Or – “When Did The Wrecking Crew Turn Into Psychopathic Serial Killer Types?”


Talisman is not happy, and with good reason. Look at it from her perspective: American superheroes have a problem with one of their OWN, The Scarlet Witch. She snaps, changes reality, then when it changes back, her stupidity causes a mailman to be empowered and kill Talisman’s father (AND nearly the entirety of Canadia’s superhuman defenders.) America has ANOTHER problem, and suddenly super-villains are flooding Canadia’s borders, Sasquatch (her last link to Alpha Flight, and one of the last links to her lost family) disappears while engaging said super-villains, and the Americans are suddenly sending up “their people” to handle the problem. Adding insult to injury, both of the people they’ve sent are third-string ex-Force Works members with serious behavioral problems. It would seem that SHIELD Director Stark wants them out of his hair, but since they’re his pals, he won’t torture, depower, exile, or illegally imprison them (like he’s been doing for everybody else.) You can’t blame her for having her eyes burst into flame and her costume nearly split at the seams…

…but it’s going to get worse before it gets better, Elizabeth. This is a Marvel comic, after all, just be glad you haven’t had your head blown off on panel, OF1.jpgbeen impaled on a katana, shot dead in the street or been eaten by a zombie duck. “Marvel Comics: The New Cruelty.” Last time on Omega Flight: the Canadian government, finding themselves on the end of an immigration problem, contact Sasquatch, last survivor of Alpha Flight to lead a new team into the field. He has his reservations, in that the team consists mostly of Americans, has one member in particular that he doesn’t trust, and is named after a team of VILLAINS (because Marvel has damaged the Alpha Flight brand beyond repair with multiple reboots and stupidities.) He attempts to recruit Talisman, a Sarcee mystic with a décolletage problem, but she’s not drinking that particular Kool-Aid. With no team to speak of, Sasquatch still bravely goes into battle to defend Canadian turf against The Wrecking Crew, third-string Defenders villains who practically embody “lost cause.” This being the new Marvel, however, he is quickly overwhelmed and beaten senseless by the Crew, the issue ends with the four of them trying to kill him. Whoa… downer, maaaan.

The government agents kick things off this time, as they notify Talisman of Sasquatch’s missing-and-presumed dead status. She is incredulous, though whether it’s at the agent’s stupidity or at the unheard of overpowering of ‘Squatch, I can’t be sure. Either way, she agrees to temporarily assist Omega Flight in locating their leader. Agent Schmucko… Wait… this is Canadia, right? Agent McSchmuckenzie offers to brief Elizabeth on the situation, but she explains to him which particular orifice his briefing could fit in, and goes information gathering herself, Sarcee-mystic-style.


Suddenly, she is overwhelmed by some sort of monsters, a slavering horde of wyrms, and barely manages to protect herself in time. Her vision shifts and once again, she sees the giant white owl (it appeared in her visions last issue as well) and follows it, arriving at the site of some sort of battle. She clearly sees a dead soldiers dogtag (Walters, Simon F., with the unlikely serial number of 123-45-6789) and returns to reality, telling Agent Renfro (the singing Mountie) about her lead. He checks his database, finding that Simon Walters is dead, and asking her if she has any leads on Sasquatch. She replies that she only has metaphors and symbols, but when he snots something about hard facts, she coldly reminds him that this is what she does. We, the ever-omnipresent readers, however, have a very clear idea what has happened to Sasquatch…


And here is where they lose me. Tom Grice and I had a recent discussion regarding the Wrecking Crew, and whether they were being portrayed strangely in these issues, as neither of us remembered them being this SADISTIC in previous appearances. Then, I remembered that they gleefully participated in the beating by the Masters of Evil that gave Hercules (seemingly permanent) brain damage. Then I remembered the moment where Piledriver tries to kill Hawkeye, a man he KNOWS has no powers during the Secret Wars. Then I remembered the entire crew being willing to kill the Runaways (seemingly just a bunch of kids) because they were in the way. Even though it’s a pretty sizable jump to outright torture, it’s not as big a jump as we had initially thought. That said, Thunderball is a scientist, not a street thug, and I have trouble accepting him using the urbanisms (like ‘homes’) that he does, and Wrecker and T-Ball have had a long-standing rivalry that has resulted in them not trusting each other a whit, so if The Wrecker just leaves him alone like this, he’s dumber than that purple-tiger-stripe cowl makes him look. End of rant.

Anyway, from there, we cut to Toronto, where U.S. Agent is fighting Daisy (a priceless villain who reminds me of Joanie Laurer) who apparently came to town to blow up the credit bureau and clear her record (shades of Tyler Durden.) John Walker (Indian Name: Man Who Walks To The John) is not amused, and decides to beat her red, white, black and blue, but he’s mightily overmatched. A multi-story (or storey, for Salieri) fall slows her down, but Walker is distracted when two rubberneckers comment, “Hey, Captain America is beating up a girl!” When U.S. Agent stops to rebut them, he gets a punchinnaface for his troubles.


