Nextwave #2

Issue Date: 
April 2006
Story Title: 

Warren Ellis (writer), Stuart Immonen (penciler), Wade von Grawbadger (inker), Dave McCaig (colors), VC’s Joe Caramanga (letterer), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Mike Marts (consulting editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Nextwave is trying to deal with the giant lizard, Fin Fang Foom, which threatens to destroy the small North Dakotan town of Abcess. Tabitha Smith is the first to strike, but her plasmoids are ineffectual against its thick hide. The lizard grabs her mid-flight, and threatens to put her down its underpants. It takes the Captain to break the creature’s fingers for it to release her. Unfortunately, it smashes them through a building as it reels in agony, and only the Captain’s durable body saves them from certain death. Monica Rambeau alters her body into gamma rays, but even this has little effect on the giant lizard. Then, Monica concocts a plan. She has Elsa Bloodstone force Fin Fang Foom to open its mouth, and this allows Aaron Stack access. He makes his way to the lizard’s stomach, and proceeds to carve his way through its internal systems. While he does this, the rest of Nextwave destroy another group of human resource robots. Eventually, Aaron does enough damage to force Fin Fang Foom to a standstill, and as Aaron has cut out its heart, the lizard drops down dead. Aaron emerges victorious, through its butt. He wishes he could die. The first of the unusual weapons of mass destruction is defeated. Their next objective is to go beat up some more.

Full Summary: 

(Abcess, North Dakota)

Why do monsters eat humans? Human beings are mostly water. Their tissues and fluids retain flavors and other residues from their food. Their bones have a brittle quality, and their skin is warm and pliant. In other words, they’re thirst-quenching, crunchy and chewy; the Elvis of snack food. That’s why monsters heat people.

A large green lizard with a bad attitude and purple undies towers over the small town of Abcess, causing buildings to crumble under his enormous weight as he ambles through street after street. As Fin Fang Foom comes across a populated part of town, he swoops up handfuls of people and drops them like potato chips into his mouth.

Tabitha Smith is propelled through the clear air by a jet pack, and she swoops in towards Fin Fang Foom, launching a salvo of plasmoids at the creature. Unfortunately, they explode harmlessly against its thick skin. The creature is agile enough to catch Tabitha as she flies and, in retaliation for her attack, he decides to stick her down his pants. Tabitha screams at the very thought, but is helpless to prevent him.

Fortunately for Tabitha, her colleague, the Captain, is so absurdly strong that he once smacked someone’s spine out through their lungs just by patting them on the back. In his defense, he was extraordinarily drunk at the time. He flies in, and using those absurdly strong arms, he manages to snap Fin Fang Foom’s fingers, unleashing a veritable fountain of green goo from inside them. This causes the lizard to throw them both away as he reels in pain.

The Captain grabs hold of Tabitha and protects her as they smash through the side of a nearby building and through several subsequent walls. Finally, they come to a rest on the floor. Tabitha says the pants would have been less painful. “You’re welcome,” replies the Captain. Tabitha reckons they need a better plan, unless the Captain thinks they can take him by breaking his fingers. The Captain hopes Monica has a plan after all. They leap from the building back into action, as elsewhere the H.A.T.E. Aeromarine drifts harmlessly above North America.

On board is Dirk Anger, who is smoking his obligatory cigar. He is the director of H.A.T.E., which once employed the Nextwave squad until they went piratey. As usual, he is needlessly annoyed. He rants about hating girls. They have soft bits, and agents of H.A.T.E. shouldn’t have soft bits. They should have hard bits, like muscles and stuff. His assistant prepares for him a strange cocktail made from small fish which she blends until they are a liquid. This she connects to a saline bag, which in turn is fed directly into Dirk’s blood. Dirk thinks he’s having a nervous breakdown. His assistant agrees.

Aboard the Shockwave Rider, Monica Rambeau and Aaron Stack are considering what to do next. Aaron informs her that the hull cameras have just picked up Tabby and the Captain being smacked through a building. He presumes they’re both alive, as the Captain took the brunt of the impact. Monica asks him to put the Rider into a parking orbit and then follow her. She jumps into the red liquid that separates them from the outside, and emerges on the other side, rocketing towards Fin Fang Foom.

Monica can convert part or all of her mass into any form of electromagnetic energy - except the ones they make up on Stark Trek. As she approaches, she wonders if she can still do this. “Exawatt gamma-ray laser…” she utters before transforming into her energy form. She plunges into the giant lizard’s chest, but comes through the other side without having much of an effect on the creature. That would have skewered anything else, she thinks, before hearing Elsa Bloodstone calling her from the people-packed street. Elsa says she couldn’t even blow its toenails off, as Monica plucks her from the throng and gets her airborne. Being lifted by the arm really hurts, and she doesn’t mind Monica knowing this.

