went on in the Marvel Universe a few months ago I stumbled across Iron Man:Director Of Shield #33 and was bowled over. Now I'm not normally a James 'War Machine' Rhodes fan, especially when he hogs the limelight in what is supposed to be an Iron Man book, but this particular issue was undeniably awesome.
For a start it had some quality artwork. I think this is the first time I've ever seen Sean Chen's art but judging by this issue he's someone I should keep an eye out for in the future. In this issue he gets to flex his artistic muscles drawing everything from Tony Stark and the Avengers in the Savage Land to James Rhodes funky, cybernetic face to massive Skrull invasion fleets. However I was most impressed with his ability to make War Machine's grey, normally dull-as-dishwater, second rate Iron Man armour look bitchin':
Being a Secret Invasion tie-in issue this issue is a little light on Skrulls. It's got a lot of Skrull ships but not to many of the lil green fellows themselves - which is a shame because Skrulls, as any avid Marvel reader will tell you, are awesome!
However one Skrull does get a bit of face-time here and just to make up for the lack of his emerald bretheren he decides to show up in the most ridiculous costume he can find. I mean as if the Nova-style bucket hat wasn't enough, who told him the big glowing nipple lamps were a good idea? Then to top it all off he adds a big flowing purple cape. I mean I know they're aliens and all but come on, hasn't advanced Skrull technology managed to invent these guys some mirrors?
I hate to be the fashion police here but his cape matches the Hulk's pants for crying out loud. How could his mommy let him leave the house like this:
Shockingly the fantastic art and fashionally-challenged alien invaders were not the most awesome thing about this issue. Oh no my friends, that accolade goes to Christos' Gage's cliffhanger ending. An ending so cool that it could've co-starred Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox and still won an Oscar!
So Rhodey and the last remaining Stark employee Suzi Endo are trapped aboard Tony Stark's secret, satellite hideaway surrounded by a thousand Skrull ships itching to reduce them to atoms. Luckily there is one hope left - y'see good old Tony Stark (the Batman of the Marvel Universe) has planned for just such an eventuality and built in a special function to his secret satellite.
So Rhodey plugs himself into the satellite's control systems and gets his Autobot on...Dude turns the whole freaking satellite into a giant suit of Iron Man armour! Can you believe it? Now if that's not a steaming bowl of hot delicous awesome then I don't know what is.
Michael Bay wishes he'd thought of that.
One minor complaint though - I don't think James Rhodes should tell people to 'Recognise', It's much too Jay-Z. Unless of course he's prepared to go the whole hog and form a hip-hop group with Luck Cage and the Hypno-Hustler. In that case you'd have me at hello.
Word to your mother.