Issue(s): Motormouth #3, Motormouth #4, Motormouth #5
Gary Frank illustrates issues #3-4, although #4 is padded with a back-up Killpower origin story by Doug Braithwaite. Phil Gascoine draws issue #5.
The plots for the first two issues of this series were pretty straightforward and standalone, but they get more complicated here, with stories running into each other with little time to rest and with nothing ever feeling like it reaches resolution (although for placement purposes the issues will have to be broken into arcs).
We continue to have Nick Fury running around on the margins, bumping into other American superheroes like Punisher, and having adventures with secondary Marvel UK characters like Badhand, but still never meeting Motormouth.
This issue starts with Motormouth admiring her jacket.
Meanwhile, she's detected by Mys-Tech, but they find that they're no longer able to control her shoes. I don't know if that's because of her new ear implant (it's said that "she seems to have some kind of mental over-ride"), but the ear implant does allow her to listen in on walkie-talkie channels, so she learns that Mys-Tech is after her. However, they are able to capture her, and she's brought to Gudrun Tyburn, one of the Mys-Tech board members.
Gryffn tries to convince Motormouth to take a job with Mys-Tech, and while she's getting the tour she meets Killpower for the first time.
Motormouth doesn't feel like she can decline Mys-Tech's job offer. She's given a new costume and a gun, and sent on a mission.
Meanwhile, Nick Fury prepares an assault on Mys-Tech's building in London, and he calls in his agent Badhand, who we saw in Warheads #2, to accompany him.
After Fury leaves, the Punisher shows up looking for him, and gets a surprisingly tolerant welcome.
Killpower is sent to attack SHIELD while Fury is away, so Punisher helps out. Killpower uses holographic projectors to create duplicates of himself, and he thinks they're fun!
It helps to appreciate Killpower if you keep in mind that he's a nine year old boy mimicking what he's seen in action films. Otherwise he probably comes across like a Cable/Punisher/Bishop rip-off or something.
And we do continue to get strong hints about that. When Network Nina tries to read his mind, she gets confused images about a school room and teddy bears, and when he's told that he's done enough damage and is to return home, he says, "Aw! Do I Have to?". However, Punisher isn't in on the joke; he just thinks that Killpower is an "interesting guy" and says "Pity he's not on my side".
Meanwhile, Motormouth is sent to a futuristic Tokyo where she's supposed to retrieve "Tyburn's Key". But she's attacked by assassins with throwing stars. She doesn't hesitate to shoot back to kill.
But she then gives up on her mission and teleports randomly away. Killpower is given the one remaining MOPED unit and sent after her. Motormouth happens to be in a jungle in whatever dimension she's teleported to. She tries to escape Killpower by climbing a tree, and he accidentally kills a monkey trying to shoot her. She scolds him for it. It's the first time someone has told him that killing is wrong, and he takes it to heart.
Of course, Motormouth did a little killing of her own just a minute ago, but i guess the monkey wasn't throwing ninja stars at anyone.
Motormouth and Killpower are attacked by gun toting pygmies, and one of the bullets bounces off of Killpower and hits Motormouth in the throat and eye. He scatters the pygmies, and then we learn that he actually has a knack for technical things, and begins to repair her, using parts from her shoes.
So Motormouth is now something of a cyborg.
Part of me is sad that the shoes are gone, since the "ruby slippers" idea was cute. But now Motormouth's powers are really a part of her and not just something she wears. She lives up to her name, now, having a sonic scream kind of thing.
Having been told that Mys-Tech has been lying to him, Killpower decides to accompany Motormouth from now on.
Meanwhile, Nick Fury's assault on Mys-Tech was a disaster, with every agent except Fury and Badhand getting killed. They return to their current headquarters, where the Punisher is still hanging around.
Motormouth and Killpower wind up in separate locations after their next jump. Meanwhile, in retaliation for the attack on them, Mys-Tech summon demons to file legal challenges against SHIELD.
This is issue #5, so we are out of the Gary Frank art for the moment.
One of the Mys-Tech board execs, Algernon Crowe, has a history with Fury, so he sends an image to taunt him.
It turns out that Fury met Crowe, then Doktor Kroh, back in World War II, where he was raising an army of Nazi zombies. Fury thought he killed him at that time.
The Punisher is still hanging around the SHIELD base. Or maybe he left and came back, but clearly was still in England. Security is lax because Network Nina was mentally affected by Crowe's floating head.
Because of the legal challenges SHIELD is facing, Fury takes a leave of absence and becomes a vigilante so that he can go after Crowe with Badhand and Punisher.
Meanwhile, Motormouth and Killpower re-unite, fight some robots, locate some technology that was the source of their MOPEDs, and get Motormouth a new costume.
I enjoy these quite a bit. As a big fan of Gary Frank, i have to keep pinching myself since i was only half aware that he had done these issues before becoming the Hulk artist, and i didn't expect the art to look pretty much the same as it does there. I suspect that Graham Marks isn't exponentially better as a writer than the writers of the other Marvel UK books, but having nice looking pictures and clear storytelling (especially in contrast to, say, Warheads) to go along with his writing helps a great deal, and Motormouth and Killpower continue to be unique, entertaining, characters. I do kind of wish Badhand's name wasn't Badhand because i feel silly every time i type it, but that's a small thing. At least they're spelling it as a single word, unlike in Warheads when it was Bad Hand, which seems somehow worse.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the Considerations for the last arc regarding the gap between issues. This should begin after Warheads #3, since Nick Fury references his upcoming assault on Mys-Tech's forces in London in that issue. Motormouth & Killpower #6 will reference Warheads #4-5, so that should come before the next arc of this. I'm allowing for a little bit of a break here since we see Motormouth and Killpower teleporting to their next location at the end of #5 and we don't see them arriving until the beginning of #6 and i always allow for time to pass in between interdimensional teleportations. It definitely seems that some time passes for Fury, Badhand, and Punisher between this arc and next; they talk like Punisher had left the base for a bit. But he wouldn't have gone all the way to America and back, so not too much time should pass and no other Punisher appearances should occur in between.
The Killpower back-up from issue #4 is covered in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAlexander Goodwin Pierce, Algernon Crowe, Badhand, Brendan Rathcoole, Bronwen Gryfnn, Eadmund Porlock, Gudrun Tyburn, Kate Neville, Killpower, Motormouth, Network Nina, Nick Fury, Oonagh Mullarkey, Ormond Wychwood, Punisher
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