Characters Appearing: Mike Clemson, Rebecca Taylor, Reverend Nice, Sam Buchanan, Uno, Vengeance, War Machine, Wendy Sue Niceiza
Marvel Comics Presents #167-169 (Vengeance)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #167, Marvel Comics Presents #168, Marvel Comics Presents #169 (Vengeance story only)
...and guest stars War Machine.
There is a gang war going on in Los Angeles between the War Machine inspired gang, the War Machines, and a new gang inspired by Vengeance called the Revengers.
When i read the first story featuring the War Machines (Avengers West Coast #100) i thought it was a little cheesy, but i've grown to like it. I especially like the idea of there being different gangs inspired by different super-characters (especially villains or villian-ish characters like Vengeance). It makes sense that in the Marvel universe these characters would attract cultish fans. It could even explain how some villains recruit henchmen.
The war is broken up by the arrival of a team recruited by the federal agent Uno that we saw in the last arc. Sam Buchanan, Rebecca Taylor, and Vengeance (as Michael Badilino) have been recruited into Uno's paranormal law enforcement team.
Badilino is rattled by seeing a gang - and they really are cultish - inspired by him.
He tries to defuse the situation by transforming into Vengeance and telling them to stand down, but that just makes them doubt that he's authentic.
Then War Machine shows up. He assumes that Vengeance is the leader of the Revengers.
Considering that the Revengers are fighting the War Machines, it's a little dim of War Machine to dismiss the possibility that Vengeance isn't leading the Revengers.
Here's what Vengeance looks like to War Machine's HUD.
Meanwhile, Taylor discovers something shocking under the Revengers' helmets.
And Buchanan spots an extra helicopter in the sky, someone spying on the battle.
It seems that Reverend Nice is remotely influencing the Revengers.
Vengeance talks to the Revengers again, telling them not to pursue vengeance and showing them the effect of the Revengers outfits. That stops the fighting long enough for Uno's choppers to drop knock-out gas. War Machine still says that Vengeance's speech "doesn't answer for his crimes". But Vengeance just drives away.
At the end, we see Reverend Nice, whose full name is Nabisco Niceiza...
...meet with Spider-Woman's old antagonist, Mike Clemson.
I really love Chris Cooper's use of continuity elements. Both the use of the War Machines and the surprise return of Mike Clemson, of all people. And i continue to enjoy the ongoing story development in this series, e.g. the formation of the taskforce under Uno. There is also an attempt at character development for Michael Badilino as he regrets his actions as Vengeance. That aspect is a little over done and repetitive, unfortunately, possibly due to the nature of the 8 page segments. But thanks to the consistent creative team, this is actually feeling like a real story; a rarity for Marvel Comics Presents.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote says that this story takes place before War Machine #8 (which leads into Hands of the Mandarin, and Marvel Comics Presents starts Hands of the Mandarin tie-ins in #169, the same issue as the final part of this story). War Machine's armor is "on the verge of total breakdown" due to events in his series. He was on his way to "Spark" (typo for Stark?) to get it fixed when he saw the War Machines involved in a gang war. Assuming that "Spark" does mean "Stark", this should take place after Iron Man #309 and actually during War Machine #8, which shows War Machine flying to Stark to demand that he fix his armor. Alternatively, War Machine tried to take his armor to an LA mechanic named Spark before deciding to go to Stark.
Uno doesn't appear on panel, but she's in one of the helicopters hovering above the gang war.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"I especially like the idea of there being different gangs inspired by different super-characters (especially villains or villian-ish characters like Vengeance). It makes sense that in the Marvel universe these characters would attract cultish fans."
The "Stark" are a race that are featured in Guardians of the Galaxy. They are patterned after Iron Man.
Posted by: clyde | April 25, 2018 1:16 PM
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