Agents of Atlas (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
July 2009
Story Title: 
Taking the Fall

Jeff Parker (writer), Carlo Pagulayan (penciler), Jason Paz (inker), Jana Schirmer (colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Billy Tan & Frank D’armata (cover), McGuiness, Vine & Ponsor (variant cover) Irene Lee (production), Lauren Sankovitch (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Agents of Atlas prepare to fight and lose to the rogue Avengers to cement their faux status as “bad guys” and have an excuse for not sending Osborn the promised weapons. Hence the Uranian planted the suggestion of where the weapons deal is to take place into the mind of Captain America. Indeed, Cap and the Avengers board the cargo ship and find he weapons. The fight is about to take place when Spider-man stops it, pointing out he senses no true danger from the Agents and he has examined the weapons – they are fake. Jimmy Woo is about to come clean with the Avengers when the inscrutable killer robot M-11 identifies Wolverine as the man who blew him up in the 50ies. He attacks and the two teams fight. Both sides get their licks in until Venus starts her song to which the Avengers succumb. The Agents flee and now have an excuse to give Osborn a reason why they can’t give him the weapons. The Uranian tells Namora that, in Osborn’s mind, he sensed something about a cabal and her cousin, Namor, is a part of it.

Full Summary: 

New York harbor, now:

Some workers on a ship of Atlas Global. When is someone coming to pick this up? one of them wonders, referring to the crates. Do they have to unload all the cargo themselves? Another worker tells him to be silent. The Master views all of their work – questioning him could get them flayed! One of his old crew merely questioned an operation and they never saw him again, a third adds.

Suddenly, the first emits a startled cry when an arrow nails his sleeve to the crate. The second shouts they are under attack. They call this an attack? Rogue Avengers leader Luke Cage announces. They need to get out more!

Cage orders Spider-Man to make his homies here stick around. So ordered, Spidey webs them up. They know Osborn will probably just spring these guys tomorrow, right? he informs his teammates Cage, the new Captain America, Ronin, Wolverine and Ms Marvel. Then they’ll bust them again. As long as it takes! Cap shouts while Ms. Marvel announces she will get the others.

So let’s see what they are bringing Os-bum, Wolverine announces and slices open a crate. Inside they find sophisticated anti-tech weaponry.

Captain America explains that while he was connected to the one with the spacesuit he saw a whole factory for these things. A mobile factory, Ronin wonders. This Atlas group must have serious reserves.

Can he see one of those? Spider-Man asks. Ms. Marvel returns with two more imprisoned workers. Anyone want to web them up for her? She means you, Ronin helpfully explains to Spidey, who is fascinated by the weaponry and begins to examine its inner workings.

While he complies, Cage summarizes that their foes have some robot and a gorilla. Shouldn’t be hard. Cap warns them he got the impression of others as well. Some red-haired woman. He doesn’t know what she does. The other woman he recognized from the news around Hulk’s invasion. She’s an Atlantean-human like Namor. With all the power you’d expect.

Osborn’s people, in the meantime, have seen the Avengers and decide to call Osborn.

Jimmy Woo’s Agents of Atlas are also observing the Avengers. So far everything is going as planned. All workers are evacuated except for the ones the Avengers caught. They busted their thugs, Ken Hale aka Gorilla Man summarizes. There was no reforming those guys, Jimmy Woo (aka Master Woo, new head of the Atlas Foundation) adds. Jail is best for them. Not bad, Ken commends him. He’s got all the pieces in place.

Except for Bob, Jimmy refers to the Uranian, once though no longer known as Marvel Boy. He’s too wiped out from yesterday. Where’s his silk… Here, evil master, Venus remarks teasingly as she hands Jimmy the Chinese tunic he wears as head of the Atlas Foundation.

Jimmy’s stand-in, Temugin, son of the Mandarin, remarks that he sees no point in this ruse. All of this artifice to let themselves be beaten… Is the point to make Atlas look weak? Why doesn’t he go in the back and channel his chi some more, Ken suggests unkindly.

