Cover to Force Works #1, July 1994. Pencils by Tom Tenney.
|Publication date||July 1994 – April 1996|
|No. of issues||22 plus 1 ashcan mini-comic|
Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter)
|Created by||Dan Abnett|
|Written by||Dan Abnett (plots)|
Andy Lanning (scripts)
|Penciller(s)||Tom Tenney (Ashcan; #1–4)|
Tod Smith (#5)
Dave Taylor (#6–7)
Staz Johnson (#8)
Jim Calafiore (#9–12)
Dave Ross (#13–14)
Jim Cheung (#15–17)
Yancey Labat (#18, 21)
Hector Oliveira (#19–20)
Andrew Wildman (#21–22)
|Inker(s)||Michael Avon Oeming (Ashcan)|
Rey Garcia (#1–4, 6–7, 9–13, 15–22)
Kevin Yates (#5)
Don Hudson (#8)
Mark McKenna (#14)
Sandu Florea (#21)
Sergio Cariello (#21)
|Letterer(s)||Susan Crespi (Ashcan)|
Jack Morelli (#1–22)
The first version of Force Works first appeared in the comic book series Force Works #1 (July 1994) where they were created by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and initially drawn by Tom Tenney. The team was formed from the remains of the West Coast Avengers, after leader Iron Man left the Avengers due to an internal dispute. Force Works maintained a different outlook than that of the Avengers, trying to preempt natural and man-made disasters.
The second version of Force Works was mentioned in Civil War #6.
Fictional team biography
From the ashes of West Coast Avengers
Force Works began shortly after the West Coast Avengers disbanded. Tony Stark, otherwise known as the hero Iron Man, sought to form a superhero group with a different philosophy than its predecessors, most notably the East Coast branch of the Avengers: they would not just stop disasters, but prevent them. The team was initially composed of Iron Man, U.S. Agent, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Scarlet Witch, and Wonder Man. By the end of their first mission, Wonder Man was thought dead at the hands of the invading Kree, and shortly thereafter the alien Century took his place. The group used a combination of The Chaos Computer, a supercomputer that used incoming information to predict future events, and the hex powers of the Scarlet Witch to attempt to prevent major world problems.
Force Works used a Stark Enterprises facility known as The Works as their base. The building was fully equipped for the team's use; it featured powerful security and stealth systems and incorporated nanotechnology that would repair the building if it were damaged. It was maintained by a Stark Industries staff, leaving Force Works to focus on its duties. The facility was also administered by an artificial intelligence system called P.L.A.T.O. (Piezo-electrical Logistic Analytical Tactical Operator). The Works also included living and training accommodations and could also produce hard-light holographs.
Although Force Works was officially led by the Scarlet Witch, Iron Man would often act insubordinately and make his own decisions during their missions. Later it was revealed that Iron Man was under the influence of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror (even later revealed to be his future self Immortus in disguise). The team fought several battles, existed for just less than two years, and disbanded. Most of its members rejoined the Avengers or sank into obscurity.
Shortly after the disintegration of the group, Tony Stark died in his attempts to regain control of himself from "Kang" and was replaced by a younger, alternate-reality version of himself. The original Stark did not remain dead for long, due to the events that culminated in the "Heroes Reborn" storyline.
Force Works in the Fifty State Initiative
A new version of Force Works was mentioned as being active and sent to Iowa as a part of the Fifty State Initiative. Although no members were shown or even named. According to editor Tom Brevoort on a Newsarama interview it could be that the team consists of new super-heroes, some could be existing "Pro-reg" heroes and some could be established heroes "with an upgrade".
Force Works was again mentioned as a team when War Machine was sent into space to deal with attacking Skrulls. Investigating a Stark Satellite, he discovered Cybermancer there, and it was implied by War Machine she was a member of Force Works.
