Avengers Undercover #3
Hopeless, Green II, Beaulieu
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
Last issue ended on the verge of vengeance and possibly cold blooded murder with Arcade showing up in front of the Survivors of Murderworld. Issue #3 opens on Baron Zemo, Constrictor, Masque, and Helstrom watching the same introduction that the Survivors are experiencing in person. We find out that Zemo has orchestrated the whole thing, and is doing this to bring out the killer in each of the Survivors.
Hazmat, experiencing all of the personal tragedy of Murderworld upon seeing Arcade again, goes catatonic. Catatonia is a troublesome state to be in when you are surrounded by dozens of
homicidal billionaires who have paid for the right to be in Arcade’s new microcosm of Murderworld. The Survivors scramble and Anachronism saves the helpless Hazmat. The team escapes into what looks like a library and Bloodstone explains the situation and how he convinced Helstrom to send all of the Survivors there because they deserve to be there.
The team fractures on what they should do; Bloodstone, Nico, and Death Locket seem interested in going on the offensive, and Cammi, Anachronism, and Chase stay in the library to protect Hazmat.
The team splits up and Arcade finally notices that they are there. Excited by the prospect of going up against his “kiddies” again, Arcade walks into the library with blue fire wreathing his hand.
In the main dining room, still in the throes of the new Murderworld experience, team offense wastes no time. Nico gives everyone in the room some kind of pox of plague, clearing their path to the hidden control room. Bloodstone utilizes his newfound control over the demon inside of him to destroy the wall that hid it. Before the team can do anything at all, Arcade’s assistant, Miss Coriander, incapacitates the entire team.
Back in the library, team defense isn’t fairing very well against the fully powered Arcade. His invincibility leads to a long monologue about the emptiness of winning, about achieving their highest point and never being able to reach a higher plateau.
In the control room, Death Locket comes to first. Despite being bound, she uses her Death Lock technology to infest the circuits that run the entire house. Moments later, even Arcade’s control fails.
In the moments following his catastrophic power failure, Arcade realizes the peril he is in. Whatever their misgivings and arguments before hand, the Survivors tear into Arcade, brutally beating him. Floating before them, bloody and beaten, the red headed villain admits that he was deserved it, and mentions that despite everything, they are heroes in the end. They have stopped short and haven’t killed him despite the wrongs he has done to them.
From nowhere, Hazmat stands and disintegrates him.
The final page starts comically, with the three Masters of Evil celebrate the kill, and settle bets. Masque asks Baron Zemo what happens next.
“Now…we get started.”
This issue was pulse pounding and relentless. The inherent comedy offset the bitter seriousness of the situation. The unified front, when it mattered, of the Survivors made for a realistic and troubling team dynamic, and the death of Arcade, who had only recently become truly dangerous in the previous series, was truly shocking. The most striking pages in the issue are the pages of the Survivors beating Arcade bloody in a vengeance fueled frenzy. The muted colors of the characters over a back drop of red, with no dialogue, and only sound effects spattering the page comes off visceral and cruel, a side of Survivors most would have expected to have been left behind in Murderworld. I can’t wait to see what Zemo has in store for our…heroes (?) next month!
My rating 5 / 5