Issue(s): Deathlok #27 ,Deathlok #28, Deathlok #29
Deathlok is contacted by Misty Knight, who tells him that Siege is on a rampage in Australia.
Before Deathlok leaves to deal with that, he contacts his wife, who would prefer that he spend time with his family but reluctantly understands his sense of duty. We also see Deathlok's roomate Jesus tampering with Deathlok's backpack, a consequence of his "date" from last issue.
Deathlok assumes the worst of Siege, but Siege is actually fighting to access the lair of Timestream, who has come to the present.
Earlier, we saw Timestream approach this reality's Luther Manning, noting that he's not Deathlok.
He zapped Manning, saying that he's going to set things "right".
But Deathlok doesn't know about that, and it's not entirely clear what gets Deathlok to change his mind about Siege. But he does join Siege in attacking the base and its weird defenders.
They get into the base and confront Timestream.
But then Deathlok's computer warns him about a coming tsunami.
It turns out that Timestream has chosen this moment to make his (as of yet undisclosed) move because of Infinity Crusade, since most heroes are otherwise occupied.
Indeed the Goddess even comes to Deathlok.
However, the Goddess says that Deathlok is not the man he once was, so she rejects him.
Siege suggests that it might be because he tried to kill himself and Harlan Ryker, and that seems to ring true for Deathlok (or at least he doesn't contest it).
Deathlok is devastated by the Goddess' rejection.
This is an unusual story direction since it comes last in the publication of the Infinity Crusade series. Not that there was ever any doubt that the Goddess was a "bad guy". But issue #28 points us to issues #1-4 of Infinity Crusade, and by that time we were in pure fight mode in the crossover. That's not to say that Deathlok shouldn't be devastated; as far as he knows he's been rejected by a legitimate Goddess. But the audience surely would have understood that Deathlok has been misled. So when i read this instead of feeling bad for Deathlok i'm just like "Don't worry about it, pal."
But Deathlok has to deal with being rejected while fighting Timestream and the warriors that he pulls from the future.
Siege holds off the warriors while Deathlok connects to Timestream's computer and learns that he's planning to flood Australia with the tidal waves. Again, Deathlok keeps kicking himself over the Goddess.
Siege and Deathlok manage to stop Timestream, who teleports away saying that they've doomed the past and the future. While Deathlok is apologizing to Siege for misjudging him initially, the nova explosion from Infinity Crusade #5 happens.
Issue #29 takes place mostly while Deathlok is seemingly dead as a result of the explosion and shows us a bunch of flashbacks and dream sequences.
Deathlok is judged for having let Bushwacker and Ultron go in the past and for preventing others (i.e. the Punisher) from killing to save lives.
You'd assume the disembodied voice was the Goddess, but that comes into doubt when we see the voice talking to Siege and it's using slang.
So it seems to be more of an internal thing.
For Deathlok, it comes to a conclusion when Deathlok accepts his human limitations.
The effects of the "purification" then end.
Meanwhile, whatever Timestream did to Luther Manning doesn't manifest right away. But he does start to "remember" things.
And he actually is accepted by the Goddess, although it's not like she recruits him to Paradise Omega.
In fact, nothing comes of that. We next see Manning after the Infinity Crusade portion is over. He's on a training exercise when his arm starts to transform.
The Cyberstrike prologue has the Watcher...
...showing Timestream grabbing the future version of Deathlok, which attracts the attention of Godwulf.
The end blurb says that the story will continue next issue, but next issue is actually a fill-in.
I think this crossover misses the mark a bit on some of the elements of Infinity Crusade. I'm not sure how much Wright intended for us to realize that Deathlok was getting all worked up over nothing regarding the Goddess, and the entirety of issue #29 shows an effect of the Goddess' explosion that we don't really see elsewhere. But both of these things are explainable and it's not a terrible use of the Crusade premise to do character exploration stuff (even though i don't think it's done particularly well). This is also yet another example of the failure of the Goddess' attempt to suppress war and violence on Earth, but we see that in basically every tie-in that still takes place on Earth, even the one written by Jim Starlin (the UN trying to take over Monster Island). So despite missing the mark, it's not abnormal by the (low) standards of the crossover. I also see it taking better advantage of the extra eyeballs the crossover would be bringing than most books. I assume there were people out there that weren't reading this incarnation of Deathlok but maybe knew about the older Deathlok, at least thanks to the crossover with Captain America. So using the return of that Deathlok as a developing plot in this story makes sense. It's as good a hook as any this book could offer.
Unfortunately neither the writing nor the art are all that great, so despite doing things mostly "right" i don't think it's very successful. And indeed the book will be cancelled after the next storyline (plus the fill-in).
One thing of note is that in issue #29, which has a number of flashback references, there are no footnotes (although it does still have a footnote in the non dream portion). Instead there is a box in the lettercol citing all of the issues referenced. This isn't the first time we've seen this (it was done regularly for the back-ups in Roy Thomas' Dr. Strange run, for example). But Tom Brevoort, the editor here, will do this same thing when he becomes editor of the Avengers. It's a compromise of sorts between the pro- and anti-footnote factions.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This begins before Infinity Crusade (issue #27 isn't a tie-in, but continues directly into #28) and ends with the nova explosion at the end of Infinity Crusade #5. The end of issue #28 says that the story will continue in Infinity Crusade #6. But the story also continues directly in Deathlok #29. Deathlok is shown watching the coming of the explosion in Crusade #6, so you could say that #29 is concurrent with the beginning of #6 (which is basically true of all the tie-ins showing the explosion). But it's worth noting that the scene in #6 shows Deathlok alone and in a city when the explosion happens, not with Siege on a mountain.
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDeathlok (616 Luther Manning), Deathlok (Michael Collins), Goddess, Jesus Badalamente, Misty Knight, Nick Collins, Patricia Collins, Siege, Timestream, Tracy Collins, Uatu the Watcher
fnord, do you think the General Ryker who is seen chewing out Luther Manning is supposed to be the Earth 616 version of Simon Ryker who previously appeared in Super-Villain Team-Up #4 and Marvel Spotlight #27?
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 9, 2016 10:09 PM
Note the criticism of Deathlok letting Ultron and Bushwacker go. I wonder if the readers complained or Wright just thought McDuffie wrote that scene poorly but didn't want to complain until he was gone.
Posted by: Michael | December 9, 2016 10:43 PM
@Ben, i don't know. How often do people get promoted to General after getting their experimental subs destroyed by squids? Simon Ryker seemingly died in that story. And he was pretty unhinged and i'm not even sure if he was meant to be with the military. I think maybe the creators here are just doing another homage to Ryker not realizing that the previous one existed.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 13, 2016 7:41 AM
Maybe it was Simon and Harlan Ryker's previously-unrevealed third brother?
Seriously, I'm sure there's a story in there if someone writing for Marvel really wanted to dredge up Simon Ryker. Certainly quite a few equally-obscure dead characters have been brought back over the last few years. Barney Barton? Yon-Rogg? Darren Cross? Yeah, Simon Ryker would be right at home with those guys.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 13, 2016 1:47 PM
Maybe it's the same General Ryker who later bedevils the Hulk in Paul Jenkins's early 2000s stories. This doesn't preclude his being related to Simon and Harlan Ryker, of course.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 28, 2016 11:50 AM
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