Today, we check out War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1, Amazing Spider-Man #597, Deadpool #11, and Blast to the Past with New Mutants #62. Enjoy and spread the word!
One more time round the block!.
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 54 previous articles. It's perfect for all your reading needs.
Let's see what's happening on a savage world.
War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Pencilers: Graham Nolan & Reilly Brown
OK. Truth time. I don't read Son of Hulk. I know! It's surprising when you find a Marvel Comic I don't read!
I think I can get through this one but pardon my ignorance on the ins and outs of Skaar. That wacky planet never really did anything for me and all I'm left with is that it was a planet that Hulk found himself on after the Illuminati tried exiling him from earth and it was full of creatures that gave Hulk a bit of trouble before he took the place over.
Oh! It's also adjacent to a wormhole which is why it's full of creatures from all over the universe. It's like Bejor in the Star Trek Universe... if Bejor had gotten more super-powered refugees than Odo. The point is that you can only put so many ridges into someone's nose before you run out of ideas for alien creatures.
Wait, that wasn't the point. Let's just get this party started.
You'll remember that the War of Kings is an intergalactic war being fought between the Kree (with special guest rulers: The Inhumans) and the Shi'ar. We start this issue with the Shi'ar. They are investigating that special wormhole that leads to Sakaar. It's giving off some intense energy readings. Since they're fighting a big ol' nasty war, Starbolt (the Imperial Guardsman leading this expedition) wants to know what is causing these readings and if they can use it in their war efforts.
The wormhole isn't in Shi'ar territory, however. It's in a no man's land. That means that the Kree are inevitably going to show up. These Kree are commanded by the Inhuman, Gorgon. The two starcraft immediately begin shooting at each other and forget all about the wormhole that brought them there. Both ships get caught in the wormhole's gravitational pull and get sucked inside.
We switch over to Gorgon who's upset at himself for having put the anger before the lives of his crew. He really should have kept his distance from the wormhole but you get that battle rush and stuff just starts happening. Both ships have lost power and crash into Sakaar. Because the had time to prepare, the Kree suffer no casualties in the crash. Gorgon leads his men outside to find the burning wasteland that is Sakaar.
Not only that but Skaar, Hulk's kid, is already on the scene to stare at the fallen ships from a safe distance.
As soon as the Kree get out of their ship, they are attacked by Starbolt and the Shi'ar who crashed right next door. Their battle is interupted by a rampaging horde of random robots. Starbolt is able to fly above this herd of uncontolled technology while Gorgon uses his earthquake hooves to create a fissure in the planet which swallows the bots heading in his direction. That gets them to be the only survivors of the crazy robot stampede. Even their ships are cannibalized by the machine herd.
The two resume their fighting because, well, why the hell not? Their battle shakes the ground enough to rattle the nearby natives. The situation is already being watched, of course. Old Sam and Skaar are assessing the situation. Sam thinks that this confrontation will eventually lead to the rest of the universe never leaving this planet alone and mourns their loss of privacy. Skaar believes the solution to be getting rid of the last two survivors. He doesn't trust that they'll finish each other off... at least they won't do it quickly enough for his tastes. To hurry them along, Skaar throws a huge rock at the combatants. It doesn't hit them but it does separate the two. With night following, Gorgon and Starbolt lose sight of each other (no, I haven't forgotten that Starbolt is a burning man that lights the landscape but Gage might have). They head off in separate directions to try and survive the night on this strange, deadly planet.
Sakaar is a lot like a desert. It's nights are frickin' freezing. Both find that as a burden (even the living fire guy). Starbolt actually needs to keep his flame lit or die. With it being this cold, he runs the risk of burning himself out. He needs to find some fire or heat source to get a recharge. Gorgon just needs to keep warm. They both keep going in the hopes of spiting their enemy by surviving.
Of course, they both get attacked by some monsterous creature with murder in it's heart. Starbolt has to burn his way out of the vines that try to trap him and, in so doing, runs the risk of dying that much faster if his power fails him. He takes to the air, further risking his energy stores, in order to quickly reach a nearby lava pit. It's not the end of his troubles. There is the obligatory lava monster in the pit and Starbolt has to further reduce his energy reserves in another attempt at saving himself... but it makes little sense to throw fire at a lava monster and he doesn't gain any ground.
