The Warriors continue their battle against Mr. Sinister, offered up by the creative team of Mathew Rosenberg, Javier Garrón, Will Robinson and Israel Silva.
The last issue ended in a rather terrifying cliffhanger as it was revealed that the Inhuman children Sinister and The Dark Beast abducted had been transformed into living bombs. The boy the Warriors had returned home was detonated… The Warriors were able to escape thanks to Magik’s teleportation powers, but we have to assume the kid and his family were all killed. And two other kids also detonated, likely killing themselves and their families as well. Which is freaking horrifying! Furthermore, it has all resulted in the Secret Warriors being suspected terrorists sought out by the authorities…
The investigators have tracked the children back to the secret laboratory The Dark Best had used. There, the authorities found all sorts of scientific equipment – all of which could be traced back to the Ennilux Corporation, a conglomerate founded, led and staffed by Inhumans. This has left Ennilux looking extremely suspect and the local police in Venice converge on the Ennilux headquarters to make arrests, seize assets and investigate its involvement. And all of this had been in accordance to Karnak’s plan.
Ennilux had made the equipment that Sinister and the Dark Beast used and Karnak made sure that the authorities could track it back to them. Furthermore, Karnak has arranged an intricate plan of asset re-allocation hiding the majority of the company’s corporate holdings. Backed into a corner, Ahura, the current chief executive officer of Ennilux, is forced to go along with Karnak’s plan, authorizing the remainder of the assets to be transferred into the dummy fronts and extra-jurisdictional banks. Karnak promises that doing so will act to save the company.
Which it does. Unfortunately for Ahura and the others, Karnak’s plan did not make allowances for the company’s employees and all of them are arrested… except for Karnak whom it would appear has arranged things so that he has complete control over Ennilux.
Meanwhile, back on New Attilan, The Warriors are recovering from the terrible ordeal of the kid they had saved blowing up. Led by Iso, the forces of New Attilan has succeeded in rounding up the remainder of the children Sinister had abducted and now have them in healing pods to ensure their safety and undo whatever it was that had done to make them into bombs. Iso chides the Warriors for their poor decisions, suggesting that it would have been wiser to have the kids checked out before sending them home.
Many of The Inhumans of New Attilan do not appear to be too happy with the Secret Warriors. The Warriors had led the charge to liberate New Attilan at the end of the Secret Empire ordeal, but now their actions have left The Inhumans suspects in a string of terrorist bombings. On top of that, Naja and Grid are still quite bitter toward Inferno for his abandoning them at the beginning of the Secret Empire takeover.
Magik doesn’t have much interest in the affairs of The Inhumans, but she still feels responsible in that The Dark Beast had escaped custody on her watch. She’s committed to making things right by ensuring that both the Beast and Mr. Sinister face justice for their terrible acts. To this end, Magik gathers up Inferno and the two teleport to Venice to try to confront Karnak… also she ‘accidentally’ take the television remote with her…
The two don’t find Karnak in Venice but do encounter Ahura, who is in the midst of allowing Karnak to transfer holdings in the effort to save the company (he doesn’t yet realize that Karnak is going to betray him). A quick skirmish arises between Ahura, Inferno and Magik when Ahura refuses them access to Karnak. The Italian police are closing in and Magik and Inferno realize they are not going to get the answers they seek. As they leave, however, Ahura does offer Inferno a clue, noting that Mr. Sinister may be found at a specific abandoned Shield facility in the states.
The two return to New Attilan where they are once more admonished by Iso. Inferno has had enough and storms off. Ms. Marvel is concerned for him and wants to go talk with him, but Quake dissuades her, suggesting that Inferno just needs time to cool off.
Some time later, Ms. Marvel brings lunch to Inferno’s quarters. She discovers that Quake is there and that the two had just had a role in the hey. Ms. Marvel is kind of heartbroken and leaves in a huff. Inferno is a bit confused by this and Quake explains that Ms. Marvel has had a bit of a crush on him and is likely jealous and saddened to see that he has hooked up with Quake instead.
Quake then proceeds to make it very clear to Inferno that their getting together was merely a hook-up and not anything more. She’s rather harsh in making this clear, so harsh that it appears Quake may be overcompensating – preventing herself from getting close to someone for fear of losing them the way she has lost so many others she has been close to in the past. Of course this goes right over Inferno’s head and he is left hurt and angry by it all.
Meanwhile, Moon Girl reveals that this whole time she has left Karnak’s son, Leer, in the care of her pal, Devil Dinosaur… who it turns out is the best babysitter ever.
With Magik’s aide, Moon Girl recovers Leer and Devil D, bringing them both back to New Attilan.
Still stewing over Quake’s comments, Inferno comes out to say hello to Leer. Leer feels partially responsible for Sinister having abdusted Inferno’s niece, Ariella. Of course none of this is Leer’s fault, but he feels that had Sinister been able to utilize Leer’s genome to unlock the secrets of Terrigenesis then Sinister would not need Ariella as a bargaining chip and none of this would have happened.
