J2 #11

Issue Date: 
August 1999
Story Title: 
<BR><em>1S story:</em> J2: Master Of Jug-Fu! <BR><em>2nd story:</em> Gauntlet

1st story: Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Jim Novak (letters), Tom Smith (colors), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

2nd story: Larry Hama (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Janice Chiang (letters), Tom Smith (colors), Tom DeFalco (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

1st story:

American Dream offers J2 to train with her at Avengers Mansion’s training room, but Zahne declines, because he’s invulnerable in his super-hero identity. Jarvis interrupts the conversation, as he has a special letter to for American Dream. She has been invited to a fighting competition on some island, though she has to use a special teleportation device to get there, if she accepts. She declines the offer and goes back to her training. Zahne is interested and uses the device to transport to the island. There, he is immediately smacked on the head by a blind Howard the Duck, who thought he was dealing with American Dream. He is speechless when he discovers that J2 is just a kid, as he wanted to use him or American Dream to fight in his place, so he can discover what’s really happening on this island. Howard believes something fishy is occurring, and finds it hard to believe it’s a mere fighting competition where both he, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, White Tiger, Shang-Chi and the Sons of the Tiger are invited on. Howard tells Zahne to get to a safe place, and he does as told. While scouting the beach, Zahne finds Blind Al, who starts to panic when she hears Zahne is but a kid. She goes to warn Weasel about this, and believes they have to cancel the whole thing because Wade promised no innocent bystanders. On that moment, Deadpool teleports onto the island. Zahne immediately recognizes Deadpool from his reputation, and transforms into J2. Wade also recognizes the new Juggernaut, and they start to fight each other. But, the other contest competitors realize they’ve all been tricked by Deadpool to come to this island because he had nothing better to do, and all angry start to fight him. Zahne teleports back to Avengers Mansion, where he reveals his true identity to American Dream, and agrees to let her teach him some fighting moves.

2nd story:

Wild Thing has accepted her dad’s request to train with the X-People. They test her fighting skills in their Danger Room simulation. During the training, Rina manages to defeat Angry Eagle, Simian, Torque and Spanner. Rina even manages to defeat the X-People’s team leader, Jubilee. After kicking her down, Jubilee is almost injured in the simulation, but Rina prevents this from happening. Cyclops ends the simulation, and Jubilee compliments Rina on a fine job. She even offers Wild Thing to join the X-People, but she refuses because she doesn’t care and only agreed to do this training because her old dad, Wolverine, asked her to. She takes off, and Scott notices there is a lot of Logan’s bad old attitudes can be recognizes in Rina. Logan smiles, and mentions to both Scott and his wife, Elektra, that he mellowed a bit over the years. They can only laugh about that remark.

Full Summary: 

1st story:

Avengers headquarters…

J2 feels a little down, even though he’s on a training session with American Dream at Avengers Mansion’s training room. American Dreams warns J2 to stay focused, as this exercise will help increase his reflexes and speed while dodging tennis balls. The exercise is over once the gauntlet has been reached without getting tagged by a ball. J2 remains unimpressed, and jokes that he isn’t here to attend class: he’s there to goof off. Besides, when you weight almost a hundred pounds like him and are practically invulnerable, you don’t run to anywhere. American Dream dodges all of the balls and makes it to the gauntlet first, believing that, if this exercise can’t impress J2, she can always up the ante.

Zahne tells her not even to bother, as his day started with his mom telling him to clean his room and since then he has been nagged at by teachers and whined to by friends. He doesn’t need any more grief and just wants to relax a little with some video games. American Dream doesn’t care, defending that J2 owes it to the team to improve himself. Jarvis enters the room, and mentions that a letter has been send for her and has been marked as urgent.