Third Force Works
In light of an uprising of robots and A.I. during the "Iron Man 2020" event, a new Force Works team becomes formed at the request of the U.S government to act as the nations last, best line of defense. In East Brunswick, New Jersey, a group of robots associated with the A.I. Army are attacked by Force Works members Solo, Gauntlet, and War Machine where one of them self-destructs. Three hours later, Maria Hill is revealed to be part of Force Works, as its commander, as she meets up with War Machine after the badly-ended mission. She informs him Gauntlet is to be in the hospital for a few weeks and Solo quit because he didn't think War Machine was teammate material, and another agent has gone missing. Three hours after her meeting with War Machine, Maria Hill remotely briefs Quake in an airplane on her mission to find the missing agent on the island of Lingare. She informs Quake if the mission fails, then she is to implement the Poseidon Protocols. When her airplane is attacked, Quake is saved by War Machine. U.S. Agent, her partner piloting the airplane, also bails out. He lands in the jungle, and is held at gunpoint by Lingares soldiers until a disguised Mockingbird, the missing agent, rescues him. Quake and War Machine meet up with them as Mockingbird states that she can't leave the island until her investigation mission there is complete, as something huge is happening there. They are then attacked by Deathloks who soon overwhelm them, and War Machine sends out a priority one distress call asking for assistance.
After War Machine, Quake, U.S. Agent, and Mockingbird have been captured by the Deathloks, they are thrown in a cage with some Lingares soldiers, including those they fought earlier. Quake states to the soldiers that the dead that captured them are Deathloks. With Quake translating, War Machine, U.S. Agent, and Mockingbird learned that someone called the "Scientist" showed up claiming to help them where he made the Deathloks from the fallen countrymen to help deal with a giant. Unfortunately, something went wrong. The Deathloks come in to take some men causing Force Works to fight back. More Deathloks arrive and use their electrical guns to stun them. As the Deathloks start to take War Machine, Quake recovers from the paralysis first and starts to shake the ground without her gauntlets. As a Deathlok attacks her, something is heard causing the Deathloks to run out of the cage. Quake frees herself and her fellow prisoners as a Deathlok claims that the "parts" are coming. It is soon discovered that the giant attacking Lingares is Ultimo. As Quake, U.S. Agent, and Mockingbird get the prisoners to safety, War Machine fights off his paralysis and starts fighting the Deathloks trying to experiment on him. Meanwhile, Force Works becomes caught in a three-way fight against Ultimo and the Deathloks. War Machine is then saved by someone the Deathloks call their maker and whom he recognizes, and says is in need of his services. Moments later, War Machine rejoins the rest of Force Works with his armor, U.S. Agent's shield, and the equipment of Quake and Mockingbird as he fights off the Deathloks. As Ultimo leaves to continue his attack on the Deathloks, the rest of Force Works learns that War Machine's rescuer is MODOK Superior, and he intends to add his brainpower to Force Works as its newest member.
- Iron Man
- Scarlet Witch
- U.S. Agent
- War Machine
- Wonder Man
- Maria Hill
|Title||Material collected||Date Released||ISBN|
|Avengers/Iron Man: Force Works||Force Works #1–15, Force Works: Ashcan Edition; Century: Distant Sons #1; material from Iron Man/Force Works Collectors' Preview||May 2016||978-1302900564|
|Iron Man/War Machine: Hands of the Mandarin||War Machine #8–10, Iron Man #310–312, Force Works #6–7 and material from Marvel Comics Presents #169–172||May 2013||978-0785184287|
|Avengers: The Crossing||Avengers #390–395, The Crossing #1, Timeslide #1; Iron Man #319–325; Force Works #16–22; War Machine #20–25; Age of Innocence: The Rebirth of Iron Man #1||May 2012||978-0785162032|
In other media
- The group was adapted into the supporting cast of the 1994–1996 Iron Man animated series. For the series, Hawkeye appeared in place of U.S. Agent (though he did appear in the eight issue adaptation of the cartoon). Shortly after the characters were written out of the series, Force Works was canceled at issue #22 (April 1996).
- Abnett & Lanning Revive "Resurrection Man", Comic Book Resources
- DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
- The Superhero Book, p.252
- Force Works #1
- Civil War #6. Marvel Comics.
- Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33. Marvel Comics.
- 2020 Force Works #1. Marvel Comics.
- 2020 Force Works #2. Marvel Comics.
- Keith Giffen & Andy Schmidt Answer Your "Annihilation" Questions, Part 1, Comic Book Resources
- The Superhero Book, p.417
- The Superhero Book, p.465
- Mike Conroy, 500 Great Comicbook Action Heroes, Barrons Educational Series, p.214
- THE IRON MANUAL: War Machine, Comic Book Resources