Today, we check out Guardians of the Galaxy #13, The New Avengers #52, The Mighty Avengers #24, Avengers: The Initiative #23, The Incredible Hercules #128, Wolverine Origins #35, Dark Reign: Elektra #2, Skrull Kill Krew #1, and Blast to the Past with The Amazing Spider-Man #26. Enjoy and spread the word!
It's getting so a dude can barely read every Marvel title ever. Still, if I can't get you the low down on War of Kings and Dark Reign, who WILL? Who will indeed.
As always, you can easily check up on past articles of Super Reads. If you're reading this on The Outhouse, you'll see a link titled "Super Reads" under the "Features" button on the top of the page. Click on it and you can check out what happened in every issue dealing with Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and War of Kings (because I obviously have an addiction). If my directions are confusing, click here to catch up or remember back on all 47 previous articles. It's perfect for all your reading needs.
Let's join that War already in progress.
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciler: Brad Walker
The Guardians book took a break from War of Kings the last two issues in order to give us a new origin for Phyla-Vell (she's now going by Martyr) and to bring Moondragon back from the dead (again). By the time we catch back up with the team, Phyla, Moondragon, and Drax have rejoined and they're all having a nice bar fight in a local Knowhere bar, Starlin's. Yes, you recognize that name.
If you've forgotten since last we checked in, Knowhere is a giant severed Celestial head floating on the edge of space time that serves as not only the headquarters of the Guardians but is also home to a great deal of scientific communities and refugees from all over the galaxy. It's pretty easy for fights to break out over intergalactic politics or the like. Sort of like the internet, actually. In this case, the fight started when a Shi'ar citizen insulted Phyla's dad, Captain Marvel. The original. Well, Marvel's original. No Shazam over here. Marvel was a Kree, if you're curious.
The team has GROWN in it's first thirteen issues. We've got most of the original cast (the rest will be along shortly) and added Major Victory, Jack Flag, Groot, and Bug to the lineup. Soon, we're gonna need two books to hold the entire cast. I suggest Blue and Gold teams. In all seriousness, the Guardians are gonna need the extra muscle when they head into the center of War of Kings.
So, let's break up this bar fight and get things moving. Rather, let's have our last returning members do that for us. Adam Warlock and Gamora show up stunned that their former teammates are engaged in a barroom brawl instead of out saving the galaxy. That effectively ends the battle and lets our leader, Star-Lord, meet with Warlock to learn exactly what's what in Marvel's cosmic titles. Warlock's not officially rejoining the team but he's gonna work with them until the end of Shi'ar/Kree hostilities so it's basically the same thing.
Now, you might be curious to learn exactly HOW the Guardians of the Galaxy plan on dealing with the war between the Shi'ar and the Kree. These are huge space empires after all. During Galactic Storm, pretty much the entire line up of Avengers and former Avengers tried their best to halt a war between those two and, while they had their part to play, ended up basically watching it go down from the sidelines. The Guardians might have boosted ranks but no where near the same number the Avengers had. So what can they do?
They plan on talking it out. Get Black Bolt and Vulcan together and working things out like civilized people. Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon figure that Black Bolt will be more easily persuaded to pursue this course of action but Vulcan may have to be forced into it. You might say even kidnapped. Because of this, the team splits up with most of the heavy hitters heading off to grab Vulcan and contain the Nega-Bomb explosions he keeps setting off.
Star-Lord's team sort of looks like this:
They're heading off after Black Bolt while Rocket Raccoon leads Groot, Adam Warlock, Major Victory, and Drax to nab Vulcan. Minding shop is Moondragon, Mantis, and Cosmo the Wonderdog. All telepaths so you're probably missing something. Everyone's teleported away and we're off on adventures.
Obviously, nothing goes to plan. That would be too easy and there's still a good four issues left of War of Kings. If it ended now that trade paperback would look awful empty. Rocket's team teleports straight to the Disradi system and right on a planet that has just been Nega-Bombed. Warlock's first job is to make sure that this Nega-Bombed planet doesn't end up opening a hole in time and space and collapse the universe (since the universe is pretty fractured and unsteady right now). Once that's done, they teleport to the Vulcan's imperial ship that's conveniently watching the planet burn.
Meanwhile, Star-Lord's team is already in Attilan, the Inhumans' city and, currently, the Royal City of Hala. They are granted and audience with Black Bolt with Medusa, Karnak, and Gorgon present as well. Star-Lord goes through a very good speech about how the Shi'ar are obviously the agressors in this conflict but that, if the war continues, it could lead to the entire universe ceasing to exist. Reality is that fragile right now. Will the Inhumans and Kree please stop this war? Black Bolt does just what we (but not the Guardians) would expect him to do.
He says "No." Well, he says it through his wife, Medusa, but it's said nonetheless.
Rocket Raccoon's team tried teleporting into Vulcan's ship only to find out that it was shielded against teleports. It turns out that the Inhumans have been pretty effective with teleporting attacks and even have a giant teleporting dog that can bring combatants to the front lines. This means it's something you defend against. This leaves them floating through space well outside of any ships. Well, most of them, at least. Warlock's magical properties allow him to enter the ship but he is taken by surprise by an attack by the emperor himself.
Rocket, Drax, Groot, and Major Victory are far too visible floating in space and, just to add to the misery, their Knowhere passports were destroyed in the failed port. They are picked up by the Domination Through Superior Firepower. If you recognize that monster of a name it's because it's the ship that Havok and the Starjammers took over in War of Kings #2. So, the Guardians are safe but only for the moment.
Rocket Raccoon used to run with the Starjammers back in the day but it's been a while since he's had the pleasure. He wasn't even aware that Corsair died. Before he can find out any more than that his old friend is dead, their moment of relative safetly is at an end. It turns out that the Domination Through Superior Firepower wasn't supposed to pick up the floaters. It was supposed to kill them. The Shi'ar are wondering what's up so it's time for the Starjammers to do their thing.
The Domination explodes revealing the Starjammer (the ship) within. Havok tells the Guardians that he and his crew are rescuing Lilandra and then they're taking down Vulcan. He offers them a place on that ride. Look for them all again in War of Kings #3. It'll be a good time.
The New Avengers #52
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilers: Billy Tan & Chris Bachalo
Man, it's so good to have Bachalo doing simple panel structures again. His work much easier to follow. I mean, his Steampunk stuff was a treat for the eyes but was a lot of visual work to get through. Easier panel structure for the win.