Nextwave gather on a rooftop a couple of blocks away from the lizard. They can’t break its hide, so they need a new plan. Lateral thinking is required. The Captain asks if that’s what they taught her in the Avengers; that, and beware of spooky chicks who think they’ve been made pregnant by robots. Monica decides to let lizard breath swallow Aaron. “What?” remarks Aaron. Monica tells him they’re going to get him inside Fin Fang Foom. “I hate you, fleshy one,” he replies.

Aaron spots more of the human resource freaks closing in below them. Monica informs him that they want a full test on the lizard’s capabilities, so they need them out of the way. The pair of them and Tabitha will keep them busy, whilst Elsa will make the beastie open its mouth for Aaron. How? Elsa asks. Monica says she doesn’t care. She smirks as she tells Elsa that she’s keeping her special Avengers training to herself until she starts being nice to her.

The lizard approaches them, so Elsa runs for the edge of the roof, holding shotguns in both hands. As she leaps from the roof, she shoots the creature in the eye. The giant lizard screams in agony, and in doing so, it allows Aaron access to its interior. “Death to fleshy ones,” he cries, as he makes his way into the cavernous opening. Once inside, he makes his way deeper into the monster’s stomach. Elsa, meanwhile, spins gracefully to the ground, crushing a car she lands on by accident

Tabitha is occupied with the human resource guys. She counts down before unleashing a bomb that explodes the Jeep they’re driving. Monica follows up by creating a microwave storm that almost evaporates everything inside the Jeep. Finally, the Captain drop kicks the remains and Elsa shoots the fuel tank. The Jeep and its occupants are destroyed beyond all means of repair.

Aaron slides down into Fin Fang Foom’s stomach, surfing on green gunk past the hapless bodies that were the lizard’s breakfast. Aaron Stack is also known as X-51. He is from Dr. Abel Stack’s self-built sequence of sentient humanoid combat robots. It is not known what happened to the other fifty.

(sometime in the past)

One of the other fifty X-robots, calling itself Father Blood Drench Robo Crush, is dressed as a priest and is having tea with an old lady. It appears to be malfunctioning, and despite wishing to make her die with steamy electric mek bits, her offer of tea surprises it, and this has an adverse emotional effect on its electronic brain. It collapses forward onto the table as fluid seeps from its eyes. “Father, are you crying?” asks the old lady. The robot replies that it simply has something in its lens, and she should leave him alone now.


Aaron finally arrives at the bottom of Fin Fang Foom’s huge stomach. He finds biological systems hideous. He can’t believe they have all this garbage inside of them and don’t want to kill themselves. His chest opens, and an array of items pop out like a Swiss Army knife. Aaron decides that the circular saw will suffice for the task in hand. Meanwhile, the giant lizard continues to reel in pain from Elsa’s attack, and continues destroying the town’s infrastructure.

Suddenly, the lizard grabs its stomach, as it senses something is wrong. Inside its stomach, the circular saw goes to work, carving open the stomach lining. Fin Fang Foom thinks it needs a bathroom and sits down. It feels it has indigestion from eating too many people, and consequently throws up. Hundreds of litres of green fluid pour from its mouth, as well as its own heart. “Fin Fang Foom’s heart… is broken” it says, before collapsing to the ground, dead.

Aaron Stack emerges from inside the creature’s underpants, so one can imagine which orifice he emerged from. “My robot brain needs beer,” he remarks, “Also? I want to die.” With the trouble now over, Tabitha is happy that she can make a phone call at last. It’s been at least an hour since she did that. Aaron brings the Shockwave Rider down remotely, and the Captain asks what’s next, now that this is all done and dusted. Monica tells him that these things are all over the country. There are monsters to beat up and things to blow up. “It’s the best job in America. Nextwave GO!”

Characters Involved: 

Elsa Bloodstone, the Captain, Monica Rambeau, Tabitha Smith, Aaron Stack (Nextwave)

Dirk Anger

Dirk’s assistant

Fin Fang Foom

Residents of Abcess, North Dakota

Four robots

(in flashback)

One of the X robots as Father Blood Drench Robo Crush)

Old lady

Story Notes: 

Star Trek is a successful sci-fi series that has managed to survive four decades in various incarnations and is notable for its techno-babble and use of questionable scientific particles.

The Captain’s sarcastic comments toward Monica refers to the Scarlet Witch believing that she bore two children, Thomas and William, by her husband, the synthezoid Vision. These turned out to be magical constructs that only existed when Wanda thought about them.

Issue Information: 
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