Force Works #6
Issue(s): Force Works #6
So Force Works aren't able to investigate the missing Iron Men or the problem with PLATO; they have to go to Hong Kong.
The super-villains in question are the Avatars of the Mandarin.
According to the interviews in my Hands of the Mandarin trade paperback, a fair amount of work was done by Abnett & Lanning, researching Chinese culture to create some unique villains that avoided the usual stereotypes. The goal was to make them not feel disposable and to make it possible for them to return as villains independent from the Mandarin in the future. Unfortunately, the effort fails on both counts. There are too many of the villains in a story already cluttered with characters, and none of them really stand out. And they'll never appear again outside this story except for a single issue of Heroes For Hire (the 2006 series, not the 2011 one written by Abnett & Lanning) where they are again working for (a) Mandarin. The main conflict in this crossover is between Iron Man and the Mandarin, and the Avatars feel like fodder designed to keep Force Works busy. They seem like they could be cool - i like Lich in particular - but this story doesn't do them justice.
One of the Avatars is named Old Woman, which just makes me think of the Monty Python bit.
During the fight, Century senses something and teleports away from the fray.
He arrives at the Mandarin's base, where Iron Man and War Machine are being tortured. It turns out he somehow knows the Mandarin's rings.
But Iron Man implores Century to rescue War Machine instead of going for the rings. Century grabs War Machine but is seemingly disintegrated, and he drops his staff in the process. And then Mandarin calls Iron Man a loser.
At the beginning of this issue, directly before the Avatars' attack, we meet an employee of "Stark Industries' Far East Division" named Dr. Suzi Endo.
Suzi doesn't do much in this issue, but she'll get her own chapter of this crossover in Marvel Comics Presents, and she'll later become Cybermancer and then a herald of the High Evolutionary called the Seeker!
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is officially part one of Hands of the Mandarin (But the unnumbered Hands of the Mandarin tie-in featuring the Mandarin in Marvel Comics Presents #169-170 take place prior to this). It continues directly from Iron Man #310 and continues directly in War Machine #9. But the Hands of the Mandarin tie-ins in Marvel Comics Presents #169 (Century), #170 (Suzi Endo), and #171 (Recorder) take place during this issue, so i'll place those next.
Crossover: Hands of the Mandarin
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Hands of the Mandarin TPB
Inbound References (4): showAncestor, Bethany Cabe, Butterfly, Century, Cybermancer II, Deluge, Foundry (Avatars), Iron Man, Lich, Mandarin, Old Woman, PLATO, Q'Wake, Recorder (Starstealth), Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), USAgent, War Machine, Warfist
As I've probably mentioned before, Rey Garcia was pretty much the guy who provided any sort of artistic consistency during the two year run of Force Works, working over eight or nine different pencilers in that period. I definitely enjoyed his work. His inking really stands out in this issue in the battle with the Avatars.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 9, 2018 10:03 PM
I enjoyed this series more once they got rid of the original artist.
Posted by: Steven | February 10, 2018 12:45 AM
I think Rey Garcia was the guy behind "Arik Khan", a mid-1970s independent comic.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 10, 2018 2:29 PM
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