Characters Appearing: Amy Chen, Battlestar, Crippler, Doug Powell, Foreigner, Lorna Kleinfeldt, Raul Quentino, Sandman, Silver Sable
Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #2-3
Issue(s): Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #2, Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #4
Before i get to their conversation, a few preliminaries. First, here's Gregory Wright writing Sable addressing the topic of sexism. It's certainly better than Thundra throwing someone out a window. But somehow Storm never had to explicitly state that she was a strong female character to get that point across.
Speaking of throwing things out windows, these issues pick up on something first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #279 and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #118, where we saw that Sable's ex-husband, the Foreigner, occasionally tries to assassinate her as part of a game of tag. Sable has to throw the latest attempt, a bomb hidden in flowers again, out the window.
She refers to her ex-husband only as an "old enemy" here, but she says that now he is "it". We'll see him later in this arc.
Regarding the Smithfield's case, Sable says that she herself does "not share my personal view on such subjects". But she takes the case.
When she gets back to the Symkarian embassy, Sandman is supposed to be leading a review of a potential new character. This is Crippler, the sadomasochistic character that Wright created in Daredevil annual #7.
You'll notice that Sandman is somewhere between being bullied and just disinterested, while the others at the embassy don't approve of Crippler. So when Sable comes in, she has to tell them what's what, and she scolds Sandman for not being more forceful.
For what it's worth, the woman with the pink tie is Lorna Kleinfeldt. She'll be a repeat character. The MCP doesn't list any of the others.
Crippler is being tested by Doug Powell, the guy that was recruited last issue.
And then he fights Sable, who kicks his ass but hires him.
The Wild Pack get new, "less garish", costumes. They seem to have been inspired by Bishop.
The woman with the sword in the above panel is Amy Chen, and she'll be a repeat character. She isn't really introduced properly in this story. The guys on either end don't seem to be repeat characters. I think the idea is that Sable has a bunch of troops and we'll gradually get to know them over time.
Sable has decided that Smithfield is hiding something. That's based on her opinion that "anti-abortionists condoning assassination is too hypocritical to be believed". That had me scratching my head, and indeed she's proven wrong when the Watchdogs turn out to be involved.
Don't worry, the guy getting shot is just the Sandman, disguised as Smithfield to draw out his assassins. That's a clever idea, although as usual i am amazed by the availability of realistic looking rubber masks in the Marvel universe.
Wright seems to like writing Crippler at least as much as Sable.
The shooter isn't just a Watchdog. He's a specialized assassin named Gattling, who has dual-gatling guns instead of hands, and who can also turn invisible.
Here's what i mean by dual-gatling guns (another good look at him on the cover of #3).
We'll see later that his real hands are in there somewhere and this isn't a Razorfist situation. I do generally approve of all weapons-for-hands guys, although Gattling may be overdoing it a bit. I imagine Rapido from Punisher #64-70 kind of turning his nose up at him. "Two guns? On each hand? How gauche! And he's still got his real hands?1 What a poseur!"
Gattling also has the power to disappear without explanation between panels, which makes escape easy.
Issue #3 opens with Silver Sable having a "friendly" fencing match with the Foreigner.
He tells her that Gattling is not one of his "1400 Club of Assassins". The person who hired Gattling did come to him first. He tells her that he doesn't know "for sure" who it is, but it's actually one of Smithfield's own, "in more ways than one" (we'll learn that it's another televangelist/drug-dealer named George Chesterford that wants to kill Smithfield so that he can become the sole distributor from a drug lord named Maxwell Wilson). Foreigner also tells Sable that Smithfield is actually a drug dealer. So Sable was right after all that the assassination attempts aren't because of the Smithfield's pro-choice stance.
Sable then throws the Foreigner out the window. He's "it" now.
Sable is then visited by Battlestar. Battlestar heard that Sable is going up against the Watchdogs, and wants to help. But it turns out that he's really looking for a job.
If you count Crippler, between him, Battlestar, and Sandman, the Wild Pack is really getting to be a "super" team already. We're also reminded in issue #3 that Paladin is under Sable's employ (she tells an operative to send Paladin after Dmitri Petrovitch, the Hydra cell leader from last issue).
But also on the team is Powell, who sounds like he is a hardcore racist.
Silver Sable interrogates one of the captured Watchdogs (taking over from Crippler, who characteristically was too focused on inflicting pain to ask questions). Meanwhile, Foreigner disguises himself as the drug dealer Wilson, and assassinates Smithfield's rival televangelist, Chesterford. He was hired to do so by Smithfield.
The Wild Pack show up, chasing Gattling.
Foreigner has disguised himself as a Watchdog and tries to "tag" Sable.
Sable fights Gattling while the Wild Pack mop up the Watchdogs.
Powell's racism comes out during the battle. "Buck" is an especially charged word when it comes to Battlestar, who deliberately changed his name from Bucky to avoid being associated with that slur in Captain America #341.
But Battlestar doesn't show any specific reaction to what Powell says.
It's a minor thing, but i want to point out Steven Butler's use of panel shape for the final panel, emphasizing Battlestar's crash into Gattling. I think things like that can be more effective than a two-page sideways splash panel.
Battlestar's efforts convinces Sable to put him on staff. Sable then collects her fee from Smithfield before turning him over to the FBI for his crimes.
I never thought we'd have a story about the seedy world of televangelist drug-dealers, so that's certainly something. I was surprised to see abortion used as a topic after hearing that X-Factor #78, published just a couple months earlier, had to be revised to remove references to abortion. I guess the difference is that abortion turns out to not really be relevant to the plot here.
Nothing in this comic is super great, but it's not as terrible as i once would have assumed.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Foreigner was Sable's husband? I didn't know that...
Anyway, Sable is awesome <3 <3 <3 :)
Posted by: Piotr W | March 11, 2016 3:55 PM
If I remember, the reveal of them being married was quite clever and subtle. In Spectacular (or Web) you saw Foreigner send a letter bomb to his ex and then over in Amazing you saw Silver Sable receive a letter bomb from her ex. Or something like that.
Posted by: AF | March 11, 2016 4:20 PM
This art looks like an "If they mated" for Ron Lim and Rob Liefeld
Posted by: Bob | March 11, 2016 6:57 PM
@AF- the reveal is in Amazing 279 and Spectacular 118- fnord linked to them above.
Posted by: Michael | March 11, 2016 10:21 PM
Silver Sable and the Foreigner have one of the most dysfunctional relationships ever seen in comic books. Every time they bump into each other, you're genuinely left wondering if they're going to try to kill each other again or start making out.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 12, 2016 12:20 AM
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