In his weakened state, Gorgon comes upon him and agrees to rescue him only if Starbolt becomes his prisoner. They argue terms for a while but there's really no choice for Starbolt. Gorgon's his only way off planet since the Inhumans will actually spend some time to rescue a member of the Royal Family while the Shi'ar probably forgot who Starbolt was and replaced him already. Gorgon's also got a teleporting dog that'll make getting off the planet easier once he's found. Starbolt gives in and Gorgon promises to treat him well as a prisoner of war. The Inhuman uses his quake feet to bury the lava monster and then lets his prisoner refresh himself with a magma bath.
The two do the team up thing for the time being. Starbolt stays true to his oath of being Gorgon's prisoner though, at this point, it's more of an alliance. The Imperial Guardsman kills a Skaar wolf for the Inhuman to eat and the two begin bonding. Starbolt's still a jerk throughout this whole bonding process but Gorgon's not really that good at judging people so it works.
When daybreak finally hits, they get to see just how desolate the land before them is. Gorgon asks a passerby what happened. This planet has been so friendly up to this point that seeing a barren stretch of rock is, apparently, the most stunning thing ever. The old woman starts telling them about a battle featuring the "Old Power" that was fought by the son of the Hulk. This does nothing for Starbolt but has a profound effect on Gorgon. The Inhuman knows who the Hulk is and seeing this devastation caused by his son isn't likely to make the offspring any easier to deal with. The "Old Power" also sounds ominous. The combination can't be good for enemies of the Son of Hulk. Gorgon wants to get out of here before running into this dude but that's just not gonna happen.
Because he's coming over to say hi.
Skaar gives them a compliment for teaming up and surviving the night. He then delivers a warning: Leave this planet and never bring anyone back here. Starbolt and Gorgon don't really respond well to threats. The battle begins.
Skaar delivers the first blow by separating the two soldiers and striking the ground between them with his sword. Gorgon notices that the sword returns from the earth with lava on it and comes up with a plan. He tells Starbolt to fire at Skaar while he uses his hoof to shake the ground up a bit. Hulk's kid falls into the lava pit opened up by that little earth shake but the battle isn't even over with. Turns out Skaar is lava proof.
Now, it's just fighting delaying tactics because the Inhuman and Imperial are clearly outmatched. Before Skaar reaches them, the two shake hands and announce that it's good to die with a true warrior by their side.
Which is when a timely rescue at the paws of Lockjaw takes place.
The three end up in the Inhuman Royal Palace. Luna, the daughter of Crystal and Quicksilver, runs over to greet Lockjaw. Gorgon believes that Starbolt will honor his agreement to be a prisoner of war but Luna's nearby placement gives the Shi'ar warrior the opportunity to escape. He takes Luna hostage and demands that Lockjaw teleport him to Chandilar, the Shi'ar Throneworld. After some arguments, Luna gives Lockjaw the ok to do so.
Starbolt arrives at Chandilar and demands that the Shi'ar take Luna as a prisoner. Too late, he notices that Lockjaw didn't just teleport himself and Luna. The Inhuman dog also brought Gorgon along. Gorgon stomps his hoof and causes a small earthquake and uses the panic to rescue the child. The Inhumans teleport away but Gorgon leaves with a threat on his lips over any future meetings with this particular Imperial Guardsmen.
In the aftermath, both Gorgon and Starbolt tell their rulers about their experience and relay knowledge about the Old Power. They actually tell more here than they learned while they were on planet. Gorgon mentions that the Old Power is wielded by nomadic priest and has the ability to tear a planet apart. We also learn that the use of the Old Power caused the strange wormhole readings in the first place. Either the two warriors are incredibly insightful or there was stuff learned off panel.
Either way, the Old Power could be a strategic advantage to the King who learned to harness it. Both monarchs think on what needs to happen next.
The Amazing Spider-Man #597
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Marco Chechetto
Norman Osborn isn't a man to share his plans with his lackeys which is why the next scene isn't immediately going to make sense to you. He's showing the Dark Avengers exactly what he's going to do with Harry Osborn: The American Son Project.
Most of the Dark Avengers are tremendously bored with this. They simply don't care. It doesn't matter. They aren't Norman's audience. It turns out that Spider-Man has infiltrated the Dark Avengers by posing as... Spider-Man. The Sinister Spidey. You might know him better as Venom. Peter takes an incredible interest in this because this is exactly what he came to Avengers Tower to learn.
So, what is the American Son? It's more than just a suit of armor that looks like an American Flag. It's recreating a Captain America for the public. You might be thinking to yourself:
1) Isn't there already a Captain America out there?
