Nextwave #3

Issue Date: 
May 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: 

After putting an end to the threat of Fin Fang Foom in Abcess, North Dakota, Nextwave move on to Illinois. There, a police officer named Mac Mangel is in his last week before retirement, and he goes about his business as usual. He beats up a dealer selling drugs and demands a cut off him. He mugs a man who is already the victim of a mugging and then heads over to a brothel where the hookers have decided they no longer wish to provide him with their services. Their pimp tries to take out Mangel, but he stamps on his foot and smacks him with his nightstick, demanding his cut from them, too. Content, he then continues his beat and discovers a small creature behind a dumpster. He doesn’t know that this is an Unusual Weapon of Mass Destruction called the Ultra Samurai Seed. The creature burrows into his chest and begins a strange transformation. Nextwave are on the creature’s trail, and Tabitha is the first to spot it. Mangel is now bigger and clearly deranged. He is also immensely strong, and he hurls a car at Tabitha who is forced to destroy it with a plasma blast. Several Beyond Corp robots arrive on the scene, but Tabitha takes them out also. As more robots arrive, the rest of Nextwave head to the scene to help Tabitha, and between them, they rout the robots. Elsa Bloodstone tracks down Mangel and crashes her car into him. Gasoline leaks from it, and Elsa shoots the fuel causing a massive explosion. To her annoyance, Mangel emerges from the flames looking every bit the homicidal cyborg.

Full Summary: 

(Sink City, Illinois, Monday)

At the city’s third precinct, Officer Mangel prepares for another week on the beat. This one is different, however, as it’s his last. He looks forward to spending the rest of his life rotting in a lounger, and he feels he’s earned it. He heads off on his beat, and soon comes across a drug deal going down in an alleyway. The dealer recognizes him as he approaches. Mangel has told him about dealing in the area. Did he think he was going soft in his last week? He smashes the dealer with his night stick and screams, “I said I still wanted my cut!”

Later, he is on a quiet street when a man runs towards him sporting two black eyes. He says he can hardly see, and asks Mangel if he is a police officer. Mangel doesn’t really care, but replies that he is. The man explains that he’s been mugged. The culprits got his wallet, but thank God he keeps his billfold in his pants pocket. It’s safer that way. Mangel, never one to miss out on an opportunity, places his hand on the man’s shoulder and tells him that was clever of him. He ushers him into another alley, and reaches for his nightstick as they walk.

Mangel continues on his way, and saunters toward a building with a guy standing in front of it. A sign on the wall says that there are three women residing there; Molly, a dancer, Eve, a schoolteacher and an actress named Anna. Mangel tells the guy he’s there to see the girls, and he allows the officer inside. The man then glances around before entering the house also and shutting the door. Eve, Anna and Molly are clearly hookers, and Eve knows it’s Mangel’s last week on the job, so why doesn’t he go find someone to terrorize at the old folks’ home? They’re done.

Mangel replies that they’re done when he says so. Like hell, she replies. He just used up his one last chance. Suddenly, Mangel is grabbed from behind by the pimp, who informs him that he’s been waiting to do him like a chicken for the pot since he met him. Mangel quickly stamps on the pimp’s foot and batters him with the nightstick twice. The pimp falls to the ground after crashing through the banister. “Two things, “ grunts Mangel, his face a picture of fury, “One: I want my **** cut, now! Two: clean his blood and snot off my boot.”

Later still, Mangel wanders past some dumpsters and hears something scratching around behind one of them. He bends down and sees something moving. Whatever it is, he figures he can sell it. He pulls out a small creature that resembles a rodent/cat crossbreed, only with sharp enlarged claws. As Mangel holds it before him, wondering what it is, the creature’s face opens up, revealing a green-tinged interior resembling a brain with a multitude of needles sticking out of it. Without hesitation, it lunges at Mangel, burrowing into his chest in moments. He tries to scream, before dropping to the ground, unconscious.

(H.A.T.E.’s flying headquarters - the Aeromarine)

Behind a closed door that leads to Dirk Anger’s private office, the director of H.A.T.E. sits on top of a massive revolver in front of the hammer. His seat faces the open end of the barrel, which is u-turned to face him. His right hand grips a lever that is connected by rope to the trigger. An agent calls him on his headset. It’s about the Nextwave Squad.

Anger replies that this isn’t a good time, but the agent explains that they’ve been spotted in the skies over western Illinois. If they’re hunting whoever received the seed, they have a viable window to intercept and capture them. Dirk pulls back hard on the lever and the hammer clicks into place. The gun fails to go off. “I’m so alone,” Dirk tells himself.


