Onslaught Unleashed #2 of 4 Review

Little Tidbit That You May Not Care About But It’s Still Here Anyway: So who’s Onslaught?  That’s the question I asked myself back in the old days when I was just a wee Two-Bit Boy in the arcades.  I was watching the cooler teens play the original Marvel vs Capcom and get all the way to the final boss, this Magneto look-alike.  When you beat him once, he would switch to his second form, and the guy took up almost the ENTIRE SCREEN.  Despite the awesome music, Onslaught was so stinking cheap, and when you lost, he taunted you with “The Dream is Dead!”  It was crazy.

Remember, at this point I thought they had stopped publishing comics altogether.  It wouldn’t be until several years later that I would learn of the Onslaught saga that was published two years prior to the game.

Will we be seeing the cheap Onslaught that we all know and love in this mini?

Onslaught Unleashed #2 of 4

“A Razor-Thin Line”

Writer: Sean McKeever
Artist: Filipe Andrade
Colorist: Ricardo Tercio
Letterist: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Humberto Ramos & Morry Hollowell

The Secret Avengers: Commander Steve Rogers, Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Moon Knight (Mark Spector), Beast (Dr. Hank McCoy), Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady), Sharon Carter

The Young Allies: Nomad (Rikki Barnes), Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), Toro (Benito Serrano), Gravity (Greg Willis), Firestar (Angelica Jones)


The Plot: In the Colombian Roxxon facility, Black Widow, Spider-Girl, Gravity, Firestar, and Moon Knight are fending off the mind-controlled Cuchillo cartel child soldiers.  Toro, with Steve Rogers’ help, fights his former brother-in-arms El Dragon.  Beast and Ant-Man look helplessly as Nomad becomes possessed by Onslaught, who’s been behind it all.

In a different plane, Onslaught taunts Nomad with hints about her true nature.  Outside the complex, a grenade explodes, briefly separating Gravity and Moon Knight from the rest.  As they try to catch up to the rest, Gravity asks Moon Knight about dealing with death.

Meanwhile, Firestar is knocked out by one of the child soldiers.  When these suddenly stop attacking, Natasha and Anya notice their trance-like state and that they are heading back to the control room.  Firestar eventually comes to, and she and Anya follow Black Widow to the control room, where they are later reunited with Gravity and Moon Knight.

As this is happening, Rogers and Toro struggle against El Dragon.  The latter uses his fire breath to elude them.  Toro thanks Rogers for his rescue and chases El Dragon while Rogers tries to find his team.  Sharon, back at the Quincarrier, is ambivalent over leaving the others to get back-up when suddenly the power goes out.  She realizes that someone else is aboard the carrier, and she’s knocked out by a possessed Ant-Man, who shrunk down and attacked her from inside her ear.

Rogers meets up with his team and is agrravated to find the Young Allies there as well.  He finds the Onslaught-possessed Nomad and Beast, who’s been impaled by the ionic monster.  When he’s released, Hank reveals that Rikki has been dead since she first escaped the Negative Zone.

The Good: As you can tell by the long Plot section, lots of things are happening at once, thanks to our large cast of characters.  As a result, we have a fun issue with never a dull moment.  To me, it’s interesting to see the two teams interacting with each other.  You have the Secret Avengers, with hardened veterans such as Black Widow and Moon Knight, paired up with the naïve and optimistic Young Allies such as Firestar and Gravity.  It makes for interesting conversations, in particular with Gravity and Moon Knight (which sets up important events happening in the following two issues).

As someone who’s familiar with both books, I’m happy to say that characters are behaving like they should be.  I never once felt like their abilities were being wasted in battle (however brief those sequences were).

The choice of coloring by Ricardo Tercio is great.  Despite all the action happening at night, the colors never look muddled like they did in, say, Spider-Girl #5.  In particular, I like the coloring used for astral Onslaught.

The Bad: While I personally enjoyed Andrade’s, Ramos’, and Hollowell’s art, I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  If you hated Humberto Ramos’ artwork, you are not going to like Andrade’s.  Body proportions and facial expressions are very exaggerated, and for a story dealing with Onslaught, who once featured in a major Marvel crossver, it feels very experimental (let me put it another way: you wouldn’t be seeing his art in something more “mainstream” like Fear Itself, for instance).  Again, I LIKED his art; I’ve simply been mulling over the above thoughts while reading the issue.

Don’t expect for Onslaught to do anything cool in this issue.  Because he’s still powering up as he makes his escape from the Negative Zone, he depends largely on his child soldiers and Ant-Man.  Most of the action in this issue revolves around getting the characters in place to witness Onslaught’s triumphant return.  When I realized that it’s a four-part mini (for $3.99, no less) I was annoyed, but we probably won’t see any Onslaught action till the end, but I’ve found all subsequent read-throughs of this issue to be very enjoyable.

The Ugly: They have an interview with Sean McKeever at the end.  At the time, I was disheartened to hear that Nomad might be biting the dust at the end of the mini.  That kinda stuff always bums me out.

Verdict: Good issue with a lots of action and colorful art.  Slightly decompressed, but whatcha gonna do?  3.5 Webheads out of 5

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~My Two Cents


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