Avengers Undercover #5

Hopeless, Walker, Gorder, Beaulieu

SPOILER ALERT!

I will most certainly be SPOILING!

With such an enormous offer at the end of last issue, it kind of makes sense that this issue would be a kind of grace period, where Zemo allows the Survivors to make up their minds if they want to join the Masters of Evil or not. Continuing with the theme of attractive coercion, the three Lieutenants, Daimon Hellstrom, Madame Masque, and Constrictor each grab a portion of the Survivors and head back into Bagalia city.

Hellstrom takes Nico and Bloodstone to Hell City, the four blocks of the city that contains all of the magic in the Masters of Evil. The three head to Hellstrom’s house where Bloodstone shows Nico the Demon Cage that Hellstrom created for him. Inside he can learn to control and use his monstrous parasite without fear of it getting out of control. The harshest and most persuasive statement Hellstrom gives to Nico both caught me off guard and made the most sense.

“…But if you wanna know why that kid up there roasting in hellfire seems happy while you’re clearly inside out miserable, that’s simple. Cullen stopped pretending he’s not a monster.”

Chase and Death Locket got taken by Constrictor and shown the freedom of the super villain lifestyle. While Chase, a natural athlete, plays basketball with the muscle of the Masters, Death Locket is getting the lowdown on how this portion of the group works. Basically, they goof off until they need to break something, and then the Masters take them to where they are needed, and then they come home. This comes across as particularly acceptable to the young cyborg.

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Finally, Anachronism, Cammi, and Hazmat are led to the roof and have a short conversation with Madame Masque. Basically, she says they are leaders. When they ask what they are doing up on the roof she replies that she is going to hurt a man and take his money. She offered them ,”the heart of the world on a golden platter” and she isn’t going to waste her night waiting for them to take it.

While these three Survivors are left alone to mull it over, Hazmat comes up with a better decision. If they leave, they go to jail for killing Arcade.  If they stay, they become villains. Hazmat thinks they could become super heroes again if they take the Masters down from the inside.

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Back in Hell City, Nico is blowing off steam fighting demons, and totally loses it in a big way. She comes to herself having basically split a demon down the middle. She leaves in typical angsty fashion, and Hellstrom comes to talk to her. He offers a shoulder to cry on and she says he is a little to “smoldering and pentagrammy.” His offer wasn’t for him, but for someone from her past. Believe me, it was a shocker.

The group, except for Death Locket and Bloodstone, comes together and mostly agrees to join with the purpose of bringing the Masters down. The only exception is Cammi. When Baron Zemo hears that she is the only one not joining, he says that they will respect her choice.

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She flies away only to be caught by Constrictor and brutally slammed into a rock wall. Bleeding and semi conscious, she lay under him and he has only one thing to say.

“The man gave you a choice. You picked wrong.”

It’s been a long time coming, but Avengers Undercover has finally gotten to the point where the story is what it claimed to be. I think this was an excellent decision, with the slow burn working up to the team actually joining, with little options to the alternative. At this point, I feel safe sounding off my guess that Death Locket is the one who will become a villain by the end of the series. I can’t wait to see what steps the masters use to introduce them to villainy and corrupt them by degrees. When will the team begin to fragment?  When will they give up the goat? I’ll be reading well into next year if they let me, because these answers are worth the effort.

My rating 4.5 / 5

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