Cover of The Week: War Machine #12

This weeks cover of the week features the ever present sidekick of Iron Man, War Machine. Jim Rhodes’ body is a little worse for ware, more machine than man and his time is short. What better thing to do then, than bring justice to anyone of a evil an villainous nature still has a breath in their body? Armed with enough weapons and technology to blow up the moon, War Machine sets out on a suicide run against untouchable villains and scumbags and does what he does best. Explosions.

War Machine’s 12 issues series was my favourite of the several Dark Reign tie in books. Greg Pak wrote a very dramatic, fantastical story that also had a deep personal edge and highlighted the political metaphor that surrounded Dark Reign better than most books. It was a great combination. one that resulted in War Machine assimilating a tank into his structure one page and being the centre of a dramatic war trial the next. Underpinning this whole story was Rhodes’ nature towards justice and the relationship this caused with his mother and others around him, resulting in a great character study of James Rhodes.

All the covers of this series were done by Fransesco Mattina and choosing a favourite was a tough decision. Many of the covers are of a dramatic, action scene with Mattina’s realistic but slightly surreal style. With his signiture overexposure to add drama to his work. But the cover I picked was from War Machine #12.

As seen above is is a full page portrait of War Machine with his visor open, revealing his incredibly damaged face. I chose this cover because it sums up this story arc and series extremely well. Rhodes is falling apart but his expression is still of hardened determination. He will not stop until he has succeeded. The mixing of flesh and steel gives the viewer an horrific taste of what it must be like to be in his shoes. the flesh falling away to see the cold steel interior below.

I’m a fan of Mattina’s style, the realistic detailing and colour tone give his covers an edge of realism often not found on comic covers. Add to this the surreal lighting and use of focus give his covers a unique edge. It is a style that is easy to spot but is also not seen very much and I applaud Fransesco for that.

Fransesco has done a lot of work for Marvel of the last couple of years, highlights including his covers for Thunderbolts, and the Shadowland mini series “Blood on The Streets. Outside of Marvel his work includes covers for Azreal, as well as one of covers such as Joker’s Asylum II: Killer Croc. As for independent publishers, Mattina has done extensive work for Radical Publishing with the After Dark and Ryder on The Storm series, as well as cover work for the Boom! series Elric: The Balance Lost.

So there were are, War Machine #12 and Fransesco Mattina, we salute you!

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Posted by HolySerpent

Great review