Jimmy explains the point. It is to not deliver on the weaponry that Osborn wanted for HAMMER, and to have a plausible reason. They’ve developed a relationship with Osborn that he believes and it’s yielded some good information.

Never has he fought with less than his all, Temugin protests. He was caught unaware last night but he has spent the day in meditation and is ready to engage an army. He is free to fight at full capacity, Jimmy informs him. Any less would blow the operation. But with Bob out, he is going to be a key player today. He must follow Jimmy’s plan.

Ken critically looks at the non moving M-11. Only variable he is concerned about is ol’ death ray here, he announces. Now he gets that Jimmy said no killing, right? He directly addresses the robot. He’s down with the plan as outlined? He’s going to follow Jimmy’s lead? No reaction from the robot. Well he’s glad they got that cleared up, Ken remarks annoyed.

A crashing noise. Their cue, Jimmy announces. Showtime, agents!

The Avengers have entered the place through the wall Ms. Marvel compares the place with Stark Defense, while Wolverine snarls it’s full of stuff to hunt them down with.

Captain America points toward one end of the room, stating that most of the weapon cargo still seems to be stored over there. They are just in time! Cap and Ronin check the computers.

Anyone bring a bomb? Wolverine asks. Carol suggests she could ignite the fuel tanks. She’d hate to pollute the bay though. Spider-Man looks around pensively.

The only thing going down the bay today is them, comes the threat. Jimmy, in his Master Woo role and surrounded by the other Agents, informs them they are interfering with the operations of the Atlas Empire. Prepare to pay for your transgressions. He calls the runt with the claws, Gorilla Man announces. Bring it, Kong, Wolverine snarls as the Avengers attack. The Avengers charge as well with Jimmy barking orders.

Unexpectedly, though, Spider-Man keeps both teams apart by creating a web between them. He tells his team to wait and places himself between both groups. Everyone stop! he orders the Avengers.

Woo continues his role as evil emperor warning him that he will not be spared by surrendering. Spidey tells him: Give it up, evil mastermind guy. I’m not falling for it. The fact Woo and the Agents haven’t already pressed their advantage backs him up.

Is it a trap? Ms. Marvel asks. No. that’s it, Spidey explains. His senses aren’t tingling. And he examined one of these guns outside. They are junk! There’s no power cell or anything to make them a threat. HAMMER just ordered a bunch of replicas for their bookcases? He turns to his team. Remember how they kept coming across dirt on Atlas and their gunrunning? He doesn’t think global crime clubs get where they do by letting so much leak out.

That “Bob” guy was in Cap’s head, right? He could have found Cap, where he lived, why didn’t they put their buddy Norman onto the Avengers? How hard would it have been to plant this info in Cap’s head? He knows it seemed like a stray thought Cap got a glimpse of… but was it?

So, is he saying they want the Avengers to destroy this factory and run them in? Wolverine asks. If they wanted to attack them, they could have done it with the element of surprise when the Avengers were sitting ducks, Spider-Man points out.

At Temugin’s urging, Jimmy decides to come clear. Is he sure? Ken asks.

In the meantime, M-11 is running a voice analysis of Wolverine’s voice, comparing it with a foe they ran across in Cuba in 1958…

Too bad Bob isn’t here, Jimmy remarks. It would be much easier to just show them… the Atlas Foundation used to be run by the Yellow Claw. He died recently. Jimmy didn’t realize it but he’d always planned on Jimmy becoming the next leader.

M-11, in the meantime, has come to the conclusion that Wolverine is indeed Agent Logan from that mission in the past. The man who attached a bomb to M-11 and damaged him. He reacts accordingly, firing his death ray at Wolverine.

All hell breaks loose as M-11 almost obliterates Wolverine’s arm. The next moment, Captain America orders the Avengers to attack the Agents. He charges at Master Woo, Ronin takes on Temugin, Cage on M-11, Namora on Ms. Marvel and she actually manages to pin Carol down, something not many can do.