2) Even if there wasn't, doesn't Norman Osborn also wear Iron Man armor tricked out with a red, white, and blue paint job?
Good then. You're paying attention. Norman has his reasons.
1) That Cap isn't exactly friendly with Norman's New World Order.
2) The Iron Patriot represents America's strength. American Son will represent America's heart.
The American Son is more than just another armored suit, however. It's also about mixing the Goblin Juice floating around in Harry's blood with the Super-Soldier Serum. I wasn't even aware that the Super-Soldier Serum was a known formula again. It is, though, and it doesn't work well with the Goblin Juice. Norman unleashes a failed experiment to show the Dark Avengers exactly what kind of monsters the mixture creates. The Goblin'd Soldier quickly tries to attack Osborn but is taken down by Spider-Man as Norman laughs at the save.
Spidey continues to blow his cover by questioning turning Harry into a monster but Norman reveals that the formulas have been perfected and, now, the results of the mixture creates the desired result of a Super-Soldier just waiting to be put in American Son armor. Peter doesn't think that Harry is actually super-hero material and brings that up. Norman has complete faith in his son. If Harry isn't up to it, he just needs the right persuasion.
In another section of the tower, Harry Osborn is already playing the hero. He's trying to break into a secure section of the tower but the guards standing between him and that section aren't really moving away. One of them is talking about how a certain Norah (actually an undercover reporter for Frontline) is into him and what he's gonna do to her. The other guard doesn't really think the first guy has a chance but is amused by the conversation nonetheless. Harry just wants them to move so he can get into Norman's office and work on curing his baby momma and her unborn child. He's even armed with a power glove to take out the guards.
Before he can do just that, he's taken unawares from behind by that very same lady. Menace.
Completely elswhere, Aunt May is fretting over wedding details. She and her fiance are getting married quite soon (issue 600!) and she's starting to go just a bit bridezilla. Jay, her husband-to-be, just wants her to come to bed so, well, you know. May isn't budging until the lights suddenly go out. There's not much point planning out a wedding in candlelight, after all.
We pull out to learn that the black out was caused by little octopods that are messing with the power lines. They're actually messing with a lot of things. We cut to scenes of octopods crawling all over New York City including the offices of the DB. Over these scenes, we hear Doctor Octopus debating with himself. Should he cause a terrible accident or do something good? He decides to do something good... which might not actually be that much good. Otto's not right in the head.
Back in Avengers Tower, Harry is making out with Lily Hollister. She's in the tower but is obviously not a prisoner as she's able to move around without any trouble. She's also pregnant as mentioned earlier. She seems pretty happy to see Harry but worried about Norman Osborn. Harry lets her in on his plan. He's looking for a cure for the Goblin formula. He figures that Lily is being "held" here because Norman is interested in her powers as Menace. If she's not Menace anymore, she's no longer any concern to Norman.
Lily isn't so sure that Harry will want her back. She continues to change appearance, growing Menace's horns, for example. Harry says he won't fail her and he won't fail the unborn baby. Lily hands him a security card that will get him to levels he otherwise wouldn't have access to. Now, I should note that Menace has a security card that gives her unlimited freedom to anywhere she wants in Avengers Tower. That should send out some red flags. Still, Harry's to caught up in his own hero story to notice any flaws in Lily's story. She suggests he start up on level 25 and he leaves to do just that.
Norman's meeting with his Dark Avengers is over. He tells his team to expect training of the American Son to begin in a few days and sends Spider-Man to monitor duty on level 25. Peter makes a joke about at Ms. Marvel's expense and then gets on the elevator to level 25. On the way up, he goes back and forth in his head how he's going to bring this up to Harry. What if this is what Harry wants? It's a lot to take in.
When he reaches his floor, he nearly gets his head taken off by Daken, the Dark Wolverine. Peter also gets his first outright clue that he's in big, big trouble. Daken makes a monitor duty quip which should let everyone know that the Dark Avengers don't do any such thing. Not with HAMMER around to do it for them. Parker completely misses this and is quickly clued in to why this Wolverine knows who he is. He is too clean to be Mac Gargan. It's time for an awesome fight.
Daken has a lot going for him. He's got those claws, a healing factor, and can spread his pheremones around to do all sorts of things. In this case, they mess up Spider-Man's aim and give him a minor case of vertigo. Peter takes a slice to his back and isn't able to recover for quite a while. He takes some major damage to the face and ends up with a cracked rib before realizing that the pheremones are affecting his vision. He shuts his eyes and relies completely on his spider-sense. The battle takes a turn in Spider-Man's favor.