Yeah, you’re a regular Maid Marian, Daisy, minus the ‘maid’ part, and plus a heavy dose of “Morrison.” This woman belongs in the Wrecking Crew, if you ask me. They could call her “Back-Ho.” In any case, you might have noticed the psychic webbing in that last panel? Since we know that Pete Parker and Jessica Drew are Avengers, Ollie Osnick is in Phoenix, Mattie Franklin in L.A., Anya Corazon works with Ms. Marvel, May Parker hasn’t been born yet, and Charlotte Witter was just flat out a bad idea, how many Spider-type characters are left? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?


“Spider-Woman! Spider-Woman! Copyright-infringing Spider-Woman! Spins a web! With her brain! Fights Ms. Marvel! Gets new name! Hey, there, she’s called ‘Arachne’ noooow!” Julia Carpenter, the former Spider-Woman II (and really, honestly, there are quite enough spider-types in the Marvel Universe as it is, let’s try not to have any more) is ready to make some noise, after making some questionable decisions in the past. Meanwhile, back in the wilds of Canadia, Thunderball is channeling his inner Ted Bundy with Sasquatch and a (gaaah) meathook.


Seriously… that’s some $*#$ed up $#!+ right there. Sasquatch won’t give Thunderball the satisfaction of screaming, which you have to kind of admire, in a sick sort of way, but this sequence REALLY took me out of the book. It’s one thing to build a team out of adversity, and it’s yet another to graphically torture a main character on camera (this is also one of the reason I couldn’t believe that they put ‘Hack/Slash’ and ‘Family Guy’ in the same Free Comic Book Day flip book, as the main character [Cassie Hack, a TEENAGE GIRL] was likewise tortured.) Certainly, it’s gives the Wrecking Crew a sinister edge, and makes their inevitable @$$-kicking that much sweeter, but, really, was it entirely necessary? Don’t get me wrong, I love George Romero and Herschell Gordon Lewis, it’s not that I’m against gore, but it doesn’t accomplish much story-wise, and really disconnects me from the narrative, especially the END of the scene.


Doesn’t that make you wonder what sort of horror Thunderball has inflicted to get Sasquatch to cry out like that? Creeeepy. Also, the first time I read that last panel, I thought that the Wrecker called Thunderball “boy” and nearly had a minor aneurysm. Luckily, I misread, and can move on… Already in Toronto, we find a mysterious young man with dreadlocks (seen earlier in the issue, though I’m not telling where) riding a bus, and trying to figure out his cryptic visions. He has had dreams of great beasts fighting over Toronto, and a recurring image of a white owl. The man’s name, though not given here, is… Simon Walters. And Simon is much, much more than he seems. (Whoops! And I said I wasn’t gonna tell. Ah, well, the site IS called Major Spoilers, after all.) Meanwhile, Talisman returns to Department H to meet the new members of Omega Flight, and is introduced to Iron Man and Ms. Marvel (on commlink.) When Iron Man tries to give his condolences on the death of her father, Elizabeth stonefaces, “Call me Talisman.” Ms. Marvel calls her out on her hostility, and says they’d only like to help. “No,” Elizabeth replies, ” you’d like to cover up your MESS.”


The Iron Dictator suddenly spins his party line, “The registration act protects citizens.” Didn’t seem to protect Steve Rogers… or Bill Foster… or indeed, how about MVP? Stark drones on about how, as director of SHIELD, he has resources to help, including Arachne (whose daughter keeps trying to call her Spider-Woman, on the grounds that it’s “a cooler name.” Heh…), and U.S. Agent. Elizabeth is up in arms that a man dressed like Captain America is going to try and lead a CANADIAN team of superheroes, but her outrage is wasted on him, as the last member of the new Omega Flight (as far as the government is concerned, anyway) enters the room… Before we meet him, though, we’re treated to another cameo by Simon Walters, waiting at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (the very museum that the Wrecking Crew is about to knock over.) The Crew arrives, with a nearly-dead Sasquatch in tow, and engage police, shrugging off a hail of bullets. Again, I remind you that Simon is more than he seems, and while I don’t want to spoil it for you, I would like to remark that someone should Be Essential To Attack, Restrain And Yank Back Idiot Losers Like these. Back at Department H, Talisman transmogrifies into her costume, channeling the power of the ages, ready to annihilate her new “teammate.” “He’s a murderer! YOU KILLED MY FATHER!” His response?


