The last three issues of “Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.” were rebranded “War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and used to showcase the star of “War Machine,” launching next month.

General Information

Title: Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. / War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35

Author: Christos N. Gage

Illustrator(s): Sean Chen (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks) and Jay David Ramos (colours)

Cover Date: November 2008 – January 2009

Cover Price: All issues $2.99 US. Canadian prices on the three issues are $3.05, $3.50, and unspecified respectively.

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.

Premise

The Skrull virus has taken down Tony Stark and the rest of the known Starktech. Tony’s backup plan was to equip Jim Rhodes’ armour with different technology, insulated from the grid, so that he might continue to operate in situations like this. Rhodey is then tasked to defend the planet in Tony’s stead.

High Point

Rhodey’s “return to Russia hat-trick” and the effect it has on the locals.

Low Point

The “Transformer” design is remarkably inefficient. The original configuration would have made more sense for this particular purpose.

The Scores

This is a fairly original story in the crossover, showing a truly international effort with technology that still operates. It’s still mostly a great big fight, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork by Chen is solid work. We get a clear picture of what’s going on, and can easily follow individuals through the battle. There aren’t many faces exposed to demonstrate emotions, though, given the number of humans wrapped in armour. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story holds up well, and establishes Rhodey’s status quo for his upcoming solo series, complete with a potential supporting cast. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterizations for Rhodey and Endo are solid, and the new Crimson Dynamo gets a few nice moments as well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response built as the issues went along. The “Transformer” aspect bugged me, but that was over early in the second issue, thankfully. (You don’t see a lot of bipedal predators in nature for some very good reasons.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow was smooth, establishing the moment this story starts relative to the main event, and then continuing smoothly through locales not used by the main event, so we don’t have to sort out the way the timeframes mesh together. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a solid entry into the cross-over. It may not have much impact on the main event, but it’s definitely setting up a series expected to be a prominent player in Dark Reign. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35 receive 32 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available):

Aftermath (Dark Reign) reviews (a “+” indicates there may be more; all solicited issues are involved):

  • Agents of Atlas #1+
  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-22+
  • Black Panther #1+
  • Dark Reign: New Nation
  • Deadpool #4-7+
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-10+
  • Mighty Avengers #20-22+
  • Ms. Marvel #34-36+
  • New Avengers #48-50+
  • Punisher #1-2+
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign: December 10
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1: December 24
  • Secret Warriors #1+
  • Thunderbolts #126-129+
  • Uncanny X-Men Annual #2
  • War Machine #1-3+
  • Wolverine Origins #33+
  • several unannounced titles, I’m sure