Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hail Hydra #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Remender really covers an amazing amount of ground here.  He also really embraces the idea that anything can, and does, happen in "Secret Wars."

Before I get to the details, I just want to highlight that Remender does an amazing job of keeping Ian's voice in Leopold, his doppelg√§nger.  Extreme haughtiness is exactly what you'd expect from an evil version of Ian, and Leopold has it in spades.  It's a great example of how well Remender has fleshed out Ian in the few issues that he's appeared, since you can even recognize alternate versions of him.  Separately, I also thought that his commitment to returning to his parents was a great reminder of the love that he has for them.  In fact, Leopold is essentially the logical extreme of Ian if he never had this love, so this softer side of Ian, one that we rarely see, reminds us why he is who he is.  Now, onto the show!

After Leopold hands him his ass, Ian escapes into the sewers where he stumbles upon the Avengers' secret base.  The team is understandably skeptical of his story, since he looks just like "Captain Hydra" (Leopold).  However, Ian knows too much about Steve for him to be Leopold, and Steve decides to trust him.  He explains that he was the original Captain Hydra, but Zola proved too evil, so he escaped with a entire cache of munitions.  (I'll admit that I didn't fully follow Steve's story about the Revolutionary War.  If we're talking about the one that happened in 1776, it seems like Hydra was the one that revolted against the British, but the revolution turned dark, possibly under Zola's leadership.  Steve explains it all so quickly that I didn't really grasp it.  Suffice it to say, Steve left the revolution.)  We learn that the Avengers' main problem in defeating Zola is that he jumps from body to body.  Steve sees an opening with Ian's arrival:  they can use the munitions to create a distraction while Ian impersonates Leopold and gets close enough to Zola to use a device that Tony created to keep him in his body.

However, before Steve can finish sketching out this plan, Venom and the Vipers attack, since they followed Ian to the base.  Here, Boschi really lets loose.  Venom gruesomely kills the Avengers, putting his hand through Tony's chest and ripping the Wasp in half.  Later, after they're all dead, he begins devouring them.  Ian manages to escape with Steve and Sharon's daughter Ellie, but Venom lets Steve (the sole survivor) know that they've infected Ellie with a symbiote and she, too, will soon become a Viper.  He also seems prepared to turn Steve into a Venom as the issue ends.

The use of the symbiotes as a Zola-inspired device is really a brilliant twist, given their similarity to Zola's own mutates.  Given how quickly they decimate the Avengers here, it's hard to see how Ian could possibly win, particularly if he loses Ellie as a companion.  But, Remender reminds us several times here that he's the son of Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter, so he should really be fine with the one-man-against-all-odds fight.  Make Dad and Mom proud, Ian!

*** (three of five stars)

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