Daken is defeated. Spider-Man senses something behind him and almost webs up Harry (who was also heading for level 25, remember?). Peter tells Harry that he's the real Spider-Man and that Norman's got big plans in store for his son. The younger Osborn just wants Spider-Man to leave. Peter's messing up his plans and, really, there's nothing but bad blood between the two.
The confrontation is interupted by Norman Osborn, accompanied by Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel. He demands to know what's going on and Spider-Man gives a song and dance story about Daken trying to kill Harry. Harry isn't going along with this, however. Peter's best friend tells his father that the Sinister Spidey is nowhere near the building. This is the Amazing one.
Norman thanks his son for the honesty as Hawkeye fires an arrow into each of Peter's legs.
Norman delivers a punch to Parker's face as he tells him that there was no time that his ruse had succeeded. Norman knew that he was the real deal from the moment he entered Avengers Tower. Also, Harry is his to do whatever he wishes with. Harry is actually upset that he had to give up Spidey. Like I said, Harry doesn't like Spider-Man but he likes his dad even less.
Hawkeye mentions the idiocy in any plan that involves "capturing the hero only to have him escape." That won't be a problem, however. Norman pulls out a pistol and fires it at Peter Parker. The assembled Dark Avengers are stunned at this finality as we see only the hand of Spider-Man lying limply on the ground.
Wait, is he dead? What about the next two chapters and issue 600? Do we need a clone now?
Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Paco Medina
We left Deadpool with an arrow through his head which isn't as fatal as it would be to... say... Spider-Man. I mean, Wade Wilson is incredibly hard to kill.
This issue begins with a radio therapist answering telephone calls for his show. The current caller is having some issues with his job. He loves it but he doesn't really like his boss at all. That's not why he's calling; it's just back story for the real problem. He is having trouble with his current assignment and equally conflicted. You see, he's been ordered to kill a guy and he really wants to kill the guy but now he's starting to realize that what he enjoyed was the thought of killing the guy instead of the actual act. Once you go ahead and do it, you can't keep fantasizing about killing the guy. It's done.
So, what should he do? Should he take care of his assignment like his boss wants? He won't get his answer from the radio. They hang up on him. Poor Hawkeye. He'll just need to do this on his own. His partner in crime is a fat bald guy who seems to work in a slaughterhouse. Hawkeye's assignment was to kill Deadpool and he's actually done that if only temporarily. What's called for is a more permanent solution: grinding Wade up into hamburger meat, for example.
As Hawkeye and the slaughterhouse guy are talking, Wade gets up from the table he's been placed on and stumbles from the building. Hawkeye cheers him on as he staggers away.
Deadpool still has an arrow through his head and it's picking up that radio show from earlier. Wade isn't thinking straight (even for him) and believes the therapist is talking just to him and is guiding him. Hawkeye threatens his henchman with death if he doesn't go to recapture DP. People lose more henchmen that way.
Deadpool is still listening to the voice in his head that, this time, isn't his own. It's quickly cut off when the thug swings a blade at his head, misses, and only snaps off the arrow head. Cut off from the voice, Wade panics and tries to get it back. The henchman takes a boot to DP's head. The Merc with a Mouth takes notice of his adversary but doesn't see him as a slaughterhouse goon. He sees the doctor who made him the man he is today: Dr. Killebrew. Wade hates that guy. It's enough to focus him. The tables turn and the henchman finds himself on the ground and his meat cleaver in the hands of our favorite mercenary.
Deadpool takes the arrow out of his brain and realizes that he hasn't been fighting Dr. Killebrew at all. He's been fighting some fat henchmen who is now too scared to fight back. It doesn't save him. Wade kills him with the meat cleaver, driving it into his skull. Deadpool asks the very dead man if he's getting any radio therapists on the meat cleaver. One of the voices in his head tells him that expecting a response to this is kind of stupid and Wade is happy to learn that his brain is back and talking to him again.
It's not all there, though. Another voice in his head isn't answering with nearly the same amount of clarity. That's not Deadpool's main concern though. As he heads back to the building, he realizes he doesn't have any weapons. Hawkeye, aiming an arrow at him, doesn't really mind this not being a fair fight.
