This issue wraps up the Avengers’ journey inside The Diamond, but this story, and the threat of Dimitrios, is far from over. Sam Humphries is telling a big story here, and from the look of the last page here, it’s only going to get bigger, and more crazy, which is awesome.
We begin with a nice bit of comedy in the ‘real world’, as Iron Man and Sunspot struggle to work out how to stop the people rioting about gas prices. They can’t beat them up, because they are just citizens, but they can’t let them just, well, riot, so all they can do is hold them off until the Avengers inside the digital world can do something. Those Avengers make their way to Gascheck, thanks to Gibson, and when they find the rogue app, he appears like a giant red tentacle baby. Andre Araujo has worn his Otomo influence throughout this book, and it returns here, Gascheck looks like Tetsuo at the end of the Akira movie. Doombot tries to blast Gascheck, but it doesn’t work. Instead, Pym has to try talking to him, as it turns out that Gascheck doesn’t realize that he’s hurting people. He was designed simply to help humanity find cheap gas, and that’s all he wants to do. He’s a good app that has been manipulated by Dimitrios, and to save the day he decides to ‘deactivate his higher functions’ (ie, lobotomise himself) and sacrifice himself for the good of humanity. Once again, Humphries’ central theme of how A.I. are just as capable of good as humans are shines through, and when Gascheck turns himself back into a normal sized red tentacle baby, you really do feel sorry for him. At least he’s going to a good home, as the Lovelace Army are going to raise him again.
So, the rioting has stopped, the day is saved, Captain America respects Hank Pym again, and Dimitrios has been foiled. Hooray! But of course, he has another plan up his sleeve, and it involves Jocasta and Monica Chang, who are sent on their first Robot Hunter mission, which is to bring in the rogue LMD, Jessie Clatterbuck. The mission goes well, too well, the MODOCs she is supposed to be with have her tied up, and they are too easy to defeat. Obviously, Jessie being captured is all a part of Dimitrios’ plan, and whilst Monica knows this, Jocasta is unconvinced. What was up with that weird Robot Parrot that Monica saw? That came out of nowhere, but it the kind of odd touch that makes this series work.
The issue ends with another talking animal, as Alexis, under the tutelage of her sister Eton, meditates in front of a talking frog. She concentrates and concentrates, and when she opens her eyes… she’s up in space, surrounded by floating statues of Avengers, and with a version of herself dressed like Captain America, talking about the ‘Avengers Empire’ and how she needs to rescue Jessie Clatterbuck to stop Dimitrios. Is this real? Is this the future? I have no idea, and I love that.