Before Dr. Strange ended up in James Barnes' house, he was fighting for his life against the Hood. This Hood had one seriously messed up face and a great desire to get the Eye of Agamotto from the former Sorceror Supreme. Strange tried his best to convince the Hood that deals with demons seldom go according to plan (and there's probably a lesson in there for Spidey, too) but, like all good villains, the Hood refuses to listen to good advice. The two magic fight (with magic!) so that Strange learns one very interesting nugget. The Hood is more powerful than he is.
In fact, the only reason Stephen escapes is because Young Avengers don't listen to old people. Strange had told Billy Kaplan, also known as Wiccan, to get the hell out of Dodge only for the amateur mage to come back and save Strange's life. Stephen ends up returning the favor before the battle is through before, eventually, ending up at the current New Avengers HQ.
The New Avengers meet with Strange to figure out what's going on and try wrapping their brains around the fact that Stephen Strange is no longer the Sorceror Supreme. We also reiterate that the Hood is basically being possessed by a seriously powerful demon and that demon is getting a stronger hold on his host every day. Strange and the New Avengers don't know who that demon is (it's Dormammu) but they know it's a seriously bad one.
They also learn that the Hood isn't attacking with his gang at his heels. He's dealing with Strange all alone because this is a very personal matter. That means that the New Avengers may have found a way to take down a serious pain without all the busy work of beating hired help. Also: Peter Parker can't keep his mask on.
Strange isn't here for the help, of course. He's just here to get his bearing and do his thing all on his lonesome but the New Avengers aren't taking no for an answer. They mean to help Strange and, in the process, help themselves.
Elsewhere, the Hood is learning the penalties of not having any friends. His torment is incredible and Dormammu is enjoying the heck out of it. In the middle of this torturefest, Whitney Frost, Madame Masque when she's working, interrupts and guns are pulled. The two villains have a stand off and the Hood does his best macho guy impression. He tells Madame Masque that he's got it all under control and he's just got some stuff to take care of and then everything is even. Unfortunately, most of this conversation is to his mirror image and that's just not the way to look sane. Whitney gets the gist, though. Her boyfriend is connected to an awful demon. They should seriously be looking for Dr. Strange to help him get rid of it.
The Hood is nothing if not cryptic. He says he's looking for Strange but doesn't give on that, once he finds Stephen, he's offing the former Sorceror Supreme and stealing all that Sorceror Supreme goodness for his own evil ends. No, he wouldn't tell her that. Parker's still a lot confused though and, after being mostly demon all day, he's not sure where reality begins. This is as good a time as any for Whitney to finally take off that mask of hers and show the Hood what she looks like.
Apparently, she looks real good. The two make out as Dormammu watches inside the mirror. Freakin' peeping tom.
Back at New Avenger HQ, the Avengers are getting ready to make a trip to New Orleans with Dr. Strange. That's gonna take some sort of jet thing and it's fortunate that someone took a Quinjet as part of their severence package. Yeah. Ms. Marvel stole a Quinjet. Now, that might seem pretty bad and Spider-Man's gonna make sure to hit home the fact that you can't justify stealing just to make your life more convenient. At the same time, Osborn isn't using Quinjets in the Dark Avengers. He's using Oscorp jets. The Quinjet, as one of Tony Stark's designs and builds, would have been scrapped. Now, is it justifiable to steal something that was going to be destroyed? Who do the Quinjets belong to? Osborn? SHIELD? The Avengers? Tony Stark? I'm pretty certain Stark would have let this team have 'em at this point. Still, stealing IS stealing and it's very likely that this'll come back to haunt them. It'll at least haunt Spidey.
Anyway, they're in New Orleans. Who are they visiting?
It might have been Damon Hellstrom. Right now he's having a conversation with his ex-wife on his cell phone. His ex is Patsy Walker who's appearing over in Avengers: The Initiative but is in Alaska as of this story. It's not a pleasant conversation. It's hard when your ex-husband is the Son of Satan. Hellstrom hangs up in anger and immediately regrets all the yelling. He may also regret not ducking.
The Hood shows up and starts shooting at him.
The Mighty Avengers #24
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Rafa Sandoval
The Cabal is having a meeting on the Astral Plane. The big problem with this is that the Astral Plane tends to let your secrets go all over the place if you aren't prepared. Since the only telepath in the room is Emma Frost, there's gonna be an incident sooner or later. For now, these are also people with powerful personalities. Doom even shows his perfect face around for the ladies.
Mostly, the Cabal is attacking Norman for in inability to coral the Avengers brand into one team. Splinter groups keep popping up. On group in particular was formed with the influence from another Cabal member.
That would be Loki. He's a she now and is amused as hell at the chaos she's causing for Norman Osborn. Granted, no one knows she's doing any of this. That wouldn't be Loki's way at all. She's doing it in the guise of the Scarlet Witch. And, yes, it's time for more mischief.
The Scarlet Witch means a lot of things to a lot of people. To Cassie Lang, Stature of the Young (and Mighty) Avengers, Wanda is the woman that killed her dad, Scott Lang when he was Ant-Man for the Avengers. To her teammates, Speed and Wiccan, the Scarlet Witch is their possible mom and that makes just as much sense as it sounds. Marvel time moves a long way while standing perfectly still. There is basically no way that Wanda could have two teenage sons running around but, by that logic, there's no way that three different generations of mutants have all reached the relative same age of adulthood. So, if Wanda's mom to twin teenage boys, it's probably magic and we don't need to explain it.
That still doesn't explain how the Hulkling is the son of Captain Marvel and a Skrull Princess, though. Don't make my head explode.
Anyway, Cassie and her boyfriend, Vision, are preparing to tell the two twins about the return of the Scarlet Witch when they are suddenly transported away from their friends to Hank Pym's secret lab in Chicago. They don't take this very pleasantly and Cassie is really not happy to find the astral form of Wanda Maximoff hanging about but there's heroing to be done and what are you going to do? The big and unnecessary reveal will have to happen at a later date. You'll notice that Jocasta and Jarvis stay behind. Jocasta probably isn't fully healed from the Hulk's attack two issues ago.
To Pietro Maximoff, Wanda means finding a piece of himself. The two are twins that spent most of their lives looking out for each other. He declined an invitation to join the Mighty Avengers last issue only to see the team transported away by the image of his sister. Since then, he's been looking for them. Currently, he's checking out the West Coast Avengers Compound in California. Of course, they aren't there. They're in Argentina. It's a good thing Quicksilver is really fast.