Zahne is impressed by the pretty amulet attached to the letter and wants to know what’s in it. It appears that American Dream has been invited to participate in some kind of contest for martial artists. J2 is impressed, believing that those people must think very highly of American Dream. But she doesn’t even care and tosses the letter away. She isn’t even curious about who the other contestants are, as she doesn’t enjoy fighting and only does it when absolutely necessary. That’s why she joined the Avengers and not the WCW. J2 is interested. He picks up the amulet, and is suddenly teleported away!

He arrives on an island. A blind Howard the Duck, believing he is dealing with American Dream, warns her to prepare herself as she must now prove herself to be worthy of this contest by facing him, the Master of Quack-Fu! Zahne thinks a talking duck is crazy, and reminds him of that talking gorilla he fought a while back. Howard attacks J2 with his staff, which breaks on impact. He realizes he isn’t dealing with American Dream, but with someone else.

J2 introduces himself, claiming he’s something like a last minute substitution. He notices Shang-Chi fighting the Sons of the Tiger, and wants to know what’s going on here. Howard claims that’s the problem, as nobody seems to really know that. It would appear that a few dozen of the world’s greatest martial artists recently received invitations to this so-called contest. And former and current superstars are performing. J2 believes Howard apparently suspects a trap. Howard confirms that, and mentions that only a few old guys have accepted the offer, guys like Iron Fist and Luke Cage, and the young people have apparently nothing to prove. He tried to stack the deck with American Dream, but now they are stuck with Zahne.

J2 and Howard meet up with Weasel and mention they are here for the contest. Weasel thinks that’s obvious, as there’s nothing else to do on this stupid island. He mentions they can both use the practice arena before the competition starts. Weasel mentions to the two that they can just holler if they need something, but can’t expect him to go and get it. Howard believes they’ll be just fine.

Weasel wishes them both good luck, confident that they are going to need that. J2 suggests they go scout the area and find out who’s the master-brain behind all this. Howard doesn’t think so, confident the guy will reveal himself on the proper time. He does believe that Zahne needs some practice. J2 mentions that he’s invincible and unstoppable. Howard claims that it doesn’t matter how strong Zahne is: a true master of the martial arts can easily turn his power against him.

The training Howard gives J2 goes on for an hour, with Zahne getting tired of it. He’s an Avenger for God’s sake, and doesn’t think he needs any more stupid training. Howard notices that Zahne’s distracted and orders him to pay attention. He wants him to draw each breath into the deepest pit of his stomach, and hold as if his life would depend on it. Zahne gets tired and, because of this, turns back into his kid-form! Howard didn’t notice this, and kicks Zahne into his face, causing him to fall down.

Howard wants to know what just happened, as it seems to him J2 just got shorter somehow. Zahne admits that he forgot to mention that his J-drive needs to download on occasion. Howard wants to know what Zahne’s fighting skills are in this state. None, actually, Zahne admits. Howard is startled! He explains that he was counting on Zahne to take his place in the contest while he tried to learn who lured everyone to this island. Zahne really has to be proficient in some form of combat. Zahne apologizes for it. He explains that, when you are a living Juggernaut, exercise and practice seem pointless.

Howard starts taking off, angrily mocking that this is just great. The contest is about to begin, and he’s stuck with “the uncanny useless boy.” Zahne mocks that “Daffy” doesn’t need to get all hostile on him. He suggests that he goes scouting around the island, while Howard does the fighting part. Howard dislikes that idea because Zahne is too vulnerable. He suggests that Zahne goes to find a place to hide, and to stay out of his way.

Zahne decides to go for a walk, and makes it to the beach. There, he thinks about what Howard said to him. He really is an “uncanny useless boy”. Heck, he was even blowing smoke when he volunteered to play detective. Like he would know how and where to start an investigation. Suddenly, he notices an old woman sitting on a tree branch. Zahne doesn’t know her, but warns the lady that she better goes to find someplace safe. Blind Al tells Zahne not to worry, as nobody’s going to bother an old lady like her. Suddenly, Al panics when she realizes she’s talking to just a kid! She asks Zahne if he’s really as young as he sounds. Zahne confirms that, and wants to know why Al asked.