First point: He’s actually correct. Second point: It’s a much more convincing argument when you’re not strapped to a chair like a Kryptonian version of Hannibal Lecter. (“Tell me about your father, Kal-El… Did he abandon you? Rocket you to a dead planet to live among savages and insects? Throw you to the mercy of the cold, heartless universe? Do you hear the screaming of the Scarlet Jungle, Kal-el?”) Let’s look at this from the viewpoint of the average Canadian, and parse it for an American viewpoint. Michael Pointer killed hundreds of people, including the symbol of their nation, a man who actually walked around WEARING the flag. Now, he’s being given that man’s uniform to wear, to use the very powers that MURDERED the symbol of their nation, USING THAT DEAD MAN’S NAME. So, Steve Rogers is dead, but it’s okay, we’re going to give his uniform to The Red Skull, only he’ll use the gun that killed Rogers as his weapon instead of the shield. Sound good? No? Now you know how Elizabeth might feel.

This whole series is filled with ideas that work well from a CREATIVE viewpoint, but make little-to-no sense in the much-vaunted “real world” terms of the Marvel Universe. The Canadian super-team has two Canadians on it, outnumbered by two Americans and an alien. (Speaking of the alien, who were the ad wizards who decided that Beta Ray Bill should appear on the cover of every issue, but still not make an on-panel appearance as BRB until the series is more than 40% done?) Maybe I have a twisted and conspiratory mind, but to me, it seems remarkably like the change from ongoing series to limited series was made AFTER these issues were written (which would explain the puzzling pacing and the lack of a team so far) based on the actual scripts themselves. I’m not saying that Michael Avon Oeming isn’t a good writer, but nothing in this book is really all that outstanding. The torture sequence felt arbitrary, and the rest of the issue is pretty standard. Scott Kolins art is actually as good as I’ve seen it, restraining some of his cartoonier aspects, and getting the bulk of the storytelling done. Much like last issue, the good and the bad mostly balance out, leaving me with the general feeling of “Well… here’s another Marvel superteam.” It’s still a 2.5 star out of 5 effort, sellouts at Diamond notwithstanding, but I remain hopeful. I think that Simon Walters kid may be important though…



About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Matthew Peterson on

    It’s obvious that some writers believe his character arc more than others. :)

    He’s always had a Howard Hughes kind of vibe to him, maybe this is Stark’s version of buying the entire hotel, and saving his hair, nails, and waste in various labeled jars?

  2. …As well as dictating ‘leave the nuts on the plate when you send up the dessert’ to his hired Staff, int his case S.H.I.E.L.D. And, maybe the Registration Act is his ‘Spruce Goose’, because no-one believes it works and he’s the only one who has ever, metaphorically speaking, flown it?

  3. Matthew Peterson on

    Punch, hell. I’m hoping for a cosmic-powered beatdown the likes of which haven’t been seen since Silver Surfer versus Frog-Man…

  4. Anyone want to place bets on who’s going to take out Iron-Man? I’m tossed up between Nova punching him into a sun, or Doc Strange screwing with his mind again, which was priceless, btw.

  5. If it was me, I’d hae the Sentient Armour come back and slap him – Tony has basically performed the very actions that made himw ant to shut down the Sentient Armour in the first place.

  6. I’m hoping the Hulk will beat him into itty bitty Iron Meatballs, but I doubt that WWH will resolve itself thusly.

    Lord, wouldn’t it be the worst cheat ever if we find out that the entire Marvel universe has been in Franklin Richards’ pocket for the past 10 years?

  7. …actually, that would be a funny twist on the endings of St. Elsewhere and the Legends episode of JLU. An insane, catatonic 40-year old Franklin Richards in a cosmic insane asylum, constantly projecting intensley complicated, real-time illusions of an entire universe containing the adventures of his mommy and daddy and their friends as they die and are reborn and rebooted over and over and over. Throughout it all, Franklin still places himself in these fantasies as an 8-year-old even though as his brain has matured, the stories become less silly and simple and become darker and more adult, thereby explaining the evolution of Marvel as a whole.

    Or has this been done in F.F. already?

  8. Matthew Peterson on

    Anyone want to place bets on who’s going to take out Iron-Man?

    Well, this is Marvel, so you have to have seniority. I’m think The Hulk will probably be the only one who can…

  9. What really, really gets my goat about the Civil War plotline and the Post-Civil War MU is the frustrating myopia the editorial team seems to have:

    JQ: “We give the readers what they want!”
    Readers: “We don’t like this direction. We find Iron Man to be a villain.”
    JQ: “No you don’t! This is much better!”
    Readers: “No, we really don’t like this.”
    JQ: “Yes, you do! You should buy more! GO MARVEL!””
    Readers: “Umm…”

  10. …and yeah, strictly as a reader I would pay $100 for Hulk to return and beat Tony Stark into Iron Paste.

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