Characters Appearing: Charnel, Death's Head II (Minion), Evelyn Necker, Serene, Tuck
Death's Head II #10-12
Issue(s): Death's Head II #10, Death's Head II #11, Death's Head II #12
Liam Sharp left after issue #4, but the art has mostly been holding up without him, at least until we get to Douglas Braithwaite for these three issues.
Braithwaite's been better than this elsewhere, and to be fair that just seems to be a bad panel. The rest of the art is ok, if not with the obvious commercial appeal that Sharp's had.
Death's Head II and Tuck are raiding AIM bases looking for Necker. Meanwhile, it's confirmed that Necker did capture Kite in that ambiguous explosion.
Necker says that Kite is an immortal mutant that has been roaming America since at least 1831. She's going to use him to make her new Death's Head.
It's not said how Necker wound up associating with the 1993 version of AIM. It's not hard to imagine her doing so, but i would have liked to see the meeting with an AIM higher up (not necessarily Super-Adaptoid). There should at least be some beekeeper goons walking around. Instead they look like this.
I can't deny that their uniforms say AIM, but it really doesn't feel like we're dealing with them.
At one of the AIM bases, Death's Head II interrogates a sentient computer. It doesn't know anything about Evelyn Necker, but it tells him about an Eliza Necker, who Tuck guesses is Evelyn's mother. They go to look for her.
Tuck is still worried about Death's Head II messing with his timeline, and from that exchange we learn that they both genuinely care about each other.
They're then attacked by the AIM freelancers mentioned by Evelyn's robot above. The Requiem Sharks.
And one of them turns out to be Eliza.
Death's Head II convinces her that her "daughter" is in the present and working for AIM. Eliza is able to confirm that and she and her companions join him and Tuck. They also tell him that AIM is working on the Minion project.
Meanwhile, Kite briefly gets free, but we're shown that Evelyn Necker has fitted him with a disrupter in his brain stem.
Death's Head II, Tuck, and the Requiem Sharks head for the AIM base where Evelyn is at. By the time they get to Evelyn, she's completed the Minion project but the merged Kite/cyborg has escaped and is heading to the time machine. Death's Head makes Evelyn show him to it, but by the time he gets there it's too late, and Kite comes back as Charnel.
It turns out that when Charnel was last defeated, his biological side was split to form Kite and was sent into the past. By merging him with a Death's Head cyborg body, Evelyn Necker has recreated him (Charnel is a von Strucker merged with the body of the first Death's Head).
Issue #12 introduces Salvador Larroca. He's going to be the new regular artist.
Larroca is Spanish and i don't know if he was working from Spain or if he was in the UK at this time, but it's notable how a lot of artists that got their start on the Marvel UK imprint start off looking like Alan Davis (see also Bryan Hitch, for example, and Liam Sharp is kind of like Davis by way of Jim Lee). I kind of wish they stayed that way.
Charnel was hard to beat the first time when Death's Head was teamed up with a lot of (alternate universe) superheroes, so with just the Requiem Sharks and some of AIM behind him, Death's Head II has his work cut out.
During the course of the fighting, Evelyn recognizes another of the Requiem Sharks, Smart, as her father.
Eventually, that brain stem disrupter turns out to be the key to defeating Charnel, or at least distracting him long enough while they overload the time machine.
The resulting explosion also destroys the entire AIM complex, and Evelyn Necker also disappears, possibly throwing her through time. So Death's Head II never learns who his body was.
There's obviously not a lot going on here of relevance to the larger Marvel universe, but it's a fun adventure story. And Salvador Larroca's art in the final issue is very promising.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Battletide II takes place in between last issue and this one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Weirdly, Abnett would later introduce an AIM agent named Evelyn Necker in Nova in 2009. This is weird because the obvious interpretation was that the Necker in Nova was a younger version of the Necker that Death's Head knew but her mother was said not be pregnant yet in 1993 in this story and the Necker in Nova looked older than 16.
Posted by: Michael | October 11, 2016 4:26 PM
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