Al panics, because “he” promised there would be no innocent bystanders invited to the party. Al tells Zahne to run to the hills, and he might live to celebrate another birthday. She explains that this place is about to get all hazardous to his health. Zahne doesn’t need to be told that twice, and promises he’ll be gone. Al mentions that’s fine, and tells Zahne to log some distance, while she tries to convince a certain corkscrew-brained lunatic to delay the festivities. As he watches Al take off, Zahe sighs, and smiles that the Hardy Boys have nothing on him, the Zahne-Knight Detective!

He follows Al to Weasel, and eavesdrops on their conversation. Al is telling Weasel that she thinks something is wrong. She has to talk to Wade. Weasel asks Al if that can’t wait, because she knows how Wade gets before a whack. Zahne can’t believe his ears. A whack?! He believes that his web-footed friend was right. Someone is planning a nasty. But, Zahne still doesn’t know who or what is doing it.

Suddenly, a teleportation portal opens, and… Deadpool jumps through it! Wade proudly shouts that everyone near his base is it. He notices Zahne and asks if him if he knows him. He also asks Zahne if he’s got an American Express Card, because they need to establish his identity so they’ll know where to ship the remains! Zahne panics, as he recognizes Deadpool. Wade wants to know if it was his costume that gave him away. He hates it when that happens. Al and Weasel go to stand in front of Wade, and asks him to hold the armament, as Zahne is just a “dumb kid.” Wade thinks that’s fine, because now the gene pool won’t miss him.

Zahne mentions to himself that he heard about Deadpool. He’s a professional killer. He’s a sadistic wise mouth, and a general troublemaker. And those are Deadpool’s good qualities! Zahne quickly transforms into J2, and Deadpool panics a bit. He recognizes Zahne in his uniform, and mentions that he’s that new Juggernaut he has been reading about. Wade’s mood immediately changes, and smiles that’s so cool. He starts slicing his powered-up sword on J2, and mentions that not everyone enjoys dancing the ugly with a thousand pound bundle of unstoppable stupidity, and jokes that’s their loss. Zahne asks Deadpool who his target is, since they are being so friendly with each other.

Deadpool powers up his new special glove, and smashes J2 with it, his “target”. Wade explains that he just called the old gang together for a good old-fashioned super-brawl. Wade doesn’t know what he can say, he was bored and the Biography Channel slated reruns for the entire week. Wade fires his plasma gun at Zahne, and traps him behind a force field. He warns Zahne to use it or lose it. Wade also jokes that, when a man reaches his age, he’s really got to work at staying in shape. And he figured the other guys could use a little simulation as well. On that moment, Iron Fist, Cage, Shang-Chi, the Sons of the Tiger and the White Tiger all stand behind Deadpool, ready to kick his butt! The battle begins, and everyone starts fighting Deadpool at once.

Zahne notices that Howard is approaching him, and asks the duck what’s going to happen now. Howard explains that everyone will keep fighting until, at a critical moment, they suddenly discover it has all been one big misunderstanding. Then, everyone will bow, say their goodbyes, and follow their separate paths. Such is the way of a true martial artist. Zahne takes a look at the battle from a distance, and jokes that people wonder why this genre no longer appeals to the mass market!

A little while later, Zahne has been transported back to Avengers Mansion. He goes back to the training room, and notices that American Dream is still working out there. American Dream mentions that crime never rests, and neither should the Avengers. She wants to know when Zahne got back. Zahne mentions he just got back, and wanted to apologize for being such an arrogant jerk. He asks American Dream if she remembers when she volunteered him to train him and transforms back into his form of Zahne. Zahne hopes that American Dream’s offer still stands. American Dream thinks that Zahne is kidding, because she thought he was practically invincible. Zahne confirms that he is, but only when he’s J2. American Dream gives Zahne a battle suit, and suggests they start teaching him the basic fighting skills.

