War Machine: Back to the Homefront

James Rhodes returns to America for "Homeland" while writer Greg Pak spills on the return of Mama Rhodes, American Eagle and more!

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By Marc Strom

WAR MACHINE
#6 cover by
Francesco
"Matt" Mattina

WAR MACHINE #6 brings the armored hero back to the United States in the explosive kick-off to the series' second story-arc, "Homeland," courtesy of writer Greg Pak and guest artist Carlos Magno. While the previous story saw War Machine bringing his own brand of justice to mercenaries working in Aqiria, Pak notes that some may see his actions in a more unfavorable light as he comes to America to track down the source of the Ultimo virus seen in his first mission. "A pretty big chunk of the Marvel Universe is probably willing to turn a blind eye to War Machine's extreme, extralegal interventionism as long as he's poking around overseas in places like Santo Marco and Aqiria," Pak remarks. "But once War Machine picks a target on American soil, conflicts with the Marvel heroes who defend the country become inevitable."

WAR MACHINE
#6 preview art
by Allan Jefferson

The new storyline will also feature the return of Rhodey's mom, a character who Pak describes as "a tough, unsentimental, church-going lady who did her damnedest to raise her kids the right way in the mean streets of South Philly. But as we'll learn, her son may have learned some of her lessons a little too well." Pak also reveals that his desire to bring Roberta Rhodes into War Machine's ongoing story stemmed from his longstanding affection for the character. "I loved Mother Rhodes' first appearance in the pages of IRON MAN back in the day," Pak remembers. "Back when Tony Stark was still on the sauce, Rhodey dropped him off with Mother Rhodes to dry him out. But Tony gave her the slip, and later she told Rhodey something like, 'Jimmy, the next time you bring a friend home, I hope he's a gentleman.'

WAR MACHINE
#6 preview art
by Allan Jefferson

"There's something great about the way family members can tell you things no one else would—and that's particularly fun in a super hero story. The bigger and more powerful characters become the more valuable it is to have small, fundamentally human ways to reveal their vulnerabilities." When Rhodey meets up with his mother once again, Pak promises fans will see a whole new side to the hero. "We'll learn some shocking things about his childhood that have never before been revealed," the writer teases. "And we'll learn more about his essential character as we see how both he and his mother react in surprising ways to the new crises that face them." Beyond his mother, War Machine will also have to contend with the Native American super hero, American Eagle, a character whom Pak really take notice of during one of his most recent adventures.

WAR MACHINE
#6 preview art
by Allan Jefferson

"[Writer] Warren Ellis' depiction of Jason Strongbow, aka American Eagle, in the pages of THUNDERBOLTS was the most exciting reintroduction of a Marvel hero that I've read in years," raves Pak. "Jason makes an awesome foil for War Machine for many reasons. First, he's tough enough to make it a real fight. This is a guy who beat the Thing at arm wrestling, after all. "Second, Jason's lived his whole life defending oppressed people. That might give him a real understanding of War Machine's new mission, or it may deepen his critique and commitment to stopping Rhodey. Third, Jason wears the flag. That may be worth exploring as War Machine slams straight into the United States of America." In the mean time, Rhodey's supporting cast—including Bethany Cabe and Parnell Jacobs—may soon discover just how far they'll follow War Machine into his next battle.

WAR MACHINE
#6 preview art
by Allan Jefferson

"Team War Machine went through a trial by fire in our first five issues," Pak relates. "They've seen the horrors that the villains of the world have up their sleeves and they saw Rhodey was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to save the innocent. So they're on board for now. But each member of the team has his or her breaking point, and we'll see just how far they're willing to go as War Machine's assault on America kicks into high gear." Finally, Pak left off with a lone tease harkening back to Rhodey's days as a founding member of a certain branch of the Avengers: "Fans of the original West Coast Avengers absolutely won't want to miss WAR MACHINE #8. I'll say no more." Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything Iron Man!

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Comments

2 comments
notapotatoe
notapotatoe

I'd prefer seeing the return of the original FORCE WORKS team :War MachineUS AgentArachneBeta Ray Billwell that's always difficult to give to these four another characters to team with...

Hyperion322
Hyperion322 member

I haven't checked this title out yet, but I'm intrigued at the prospect of seeing the Avengers West Coast reunite (!). It won't be the same with Wanda and Jan, but I hope we see Clint (Ronin), Bobbi (Mockingbird), Julia (Arachne), Simon (Wonder Man), Greer (Tigra), Bonita (Firebird), and John (US Agent).~ Hype