SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Invincible Iron Man #600 by Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, Daniel Acuna, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Scott Hanna, Andrea Sorrentino, Marte Gracia, Guru-eFX, Romulo Fajardo, Marcelo Maiolo, Rachelle Rosenberg and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
When writer Brian Michael Bendis began his historic run on Marvel’s Avengers titles in 2004, he rattled long-time fans by killing the likes of Hawkeye, Vision and more. Of course, the prolific writer is known for much more than simply killing fan-favorite heroes, though the death of James “Rhodey” Rhodes in Civil War II doesn’t necessarily help that argument.
However, with Bendis’ time as a Marvel writer ending with the release of Invincible Iron Man #600, he’s chosen to undo his most recent sacrificial lamb by resurrecting War Machine in the same manner Tony Stark escaped his coma.
Tony Stark, Dr. Frankenstein
The finale of Civil War II left Iron Man in a coma, but he miraculously recovered in “The Search For Tony Stark.” The only problem with Tony’s recovery is he stayed off the radar, choosing to keep communication with his friends and family at a minimum. Also, there was the important factor of Tony using his body as a high school science experiment, altering his DNA over the years to the point where he theoretically “rebooted” his body.
Having successfully healed himself, Tony has begun to wonder if he can use these same techniques to bring his best friend Rhodey back from the dead. In what amounts to a scene straight out of a Frankenstein monster film, Iron Man digs up Rhodey’s body, places it in one of his War Machine armors, connects some devices and we have ourselves a living-breathing Avenger — minus some hair, of course.
The case of the missing hair is a side effect of Tony’s resurrection process, which left him missing his trademark facial hair as well. After some good-natured ribbing regarding the status of their hair, the friends embrace each other with a big hug, before heading off to save Doctor Doom from The Hood.
Iron Man had to ask himself some tough questions before reviving War Machine. First, and most important, was whether Rhodey would even want to be brought back. What if Tony’s process didn’t work in the same way it had for him, resulting in War Machine becoming a brain-eating zombie? For the time being, these worries appear to be for nothing, as Rhodey is back to his heroic ways yet again.
There were many fans not thrilled to see a Black superhero’s death used as a plot device in Civil War II, but Bendis does make amends by bringing War Machine back to the Marvel Universe. Now, with Marvel’s “Fresh Star” publishing initiative underway, and Tony Stark: Iron Man looking to continue War Machine’s story in the land of the living, Invincible Iron Man #600 delivered a moment fans have been waiting for.
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