Characters Appearing: Chief O'Grady, Fireworks Fielstein, Jim Redfield, Jim Young, Kenneth Krask, Kevin Krask, Kronin Krask, Mad Dog Rassitano, Marcus Stone, Mother Majowski, Paul Conklin, Rigger Ruiz, Shelly Conklin, Thermal Man, Thunderstrike
Marvel Double Feature... Thunderstrike/Code Blue #15
Issue(s): Marvel Double Feature... Thunderstrike/Code Blue #15
Paul calls Shelly, who activates Code Blue, and even suits up to go with them herself. But she's acting without the authority of Jim Young from the mayor's office, who is supposed to be approving all Code Blue activity for budgetary reasons. And to be sure, Code Blue do use a lot of high tech weaponry, which surely isn't cheap.
It's also not effective against the Thermal Man. But luckily Thunderstrike shows up.
While Thunderstrike is fighting the Thermal Man (with continued help from Code Blue), Shelly accuses Redfield of malfeasance in activating the robot. But Redfield claims that Paul made the decision. Paul is still trapped in the building. Shelly goes to rescue him, but he's caught under collapsing rubble and dies. But before dying, he gives Shelly documentation proving that Redfield ordered the activation of the Thermal Man, and, even more damning, that he deliberately had the robot programmed to go on a rampage in order to impress the military.
That said, this is the Thermal Man's least impressive appearance. Despite some fun art opportunities...
...Thermal Man is defeated pretty easily, and almost as a sidenote to the revelations about Redfield. And not only are Code Blue not the heroes of the story, but even Thunderstrike's power ultimately takes a back seat to some adamantium gloves and a wire sent over by Stark.
When it's all over, police chief O'Grady (a name that just screams phoning it in) shows up to say that Code Blue is officially disbanded and Captain Conklin is suspended.
One of the reasons for the financial troubles is that, as we saw last arc, a law firm called Krask & Krask are suing the city. In the beginning of this issue, the firm's name is incorrectly written as Trask & Trask, but at the end of the issue they're back to being called Krask. And something very Kirby is going on in their warehouse.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: To avoid breaking up the issue, i'm assuming that Thunderstrike's appearance here takes place after Thunderstrike #15. Regarding the Krask subplot, i'm allowing time to pass before the problem in the warehouse fully develops. I'm assuming that the package sent from "Stark" just means someone at the company, not necessarily Tony Stark himself.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Having Code Blue use sci-fi weapons just defeats the whole point of Code Blue, which ought to be showing how street-level characters handle superhuman menaces. I realize Code Blue are basically low-level superheroes in terms of how the MU views “peak human” physical attributes, but giving them Iron Man tech is taking things in a different direction. A high-tech cop force could be an interesting concept, too, but it’s different from the David-vs-Goliath appeal of Code Blue.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 2, 2018 10:41 PM
Part of the issue may be that Code: Blue are appearing in Thor, or all books, where the villains aren't going to be subdued by conventional weapons at all. Beyond that, we've gotten quite few stories over the years -- mostly in the Spider-books -- that show the police getting SHIELD weaponry on loan to take on superhuman opponents. (Interestingly, when Code: Blue shows up in a Spider-Man Unlimited backup trying to apprehend Cardiac, they seem to use conventional weapons...and they thwart his assassination attempt but off but fail to capture him.)
Of course, given DeFalco's and Frenz's clear love of Kirby, Code: Blue has always struck me as an expansion on the classic New Gods story where grizzled police detective "Terrible" Turpin battles Kalibak. The whole idea stats in Thor #414, where Stone takes on Ulik in a direct homage to Kirby's story, and sort of gathers steam from there.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 4, 2018 6:53 AM
I always saw Code Blue as being similar to DC's Metropolis Special Crimes Unit - which is dedicated to defending the city against superhuman menaces. You would need hi tech weapons for that kind of unit. Most of the time, when police try to use regular weapons against people with powers, it's usually ineffective.
Posted by: clyde | March 4, 2018 10:57 AM
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