Arrows fly everywhere but Deadpool is pretty ninja. He's able to dodge the first couple arrows and find couple for the next few. He gets angry at his brain for not thinking to grab the meat cleaver but the part of his brain that's "working" tells him that isn't what it's job is. It then recites a haiku that gets Deadpool positively suicidal. He steps from his cover to be struck down only to watch as his cover explodes, care of some special arrows. Wade makes a mad dash for the next room while arrows fly all around him.
He ends up in the meat locker and learns that the only way out is the way he came. Another voice in his head tells him to "be the meat." Deadpool chooses to listen to the crazier voice.
Hawkeye is waiting on the other side of the door for Deadpool to come out. Wade calls out and says that they should fight this battle without weapons and let their fists do the work. Hawkeye agrees but never even thinks about giving up his advantage. Deadpool exits the room, Hawkeye releases the arrow only to have it lodge into Deadpool's armor.
He's wearing a meat suit.
We cut to a flashback where we learn that Wade wanted to grow up and wear a meat suit... and fight in it.
In the present, that dream is becoming reality while also being incredibly effective. The meat armor is taking all the arrow damage while DP is able to cover the distance between him and Hawkeye. By the time he clears the gap, Hawkeye is out of arrows. It's a fair fight... except that Deadpool is a much better hand to hand combatant than Hawkeye is. Wade gets in quite a few blows and we get another flashback. This time, it's from Hawkeye. When he was a kid, he told his teacher that he wanted to be a villain when he grew up.
At the end of that flashback, Hawkeye kicks Deadpool in the groin and runs off. Wade is learning that the disadvantage to the meat suit is that it's heavy. He can't move quickly enough to keep on dodging. He needs a weapon.
DP follows Hawkeye into the next room and finds just what he needs. There are blades a plenty laying against the wall. Unfortunately, Hawkeye's been in the room longer and has already uncovered to better weapons. Spinning saws! Fortunately, Wade's still wearing that meat armor and the saws take time to cut through it. While Hawkeye is working on that, Deadpool's brain is returning to functionality. He grabs a pair of meat hooks and quickly turns the tide once more.
The meathooks around his neck, Hawkeye demands to be released. Deadpool celebrates his victory by stabbing the Dark Avenger through the chest with one of them.
Let's get to an old story featuring Emma Frost!
The New Mutants #62
Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Jon J. Muth
We're skipping a few Emma appearances between this one and our last Emma issues, New Mutants 38-40. That's mostly because Emma was a background character at best. Even in this issue, she isn't the focal character. She gets at most two pages of panel time which is about the same amount she got in New Mutants #57. I didn't cover that one because it focuses on Bird Brain adjusting to being in the New Mutants and... I kind of hate Bird Brain. This issue is much more Emma-centric because it features her students, the Hellions, in a starring role.
All you really need to know from #57 is that Magma quit the New Mutants and joined with the Hellions. This was made more possible because Magneto, the New Mutants' Headmaster at the time, had become the Hellfire Club's White King (which is why Emma also had lots of back ground appearances). The schools were now, technically, no longer at odds but the animosity between campuses remained.
Case in point: after we get through the page of the New Mutants reading a letter about Magma and Empath being in South America at Nova Roma, we cut to a week or so ago at the Massachusettes Academy where the Hellions are facing off against Amara Aquilla: Magma. They still consider her a New Mutant and a possible spy and there's lots of unfriendly faces in the training area. The fight pretty much proves the Magma is the match to anyone in the room that's trying to take her down. The one guy that isn't trying very hard is Empath. He is a complete jerk through and through but this is the beginning of Louise Simonson's attempt to make him an actually character instead of a villainous teenager.
It doesn't take. He's more evil and misguided today than ever before.
Empath ends up using his emotional control to make Magma love him but she breaks out of his power fairly quickly. The Hellions then do their best to be bratty teenagers by taunting Empath for his apparent crush on the former New Mutant. Empath responds by placing Tarot under his power and making her love him. It's not that far from the truth, actually. Tarot is crushing on him. Empath uses that emotion but is surprised at how Magma responds to all this. She has a fire tantrum and begins to run out of the room.
She's halted by the Hellions' head mistress, Emma Frost, who's come in to make her appearance for the issue. Emma chastises Empath for playing his little mind games while handing a scroll off to Amara. The scroll is from her father in Nova Roma and requests that she return home immediately. Emma makes plans for her student's departure and clears the room of Hellions. All except Empath. She wants to have a private chat with her most unruly student.