Good thing strength isn’t all she has, Carol observes and uses an energy blast to blow Namora through the wall.

Cage angrily grapples with the human robot. No one fries off his boy’s arm! he shouts. The next moment, the robot almost electrocutes him, only to go after the injured Wolverine again. Cap tosses his shield at the robot’s head.

Venus runs off towards a certain panel in the wall.

Woo does his best against Ronin but is about to take a bad hit, when Temugin steps between them and stops Ronin’s attack with a kick. Away from Master Woo, he orders. Does he play his part well, he asks Jimmy sardonically. He does, Jimmy replies and silently urges Venus to wrap this up.

Cap angrily attacks Temugin, demanding the one who was in his head. Gorilla Man threatens Spidey who webbed him up. He bets he is the four hundred pound gorilla in every argument, Spidey jokes. But he’s gotta see about his sneaky friend…

Ms. Marvel keeps on pounding Namora. Just say enough and she’ll stop, she tells her. They don’t have that word in Atlantis, the proud Sea Queen shouts back. Better learn it, Carol suggests as she hits Namora with a girder.

She falls back hard. But the fight has damaged a water pipe, the contents of which now pour on Namora. Ah shoot, Carol swears. She really likes sea water, huh? Yes, Namora replies curtly, before slugging Carol through the roof.

Spidey, in the meantime, has found Venus and prevents her from accessing the control panels. He starts webbing her. Venus begs him not to do it, then turns on her power. Immediately, he falls under her spell, apologizes and begins to pull the webbing off her. The battle still continues until Venus starts to sing. The Avengers are transfixed by her song.

Ah, hell, he didn’t get to pound anyone, Ken pouts. Jimmy reminds his team to make sure they’ve all got their dragon scales and orders Temugin to open the portal.

He turns to the Avengers, once again slipping into the role of Master Woo, while Ken gathers up M-11. They have destroyed but one Atlas operation. They have no idea what they are up against. He will not forget this setback. They will meet again, he vows as they phase out.

The Avengers slowly awake from their trance, realizing the ship is going down.

In the Dragon’s Corridor, Jimmy asks Temugin if he knows the way to the San Francisco portal. Of course, he scoffs. He knows nearly all the doorways of the Dragon’s Corridor.

They look back. Kind of weird after years of having masterminds pull that escape, to do it to someone else, Ken observes. The irony isn’t lost to him, Jimmy replies.

The Avengers evacuate. Cage figures the Atlas people were trying to cheat Osborn. All he cares about is for once it’s a nice clear victory, Ronin sighs. Oh, don’t worry, Spider-Man promises as he takes pictures. The papers will make them out as terrorists. Aw, come one, Cage protests. He still has to eat, Spidey replies.

A little later, the Agents are talking to Osborn who remarks that he can’t pay on goods not delivered. Perhaps they will be able to work out a new project at a later date.

Woo promises his first priority is to exact vengeance on the saboteurs. They will speak again.

With that done, Ken remarks he’d like to take a break from acting like he doesn’t want to bite Osborn’s face off. She enjoyed hitting Ms. Marvel though, Namora muses. Jimmy remarks that the Uranian got something key out of Osborn’s head. A weak spot? Namora asks. Something they can exploit? Perhaps, he admits. Osborn meets with a secret cabal of powerful people. They seem to be sharing information and plans that concern the entire world. And one of them is Namora’s cousin, Namor…

Characters Involved: 

Gorilla Man, Jimmy Woo, M-11, Namora, the Uranian, Venus (all Agents of Atlas)

Temugin (ally of the Agents)

Cage, Captain America, Ms Marvel, Ronin, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all New Avengers)

on screen

Norman Osborn

Story Notes: 

M-11 was damaged by Wolverine decades ago in Cuba as told in Agents of Atlas (2nd series) #1 (2nd story).

Issue Information: 
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