In Buenos Aires, the Mighty Avengers are fighting the Swarm. Swarm was last seen at the beginning of Secret Invasion in Thunderbolts. Looks like he's causing some trouble again and making an army of bee constructed men.
Yeah. Bee constructed men. Men made of bees. They seem surprisingly well formed for lack of a bone structure. Bees are amazing.
While the Mighty Avengers fight bee constructs, Hank Pym... or... Wasp... good gravy it's not gonna be easy calling him that... and Stature have shrunk down in size to look for the queen bee. Stature tries to warn Hank about working with Wanda but Hank isn't an idiot. Well, in many ways, he actually is, but apparently, he's not being the idiot that just blindly trusted the formerly crazy lady. He's keeping his friends close and his enemies closer or some jazz. Stature finally finds the queen and it's game over for Swarms consciousness. Now, they've just got a lot of bees hanging about.
Which is when Quicksilver shows up and acts without thinking. He creates a mini tornado and disperses the bees. Unfortunately, Hank and Cassie were still inside the swarm. Wasp and Stature survive the tornado but that doesn't mean Pietro doesn't get yelled at. They aren't letting Quicksilver on the team, that's for certain. With that, "Wanda" teleports them to their next stop.
At Avengers Tower, the HAMMER team is having troubles tracking the Mighty Avengers team. They know that Pym Particles are involved but there's a second method that is escaping them. Norman Osborn arrives in his Iron Patriot suit in order to give them a creepy hand. He's unearthed the body of Bill Foster, Goliath, in order to remove his clavicle. Now, the bone should still be juicy but let's just pretend that it was thoroughly cleaned up and removed by someone trained in that sort of thing instead of thinking about all the dogs that could have cleaned that thing dry after Iron Patriot ripped it out of the corpse. Either way: gross.
Osborn believes that, since the bone would be bathed in Pym Paricles, it should help HAMMER in their search of the Mighty team. Just then, they all catch a television interview of Hank Pym for... let's say Trish Tilby. It sure looks like her (granted, they're in Tokyo so the only real giveaway is her english). Anyway, there's some debate about this team calling themselves Avengers but Hank points out that, since this team is the only one featuring a founding member, it's the only one that would officially be considered real according to the Avengers Charter. That makes Norman Osborn so angry he snaps a clavicle bone. Fortunately, it wasn't his. Poor Bill. Even in death he gets dissed.
Just as Hank's team ports away, Quicksilver shows up. When asked if he is a member of the team, Pietro answers in the affirmative and then begs to be told where they went.
Looks like they're in Biarritz, off the southwestern coast of France. Captions are informative. This time, they're facing off against Titan, a real piece of work that would look totally at home in Marvel's monster comics. Hank and Cassie have gone mega size and Titan still towers above them. Everyone's efforts are going into dehydrating the dude and , to that effect, they've teamed up with Blackjack.
Meanwhile, it looks like HAMMER has finally zeroed in on those Pym Particles but, instead of leading them to the Mighty Avengers, it's lead them straight to Pym's lab in Chicago. Before they're able to break open the door, Jocasta disconnects the lab from Chicago. Unfortunately, that was a good part of where home was and, without that anchor, Hank's lab will be lost outside of space time in a 48 hour period.
Back in France, Stature is nearly out of the fight and Titan is fighting his way closer and closer to the ocean. This whole thing is about to start all over again when Quicksilver arrives and pulls a win out of the air. OK, he actually does his running thing to keep Titan that much more dehydrated until the monster finally collapses.
The team finally lets Quicksilver join their numbers but the day isn't over yet. Blackjack offers Hank a deal of a lifetime. They can include the Mighty Avengers in their Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity. That means they'll be legit in nearly every nation.
There's another snag hit, however. Pietro is trying to disconnect himself with the troubles of his recent past by saying he was replaced by a Skrull. Jarvis and Hank both know that isn't true at all. Still, Hank's letting it ride. He knows a little thing or eighteen about messing up and needing a second chance. Besides, with him around, maybe he can figure out what's going on with the Scarlet Witch.
The Cabal has called another meeting on the Astral Plane and all they can talk about is how the Mighty Avengers are now legitimized. The team is even being called the "real Avengers" by dudes in Europe and Asia... and the internetz. Norman loses his temper again and goes on a rant about how his team is the only real Avengers team. His face gets very green... some might say gobliny. He quickly covers it with his Iron Patriot mask. Everyone takes off as Osborn cancels all future Astral Plane meetings. Loki is left alone at the table, smiling. These meeting were obviously all her doing just like the Mighty Avengers roster. Everything's going according to plan.
Avengers: The Initiative #23
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Last issue, the New Warriors (Justice, Night Thrasher, Scarlet Spider, Rage, Slapstick, and Debrii) recovered the body of Camp Hammond's first casualty: Michael Van Patrick, also known as MVP. He died way back in issue one but that death was covered up while his body was cloned several times to create the three Scarlet Spiders, a clone to return to his parent's home, and the late supervillain, KIA. His genes have gotten around.
After everything that happened with Ragnarok last issue and Camp Hammond's future already being up in the air, this bit is probably the nail in the casket. To drop the illegal cloning bit with added emphasis, the last living Scarlet Spider removes his mask and shows the face of a the dead man. Director Norman Osborn, watching from... we'll say Avengers Tower, thinks things couldn't be going better.
Media reporters try to get a word from current Hammond leader, Gauntlet, but he refuses to talk and returns to his duty. They spring on Ultra Girl next and it's a different story. Ultra Girl is the former girlfriend of Justice, a former New Warrior, and was just forced to step out of Ms. Marvel's costume so as not to dilute the brand. She also knows all about Michael Van Patrick's death. Now that everything's falling apart, she feels that it's time to come clean and confirm the story.
In Madripoor, the Shadow Initiative is facing the new, improved Hydra. The problem is they don't know that yet. Someone hasn't read Secret Warriors. Leader of this Hydra Cell is Hardball, former Initiative member and ex-boyfriend to Komodo (who is the female Lizard with a whole lot more control of her personality). His new girlfriend is the female Scorpion and the two make sure to allude to their affection in front of the ex.
Which just gets Komodo mad and makes her do something she'll live to regret. She lunges at her ex-boyfriend only to get shot at point blank range by a SPIN bullet (Super-Power-Inhibiting-Nanobots). That takes away her powers and, with them gone, her legs.
Hardball explains that the SPIN bullets will remove anyone's super powers. The Shadow Initiative takes in this information and Taskmaster makes an executive decision. It's time to bail.
Back at Camp Hammond, Justice and the New Warriors are taking their leave with Michael Van Patrick's body in tow. They're going to return it to his family for a proper burial. Before they get out of sight, Ultra Girl flies up and asks if she can rejoin the team. Justice welcomes her back and she throws down the Ms. Marvel costume she's no longer allowed to wear, giving some snide comments to the HAMMER lawyer who gave her the news in the first place. No, she wasn't currently wearing it. This isn't a MAX book.
The Initiative is working on cleaning up Stamford while the citizens yell at them for this entire event. Stamford was hit once before and that incident lead to Civil War. This second strike was even more violent and, suddenly, there's a real question raised about putting a super-hero training center in the town. Actually, there are a lot of questions. While Gauntlet was able to dodge reporters, he isn't able to escape the questions of fellow Initiative members. They want to know if he actually knew about MVP's death. He tells a captive audience that he did. He's not proud about that but he did.
The Shadow Initiative continues their escape in Madripoor with Bengal tasked with the now depowered Komodo's safety. Taskmaster has the non-powered members covering their escape but Constrictor is quick to point out that Hydra isn't just taking away powers. They're also trying to kill them. Case in point, Bengal gets hit in the leg while the team is escaping into the tunnel system. He tries to recover Komodo but is quickly carried away by Constrictor. The depowered, delegged Komodo is then left to Hardball's mercy. Now we find out how cold he's actually gotten since leaving the Initiative.
Gauntlet wasn't the only guy to know about MVP's death. Cloud 9 and Trauma were also in on the training exercise and order to never speak of it. With this secret finally out in the open, there's a sense of relief but also a whole lot of guilt. The accusations, though, are strictly meant for Gauntlet. Doc Samson (who was framed by Norman Osborn for treason over in Thunderbolts which means this issue takes place BEFORE that event) takes major issue with the fact that Ragnarok was even allowed this close to a populated area even in his earlier comatose state. This is actually not Gauntlet's fault. He's just a Drill Sergeant, after all. Something like Gauntlet could only have been allowed by Peter Gyrich before he was removed from command or the Skrull Yellowjacket. Also, it was Baron Blitzschlag's lab so he was totally aware. Blitzy isn't in a state to even care right now, though. He's got a son to bury. They can blame him if they like.
With the Ragnarok business sorted out, it's time to drive home MVP's death and subsequent cover up. What the hell, yo!? With the latest round of accusations, Trauma steps up and admits his part in the whole incident. His lack of control caused another trainee to lose control and fire randomly. That caused the death of Michael Van Patrick. Gauntlet comforts Trauma and takes full responsibility, though. He was the drill instructor and blame ultimately rests on him. He went along with the orders because of his guilt and his pride. He'd never lost a man before. Gauntlet is ready to take whatever penalties he has to for this cover up.
But the fun doesn't stop there. Osborn and Ms. Hand are about to arrive for a little impromptu speech. His transport touches down and Norman goes right into Director mode. In a nutshell, he denounces the actions taken to cover up the death of MVP and the illegal cloning that transpired later. He questions the logic of building Camp Hammond in a city that has already suffered one tragic and explosive event. There are going to be hearings and there are going to be answers. The 50-State Initiative will continue but it will do so in a modified form. Today, however, Stamford gets it's wish. Camp Hammond is closed forever.
But the speech continues. We all know that SHIELD is disbanded but this issue takes place before HAMMER has been formed. He gives some teases on where things are going but leaves it to the Dark Avengers book to lay the groundwork. The important thing to reiterate is that SHIELD is out of business. That will have some consequences right here. With that, Osborn announces that the President will have a statement later in the day about disaster relief and such things that concern people with hearts. Copy/ paste fake American patriotism and he's out.
Before Director Osborn reaches his transport home, Gauntlet asks him for instructions on how they should proceed. Osborn tells the sergeant to pack up his things and get his family to a hotel because Camp Hammond is done. Any other orders will happen later. Right now, the citizens of Stamford are starting a riot and Osborn has no intention of stopping them. He makes sure that the lower levels of Camp Hammond are sealed off but sees nothing in the above ground areas that is worth hanging on to... including the statue of the Camp's namesake, the Original Human Torch, currently being pulled down.
Finally, back in Madripoor, the Shadow Initiative has decided to abort their mission and await their pick up. They have to get the intelligence on Hydra's SPIN bullets out and that has priority. They aren't scared of losing their powers. Not at all. Unfortunately for them, they just lost their ride. Their pick up was SHIELD and they just got dissolved. HAMMER's not up and running yet. Looks like the Shadow Initiative is on it's own. To make matters worse, they're about to get attacked by Bloodscream and Roughouse. That's it. This mission is FUBAR.
The Incredible Hercules #128
Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Penciler: Dietrich Smith
Also, mix in a healthy dose of Dark Avenger. Then stir.
It's Herc, Amadeus Cho, and Athena versus The Olympus Group (Hera, Typhon, Pluto, and Delphyne Gorgon) versus your favorite new Avengers. You'll remember that Hera's son, Ares, is a Dark Avenger. You'll probably want to follow them during the fight. I'll help.
This title isn't as serious as, say, Thor, so expect some hilarious hijinks mixed in with your combat. For starters, Hercules grabs Sentry's cape and throws him through the roof of the warehouse/combat arena with the sound effect "N-TU-DASUNNN!" If you're me (and I am), you find that just hilarious. Your mileage may vary but it really shouldn't.
OK, back to Ares. He's not happy that he's being pitted against his mommy but, since he's got more targets than her to choose from, he simply chooses to attack Herc and Athena for now. Good plan but no one told Typhon that Ares was on his side. The Titan was just promised that he'd get to kill Olympians and Ares certainly qualifies.
Dark Wolverine (Daken) has decided to take down Pluto but it turns out that stabbing the god of death through the chest isn't really that effective. Also, Daken's gonna die on December 27. No year given but sooner rather than later. Wanna let me do the math for you? 2017 is the next time December 27 falls on a wednesday. That, or Pluto's just messing with him. Could go either way. Eight years is way too long in the future to plan stuff like that but we'll all talk then and see how accurate this is. :)
In the meantime, Pluto's decided to bring some undead friends to help him out.
Seeing Pluto hanging around with the Olympus Group gives Athena new ideas on how to exploit the fact that he's not in the Underworld. She signals a retreat but it's hard to get Herc to back down... especially when he's winning. Athena begins to explain the urgency in taking advantage of Pluto's presence here before she's webbed up by Spider-Man. Herc comes to his sister's defense, astonished to find Spidey hanging out with this group of Avengers. He quickly learns that Spider-Man is actually Venom.
Then we get some quick slapstick involving Sentry returning to the battle and Herc using Venom as a hammer. Yes, Herc is beating Sentry but it's pretty obvious that Bob is using kid gloves. Athena frees herself from Venom's webbing and orders Herc to find Amadeus. It's time to bug out.
Amadeus is watching his ex-girlfriend, Delphyne Gorgon, fight Ms. Marvel (Moonstone). Delphyne isn't winning. Amadeus can change that. The bait for this battle was the body of Athena's dead champion, Aegis. Aegis wore Athena's Aegis armor that created a shield around him, basically keeping all energy sources out. Cho grabs the Aegis and throws it on Ms. Marvel. This contains the power of her Moonstone, causing the powers to ricochet inside the shield. Looks all sorts of painful.
We then get to witness a painful conversation between Delphyne and Cho. Cho's wondering how she can side with the obvious bad guys. It turns out that Delphyne doesn't like Athena very much, actually. There's mythological reasons for it, I assure you. It turns out Medusa Gorgon (you might have heard of her) was once a priestess to Athena and sworn to chastity. That didn't prevent her from doing nasty things with Poseidon right on top of Athena's alter. Delphyne finds it unfair that she was cursed for that act and, well, maybe it was unfair for all the ancestors of Medusa to have to bear that curse but Medusa herself kind of deserved what she got. On Athena's alter? Wasn't that a little over board?
Their talk is interupted by Hawkeye (Bullseye) shooting arrows at them. Athena calls for Amadeus to go at about the same time and the two separate. Good talk.
Outside, the comedy event that is Hercules, Venom, and Sentry comes to a close. Sentry's just about to take the kid gloves off but Herc knees him in the boys first. Oh, the boys! Amadeus runs to the scene just as Hercules is throwing Sentry back into Venom.
Cho tells Herc that this fight isn't going to end well. It's just too stacked against them. There's only one way to get out of it.
Hercules is going to have to sink a cruise ship.
Athena's down with that plan and tells her brother to meet them at the Stygian Casino in Atlantic City when the comedy is over with. When asked about taking Aegis' body with them, Athena replies that there's no reason to retrieve a failed champion in this climate. That's not what Cho was hoping for.
Inside, Hera's finally gotten Typhon to stop attacking Ares only to take a blast to the back by Iron Patriot. Don't worry too much about Hera. She's fine. Norman's about to be distracted by a sinking ship. There are people in the water and everyone's wondering why Sentry and Spider-Man are just standing around looking stupid. Osborn's got to fix this situation and it involves changing his team's directive. They all abandon the fight and go on rescue duty.
When all is said and done, the good guys get away and everyone knows it's because of Amadeus Cho. Norman wants to hire the kid. First, though, he's got to deal with the Olympian Group. They've talked it out with Ares and theres a compromise on the table. Olympus consults with HAMMER on the roll out of Continuum or the fight continues with Ares switching sides. Osborn agrees and demands that Continuum be halted in front of him.
Hera makes like rollout hasn't started yet but Norman has inside information directly from her office that it has. In fact, they also told him of the meeting here. Looks like someone has a snitch.
So, who is it? Hebe. The unlucky secretary. Turns out she's married to Hercules and totally in love with him. You always send the Dark Avengers after the one you love.
Wolverine Origins #35
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Doug Braithwaite
Last issue, Daken was about to take Cyclops' head off with the Muramasa Blade as Wolverine made a desperate lunge from behind the two to prevent the killing stroke from occuring.
So it's no surprise that this issue doesn't open with the resolution of that move but instead gives us the history behind the Muramasa Blade. I thought it came from Final Fantasy. Some dude named Romulus has been playing in the background of Logan's life messing everything up for him. This isn't anything new but it has lead to a level of tragedy that would even make Peter Parker feel like a rock star. The big problem is that Logan has never really known that Romulus was behind it all. He's just had hints here and there. Whispers. It was driving him mad. That madness led him to a sword maker named Muramasa who was able to forge a sword with his rage. It seems like he was able to remove Logan's rage and then distill it to a drop of blood. That drop was then bonded to metal and made into a sword because, when life gives you pure rage, it's best to make a terrible apocalyptic weapon out of it.
In time, Wolverine has found enough rage to refill his level and power those berzerker fits of his but the Muramasa blade is still one of a kind.
And now, back to our story. It seems that Daken decides against cutting off Scott's head and, instead, faces down his father with that apocalyptic sword. Daddy and kid growl at each other until Collosus explodes from the ground below them and knocks Daken down. Logan reminds the Russian that the blade can cut through his organic steel armor but that certainly isn't going to stop Collosus. It's not going to stop Nightcrawler either, who teleports around Daken and hits him with multiple strikes.
Man, it's about time the X-Men got their game together. This is what happens when you've been loafing around San Francisco for too long. You lose that fighting edge and eat way too much Rice Aroni.
Eventually, Kurt takes a hit from the Muramasa but, by then, Cannonball is in position to make his move. Daken drops the sword as the X-Man lifts him off the ground. Sam underestimates his opponent, though. Daken still has claws and, since he's within the blast field, he can use them on Cannonball. Guthrie drops him before the claws can be used and Dark Wolverine crashes to ground.
Now comes the race for the Muramasa Sword. Cyclops is running towards it but Daken quickly recovers from his fall and is also running to take the weapon. Wolverine is probably weighed down by all that adamantium and isn't even close. He's still trying to save Cyclops and finds himself unable to do so as Daken overtakes the X-Man, grabs the sword, and tries to cut off the first X-Man's head.
Enter: Armor. She's hitting the scene fully armored up and that, apparently, leads to the Muramasa's one weakness. The blade can cut through anything but it can't destroy a memory. Armor's... um... armor... is psionically powered through her memories of her ancestors. Striking against her, the Muramasa Blade causes a huge psionic backlash that knocks everyone unconscious.
Everyone except Wolverine and Son. They both try to claim the sword, both on the brink of unconsciousness, with Logan grabbing it before they both pass out.
Wolverine wakes up to the sound of helicopters. He still has the sword but Daken is gone. Too late he notices that the Blade's strike against Armor caused the blade to shatter. Daken didn't need or want to take the whole sword. It would have been to conspicious. All he wanted was a tiny shard and that's what he took.
Cyclops is the next to recover. The two discuss what's happened and they both agree that Wolverine should take the Muramasa Blade. They just disagree with what to do with it. Cyclops still wants Daken dealt with. Logan wants to save him. They argue about that but this quest isn't just about Logan saving his son. It's about him saving himself.
Nine hours pass. In that time, Nick Fury has tracked down the Tinkerer. He's the old guy in the wheelchair hanging out in Grand Central Station. If you're wondering why they're looking for him, the Tinkerer is one of the few people in the world capable of bonding adamantium (or a shard of the Muramasa Blade) to bone. Of that list, Tink is probably the only one that'll do it for cash.
Logan rushes to Grand Central Station but loses the Tinkerer in the men's room. Logan should never have been gentlemen enough to let the handicapped man enter the restroom with out him. Wolverine runs in to find out what's going on only to be attacked by a relative: Victor Hudson. Turns out that's not Victor Creed at all. He's a blind, mute, and extremely powerful looking dude. Also looks like he's been used for experimenting.
Back to the Tinkerer. He's been taken to an unused part of Grand Central to meet his contact. A train comes to pick them both up and Daken jokes about the lack of wheel chair access. Yeah, he's a piece of work.
Dark Reign: Elektra #2
Writer: Zeb Wells
Penciler: Clay Mann
Last issue, Elektra escaped from her cell. She's still far from escaping the helicarrier, however. She's beeing confronted by the HAMMER response team and all she has is a knife. Under normal conditions, that would certainly be enough but these are far from normal conditions. Elektra is suffering a great deal from her alien abduction and her time with HAMMER certainly hasn't healed her.
Granted, we know she's going to escape. That's a given or this mini series wouldn't last another three issues. It's just not going to be a cake walk and the HAMMER commander levels with her on that score. He tries to make her return to the science-cell but, again, that would make this a lot shorter mini-series. He then orders one of his men to shoot her in the head.
He misses. Not because Elektra's in top condition but because she's still a ninja. The soldier telegraphed his shot and Elektra reacted. The commander shows everyone how it's done by shooting her in the shoulder with a surprise shot. Now, the smart thing to do would be to engage in firing squad tactics and just have everyone shoot at once. That would be too many bullets to dodge in her condition. That obviously doesn't happen. The commander is about to give everyone a shot one at a time but Elektra has other ideas.
She still has the command gauntlet on. This thing isn't just useful in her cell. She activates the fire extinguishers and the corridor fills with water and foam. The commander shouts orders to team up and stand back to back. That would be a good strategy except, well, ninja. It's not long before Elektra's killed a HAMMER agent or two, stolen a sub-machine gun and taken care of a great deal of the rest.
The commander is actually able to engage in one on one combat with Elektra and the fact that he's able to take her down certainly indicates that she's hurting bad. He even cracks her leg. Still, overconfidence is a mother. She's still got a gun and shoots him dead.
From that moment, everyone knows where this is going. Elektra seems indestructible and any opposition is just in the way. The one survivor from the original strike team is being pursued down the helicarrier's hallways and just can't get away. Finally, he makes a jump off the helicarrier with strong protests from the command crew. Elektra sees the opening and takes it, following the agent down and stealing his jet pack and letting the final agent fall to his death.
Norman Osborn is informed about all of this in Washington D.C. He orders that Paladin be questioned on who hired him for the assassination attempt and then set aside for Osborn. Someone like this who is basically working for the cash would make a good T-Bolt in, say, the Thunderbolts comic. There, you now know when this issue takes place. Before Paladin joins the Thunderbolts. With that, Ozzy's off for a meeting with Hilary Clinton.
In New York City, the contract for Elektra is open again. Whoever's after her has people within HAMMER that have given up information on her escape and Paladin's failure. Two blonde kids, one dude and one girl, are happy to learn that they still have a chance to kill her and possibly have some history with Elektra but, honestly, I can't place them. Regardless, we'll probably learn more about them next issue. For now, they've got to gear up for an assassination attempt all their own. We'll leave them alone and travel to...
The Offices of Nelson, Murdock & Blake. This is where Elektra goes when she needs something. It happened back in the Elektra Silent Issue and Elektra only said a few more words that time. The only one in the office at these hours is Foggy Nelson. He hears the commotion and thinks that Matt is back from one adventure or another. He enters Matt's office to find Elektra stealing books.
Foggy tells her Matt isn't around and that she should get out of there. She's not listening and Nelson interprets that to mean that she's there to kill him. With that, he prepares to defend himself and slips on some scattered papers on the floor. Elektra continues to ignore him and finally finds a first aid kit. Foggy realizes his life isn't in danger (except from clumsiness) and continues to demand she leaves. He grabs her shoulder and she crumbles to the floor in pain.
She was shot through that arm and Foggy gets blood all over his hand. That is a biohazard! You need to wash those hands off immediately, get some gloves on and apply pressure to the wound. You've already opened yourself up to Hepatitis B (you know Foggy hasn't vaccinated against it), Hepatitis C, and HIV. You don't know where that Elektra has been.
Elektra tries to stand up and ends up propping herself in the doorway. She asks Foggy if he knows what "The stars are safe in the sky" means and gets a blank look and answer. Foggy talks about her being replaced by a Skrull and that this might be an attack based on something the Skrull did. How long was she gone, anyway? As Elektra falls back to the floor and passes out, she replies that she has no idea.
At Avengers Tower, Dark Hawkeye is learning that arrows can be just as lethal without the bow as he scores to eye shots on his mannequin target. The third burries deeply between the eyes and knocks the target off it's stand. Osborn gets right to the business at hand. Elektra's escaped and, since most people associate her with the Skrulls, it just looks bad. Actually, no one SHOULD associate her with the Skrulls. Even though the Elektra Skrull was the first revealed and trotted all around the Marvel Universe prior to the Skrull invasion, only a very small group ever knew she was replaced: The New Avengers, Tony Stark and the Illuminati, and, of course, the Skrulls. Otherwise, she was just an abductee like everyone else that got revealed to the public when the rest of the abductees were rescued. She certainly wasn't the face of the invasion like Spider-Woman and Hank Pym.
Well, Osborn doesn't have to act logically, so we'll let it go. The point is, it would be really awesome if Bullseye, as the new Hawkeye, would go out and kill her again.
Skrull Kill Krew #1
Writer: Adam Felber
Penciler: Mark Robinson
After Reed hypnotized the Skrulls into thinking themselves to be cows (way back in Fantastic Four #2), those Skrull cows did what was natural for cows all over the world. They got it on with other cows. More on this later.