2nd story:

Wild Thing is in the forest, but also a little peeved. Getting hit by an invisible fore field will do that to a girl. Rina orders her opponents to reveal themselves, and to fight fair. Her opponents hit her again, and Rina falls down a hill, but lands safely back on her feet. Her opponents don’t see the fun in fair fighting, and knock her down another rocky hill, causing her to fall into a river. Her opponents tell Rina to think of this as pushing her envelope. Rina gets angry, and promises she’ll push her envelope alright: she’ll push it right through her adversaries’ throats!

Rina’s opponents don’t think so, as she won’t be able to do that when she can’t see them. Rina realizes that, but she also realizes that she can use the water to make them all wet, thus making them visible again. She does so, and Rina’s adversaries start to panic. Wild Thing decides to quote something her old dad used to say: it’s time to go to claw city. She snikts out her psychic claws, and slices through one of her opponents! A voice compliment Wild Thing that she didn’t perform that bad, but triumphantly declare that she’ll have to do a lot better than to beat the X-People!

The X-People make themselves visible again, and the Danger Room simulation is ended and the room is back to normal. Jubilee orders her team to get ready for action. Angry Eagle and Simian take the offensive, while Torque and Spanner are the back-ups. Spikes merge from the floor, causing everyone to almost reach the ceiling. Rina asks Jubilee what she’s going to do. Jubilee states that she is team leader, and gets to call the shots. Angry Eagle tells Simian to get Wild Thing, while he’ll distract her with stun daggers.

Rina dodges both attacks, and jumps into safety. She jokes to the boys that the only thing they’ll get is a world of hurt. She sticks her psychic claws into Simian’s back, causing him to feel pain and fall down. Rina also kicks Torque down, who almost falls into the spikes, but luckily he is rescued by Angry Eagle. Spanner stretches herself so she can safely grab Simian before he reaches the spikes. Jubilee shoots her fireworks at Rina, but she kicks Jubilee down. Jubilee loses her balance thanks to this and almost falls into the spikes, but luckily Rina rescues her.

Cyclops decides to end the simulation. After shutting down the holovision projector and directing the sensory input transmitters, Scott mentions to Jubilee it’s time for team leader summation. Jubilee confesses that there is no question on her mind that Wild Thing has successfully run the gauntlet, and passed her initiation into the X-People! Jubilee congratulates Rina and wants to shake hands with her. She explains to Rina that she has not only shown remarkable skill, but has also demonstrated compassion as well. The X-People will be proud to have her as a member. Rina doesn’t take Jubilee’s hand and starts to walk away, thanking for the offer. She only went through this exercise because her dad asked her to do it. As far as she is concerned, the X-People can keep their precious membership.

While observing in the control room, Scott sighs, noticing that there is a lot of Logan that can be recognized in Rina. He can even remember a time when Logan was just as testy and difficult. Logan agrees with him, but he has mellowed with time. He asks his wife, Elektra, if she agrees with that, but Elektra can only laugh.

Characters Involved: 

1st story:

American Dream, J2 (both Avengers)


Blind Al


Howard the Duck, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, Sons of the Tiger, White Tiger (all martial artists)

Edwin Jarvis (butler to the Avengers)

2nd story:

Wild Thing

Angry Eagle, Jubilee, Torque, Simian, Spanner (all X-People)

Cyclops, Wolverine (X-Men)

Elektra (mother of Wild Thing and wife to Wolverine)

Story Notes: 

1st story:

First appearance of Deadpool, Blind Al, Weasel, Howard the Duck, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, the Sons of the Tiger and the White Tiger in the MC2 Universe.

J2 faced Big Julie, who really is a big, talking, gangster gorilla, in J2 #9.

It has never been revealed in the MC2 Universe how Howard the Duck got blind.

Deadpool apparently gains a new power in the MC2 Universe. When Wade attacks J2 when he arrives on the island, it is clearly shown that he powers up his sword. This is something Wade has never been shown to be able to do in the past. It is, of course, also possible that his new, special glove has something to do with it.

Issue Information: 
Written By: