In the last issue of Avengers Undercover Hazmat claimed revenge for Mettle by frying Arcade to death. This issue deals with the fallout of cold-blooded murder when you don’t have ties to the Avengers despite the name to bank off the movie that was released. This is my review of Avengers Undercover #3.
The story picks up where we left off, with the kids standing over Arcade’s remains. Well, the dust from his bones anyway. Cammi, being savvy enough to realize that Arcade was an ego-maniac and was probably filming their rematch, asks Deathlocket if she managed to get the extra cameras no doubt hidden around. When she states she probably didn’t it was safe to say it was time to go.
Ax-bro asks if Hazmat is alright as they flee and she states she snapped but she’s well enough so they can fight their way out through the corpses and other murder-addicted clients. Cullen doesn’t see why they need to rush, but Cammi states they violated several laws including watching as Hazmat put him down, which counts as pre-meditated murder even if only one of them did it. And Chase is slightly more jerkass-ish, but that character assassination is par the course since Avenger Arena and sadly I’ve gotten used to it.
Needless to say Cammi is right since SHIELD, who couldn’t find Arcade any other time to this point, manages to drop in right when they are about to escape. And suddenly they’re able to take down Cullen when he just went through wiping out their Brazil base and Nico? Come on.
Hours later they’re all in a containment facility where their friends and family are visiting, except for Deathlocket’s anyway. Ax-bro gets a lecture from his old man, Cullen and his sister argue, Stryker and Finesse visit Hazmat, Molly is blaming Nico for all of this to Chase while Karolina is greeting Nico. Where the hell is Victor and Old Lace in this? I get they probably couldn’t sneak the dinosaur on-board, but what’s the grandson of Hank Pym’s excuse for not seeing his ex-girlfriend in lock-up other than trying to get him to flash his Avengers card and give them the option of going to Avengers Academy or prison?
The above panels are mere bubbles while the meat of the dialogue is between Cammi and her mother. Her mother doesn’t blame them, like me she believes Arcade had it coming and is willing to fight tooth and nail to get her out. Cammi doesn’t want her to and just wants her to focus on taking care of herself, but her mother sees Cammi as the only thing in her life worth something and she’s not letting anyone take her away. Truly, the most heart-warming moment in this issue…
Of course then SHIELD proves to be incompetent and Daimon warps them all out in like three seconds flat. There’s the incompetence I remember. The son of Satan escorts them to Tower Zemo, where the more savvy of the kids note all this seemed planned out while Ax-Bro once again asks Hazmat if she’s hanging in there while Nico chats with Daimon on spell-working until they reach the banquet hall.
Zemo is there and basically states they live in a world where the average joe can live how he likes but people with powers need to ether cover it up or play heroes, not for personal gain. Now, I want to say he’s wrong. But technically speaking I can’t, because in almost every superhero story you read someone looking out for themselves with their powers will either be called out on it, turned into a villain, or seem like a selfish jerk.
For example Spider-man let a robber go past him once because he wasn’t a cop and thus not obligated, yet Uncle Ben dies to teach him a ‘lesson’ about with great power and responsibility. Come on, the chances of that happening were slim to none if they didn’t want to push him into being a hero. That’s part of the reason I liked Otto and Kaine more than Peter at present and I hope when they introduce Silk into Amazing Spider-Man.
…Okay, I didn’t mean to but that sounded like a plug…
Anyway, the kids tell him to skip straight to the point. He states he’s not asking them to do evil, but they have potential that can’t be realized in the normal world (again, he has a point) and asks that they join them as the comic ends.
Okay, review time.
First off since when is SHIELD competent enough to have a sorcery division? Even if Zemo somehow set it up, and I’m not doubting it, that seems both bullshit and contrived at best. Don’t they have someone else’s lives to fuck up?
Next, it really seems like they’re trying to push Axbro and Hazmat together with all this concern he’s showing her. I get someone needs to play mediator and councilor, but they could have just as easily have had Deathlocket ask her. Please, please, don’t force it Marvel. If it happens, it happens, but don’t force it until we feel like we’re being strangled with the red string.
Last is the recruitment offer at the end. In my opinion, if the title didn’t spoil the whole premise of the book, I can see Hazmat, Cullen, and Deathlocket agreeing off-hand. Hazmat’s stint in Avengers Academy was because she was a potential villain and she wasn’t all that close to her parents before all this so she has no real strong ties left, Deathlocket was accepted there with ease rather than being in a SHIELD lab and she doesn’t seem to have any family while Cullen’s already made his case.
Ax-bro would probably go to keep an eye on Hazmat and Cullen, but Nico, Chase, and Cammi are not as likely. Nico and Chase rebelled against their parents because they were criminals, but they’ve lost their loved ones and Chase did go somewhat villainous after Gert died. If the solicits about Alex Wilder coming back is true, then him and Gert are incentives to join up.
Cammi is the token good-teammate. She’s obviously going to have to be pushed into it. She and Ax-bro are probably the ones who consider this undercover thing in the first place.
The sequel to the base-breaking Avengers Arena is now out and I’m here to review it. While I originally only got into the previous series because I was a Runaways fan, I feel compelled to let you know how this Avengers-in-name-only story goes and my thoughts on it as we see the aftermath of Arcade’s Murder-world three months later.
It starts with Hazmat watching a news report on the footage Arcade released from a diner, where three friends are sitting down and talking about their favorites. One of them finds Chase to be a wuss, waiting for Nico to tell him what to do and getting his ass-kicked by little girls, while the other sees him as a loyal hottie. The third, however, proceeds to talk trash about Hazmat’s breakdown and causes her to scare him by using her powers. It turns out after her meltdown she managed to gain control over them.
We then skip over to Chase giving an interview on television, with him apparently being a celebrity and having a book deal about his time during the events of Murder-world since he’s the most outspoken of the entire thing. He states that while the others are fighting it he sees it as pointless and is more focused on getting what he can out of it. While cold, it seems to be his way of adjusting to everything.
It’s then Nico shows up and they have a minor spat on-camera over him breaking his pact. Chase implies that she’s suffered the most from it, with her even missing Molly’s birthday. Considering that she’s the most mothering of the group, of which Karolina, Molly, and Victor are watching from their home, that’s saying something. She grabs Chase and teleports him elsewhere with a spell after that.
Deathlocket, meanwhile, is apparently being seen to by SHIELD technicians. Her cybernetics seemed to be evolving, but she’s not exactly in full control as she materializes a weapon when one man claims to be a fan of hers. She points out that she had to shoot her best friend in the head, she set a kid on fire, and she had to watch Tim die, before storming out to go someplace else.
Cammi, on the other hand, is attending a recovering alcoholics meeting with her mother to give her support. Her mother had it bad, losing three homes and nine jobs, only hitting rock-bottom after seeing what they said on the news about Cammi being forced to participate in Murder-world. While things between them seemed to be better, Cammi tells her she has to leave in order to go somewhere else and apologizes before she does so.
We then go to a recording of Cullen, who apparently got a plasma cannon for his sixth birthday called Brimstone. He then uses it to burn down Arcade’s home. Unfortunately he wasn’t there, much to Cullen’s rage as he smashes the camera. It then skips to Aiden meeting with Cammi and the others at Bloodstone Manor.
He explains that Cullen basically snapped, leaving school one morning only for Aiden to show up at his place three months later. Cullen’s room is lined with information about the Masters of Evil and Arcade, as well as places he might be and so on, showing he’s gone off the deep end. His latest recording three weeks ago show him going to the city of Bagalia to kill Arcade, to which the others are concerned with the exception being Chase (who pretty much is all for him killing Arcade after what he put them through).
Unfortunately, right after Chase jinxes it by saying what could go wrong we see that Cullen’s monster form on a rampage in Brazil and attacking a SHIELD R & D facility. It seems like one of the Masters of Evil, the son of Satan, managed to gain control over him. Without knowing any of this, the group decides to go and check on him, ending the comic.
Okay, review time.
Well, I’ve been waiting for this one and, while not disappointed, I’ve got to say it could have been a bit better. While they gave us a brief look into what the survivors have been up to, I wasn’t nearly satisfied with the brief panel appearance of the rest of the Runaways without Klara. But the biggest issues were Chase and Nico.
Chase came from an abusive home and was so good at hiding it that no one suspected it until it was brought up between him and Nico. Now you have him giving interviews and crap, getting rich off of it. That’s really out of character for him, especially when you consider than after Gert’s death he really matured.
And Nico outright hitting him was overly aggressive for her. Don’t get me wrong, the girl is quick to draw when it comes to the staff, but only when defending her charges. Unless that’s a side-effect of being raised from the dead, which can be counted as justifiable, then it’s out of character for her.
The others were pretty well done, coping in one way or another, although Cullen seems to be the one who suffered the most mental unbalance and completely snapped. What I really want to see is the adults who fucked up and how they’re dealing with this, starting with when Juston’s family finding out about the LMD sent to replace him and how it weighs on Hank Pym combined with Mettle’s death. But I can be patient for the time being…
Anyway, overall it gets a 4 out of 5 and a solid recommendation. I will be following it along.