Tabitha Smith is wandering through town, chatting vacuously on her cell phone. She namedrops Jessica and Paris as she checks out the local talent. Unseen by her, a white car filled with the Beyond Corporation’s robots follows her. As she relates the story of a guy who tried picking her up wearing a really bad super hero costume, she notices Officer Mangel crouching beside a car, eating it. She tells her friend she’ll call them back.

Mangel spots her, grabs the car in his fists and hurls it towards her. Tabitha points at the car and says, “Tick tick tick Boom!” A bolt of red hot plasma shoots towards the flying car and explodes it in mid air. Suddenly, the car carrying the robots screeches round the corner. The driver utters, “Faster Pussycat Kill Kill Kill,” as he drives, and his fellow robots repeat the word kill. Tabitha sees them coming and unleashes several time bombs around the vehicle. She crosses her arms. “I said Boom!” she says as the car explodes in a similar fashion to the last one. Only then does she realize that her target has vanished.

She calls Monica and informs her that he’s escaped and that Human Resources are already on the scene. Monica asks how she knew it was their target. Tabitha replies by asking, how did she know? “He was twelve-feet tall and eating a car.” Out of nowhere, a bullet shatters her cell phone, cutting her hand and splattering her cheek with blood. She looks up to see over a dozen Human Resource robots abseiling down the walls toward her. This isn’t good.

On board the Shockwave Rider, the Nextwave Squad are already leaping into action, exiting the craft through the red fluid that separates interior from exterior. Tabitha is on the run as bullets ping all around her. Monica hurtles earthwards and transforms into energy as she reaches the buildings. She orders everyone on the deck, before expanding a circle of energy around her, cutting some of the robots abseiling the walls in two, and slicing the ropes of several others. Aaron yanks the robot’s heads off as they fall, whilst the Captain punches clean through one of the robots. His fist turns green due to the gunk on the inside, and he manages to get the robot stuck on his arm. He wonders where Ellie has got to.

High above, Elsa Bloodstone drops from the Shockwave Rider inside a vehicle. Three robots peer upwards ominously as the car lands of them, and, in a display of surprisingly good suspension, bounces away. Elsa is loving it. “Death Race 2000. I am President Frankenstein!” Tabitha wonders where the English **** is going. Monica figures she’s off to hunt the guy Tabitha lost. They figure a twelve-foot guy won’t be hard to spot, especially for the big-deal monster-hunting English ****.

Elsa tears through Sink City, causing vehicles to swerve and crash all around her. She feels this ‘colonial scum’ should drive on the proper side of the road. As she races down the street causing chaos all around her, she wonders what she would do if she were some poor sod who had been accidentally implanted with something called the Ultra Samurai Seed that the Beyond Crop Marketing Plan didn’t fully explain. She’d stay off the roads, wouldn’t she? She’d also be hungry, needing to feed the change.

Cut to a sign on a fence that reads ‘Sink City Very Small School with Lovely Children Inside.’ Officer Mangel approaches the school, his clothes tattered and torn. “Munchies,” he mutters as he sets his heart on devouring those inside. Behind him, Elsa races towards him, but turns to look behind her as bullets slice through her car. She grabs a shotgun and leaps from the moving vehicle, landing on the road, which allows the pursuing robots to speed straight past her. The car crashes into Officer Mangel, destroying it in the process. The gas tank starts to leak, and Elsa fires at the gasoline pouring from it. A massive explosion destroys the car and the fence, and Elsa turns her attention to the robots. “You’re going home in the back of an ambulance,” she warns.

Before she can act, she hears groans coming from inside the wreckage. She hoped Officer Mangel would have had the decency to stay dead after being killed with a motorcar. The robots mock her. “He will peel you with his robot bits,” one remarks, as Mangel stands before her, his body now transformed by the seed into that of a cyborg.

Characters Involved: 

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

Dirk Anger

Officer ‘Mac’ Mangel and colleague

Drug dealer and customers

Residents of Sink City

Mugging victim

Anna, Eve, Molly and their pimp

A new UWMD, the Ultra Samurai Seed

Numerous Beyond Corporation robots

Story Notes: 

Faster Pussycat Kill Kill is a cult classic 1965 Russ Meyer movie starring Tura Satana.

Death Race 2000 is a fun but bloodthirsty movie that came out in 1975 and which features a young Sylvester Stallone among the cast. Frankenstein was David Carradine’s character.

Elsa Bloodstone is English, and there they drive on the left, not the right as in the United States.

“You’re going home in the back of an ambulance,” is a chant that has been heard on many a football stadium over the years, often when a player is stretchered off.

Issue Information: 
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