Hammerhead makes his move on Shocker in an attempt to get Silvermane’s head back while Fred’s parole officer – former Beetle, Abner Jenkins – becomes aware of Fred’s recent activities. Elsewhere, Fred and the Sinister Several reach their safe house to plot their next move…
WRITER Nick Spencer
ART Steve Lieber
COLOR Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER VC’s Clayton Cowles
EDITOR Lauren Sankovitch
SUMMARY: The story opens with Mach VII (former Beetle and ex-Thunderbolt Abner Jenkins) buying furniture. Unfortunately Mirage, who was least seen tied up in the Chameleon’s lair, makes an emergency call to save his butt and interrupts Abner’s shopping. Abner arrives at the scene of the epic battle from last issue right as villains who helped make up the Sinister Sixteen leave the hideout to surrender to the cops. But before Abner can get more answers from Mirage, he’s kidnapped by the rubber gloved Chameleon. Something tells me Mirage is about to feel a slight pressure…
Down in the sewers, Boomerang regroups with Overdrive and the Beetle. Fred walks in on a conversation between the two villains in which we learn that while they were searching for their double-crossing boss the two engaged in a little knocking of the boots. We also learn that Overdrive’s an “early finisher,” so to speak.
When Hammerhead and his Maffia gang arrive at Shocker’s apartment we find out that Silvermane’s head isn’t really all that thrilled with the prospect of being returned to his former outfit. He’s really just fine so long as he’s somewhere that’s got great cable so he can watch Bones on TV. As Hammerhead and his goons open fire on Shocker’s place, Silvermane convinces Shocker to get the two of them out of harm’s way. Shocker uses his vibro-guantlets to propel the two of them out of the apartment and away from a very sad yet determined Hammerhead.
Shocker and Silvermane wind up at a safe house, which turns out to be the very safe house that Fred and the rest of the Sinister Several have arrived at. What fireworks will the reunion bring?
ANALYSIS: To say I found the opening scene of Fred buying furniture funny is an understatement. It culminates in easily the funniest exit I have ever seen in all my years of reading comics, Marvel or otherwise. Folks it takes a lot to get me to laugh at something I see in a comic. Not just chuckle, or give out a ‘Haha!’ but a real, true crack-up. Abner’s exit from the furniture store had me laughing so hard my ribs hurt. I also showed it to a buddy of mine who had the same reaction. I won’t spoil it here. You just have to see it for yourself.
Silvermane’s head gets the chattiest we’ve ever seen before and it’s gold. Watching the head of a cranky old man constantly berate Shocker and mock him by calling him everything other than Shocker (Sprinkler, Shaker) is tremendous fun.
I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of the Chameleon or the Owl. They’re both onto Fred’s chicanery and that’s bound to catch up with the Several at some point sooner or later.
Spencer & Lieber are always a treat. This month, with the Abner exit scene, I thought they might have caused internal physical damage to me. The story’s rabidly back on track, Spencer & Lieber’s storytelling is fantastic and Rachelle Rosenberg’s color work continues to excel.