Previously, in Wolverine #43
I’m traveling the road to Civil War with Marvel so I can be caught up by the time this storyline hits the big screen. Please do not comment with spoilers if you’re familiar with this particular story arc, but you are welcome to provide non-spoiler answers to any questions I may ask in the review. If you are interested in following along, here’s the reading order I’ll be following.
Who’s In It:
Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), Robert Baldwin (Speedball), Thunderclap, Bantam, various lesser-known superheroes.
In Embedded Part 3, Sally Floyd meets with some of the lesser-known superheroes for an off-the-record interview. As she learned from Firestar in the previous Front Line issue, that there are plenty of heroes who feel like they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their privacy to save lives.
Meanwhile, Ben Urich meets with Reed Richards, who reveals to him the project we’ve heard him mention in prior issues: a calculation which states the SRA is the only thing stopping the country from a conflict so large, it mirrors an outbreak. Ben is skeptical. He counters that those calculations could mean little since public sentiment can shift; the stock market rises and falls based on perception. When Richards accuses him of oversimplifying, Ben points out the double standard in basing his calculations on sentiments and also saying that numbers don’t lie.
Later, Sally witnesses another tragic accident between two heroes (one for SRA, the other against) fighting in the streets. Thunderclap uses his power to send Bantam flying into a gas truck and it explodes, burning his entire body.
In The Accused Part 3: Speedball meets with his lawyer, Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), sporting wounds from the prison beatdown he took. She has some motions she can file to try and lighten his sentence, but she makes no promises. He still maintains he’s being made the scapegoat when it should be Nitro in jail. And he’s not wrong.
But he’s still not willing to admit that maybe his crew was ill-prepared and shouldn’t have been there in the first place. On his way back to his cell, he’s taunted by another inmate who calls him a “baby killer.” Completely fed up, Speedball yells for any and everyone to bring it. He just may get his wish, too.
Jennifer returns with a deal: If Speedball will register and serve as a consultant, he’ll get three years of community service. Since this offer is an admission of guilt, Speedball tells Jennifer that the governor can shove his deal.
Finally, in Sleeper Cell Part 1: Detectives investigate an explosion at a pet store that left the owner’s wife dead and him missing. Earlier in the evening, we see that the owner, Joe, and his wife closed up shop and retired to their apartment upstairs. While watching a news report about displaced whales, Joe hears their singing, goes into the bathroom and injects himself with a needle. Then he becomes… something else.
- Though these issues tend to move a bit slower, I’m still enjoying the real-world viewpoint of how the SRA is affecting citizens. Speedball’s legal troubles are also interesting. He refuses to take even the smallest responsibility for what happened in Stamford. Understandable, I guess, when the person who caused the explosion is still running free, but I hope he eventually realizes how reckless he and his crew were.
- I have no idea what’s going on with homeboy at the pet store, but I’m intrigued.