Inferno tries to convince Leer not to blame himself. Leer explains that what Sinister truly needs to fulfill his goal is a sample of Terrigen, the crystalline substance that triggers transformation in Inhumans. Furthermore, Leer recounts a riddle his father used to tell him about how the Inhumans would bow before Terrigen when they knelt before the royal throne.
It’s not a particularly difficult riddle and even Inferno is able to figure it out. In short, a Terrigen Crystal has been hidden inside the Throne of Attilan. Desperate to save his niece, Inferno makes the rash decision to obtain the crystal, steal a ship and head to Sinister’s secret lair, hoping that he might trade the crystal in exchange for his nieces’ freedom. And it is with this gamble that the issue comes to a close, to be continued with the next installment.
Although substantially lower in the action department, this is another thrilling installment of Secret Warriors, with lots of plot twists, some terrific laughs and a great deal of fun and interesting character development.
All that has unfolded has been an intricate chess match between Karnak and Sinister with everyone else, from the Warriors to Ahura, Leer and Ariella, even the Dark Beast, made to be mere chess pieces, pawns, knights and rooks. What the end game is, how the final gambit resolves is yet to be seen. And once more I’m left at the end of the issue very much looking forward to the next one.
As deduced by Moon Girl, Karnak’s goal is the recreation of a means for Terrigenesis… a way to offer his people a new future. Apparently to achieve this goal Karnak has needed to steal the Enillux Corporation and all its holdings, leaving poor Ahura to twist. One would think that with his psychic abilities Ahura might have foreseen Karnak’s betrayal. As it stands, it looks as though Ahura is out at Ennilux.
Mr. Sinister’s goal, as we learn from Leer, is to unlock the secrets of Terrigenesis. Sinister’s purpose has always been the advancement of the Mutant genome and perhaps he is hoping that there might be something in the mutagenic properties of Terrigen that will further facilitate Mutant evolution.
Whatever the case, Leer may be much more like his father than he lets on. He plays up being all innocent and naive, but I’m starting to suspect that he may be as much a manipulator as his father. He all but spells out to Inferno what it is that Sinister wants and how Inferno can get it to him.
Anyways, let get into the juiciest part of the issue… Daisy and Dante totally hook up! Wha!?!
Wow, that was fast (figuratively and literally). Nine issues of rather subtle hints the two were into one another and them *boom* before you know the two have knocked the preverbal boots. Must admit I did not see that coming (ahem).
Daisy is rather forward in letting Dante know that their getting together was simply a means of stress-relief and not to read more into it. Daisy’s being so harsh with him leaves me feeling that she is actually trying to protect herself.
Everyone who Daisy has cared for has been taken away from her, and the prospect of being in a romantic relationship is likely very daunting to her. Understandably, she doesn’t want to get hurt again so she keeps a distance by pushing Dante away. Of course this is not how the mind nor heart actually works, but people often act irrationally when trying to protect themselves from emotional hardship.
Unfortunately, Dante is an impulsive guy who doesn’t always think things through. Daisy’s efforts to protect herself are kind of overt, but it flies over Dante’s head and he just reacts to base insult of feeling rejected. Which is understandable… Dante’s in a pretty anxious place. He is so worried about his niece that it’s difficult for him to be mindful of the bigger picture. And this also helps to explain how he could be so dense over why seeing him together with Daisy might be hurtful for Kamala.
My fellow Ms. Marvel fans are likely to object to the idea that Kamala could have had a crush on Dante. Kamala doesn’t want to date anyone. She’s rather traditional in her attitudes toward romance, seeing it as something that should be waited on. Yet that doesn’t preclude her from having passing fancies on cute boys. She’s crushed pretty heavily on Kamran, and Kareem after that. Tall dark and handsome is definitely her type and Dante very much fits the bill. Of course he’s too old for her and I doubt Kamala had any real interest in the two getting together, but that certainly doesn’t stop her from feeling hurt when seeing he has been with someone else… especially when that someone else is Daisy, someone who has very much been Kamala’s opposite in terms of attitudes and values. That must really sting.
I’m kind of a sucker for these soap opera style tropes. Matt Rosenberg has such a great feel for these character and knack for dialogue. It all becomes fun, funny and totally engrossing.
Not to be outdone by the writing, Javier Garrón’s illustration continues to impress. The action scenes at the Enniulx headquarters are especially cool. And I love the wall art Enilux has chosen to hang up in their foyer. ‘Hey, you know what would really bring the room alive… a big ol’ group portrait of The Celestials.’ This is a great touch.
Garrón’s use of exaggerated facial contortions to relay emotion and add punchlines to the jokes just kills me. I didn’t think Daisy’s look of exasperation toward Kamala in the previous issue could be topped, but Lunella’s reaction to Daisy and Dante’s hook-up is just priceless.
Once again, I’m totally looking forward to the next issue and another terrific job by Rosenberg, Garrón and company. Highly recommended. Four and a half out of five Lockjaws.