Issue(s): Quasar #5
But first, this issue starts with what i'll call a contribution to the mainline plot of Acts of Vengeance, since it shows Quasar and Stingray in the direct aftermath of the destruction of Hydrobase.
Quasar says that "all keepsakes and priority items" have been recovered, but as we'll learn in Avengers Spotlight #27, that doesn't include the dangerous "Heavy Metal" robots that were being kept on the island.
Quasar also raises the possibility of raising the whole mansion out of the water, but he doesn't have anywhere to put it at the moment.
It's nice that this opening scene does take a moment to acknowledge Stingray. It's true that the Avengers weren't based on the island for a long time, but Hydrobase, first as a lair for the villain Dr. Hydro, has been a Marvel artifact since 1973. It then housed the Amphibians, and then later Stingray took ownership of it and rented it to the Avengers, first as just a Quinjet facility during the Roger Stern run. So its destruction is no small thing, although it probably hurts Stingray the most.
Meanwhile, the Absorbing Man has finally pulled himself together after being smashed to pieces by the Hulk.
He immediately decides to go off on a vengeance quest against the Hulk, but the mysterious facilitator of Acts of Vengeance convinces him to go after a different hero instead. I don't see how "getting a few 'wins'" under his belt would help him defeat the Hulk; it's not like he's going to get Experience Points and go up a Level. But of course that's the general idea behind the crossover. And (in addition maybe to some more subtle magic), the mysterious guy does upgrade Absorbing Man's ball and chain, allowing him to throw and catch it to fly, like Thor does with his hammer.
I'm fine with that upgrade. It was this mysterious benefactor that gave the Absorbing Man his powers in the first place, after all.
But before he runs into Quasar, Wendell Vaughan has to go to work, first getting his civilian clothes out of a special closet that he keeps hidden in an alley.
Speaking of closets, before going off to make the sales pitch to their first potential customer, Wendell finds his dad hanging out in the office closet with Eon.
One thing i do know is that you don't walk into a bid asking what the customer's company does. Do your research!
Wendell's company got the job opportunity thanks to a former SHIELD associate, Ken Tanaka. It looks like Wendell is pretending to not know Ken until the other guy leaves.
Anyway, the conversation is cut short when Wendell gets a call on his quantum bands from Captain America, who has heard reports of the Absorbing Man attacking an adamantium factory in New Jersey. Cap would check it out himself, but unlike Quasar he's busy working on Acts of Vengeance stuff. So Quasar has to pretend that he "just remembered another appointment" and beg off from the tour of the facilities. That ought to disqualify him immediately from the job, but i bet it won't.
So Quasar tracks down Absorbing Man.
Somehow, despite having turned into light energy that Quasar can control, Absorbing Man is able to reach into his pocket and pull out the adamantium chunk that he stole. Does the stuff he puts in his pockets not transform along with his chain and his pants? Then why doesn't it fall out? Don't tell me those striped prison pants are made of unstable molecules!
Quasar does manage to make some good points while talking to Absorbing Man, but i guess reason is one thing that Creel doesn't absorb.
Absorbing Man manages to touch Quasar's bracelets and become cosmic.
We saw in Quasar #1 that when anyone besides Wendell wielded the Quantum Bands they went crazy and eventually exploded, and Quasar is afraid that will happen to Absorbing Man. So he winds up trying to overload Absorbing Man, hoping it will cause him to implode and therefore not destroy the world.
And it seems to work. Quasar is worried that he caused Absorbing Man's death, but Captain America tells him not to worry about it.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Captain America's appearance here takes place during Captain America #365. It's actually a little annoying because there's a nice chronology with Avengers Mansion being destroyed in Avengers #311, then Cap returning from the Bloodstone Saga and finding out about the attack and hearing that Quasar and Stingray are salvaging the wreckage, which we see at the beginning of this issue. But then the Cap story goes into a fight with Namor that leads directly into Cap #366 and at that point we're past the events of this issue (since Cap appears at the end of this issue). It might have been better to have Cap's return here instead of in Cap #365, or maybe a repeat of scenes like we've had in earlier books. In any event, this issue takes place during Cap #365, and i'll be placing Cap #365 based on where that issue ends, not where it begins. Avengers Spotlight #27 shows some reserve Avengers having taken over the salvage mission after Quasar went home, so that takes place after or concurrently with this (a montage scene in that issue also shows Quasar fighting the Absorbing Man). Note that i left a lot of space between this issue and Avengers #311. A lot of other stars need to align while Quasar is helping out with the salvage mission.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAbsorbing Man, Captain America, Eon, Gilbert Vaughn, Guardsman II (Michael O'Brien), Kayla Ballantine, Kenjiro Tanaka, Loki, Quasar, Shintaro Kuramoto, Stingray
IDIC previously appeared in Master of Kung-Fu 102. They were an Evil Corporation then, and as we'll see in X-Factor Annual 6, they're a front for AIM.
Posted by: Michael | March 24, 2015 11:26 PM
BTW, Kenjiro Tanaka becomes a supporting character for the rest of the book, so maybe the historical significance rating should be raised to 2.
Posted by: Michael | March 25, 2015 8:14 AM
Posted by: fnord12 | March 25, 2015 2:17 PM
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