Nextwave #5

Issue Date: 
July 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: 

As Dirk Anger throws up into a toilet, he is informed that Nextwave are heading to one of Beyond Corporation’s War Gardens in Wyoming. Dirk puts out the order to be there, waiting for them. Nextwave arrive at the garden to discover it is where Beyond Corporation grow the Human Resource Operatives that keep attacking them. They begin to destroy the crops, only to see the Aeromarine uncloak itself next to them. Dirk has several weapons up his sleeve. The first is the Armageddon Horn, which rips up the fields as the team scatters. He follows this up with Drop Bears, which are like cute Koalas, only with a lot of sharp teeth and mouths that open very wide. He then orders a flock of soldiers dressed in pterosuits to attack Monica and finally drops Samurai Batch 23; a squad of robots that look like samurai. Nextwave are under pressure under this continued assault, and Monica is caught with a quantum drill bit fired from one of the pterosuited soldiers. She screams, as Dirk Anger laps it up.

Full Summary: 

(the Aeromarine)

On board the headquarters of the organization known as H.A.T.E (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort), General Dirk Anger has his eyes staring firmly at the contents of a toilet bowl. His assistant enters the bathroom and asks what he’s doing. He replies that he’s purging. Dirk hasn’t been the same since the Nextwave special squadron went rogue. He tells his assistant that he’s engaged in important directorial anti-terrorist business… but really he’s hurling.

He asks what she wants. She nervously informs him that she has a report from long-term strategy. The Nextwave squad is following the Beyond Corporation’s Marketing Plan very closely, in their attempts to sabotage their weapons testing.

The Beyond Corporation is H.A.T.E.’s armorer and benefactor. They used to be a terrorist cell called S.I.L.E.N.T. It’s all a scam to blow up large chunks of America with exotic weaponry. The Nextwave squad found out and then discovered that Dirk Anger didn’t care. They are on a mission to put this exotic weaponry, known as Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction, out of business.

His assistant adds that they appear to be en route to one of Beyond’s War Gardens. Dirk asks which one, and is told that it’s number six: Wyoming. They’re some eight hours away. Dirk asks, assuming they open up all engines to a hundred percent, for her to compute their e.t.a. She reckons it’ll be a hair under seven hours. He asks her to give the orders now. They can be waiting for them this time. He flushes, and the Aeromarine rockets towards Wyoming, burning hapless birds as it rockets through the sky.

(the Shockwave Rider)

Nextwave’s transport, stolen from H.A.T.E., flies over a desert region carrying the five members of Nextwave. It comes to a long fence, behind which are square miles of territory belonging to Beyond Corporation. Monica informs them that they call it a War Garden. God only knows what that means, but it sounds like it’s worth blowing up. Aaron Stack is piloting the Rider, and sees with his own robotic eyes the scale of the problem. Monica asks him to park their craft, and he does so amidst rows and rows of plant life.

They exit the craft and take a look around. The plants are actually budding Human Resource Operatives. Beyond is growing an army like crops. Tabitha finds it amazing that they can actually grow plants into things that can think and react and try to kill them. She also finds it really sad. Even the Captain finds it a tad uncomfortable. He wonders what they should do. Elsa smacks her staff against her palm and a shovel appears at the end. She thinks they should dig for victory, and she’s serious. She forces the shovel into one of the plant stems, and it collapses, releasing a green mist that Monica reckons stinks like her mom’s cooking.

Monica figures that the more of these things they can uproot, the fewer there are to try and cap them next time they do a gig. “Slash and burn, people.” Tabitha is cut out for a task like this, and uses her power like a flamethrower, working her way through the plants. “I’m sorry broccoli murder dudes. You just grow up to be, like, too harsh, you know?” Elsa tells her she swears to god that nowhere on Earth do people talk like her. Monica calls for Aaron to do some work. He asks sarcastically if he should do her laundry, too. “You mean you don’t?” she replies.

Aaron thinks of himself as a superior robot intellect, but Monica tells him he’s ****. He’s the **** robot she ever heard of. The Captain agrees. He is a bit ****. Aaron becomes agitated, prodding the Captain in his chest with his finger. He reminds him that he was taken into space by the Celestials because he’s so **** great. “Space gods, interstellar travel, everything.” The Captain asks why he returned.


Aaron is standing among a semi-circle of gigantic Celestials. Arishem the Judge is at its center. He tells Aaron that he has traveled with them for three hundred and sixty cycles by his reckoning of time. Now there is something they have to tell him. “You are total ****.” Aaron is surprised by this, but Arishem adds that he really is a ****. They’ve taken a year of him, and they’re taking him back to the trashcan he calls a planet and dumping him there. Aaron turns away, upset, but Arishem says this kind of thing is exactly the kind of **** they’re talking about. Aaron asks them not to look. He doesn’t want them to believe that… even a robot can cry. Arishem is unmoved. “See what we mean? Complete and utter ****.” He makes the loser sign with his right thumb and forefinger as Aaron departs.


Aaron lies and tells them he decides he could do more among the fleshy ones. Monica replies that she’ll slap him if he keeps calling them fleshy ones. The Captain lifts an arm to keep the sun from his eyes and informs the others that he thinks they may have a problem. He adds that his generic set of super hero abilities includes a broader scale of vision. There’s something big out there, and pretty heavily electrified. In the sky, forks of lightning appear from nowhere, and the Aeromarine uncloaks itself. “Oh, ****,” says Monica.