In downtown LA, two very drunk women are being lead to a slaughterhouse specifically designed for humans. It's not in a very good neighborhood but the bouncer is Thor so you know it's legit. Well, if you're drunk you do. And stupid. These girls are not brilliant, that's for certain. One of them flirts with Thor before they enter the club. The Skrull leading them in enjoys a laugh with the obviously Skrull Thor. He's not even good at the dialogue.
Ryder is watching this whole thing from very close by: a diner across the street. He's also enjoying some soup and asking for crackers... which the other diners find racially offensive. Ah well. He's on the phone with Riot. She died back in Avengers: The Initiative #20 but, apparently, got better. He's telling her all about the Skrull infestation he's found. These Skrulls don't seem to be killing everyone, though. They're actually acting like college kids on a thursday.
Inside the Skrull club, our two humans are enjoying their drinks while the smarter of the two is noticing that all the women in this comic... look like comic book women. You know. Super models. She's still not brilliant, though, because she completely misses that everyone has cow splotches all over their bodies.
That's too much thinking for her. It's time for everyone to dance.
Ryder has finished his soup and is getting a closer look to check out this club. Riot isn't being much help. Seems that, after she died and got better, she decided that she's not all that in to hunting Skrulls down anymore. She's curious as to why these Skrulls are partying it up after their invasion completely failed. Ryder tries to keep that going and get her out here but she's not budging. Ryder is on his own.
Inside the club, the girls are enjoying the music even though they've never heard anything like it before. They don't enjoy it too long, though. The brunette, Mel, is roped up and lifted into the air. Her friend, "the smart one," is still on the ground but is starting to figure out that this isn't going well for them.
Remember back when I told you about the Skrull cows and their baby making? It seems that, even though they're hypnotized into looking and acting like cows, they're still able to shapeshift through the fence. The farmhands don't seem to notice but they're beginning to find their cows disappearing for times.
While Riot isn't joining Ryder, she's keeping his cell phone busy with her calls. This time, she's throwing down the theory that there might have been MORE Skrull cows. Ryder points out that there weren't more. There were only three cows. One Skrull escaped leaving four left over. It's a pretty poor theory unless you know that those Skrulls started breeding. It's not usefull info for Ryder, though, so he hangs up and preps for action.
Inside the club, Mel has been killed and her friend is about to follow. It's all going to be all right, though, because Thor has entered the building. Remember him? The obvious Skrull Thor? He talks bad Thor speech and then starts licking the girl with his sickeningly long Skrull tongue. Just then, the actual hero, Ryder, comes in through the roof with is gun arm blasting. Thor Skrull gets shot up but not before revealing that these Skrulls know who Ryder is. They might not have been part of the Invasion but they've heard of the Skrull Kill Krew's leader. Interesting.
Ryder cuts down the still living girl who is very surprised that Thor wasn't the real guy... like I said, she was smarter but still not by much. She's also drunk enough to be not that worried about her situation and more interested in bedding Ryder. Luckily, Ryder understands that these Skrulls are the priority.
Back in our flashback, the first Skrull/cow hybrid has been born. He's different, obviously. He sees a dragonfly and grows the wings on his back, letting out a huge blood curdling "MOOOOOOOOOOOOO" in the process. That freaks out the rest of the cows and helps him not make that many friends at the local Cow Ranch.
Back in what passes for the present, Ryder and his damsel in distress are surrounded by Skrulls. Since Ryder's trying to save the girl's life, he's got to worry about not only killing Skrulls but protecting the innocent. That leaves him at a somewhat disadvantage but, since he's got Skrull powers, it's not something he can't work with. When his damsel notices the similarities between him and the Skrulls, she points it out which upsets our hero to no end. He doesn't want to be one of them and it's enough where he forces her to take back her words before he continues to slaughter Skrulls.
It turns out that the first Skrull to go down wasn't killed, though. Skrull Thor stands up and engages Ryder in combat. It's a quick two page deal that ends with Skrull Thor losing his head to Ryder's arm cannon. After that, it's just clean up work but it's important to Ryder that no Skrull is able to walk away from this.
Post battle, the former-damsel in distress is still interested in getting it on with Ryder and he's cool with that. At the same time, he's dragging the dead body of the Skrull who lead her into the club along with them so that they can some info from it. The girl is a little creeped out by this but, also, very drunk.
Time has passed in our flashback and mommy cow has been taken to the slaughter house. Her kid stays waiting for her to come back but that's not gonna happen. The cow watches as the farmer's daughter comes home from school and gets happily greeted by her dad. When no one's looking, our cow hero takes on the shape of a human boy.
Ryder's house is in San Fernando Valley in a great little slum. He and his random, Britney, enter to find Riot waiting for him. She's there to get that info from the Skrull corpse but, you'll notice, she also gets a blood sample from Ryder. She leaves telling Ryder that the Skrull Invasion is over and he can stop hunting them down at any time. Ryder is ready to do his thing and we find Britney has already poured herself another drink. She may have a problem.
Riot has joined up with HAMMER and so she has access to all sorts of sciency stuff. The Skrull she analyzed DOES have some odd readings but, more important to the story, Ryder's readings have come back. Turns out he's not some mutation that ate a Skrullburger and got Skrull powers. He's a Skrull.
The Amazing Spider-Man #26
Writers: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee
Penciler: Steve Ditko
One of the lost villains in Spider-Man's gallery of foes is the Crime-Master. He was an early contender for kingpin of crime in the Marvel Universe and worked hard to get all the gangs to follow him. His undoing would be a failed team-up with the Green Goblin and an unfortunate run in with Spidey.
Peter Parker has a problem. He doesn't have a Spider-Man costume. He used one suit to fool the Spider-Slayer last issue and his spare costume was found by Aunt May and taken away from him. That's the costume he's searching for right now but not having a bit of luck finding. It looks like he won't be getting very far as Spider-Man tonight and ends up going to sleep instead.
While Peter dreams Spider-Dreams, we get to witness the end of the best team-up ever: Green Goblin and the Crime-Master. Wait, you never saw that team-up? That's because it happened off panel. The whole thing. At one time, they were so close that they revealed their secret identities to each other. Then they totally made out for a whole minute before gaining control over their wild and crazy emotions. Dormammu watched through a mirror. All off panel, though, so you'll never see it. Anyway, Crime-Master has decided that the two can't go steady anymore and has even stolen Green Goblin's idea to take over the New York's Crime scene. He just doesn't think he needs Gobby anymore and, since they both know the other's secret identity, they both can't make a move against the other without that info getting out there.
