FORCE WORKS #6-8; IRON MAN #310-312; MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #169-172; WAR MACHINE #7-10 (1994-1995): Hands of the Mandarin

Hawkeye and War Machine fight a Russian version of Mr. Freeze called Cold Warrior. He’s never seen again.

War Machine’s armor gets damaged, forcing him to go to Tony Stark to get the blueprints so it can be repaired. Tony and Rhodey haven’t been getting along, so it’s a big deal for them to talk. Mostly because Tony doesn’t approve of how Rhodey is going into other countries and stuff.

Guess how they resolve their disagreement? Go on, guess.

That’s right.

From there, we jump to Iron Man #310. We’ve got a crossover event now, folks.

Mandarin is watching the two Iron dudes fighting. Bethany Cabe squashes the beef with an EMP gun, paralyzing both of them, and Mandarin takes that opportunity to strike–kidnapping both heroes via teleportation.

Rhodey’s armor is also still broken because Tony-the-jerk wouldn’t fix it. It appears that Mandarin kills him.

Of course he’s not dead. Those guys called Avatars are aliens who are working with Mandarin because … Nevermind.

Force Works attack on a rescue mission. The Force Works issues are, obviously, the worst of the lot in this event. You don’t really have to read them. Especially since Marvel Comics Presents ALSO gets into the action here. Those are really nonessential stories–they just re-tell the same story but from different points of view, i.e., the points of view of each Force Works member. Nobody wants to see that.

From here, it’s a nonstop battle with Mandarin. He’s got alien technology, and the aliens are also invading. Hong Kong gets smashed up. Towards the end, Mandarin learns that Iron Man is really Tony Stark.

When Mandarin starts to lose the battle, his alien friends leave him–and through a really dumb device not worth explaining, it appears in the end that Mandarin is (a) young and (b) doesn’t remember Tony is Iron Man.

Tony agrees to use his foundation to help rebuild Hong Kong.

Oh, and he and Rhodey are friends again.

These issues introduce Suzi Endo, a higher up at Stark’s Hong Kong branch. She has some kind of cyber powers.

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