On board the craft, Dirk Anger is at the wheel. It looks like the wheel of an old ship – in stark contrast to the rest of the bridge, which looks like a set from Star Trek. An assistant informs him that they’re deactivating the invisibility cloud. All stations report Condition Stomp-Circle readiness. “Moo hoo ha ha,” replies the insane general. He orders the Armageddon Horn deployed, and a large horn promptly appears from underneath the ship like a proboscis. Monica doesn’t know what it is, or does, but calls for her team to scatter. The horn emits an electrical discharge that tears up the ground as Nextwave run in all directions through the fields of broccoli people.

The Shockwave is hit, and as a result it crash lands into the field. Chewing his cigar and grinning, Dirk Anger orders the release of the Drop Bears. A couple of guys in the back empty small Koalas out of the back of the Aeromarine. One comments that it doesn’t seem right, and his colleague lets out a sob as the furry critters drop towards the ground.

Down below, Nextwave pick themselves up. Tabitha looks up and sees the bears coming towards them. “Awwww. Widdle cuddly bears.” Elsa thinks Dirk’s lost it. He chucks teddy bears out of his stupid flying boat and they’re expected to cry themselves into submission? Monica realizes they could be more dangerous than they look, and she orders Aaron to go to combat status. She asks Ellie if she’s armed. She replies that she’s got two Uzis and a shovel. It means she can shoot things and bury them afterwards. Tabitha continues watching the bears drop, and once they’re within distance, she can see their mouths open wide bearing two rows of sharp teeth. “Widdle cuddly bears… of death!” she screams.

The bears attack Nextwave by chomping on them. Only Aaron is unfazed as the bear’s teeth shatter on his metallic frame. Monica changes into her photon form to zap some of them, and one of Dirk’s assistants informs him that she’s in the air. He gives the order to drop the Assault Pterosuit Flock. The flock’s leader orders them to start chewing on their Lizard Boom Sticks as they leap from the Aeromarine. They are grown men dressed as yellow pterodactyls. Monica sees them and thinks that they didn’t have to deal with this kind of thing in the Avengers.


Monica, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor look up to see their assailants. Monica blurts out that it’s the Gamma-Activated Bull Men from Beyond the Nineteenth Perimeter… and they’re naked. “Cover your eyes,” replies Cap, “Go back to Avengers Mansion and make me dinner.”


The memory doesn’t sit well with Monica. The flock swarms around her and fire something at her. She converts to her photon form to evade them, but one of the flock informs her that they’re not bullets. They’re quantum-tunnel drill bits. They’re everywhere and nowhere, existing in all states at once. They can even kill someone who’s converted their mass to photons. “Schrödinger’s death,” adds another. Meanwhile, the Captain rips a koala off Tabitha’s back. He hates teddy bears.


The Captain, as a young boy, goes to his room to look for his special bear. Inside, he finds his mother sitting on the bed, shining a torch at the bear, which has been hanged from the ceiling with a noose.


The Captain hurls the bear right over the nearby hill, and he asks Aaron to make himself useful. He converts his fingers into Swiss Army knife-like objects as Elsa continues to use her physical strength against the koalas. She then unleashes a volley of bullets from her Uzi, feeling just a pang of guilt for shooting the cute little things. Aaron cuts more bears from Tabitha, and the Captain notices that Monica is in trouble. He is about to give her some air support when he sees yet another form of attack from the Aeromarine.

A bullet shaped object drops into the field and opens up, throwing sharp objects in all directions. From inside, a squad of robots steps out, each wielding a sword. On board the craft, Dirk Anger is delighted, literally crying green gunk with excitement, as his plans come together. Samurai Batch 23 move in on Nextwave. Elsa reckons they beat her guns, so it’s now just her and a shovel. Tabitha asks Aaron to try and stop the Aeromarine from chucking this junk at them. She and Elsa will take care of the robots. Elsa asks if she’s ready for this. Tabitha replies that she used to do business with Cable and X-Force.


Cable is holding a really big gun amidst a scene of devastation. “Tabitha, quickly! To me my x-bait!” he calls. He needs help lifting his gun due to an imminent techno-organic prolapse.


Tabitha reckons she’s handled worse things than robots with big swords. She summons a plasma bomb and prepares to fire. Monica uses an infrared stab to take out a pterosuited soldier, but is caught in the shoulder with one of the quantum drill bits. She screams in agony. At the wheel of the Aeromarine, Dirk Anger is delighted at having got first blood. He mocks Nextwave for laughing at him when they should have been begging him not to kill them.

Characters Involved: 

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

Dirk Anger and his assistant

H.A.T.E. personnel and troops

(in flashback)

Aaron Stack

Celestials – including Eson the Searcher, Ziran the Tester, Arishem the Judge and Nezarr the Calculator

Captain America, Iron Man, Monica Rambeau, Thor (all Avengers)

The Captain and his mother


Story Notes: 

A special edition of this issue was produced. It was black and white and came with some crayons so you could color it in yourself. It was three times the price, and called the Crayon Butchery Variant.

Aaron Stack was taken into space by the Celestials in X-51 #12. The scene in which he cries lampoons the Vision crying in Avengers (1st series) #58, though he was crying at being accepted into the Avengers, not being rejected by Celestials.

What a Lizard Boom Stick does is unclear. Maybe it’s to stop the soldier’s ears from popping.

Issue Information: 
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