The Green Goblin leaves angry to go cry into his pillow while Crime-Master goes about his plan to master crime throughout the city. That's his name, folks. That's what he does. He attacks local rackets and lets them know who the new boss is through notes attached to rocks and dud grenades. He's also great with phoning people while fire bombing their cars. He totally knows what he's doing. After a night of crime mastering, his name is on every criminal's lips.
Frederick Foswell, the former Big Man, has completed a night of good deeds as well. Well, maybe not so good deeds. It turns out he's got a costumed identity that he's taking off right now. He's also worked with the Green Goblin in the past even if it was just to reveal New York City's rackets to the Police. Has he turned to his criminal ways? Did he make out with the Green Goblin? Answers are probably forthcoming!
Peter wakes up after a good night's rest to find Aunt May in a much better mood but she's not giving up the location of his Spider-Costume to any amount of bribery. Pete decides that he may have luck getting back his original costume from Jolly JJJ and heads to the Daily Bugle. Unfortunately, all he's gonna find there is pain. His girlfriend, the crazy mad Betty Brant, is filled to the brim with jealousy and crazy. She's upset that Peter sided against Spider-Man last issue and is pallin' around with Jameson. Peter tries to get some sympathy but mentions her writing Ned Leeds and that's just not the right move to make. Betty's jealous over Peter's non existant relationship with Liz Allen and has now met the elusive Mary Jane Watson who, of course, is completey hot. Peter hasn't even seen MJ yet so all he's getting into is a crazy argument that he'll never win because BETTY BRANT IS OUT OF HER FRIKKIN' MIND. Let me bold that. BETTY BRANT IS OUT OF HER FRIKKIN' MIND.
After three rounds of crazy, J. Jonah Jameson does the only sensible thing and kicks Peter our of the office. Mercy, if you ask me. Before he takes off, Parker learns that Foswell is covering the Green Goblin/ Crime-Master love fest that is the rage of the city and, while Foswell discusses details with Jameson, Peter slips a spider-tracer into his hat. With that, it's time for him to attend some actual classes.
Peter no sooner arrives at school then Flash Thompson and his bully brigade start picking on him something fierce. Peter loses his temper and starts wailing on the gang but, luckily, Liz Allen is present to break up the whole thing before Peter hurts someone. Liz, who's a whole lot saner than Betty Brant, always though that Peter was the smart, peaceful type but this event has opened her eyes to the violent, anger-brimming-just-below-the-surface Peter Parker that will destroy us all someday. She decides she doesn't want anything to do with either of them and rushes off. This effects Peter because he actually cares what she thinks but Flash is oblivious to the whole thing.
Peter is called before the principal and admits that the entire thing was his fault. Flash over hears that Peter took responsibility for the entire thing and just can't live with that. He admits to Principal Davis that he and his buddies kept pressing him until the little guy just snapped. That probably clears Peter of wrong doing.
Meanwhile, Crime-Master is continuing to gain street cred all over the city. He's an impressive shot and is killing guys that stand up to him and bullying around the rest.
At a posh Men's Club, JJJ is enjoying the adulation of his peers as they ask questions about his paper and how he runs it. They're surprised that he employs Frederick Foswell after his turn as the Big Man but they also are impressed by his big heart in giving the ex-con a second chance to make right. JJJ just plays to the crowd.
Peter might have found a temporary solution to his lack of costume problem. He's able to find a discount costume for sale at a local costume shop and, while he needs to use his webbing to make the thing stay on, it suits his purposes for now and allows him to get back in the action. He swings his way on over to Foswell's apartment but finds Fozzy's hat within and nothing else. Before any more investigating can occur, Crime-Master shows up and starts shooting into the apartment. Spidey's so surprised that the spider-tracer falls out of the hat he's holding.
Peter jumps out of the apartment to get more room to maneuver but has no luck taking out the Crime-Master. Even after Crime-Master runs out of bullets, Spider-Man is unable to beat him. Crime-Master releases a choking gas into the air and, with Spidey pre-occupied trying to breath, begins to punch the heck out of his opponent. Spidey takes a dive off the side of a building which allows Crime-Master to believe he's fallen to his death. In reality, Peter uses the time to remove his mask and get some healthy gulps of fresh, New York, air before shooting a web line and saving himself. Crime-Master has already left by the time Spidey returns to the rooftop.
Peter decides to web up his suit, which is quickly falling apart, and swing his way over to the Daily Bugle to see if he can retrieve his real suit. Unfortunately, once he's there, he finds out that Jameson doesn't have it. He gave it to the creator of the Spider-Slayers, Spencer Smythe. Peter will have to locate him later. For now, he's having some trouble keeping his mask on so he webs that up for now.
Spidey makes another play at investigating Frederick Foswell's apartment and finds something on the second go through. There's an area circled on the waterfront of a New York City map, for example. Maybe it would pay to head on over to that area and see what his Spider-Eyes can see.
It turns out that that is the area where Crime-Master is holding his first meeting. Different rackets are meeting up there to learn what the future of crime holds. There's even a power point presentation planned. One guy attending is the one eyed Patch. He's certainly no Wolverine. He's actually a snitch to the police. He tells to coppers where and when the meeting is taking place and will even be inside to report anything else he may see. The cops send their team out to survey the scene and try to gather evidence against those attending.
While the city's gangsters are gathering, Crime-Master and Green Goblin are having a meeting all their own. GG's all "I thought you loved me" while Crime-Master's like "there's too much of me to limit to just one person-- let me breathe will ya?" It is epic. The two end up fighting it out but Crime-Master makes sure to tell Gobby that, if he's killed, he's made plans to reveal the Goblin's secret identity to the police. In the end, the fight is a draw with Green Goblin flying off to figure out what to do next.
What he does next, actually, is notices a certain Spider-Man casing the place. Without Spidey realizing it, Green Goblin sneaks up on him and then beats him down like no body's business.
It's a good thing that mask is webbed on otherwise Green Goblin would have found out Peter's secret ID a good two years earlier and it would have made a lot less sense to him. As it is, he's got other uses for the now unconscious Spider-Man.
For example, he could use that body to totally upstage his former partner, the Crime-Master, at the first meeting of crime in New York City.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand... we are done! Woo! Thanks for staying with me to the end. Next article will be out on Sunday, so prepare yourself! B)
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?