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War Machine #15-17 "The Time War" (1995)
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler:  Sandu Florea
Inker: Tim Dzon
Colorist: Ariane
Letterer: John Constanza


Jim Rhodes teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. after one his employees, Sheva Joseph, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, uncovers a plot to transport 90's technology back in time to Nazi Germany. Rhodes volunteers to make the temporal trip to find Josephs and repair any damage to the timeline.

  • Continuity Notes
  • Appearances by WWII era Sgt Fury, Dum Dum Dugan, Captain America and Bucky. Other Howlers who appear in the background are Pinky, Izzey, and Dino.
  • Mention is made of Nick Fury's offer to Rhodes in War Machine #1 to join S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The first time Nick Fury is "killed" in a 1995 published title.

Review
Star-studded guest cast livens up a tepid story which features the unique distinction of featuring Nick Fury as both an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a Howling Commando. The Nazi menace is faceless for the most part, literally in one case where either the Red Skull or Hitler is obscured, making for a poor antagonism and a string of fairly unexciting Marvel slugfests. The Howlers get short rift with only Dum Dum and Fury having any speaking lines. Cardboard characterizations abound for all of the WWII cast, and shame on scibe Dan Abnett for not having a single yell of WAHOO, and worse still for watering down a perfect moment for a classic "You blasted yahoo's" with a lame "You jokers" instead.

If the story is hard to recommend, the art certainly is not. The art team exhibit some cool paneling choices, especially when Fury is killed. I like a comic that asks me to turn it around a few times to see and read what's going on. Florea's art enhances the story, page by page.

Ironically enough this issue marked the first time Nick Fury "died" in 1995, a full two months before the beginning of the Over the Edge storyline. All in all, this storyline showcased what a perfect match the War Machine title was for a strong S.H.I.E.L.D. supporting cast, but alas Marvel had other plans for the ole' Howler.

Worth a catch in the quarter box; recommended for the art or if you're obsessed with collecting every issue where Nick Fury bites the bullet.

Rating