Previously in Issue #4
Last ish, Bucky and Queen Ventolin were still obliviously absorbed in the throes of love at first sight. Daisy, while rushing to the rescue, was stabbed by Crossbones, and left for dead. Now, I’m going to go ahead and tell you folks that if you’re holding your breath for a nice little wrap-up and complete understanding of this situation, you should give up on that shit right away, because Ales Kot is obviously playing the long game here.
We start this ish off back in the not-altogether-unpleasing-but-ultimately-sub-genius pencils of Langdon Foss (no offense intended, guy, but we all know why we’re here), watching poor Daisy bleed out, and Crossbones advance on our still-hapless hero and his lady, from the foreseen perspective of Old Buck. Just as quickly, we are thrown back into the psychedelic wonderland of Marco Rudy, as Old Buck attempts to convince the Queen’s guard that she is indeed in danger. (This switch really confuses me, as it would seem that since this segment is from Old Buck’s POV, it should still be Foss-style, but as confused as this storyline still has me, it could be that I don’t fully grasp the mechanism being used.) In any case, the guards are quickly convinced by a psychic check-in, and Old Buck tries to find a sniping vantage point.
In the meantime, Crossbones makes his attack, and the fight scene is gorgeous. This is one of the moments, of which each issue has several, in which my irritation at Kot’s confusing plot bleeds away into complete mesmerization with the visuals I’m presented with.
Back to business; Bucky and Crossbones have it out, and it mostly seems like Crossbones has the better of the fight. Now, Bucky has a lot of history with Crossbones (see The Death of Captain America and Reborn and everything in between), and it becomes apparent that something is off with this particular Crossbones. He seems faster and stronger than before, and keeps dropping weird, not-all-there dialogue, seemingly indicating that he’s done this before; this specifically being killing Bucky and Ventolin.
Crossbones eventually gets the better of Buck, viciously stabbing him in the side, but before he can deliver the coup-de-grace, Old Buck explodes his hand with a well-placed shot from afar. Before he can recover, in stumbles a very wounded Daisy Johnson, who reminds us why she’s also called Quake, as she slams Crossbones out through the wall of the tower with a blast of seismic energy. (Bonus points if you are aware that in a reality not far from your favorite TV watching couch, Daisy is currently known by the alias Skye.)
Crossbones gets the last laugh, though, firing up a jet pack as he falls, and extracting a trigger from a pocket, which he clicks to detonate the bomb he had hidden in the tower. As the Pao’Ree library crumbles (along with, presumably, the corpses of our heroes), Old Buck’s failure washes over him from his sniper’s perch.
Here’s where the reviews will cease for this series, and thusly, here’s my final word: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you should be buying these books. I don’t care if you ever read a word of it, but you need to see it, and Marco Rudy deserves to be rich. I choose my words very carefully when I say I don’t think a panel has ever been drawn in a Marvel comic that I wouldn’t like to see redone by Rudy’s hand.