Issue(s): Quasar #57
Starblast is over and yet... it's not.
A subplot in this issue picks up on the Kismet thread from the Quasar issues prior to Starblast, and actually treats Kismet as a co-star in this book, with a plot not (yet) related to Quasar. But the story also picks up directly from where Starblast left off, with all of the heroes from Starblast, including the New Universe characters, still on the Stranger's homeworld.
Note Captain Marvel in the above scan considering not fighting the Stranger because he restored her powers. Binary is feeling the same way.
The New Universe characters, on the other hand, are ready to fight the Stranger for moving their world, and Quasar is also getting increasingly frustrated trying to get answers. But before anyone acts, the Living Tribunal shows up.
The Tribunal sends everyone except the Stranger away. Even the Watcher.
The Tribunal tells the Stranger that he wants New Universe Earth sealed off from the rest of the universe.
The Earth-based heroes turn out to have been teleported back to Earth. But Quasar sees that Kayla Ballantine isn't among them, so he quantum jumps back.
Isn't getting your personality restored during this event thanks enough?
Quasar finds the New Universe Earth surrounded by an impenetrable barrier. Quasar goes to the Stranger, who tells him that there's now no way to get Kayla back. Quasar is upset about that, but Kayla is less so. It turns out that the Tribunal teleported all the New Universe characters to their Earth, including Metallurgist who we saw had a thing for her.
So this is really the ending of Starblast. Starblast itself ended with the New Universe Earth and all its super-heroes in the Marvel universe, which made it seem like a true merging of the two publishing lines. This story backs away from that and seals off the Earth and heroes again. Granted they're no longer in a separate dimension, but they're supposedly sealed off. It definitely would have made it easier to use the characters again than if they were back in their own dimension, but fortunately (from my perspective) it seems no one ever decided to take advantage of that or even reference it, even when New Universe concepts are used in later stories, like Spider-Man 2099 or Exiles or Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run (which instead i believe uses elements exclusively from the newuniversal reboot).
As for Kismet, the issue starts with her cocoon getting stolen from Project Pegasus.
We learn that that outlined form is an agent of the Enclave wearing a "refraction suit". Wladyslav Shinski of the Enclave has suffered a stroke, and the Enclave's scheme involves cutting Kismet out of the cocoon prematurely so that they can use the cocoon's healing fluids on him.
It turns out that the Enclave accepted funding and help (including the refraction suits and a teleporter) from AIM. The deal was that AIM gets Kismet in return. Shinski, still recovering, talks fondly of Kismet, like she's the Enclave's daughter. But the other Enclave members get the wrong idea from them and start thinking about how they can extract her DNA to put it in themselves before turning her over to AIM. They get Kismet to agree (even though she's wary), but when they start the extraction they are stopped by a lab technician on loan from AIM. He turns out to be more than just a technician. He's an Adaptoid.
Kismet tries to stop him, but he injects himself with the DNA and becomes Paragon, which was Kismet's original form.
Kismet is still recovering and not up to full power, so Paragon has her on the ropes.
But Shinski is able to help her using a device that was developed by the Enclave to attack her.
Shinski then falters, and Kismet puts all three Enclave scientists into regenerative cocoons.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Quasar will be seen seeking out the Living Tribunal to appeal his decision on the New Universe Earth next issue, but i'm going to allow time to pass between this issue and next. However, in issue #60, it's said that the events of this issue happened "two days ago", so not too much time should pass. On the other hand, we have to check in on what the rest of the Marvel universe was doing circa Starblast, Blood and Thunder, and Siege of Darkness.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAll-American, Black Bolt, Blue Shield, Captain Manhattan, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Carlo Zota, Carol Danvers, Chrome (New Universe), Haywire, Ikaris, Justice (New Universe), Kayla Ballantine, Kismet (Her), Lady Lark, Living Tribunal, Lockjaw, Maris Morlak, Metallurgist, Moondancer, Nightmask, Overshadow, Perun, Pit Bull, Pons Indenbaum, Psi-Hawk, Quasar, Solar Wind, Stranger, Uatu the Watcher, Voyager, Whizzer (Squadron Supreme), Wladyslav Shinski
MST-3K=Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 27, 2017 4:33 PM
OK, seeing that, suddenly the shadowy version of the pre-Paragon Adaptoid just looks a lot like TV's Frank. (eh, rather he wait for Torgo the White myself than taking Her's previous identity)
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 27, 2017 6:25 PM
This probably should have been the official last issue of the crossover just to fix Starblast #4's abrupt "Mark Gruenwald ran out of pages" ending.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 27, 2017 9:44 PM
"Frank--Swaddle the metahuman with opaque gauze!"
Not sure if it's been discussed here before - if so, I can't recall or find it - but, did other writers at Marvel use the term metahuman? AFAIK it was primarily a DC word (post-Invasion!). On one hand, I know Gruenwald liked to dabble in certain cross-company nods; on the other I know the companies grew increasingly proprietary about the things that distinguished their super-verses.
Posted by: cullen | March 29, 2017 12:13 AM
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