Nextwave #4

Issue Date: 
June 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: 

Officer Mac Mangel has been taken as a host by the Ultra Samurai Seed – and Nextwave are out to stop him. He has grown in size, taking on metal to feed the Seed, and is now after eating some small children. The Captain uses his enormous strength to hurl Mangel into a scrap yard, only for Elsa Bloodstone, who dispatches more Beyond Corporation robots, to label him stupid. The Captain remembers how he came by his powers, courtesy of two small aliens, before replying that he’s not stupid. Realizing that he actually is, the Captain tries to rectify his mistake by flying in to attack Mangel, who is now even larger after using scrap metal to bolster his already growing body. Unfortunately, he is blasted underground by a huge pistol, and the bullet that hits him explodes, knocking Monica Rambeau out. This leaves Tabitha and Aaron to take on Mangel, and it’s Tabitha who manages to take him down with a time bomb. The metallic shell disintegrates, leaving Mangel crushed on the ground. The Ultra Samurai Seed exits his body, only for Tabitha to kill it. She then proceeds to beat Mangel up even more, and Aaron joins in on the action. Monica reprimands them for their actions, and leaves Mangel in the ‘safe’ hands of a drug dealer, a pimp and his three prostitutes. As Nextwave prepares to leave aboard the Shockwave Rider, Monica asks the Captain if he just heard gunshots.

Full Summary: 

(Sink City, Illinois, Monday)

A small Unusual Weapon of Mass Destruction called the Ultra Samurai Seed has taken a hold of corrupt police officer Mac Mangel. Transformed into a cyborg, he is on a rampage through Sink City, and it’s up to Nextwave to put an end to this nonsense. Mangel approaches a school. He is hungry, needing to feed the parasite inside him, and small children are definitely on his menu. Ellie Bloodstone is on the scene and, having just run Mangel over in her Jeep and then shot its gas tank to explode its fuel on top of him, she figured he’d be finished by now. She’s wrong.

As Mangel, now much larger than his normal human form, charges at Ellie, the Captain flies in and hurls Mangel across the city. He lands in a scrap yard, but is pretty much unfazed by the experience. As he recovers, four robots from the Beyond Corporation appear on the scene and open fire on Ellie. As bullets whiz past her head, she uses her shotgun to blow them and their motorcycles up. She uses a modified flare round. Ever since she discovered the robots were half-broccoli, she’s wanted to know if they burned or not.

She asks the Captain where their target is. He points a few blocks over and Ellie flips. He left him there? The Captain figures that he landed in a bunch of cars at like three hundred miles an hour. He’s not getting up. Ellie knows differently and asks, “How stupid are you?”

(flashback - the origin of the Captain)

Two small green aliens wander through the streets of Brooklyn. It’s dark and the place looks deserted. They are Spa-Fon and Squa-Tront. They have walked across this hellish landscape and found no one. Surely there must be one person to whom they can gift the Messianic Siddha-Complex; one person they can grant great powers to so they can rescue their fellows from this terrible environment. Their prayers are answered by the appearance of a drunk man. He’s singing a Sex Pistols song, staggering along the street, bottle in hand. “A fine young specimen,” remarks Squa-Tront.

They approach the young man and inform him that they come bearing the gift of super-human abilities beyond his mortal ken. Pretty much everything is beyond the man’s mortal ken at this point, and he believes them to be leprechauns. They offer him magical powers with which to make this nightmarish land of ‘Brooklyn’ a better place. He asks where this magic is. One of the aliens produces the heartstar of the space between galaxies and thrusts it inside the man’s chest. It fuses with his body, leaving a star-shaped hole in his T-shirt. He is told that he is now empowered, and should go forth and do great things.

The guy thought it might have been something he could sell, but it’s actually just ****. One of the aliens tells him they have granted him mightiness and glory. The guy responds by smacking him over the head with his bottle and laying the other out with a punch to the face. He scratches his head. He thought that when you hit leprechauns on the head they turned into gold coins. What a rip! He wonders if they have credit cards on them, but as he leans down to check, he throws up all over them. Bending over was a baaad move.


“I’m not stupid,” the Captain replies. Mangel reappears, now having transformed into something quite different. The uniform is gone, and he has taken on the look of a Transformer. He looms large over the buildings, pointing at the Captain and Elsa Bloodstone. “You’re all under arrest,” he booms. The Captain accepts his stupidity, and flies off to fix his mistake. He rockets towards Mangel, but the giant pulls out a revolver from a cavity in his torso and aims it at the Captain. He doesn’t take the threat seriously, and inadvertently flies straight into the chamber. Mangel then aims the gun down at the road and pulls the trigger.

The bullet is several times larger than the Captain himself, and it smashes through the concrete, straight into the sewer. The Captain lands in the stinking river of pollution underneath it. He tries to lift it off him but fails. He decides to lie there. English girl, Avengers mom, Z-list celebrity blonde and clanky can deal with this one. And she said he was stupid. He suddenly realizes that the bullet is ticking. It then blows, causing a massive explosion that forces flame into the street above, catching Elsa unawares.

