By Marc Strom
For James Rhodes, one war leads to another.
This December, Rhodey gets his very own ongoing series once again when WAR MACHINE debuts courtesy of writer Greg Pak and artist Leonardo Manco.
While 12 years have passed since the end of War Machine's last solo turn, Pak says Rhodey can thank Secret Invasion and its fallout for rocketing him back into a new solo title. Well, that and one other thing…
"Terrence Howard's awesome portrayal of Jim Rhodes in the ["Iron Man"] movie has certainly helped put a spotlight on the character," Pak points out, before rather ominously adding, "But more importantly, in the wake of Secret Invasion, the Marvel Universe needs Jim Rhodes—and War Machine—more than it ever has before."
If December seems too far away for your War Machine fix, Pak wants readers to know that Rhodey's solo adventure in the upcoming IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35 will not only sate your appetite but lead directly into the all-new series.
"[Writer] Christos Gage's super sweet Secret Invasion tie-in starring War Machine will plunge the character into a brand new status quo," Pak promises. "We'll follow that by launching the new series with a shocking twist or two that should blow minds right and left. Literally.
"I can't say too much for fear of spoilers, but Rhodey may just end up playing the biggest role he ever has in the Marvel Universe. You'll know what I'm talking about when we finally reveal his big nemesis."
While that villain's name remains under wraps, Pak could reveal that part of War Machine's new mission statement brings him to some very real-world situations.
"Every day, somewhere on the planet, tyrants commit the most horrific atrocities imaginable, secure in the knowledge that the outside world won't raise a finger to stop them," Pak explains. "But now War Machine's on the job. And forget the finger—he's raising a couple of ginormous shoulder mounted rocket cannons!"
As for who all Rhodey will share the spotlight with, Pak wouldn't name names, though he would offer up a hint or two:
"Look for some faces that'll be familiar to long-time War Machine fans, as well as a big surprise or two from the Iron Man mythos."
The character of War Machine has always had a particular appeal for Pak, who thinks Rhodey brings something to the table that no other super hero can.
"I was hooked by Jim Rhodes the first time I ever saw him in the funny books," the writer confesses. "He wasn't ever just the other guy in the Iron Man armor; he brought a brand new perspective as a kid who grew up fighting bullies in South Philly and developed a whole new angle on the use of force through his military training.
"For better or for worse, War Machine will go places few other Marvel heroes dare," Pak adds. "And that makes for explosive, high stakes stories that we're champing at the bit to tell."
For more on Greg Pak and his work, visit his official web site.
For up to the minute Marvel news spinning out of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, visit the Marvel.com SDCC news hub. And while you're waiting in between announcements, spend some time over at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!