Emma's actually proud of how far Empath has come. Instead of wielding his abilities like a blunt instrument, he's learning to be subtle with their uses. Unfortunately, Empath has no idea what she's talking about. His "subtle use of his abilities" is more subconscious than anything else but he's not one to just throw praise out the window and his initial surprise looks to Emma like he's trying to be coy about the entire thing. This subtle use of his abilities will be useful when he accomplanies Amara on her journey back home. The Hellfire Club wants access to the resources of Nova Roma and, with Empath influencing Magma's dad, they could have just that.
Empath heads over to Magma's room to find her all packed and ready to go. She doesn't want to leave and we're not given the full reasons yet. Still, her father has told her to come home and that's pretty much law. We get into some useless character development scenes where we get that there's a connection between the two characters but an incredible amount of anger coming from Amara. Empath tells her that he's coming with her... possibly to get her father to send her back... and we cut to the flight home.
The flight is a rocky one. There's a huge storm in the area of Nova Roma. The pilot has tried to fly around the storm but he's not been able to avoid it and keep enough fuel to get them where they need to go. It's about to be a moot point. The aircraft is struck by lightning and loses a wing.
The jet crashes and only Empath and Magma live. Empath carries the still groggy Magma away from the plane before it explodes. Amara hopes that her father and the Nova Romans will come looking for her except Empath reminds the former New Mutant that their flight had gone far off course before it fell from the sky. They're on their own for now.
Fortunately, the rain forest is where Amara made her home and she's also got some nice fire powers. She's well equipped to survive in the area. Empath is less well off and has trouble with roving bands of monkeys throwing rocks at him and other wildlife making his life miserable. His control over emotions isn't much use with animals, either. He thinks that Magma should create a huge fire to act as a beacon to summon the Nova Romans but Amara worries that such a fire could rage out of control and destroy the rain forest.
They fight it out for a bit but end up not setting fire to the forest.
That night, Magma wakes from her sleep to find Empath being food for a vampire bat. Amara scares it off as her teammate wakes up frightened out of his mind. Amara uses a leaf to staunch the bleeding but Empath just thinks she's humoring him. Magma shares a story where a bat got caught in her hair. The experience gave her nightmares for years but, when you live in a rainforest, the bats aren't going to go away. She learned to joke about it to get by. She's using those jokes now as a defensive mechanism of sorts.
Still, the bats freak them both out a bit so Magma ends up making the fire bigger to keep them away.
The next day, Empath wakes up to find that Amara has already gathered some food to eat. He needs to relieve himself and heads off to find a private place to do his dirty business. Magma warns him that she's seen jaguar tracks and that he shouldn't stray far but that just means Empath is going to have a cat encounter. He meets the jaguar while trying to gather a flower up for his friend. The beast pounces on him and gives him some pretty nasty wounds before Amara comes around to save her fellow Hellion.
They both end up wounded but Magma is able to scare the cat off. While she patches up her wounds, she tells Empath why she was in no rush to return home. Her dad has arranged for her to be married off. She'd rather enjoy living with the Hellions than be stuck back at home. Empath tries to come up with solutions for her problem but it's cultural.
This leads to another fight where Empath tells Magma to use her powers to summon her people. Magma refuses because she doesn't want to destroy the rain forest but Empath thinks there's more to it than that. She doesn't want to go home at all. She'd rather be lost in the jungle than married off. There might be an edge of truth to that but there's more truth to the fact that Amara just doesn't want to burn down her home. Anyway, the fight gets physical and Empath ends up using his powers to influence Magma's emotions but she, again, breaks free.
She tells Empath that she'll deal with her life and death (and her emotions) on her own terms. She then gives a shocked Empath a kiss and causes a forest fire.
Empath wouldn't know subtlety if it snuck up on him. He doesn't know if he caused Amara to kiss him or if it was her doing the kissing. They run to escape the fire and, from a safe distance, Empath tells her how his powers work. He's assaulted by emotions and sometimes it's hard to tell if they're his or someone else's. He grabs one emotion and uses it, controls it, so that it blocks the others out. He acts all in control but it's all an act to keep the other emotions at bay. So he doesn't have a clue if it's him or someone else sometimes.
The rain puts Magma's forest fire out and the two make their way to the Amazon River so that Amara can get them home. It takes days for them to get close to home and, after their wounds at the paws of the jaguar, they are incredibly weakened by the time that the Nova Romans find them.
Amara introduces Empath as her friend. I guess, after what they've been through, it's hard not to bond. Even with a jerk like Empath.
And we're good for this week. Next week's comics are HUGE so just hope I get 'em done in some semblence of timeliness!
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?