Grates are shot into the air, and Monica is hit by one of them with great force. Tabitha kicks her to try and wake her up, but she’s totally unconscious. She tries to tell Monica that Captain America just called to invite her back to the Avengers, but still there’s no response. “She must be unconscious,” remarks Tabitha.

Meanwhile, Mangel starts blasting randomly, which causes chaos on the streets. Tabitha wonders what on Earth is going on. Mangel wasn’t this big before. She asks Aaron if he can look inside him. Aaron extends a telescopic eye and notices that there’s something inside him. The thing is building around him. Tabitha remembers that Monica called it the Ultra Samurai Seed. Aaron adds that it’s what the marketing plan called it. What if the Beyond Corporation released something into the wild… a parasite that made its host turn into a giant robot warrior, using whatever metal was lying around?

Tabitha yanks the telescopic eye from Aaron’s socket, much to his displeasure, and takes a look. She realizes what she must do and hands Aaron his eye back. He asks where she’s going, and she tells him that she’s going to kill herself a giant robot. “Killing robots is sick,” replies Aaron, understandably. P>

Mangel continues to parade through town, scattering innocent bystanders and crushing their vehicles under foot. “I am the law,” he bellows. “Give me your wallets.” Old habits die hard. Tabitha forces her way through the crowd and faces Mangel. He towers over her tiny form and aims his pistol right at her. Mangel laughs, but he doesn’t count on Tabitha’s power level. She creates a super hot burst of energy and hits him square on the chest with it. Mangel teeters and small explosions tear the mechanical body apart. As the armor falls away, it leaves Mangel’s human form behind, and this is tossed to the ground in another explosion.

As he lies on the ground, a hole in his stomach opens up and out crawls the Ultra Samurai Seed. Tabitha bends a little to look at it. “Awwww. Cuuuute,” she smiles, before frying the creature where it sits. She then turns to Mangel, now free of his parasitic host. He is battered and bruised, and he pulls his badge out as he tries to stand. Tabitha realizes he’s a cop. She hates cops.

She kicks him in the stomach hard, and tells him that this is because cops keep arresting her, for stealing, as if stealing is a crime? Aaron arrives and asks what’s going on. “He’s a cop, Aaron!” she replies. Aaron joins in, slamming his boot into Mangel’s stomach. He finds cops the most annoying of fleshy ones.

As they continue to beat on Mangel, Monica, Elsa and an almost-naked Captain approach them. Monica asks what the hell they’re doing. Tabitha nonchalantly replies that they’re beating up a cop. Monica is horrified and orders them away from him. She reminds them that they do not beat up police officers, and blames Aaron. He tries to explain but she orders them to go fetch the Shockwave Rider down.

She asks Mangel if he’s alright, but he cannot reply. Blood pours from his mouth as he struggles to move. A voice from nearby informs Monica that he’ll be fine. Walking towards them are the three prostitutes and the pimp that Mangel had a run in with earlier, and the drug dealer he beat up. Eve tells Monica that they’ll look after him, and the dealer adds that they’re his friends.

Monica smiles. Good cops can always rely on the community. Her dad used to say that it takes special people to understand that police officers are the servants of the society. He’ll be fine with them. Mangel is petrified, and grabs Monica’s coat as she walks away. He begs her to stay, but she is on her way. The pimp pulls out a pistol and informs Mangel that he’ll be fine with them. Now, what does he want to be first, he asks; their old lady of their restroom? “Or do you just wanna die?” asks Eve.

Another job well done. Monica asks the almost-naked Captain what happened to him. He tells her that he got shot out of a gun by an explosive bullet. She’s tempted to make him walk around in this state all the time. “Because I’m so hot?” he replies, flashing a winning smile. “Because you look so damn stupid,” replies Monica. The Captain asks why everyone thinks he’s stupid. Space aliens thought he was cool once. Monica comes back with the reminder that some scientist guy thought Aaron would be useful. As Aaron whisks Tabitha and Elsa into the Shockwave Rider through the red gunk, Monica turns away from the Captain. “Did you hear gunshots?” she asks.

Characters Involved: 

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

Officer Mac Mangel

Numerous Beyond Corporation robots

The Ultra Samurai Seed

Frightened locals

Anna, Eve, Molly and their pimp

Drug dealer

(in flashback)

The Captain

Two small green aliens, Spa-Fon and Squa-Tront

Story Notes: 

The prostitutes, their pimp and the drug dealer were all messed with by Mangel in the previous issue.

Leprechauns are of Irish origin. They are mythical male elves, which are often depicted wearing the green of Ireland. One belief is that leprechauns have knowledge of the whereabouts of hidden gold. This can only be revealed if the leprechaun is captured and interrogated for its location. One can see how a drunken Captain could be confused.

The writer reminds the audience that dragging insane, corrupt police officers who change into giant killer robots into an alleyway and shooting them a lot is very bad and not the Marvel way. It’s also still illegal in most states.

Aaron Stack was created by Dr. Abel Stack along with many other robots for the US Army, first appearing in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8.

Issue Information: 
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