- I considered a major celebrity death. Maybe just a few shark attacks. But in the end, I dedided that the most enjoyable distration of all...would be the war crimes trial of the terrorist and traitor James Rhodes!
Appearing in 1st story
- War Machine (Jim Rhodes)
- Wonder Man (Simon Williams)
- Tigra (Greer Nelson)
- Ronin (Clint Barton)
- Campville, Louisiana
- Bunsen, California
- Cooperville, New Mexico
- Blackdale, Utah
- Avengers Tower, New York City
- Navajo Nation
- White House, Washington, D.C.
- H.A.M.M.E.R. Armored Transport
Synopsis for 1st story
Rhodey in the middle of a stroke. Osborn is ready to bend the docile Ultimo to do his bidding, which includes killing Rhodey. H.A.M.M.E.R. agents then set up Rhodey for transport. However, Glenda uses a codephrase, "Briar Patch", to end the stroke simulation, enabling Rhodey to assimilate the tech of the H.A.M.M.E.R. transport and agents' weapons, making a massive War Machine armor. Osborn attempts to attack, claiming that he allowed Rhodey to assimilate his armor so that he could access Ultimo. Therefore, Rhodey punches him away. He then assembles a craft for Suzi Endo, instructing her to take Ultimo off-planet and teach it right from wrong, otherwise he'll have to kill it, to which she agrees. Barton takes this as proof to his fellow West Coast Avengers that Rhodey did have good intentions all along. However, Rhodey informs them that saving Ultimo was just a side mission. He tells them that there is a real job that he wants them to do. As soon as his former teammates depart, Osborn makes a comeback, puncturing a hole in his armor. Unfortunately, Rhodey can't repair it, as Osborn has managed to find a way around his assimilation tech. Glenda urges him to run and fight another day, to which he refuses, seeing himself as only a soldier, who was never meant to have such power. Thus, he does a sole dog-fight against H.A.M.M.E.R.
Jake Oh, War Machine 02, comes to the Sheriff William Sampleson's office, in Campville Louisiana, accusing him of kill seven hurricane survivors three years ago; he has the evidence to incriminate him; Bethany Cabe, War Machine 01, exposes a prison holding untreated influenza detainees in Bunsen, California; Barton and Mockingbird spread countless dollar bills to the public from an insurance company that had been holding the money illegally; Wonder Man exposes that a lagoon was toxic.
All of these minor crimes have been exposed to the public at large, though Osborn considers it minor. He and his troops then destroy the giant War Machine armor, before taking Rhodey into custody, preparing to place him on trial for war crimes.
A DARK REIGN TIE-IN! For the last nine issues, Norman Osborn and James Rhodes have attempted to destroy each other's most precious hopes and dreams – all without ever seeing each other face to face. But now everything comes to a head as Iron Patriot and War Machine finally throw down! And this ain't just another show fight, kids -- by the end of this issue, only one armored giant will remain standing! Find out why ComicBookResources.com says, “Little did I know how far Greg Pak would take this concept…this issue proves that it refuses to let itself be overlooked. It won't sit quietly in its little corner and play nice.”
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