Agent-X #12

Issue Date: 
August 2003
Story Title: 
“Out With A Bang”

Daniel Way (writer), Kyle Hotz (penciller) (inker), Udon’s Angelo Tsang (colourist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Andy Schmidt (Assisant editor) Andrew Lis and Marc Sumerak (editors), Joe Quesada (chief), Bill Jemas (president) Cover artist (Brian Stelfreeze)

Brief Description: 

Alex hasn’t gotten an assignment in ages and starts to run low on cash. His theme park is suddenly bombed with him inside by a new mercenary named Mr. Murder. Murder dumps Alex without arms and legs into the East River, threatening Sandi in the process. The next morning, a severely wounded Alex makes his way to Chicky, an arms dealer/informant, who tells him that there is a million and a half dollar hit on a television executive who is in war with another executive. Both have put out hits on the other and have been outbidding each other. Alex disguises himself to talk to Warren, one of the executives, but their negotiation is interrupted by Murder who blows up the doors to the office and shoots Warren. Murder, in turn, is killed in the explosion when the explosives in Alex prosthetic leg go off. Alex tries to claim his money, but the other executive tries to get him killed. Alex throws him out the window of his office and goes back to Alpine Park. He decides to close down the park and leaves.

Full Summary: 

Alex is depressed. He wants to quit Agency X. Without Outlaw and Taskmaster, he and Sandi are the only employees and Sandi isn’t ready to do hits on her own yet. His dreams of a high-profile mercenary group have turned to dust.

Sitting in his office, Alex is bored. They have no assignments and Sandi calls that she won’t in today. Alex asks if she’s looking for another job. When Sandi wonders why he asks, Alex suggests that she could pay her bills that way. Sandi tells him not to worry; they still have some money left, right? Alex looks next to him, where he has a pile of lottery tickets lying around. He hangs up just when Sandi wants to tell him that she didn’t pay something. On the television, just as the winning lottery number is to be announced, the electricity goes out. Just after Alex asks himself if it could get any worse, his theme park then blows up.

Dazed and wounded, Alex sees a short, fat man walking towards him. The guy introduces himself as Mr. Murder. Alex thinks that he has been killed by a nerd and loses consciousness. He wakes up in a van to discover that Murder has used a chainsaw to remove his arms and legs. Murder makes a joke, but Alex tells him that he already used that one before. Murder makes another joke, but Alex still isn’t laughing. Murder then explains to him that he is sorry that they couldn’t work together, but there is too much money at stake. Alex is confused. Murder is amazed that Alex doesn’t know, but then thinks that Alex is trying to trick him. Murder tells him that he knows he can’t kill Alex, but this will at least slow him down while he can do whatever he wants to do.

He tries another joke, Alex tells the punchline and says that everybody knows that one. Murder is hurt and says that he could have blown up the theme park when Sandi was there, but he didn’t, because this is professional courtesy. He then throws Alex, minus legs and arms into the river. Alex doesn’t care though: Murder has threatened Sandi and that is signing your own death warrant.

The next morning, a father and his son go fishing. The son catches something: Agent X. His arms and legs still haven’t fully grown back, so Alex has little luck in hitching a ride. A pickup then stops. Alex, without legs, can’t get in the back and asks for help. The driver is more than willing since it will give him some practice. Alex looks at his belt, which says “1991 Dwarf tossing champion.”

At the end of the ride, Alex’s arms have grown back and he kills the driver. He visits Chicky, a guy who runs a crime shop, where you can get whatever you want, including information. Alex asks why somebody tried to take him out. Chicky explains that the guy was probably trying to thin the competition: there is a huge hit going on: the Warren-Stiller thing. The prize at the moment is a million and a half dollars. It turns out that Jeffrey Warren and Emil Stiller have a war with each other and they keep raising the bounty on each other’s heads. Alex replies that he doesn’t do mob work. Chicky laughs: the guys aren’t mob bosses; they are television executives.

Alex decides to get in on it and take his revenge on that little punk Murder as well. He and Chicky get up. Chicky wonders if Alex wasn’t taller than him? Alex replies that he used to have feet. Chicky shows him around the place and gives him some hollow wooden legs. Chicky asks if he also needs some plastic explosive. Alex replies that he still has some, he then wonders who has the highest bid right now. Stiller has offered a million and a half for Warren, while Warren has offered only a million for Stiller. Chicky tells him that he has an anti-aircraft missile for sale. Alex looks at the costumes and buys something else.

Alex, dressed as a clown, enters Jeffrey Warren’s, claiming to be the best. Warren is understandably sceptical. At this point, somebody knocks at the door. Warren’s bodyguards go to look when the door explodes. Murder enters and shoots Warren. He then stays to gloat how cool he is. He sees Alex body and wonders about a clown with a prosthetic leg. We see inside the leg a bomb ticking and Alex thinks to himself that nobody threatens Sandi when the bomb goes off.

When Alex wants to claim the million and a half, Stiller tells him that he isn’t going to pay and tells his bodyguards to shoot Alex while he goes into hiding in the Mediterranean until things have settled after Warren’s death. The two bodyguards escort Alex into the lift but, the moment the door closes, weird sounds are heard. The door opens and an extremely pissed-off Alex steps over the bodies of the bodyguards back into the office. The secretary, afraid, tells him that the door is open. A few seconds later, Stiller flies out of his window on the umpteenth floor.

Alex returns to the remains of Alpine Park and looks at the wreckage. He phones Sandi, but then decides against it and leaves, putting a closed sign on Alpine Park.

Characters Involved: 

Alex Hayden/Agent X (mercenary)

Mr. Murder (mercenary)

Chicky (informant/arms dealer)

Jeffrey Warren, Emil Stiller (television executives)

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
Written By: