“Palmer Addley Is Dead pt 1”: I know the title says “Iron Man 2.0“, however this title is really a new direction for James Rhodes aka War Machine. He’s been reassigned to Mackelroy Army Base, which is something of a slap in the face considering his history with the place. He actually destroyed the area when Norman Osborn was running things back during the War Machine series. He was also a bit of an outlaw and wanted by the U.S. Government at the time, as well. Now that things have changed, General Babbage is going to see to it that Rhodes gets the point that he’ll be a good soldier that follows orders instead of going maverick and taking situations into his own hands.
Spencer starts the issue with Tony and Rhodes taking on a robot facsimile of Blizzard, while they discuss James’s current deployment. After it’s over, James reports for duty and Babbage gives him his first assignment, and we’re introduced to Rhodes’s new team. Apparently they are after a man by the name of Palmer Addley, however, he’s dead and has been for some time. However, his work has reached the outside world, causing huge casualties in the form of terrorists attacks. Confused? You won’t be after reading, because Spencer gives a little hint as to how some of this is possible in the issue. I’ll also say that it was one of the better plot twists to come along in a bit. The villain is quite dangerous, but the way Spencer goes about showing you is very indirect by establishing what it took to keep him in the facility he was locked in. Along with the achievements made possible by Addley’s intellect, this should make for a serious pain in the butt once things are revealed to Rhodey later in the series.
My only complaint about the visuals would be that Rhodes has a distinctly different look after his talk with Babbage, and then the sequence where he meets his team and is brought up to speed. Neither look bad, it’s just that there should be consistency with someone’s look, especially when it’s the principal character in the series. The rest of the book does look very good, and the styles between the three artists are pretty similar so you’re not taken completely out of the story by drastically contrasting artwork.
Nick Spencer has made Iron Man 2.0 a perfect starting point for those who miss their War Machine after Pak’s run, or those who want an Iron Man alternative. The character interactions are all superb and none of it gets repetitive or boring, and despite the lack of over the top action it’s a fun read. For those first time readers who may not know all the history between Rhodes and Stark, there is a character overview and even a list of required reading if you would like to get better acquainted at the end of the story. Spencer has a firm grasp on the character of Rhodes and in his capable hands I definitely see him being more than the “other” Iron Man and having War Machine stand on his own.
Till next time!
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