Vengeance #1

Issue Date: 
September 2011
Story Title: 
Broken Eggs

Joe Casey (writer), Nick Dragott (artist), Brad Simpson (colorist), Rus Wooton (letterer), Gabriele Dell’Otto (cover), Rachel Pinnelas (assistant editor), Tom Brennan (editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor),Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

In 1944, Hitler and the Red Skull plan a secret eugenics program. In the present, the Teen Brigade is a clandestine group of youngsters, both super-powered or not, who secretly do superheroics. One of their number, Ultimate Nullifier, protects Stacy X and Sugar Kane from Magneto, although they all soon learn realize their altercation was based on a misunderstanding. His teammate Miss America, with the help of former X-Men Angel Salvadore and Barnell Bohusk, frees a teenage Inbetweener from a silo in Nevada. The semi-conscious boy prophesies a disaster. In New York, Kyle Richmond meets with a former SHIELD agent while his Defenders defeat the Dragon Man.

Full Summary: 

Three months ago:
An old man in a bar watches Steve Rogers trying to calm a riot on TV. The other patrons discuss what the hell Rogers is wearing and whether these super teams are all useless. Pretty much, the old guy announces and decides he can’t do nothing anymore, not when they are all staring down the barrel of no future.

A trendy dance club:
A young man with spiky white hair with striking tattoos on both his arms, wearing a bleach tunic reminiscent of Captain America, is dancing with both pop starlet Sugar Kane and former X-Man Stacy X. Stacy asks him if he recognizes her friend. She is famous. She wants to take this to the next level. He up for it?

They are unaware that they are being watched by a white-haired gentleman in a purple suit…

1944, Germany:
Adolf Hitler addresses a subordinate, explaining these are trying times. They have eliminated the rot that existed within. Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators are no more. Skorzeny awaits his fate.

He is wary of the Americans in France and the resistance uprising there. They will destroy all bridges over the Seine and devastate the city. But it is not these things that preoccupy his thoughts… The Red Army moves on Poland. For the Russians, this is but an opening salvo. They have a renewed confidence that suggests a greater agenda. They think the Germans are weak. They are far from weak!

Schellenberg has confirmed the secret eugenics program to tip the scales of human evolution in their favor. They are close to achieving their goals and that must be dealt with. He has decreed that they be eradicated. It should be as though they never existed.

The man he is talking to is a soldier of the Reich. Perhaps the greatest they have ever produced. He knows he can count on him. There is no other who could fulfill this assignment. This will be their proudest achievement. The Red Skull accepts with pleasure.

the present:
Nevada, Groom Lake adjacent:
A young woman in a star-spangled outfit walks in and looks down. Spooky, she remarks. Are they sure this is the right place? Per comm., she is told they have their very own Deep Throat and he’s been right on the money about everything else so far.

Scanners are reading some weird interference about twelve levels down, Barnell Bohusk, formerly the X-Man Beak, tells her. He is in a computer room with lots of other young people, among them his girlfriend Angel Salvadore, also a former mutant.

The young woman asks if anyone has checked if the automatic security is still functional. She hates surprises. In that case, remind her to cancel her Sweet Sixteen party, Angel retorts. They are showing her nothing clear, but why the hell would she be worried anyway? She is Miss America, isn’t she?

Damn straight, she replies and jumps down the silo. And that’s Miss America Chavez to her!

Looking at the blueprint, Beak tells her to take the silo all the way down. Follow it as it levels out and it should take her right to--

To a big-ass door. Miss America interrupts. Beak warns her of a sort of timelock. Give him a minute to— Never mind, she replies and uses super-strength to tear it open.

She’s in, now what? Detention unit #AA-23, she is told. The only one with an actual occupant. Barnell remarks this one has a sonic frequency lock. Only sound at a certain register opens it. Can she whistle? However, Miss America again opens it the old-fashioned way.

Lying inside is a young boy, half completely white, half black. Score another one for Mr. Deep Throat, Barnell mutters. Angel points out it doesn’t sound as good when he says it.

America kneels down next to the unmoving boy, noting the hair on her neck is tingling. He’s not radioactive or anything? Angel orders her to grow a pair. The clock is ticking!

America lifts him up. The boy mutters: two sides… same coin… it’s all out of balance… lucky thirteen… they’re coming… all of them…

Angel hopes their fearless leader returns from his play time in time to figure out what to do with this.

An apartment in Beverly, Wilshire. Stacy X uses her mutant power to pleasure Sugar Kane. Stacy asks the young man if he has any special talents he feels like sharing. He’s holding back, he replies, watching the two women.

Suddenly the window pane shatters. Magneto is floating outside. They claim they’ve come so far, he scoffs. There are even moments he’s inclined to agree. And then he hears whispers of something like this. This sordid behavior… they should be ashamed of themselves!

Stacy snaps at him to mind his own business. He tells her that her behavior is his business. She is neglecting her responsibilities to her—

And here he thought irony was dead, the young man remarks. Then again he doesn’t go for fads. He’s always dug the classics. He draws a futuristic gun and aims it at Magneto, who tells him unless he is a mutant, this is not his struggle. He is here to maintain a standard of order. By any means necessary. He magnetically slams them around and warns them this is just a parlor trick. There are so few of them now. They cannot afford such vulgar displays of promiscuity. They are counterproductive to their ultimate aims.

He’s out here to recruit another round of Evil Mutants? Stacy asks. Despite her reputation she tends to side with the angels or rich. Her ignorance is only matched—he begins.

They young man shouts he really doesn’t know who he is and fires his weapon. Magneto is hit and realizes horrified his powers are neutralized. The boy spells it out, adding he couldn’t get rid of his prudishness though. Not surprised he doesn’t know him. He keeps things on the D-L as much as possible. But he is badass, so Magneto really should know his name. Ultimate Nullifier at his service.

Angrily, Magneto goes for his throat. Ultimate Nullifier slaps away his arm, telling him not to break a hip. He fires one of his weapons at Magneto, who finds his powers are gone. The women leave.

Magneto berates the boy and urges him to finish him. Let him get him a tissue, Ultimate Nullifier mocks. He’s here to protect the snake girl. So is he, Magneto replies. It’s not the first time such scandal has involved his kind. There are so few of them left. And everyone matters.

Ultimate Nullifier clarifies that he was protecting her from Magneto. So he inferred, Magneto replies wryly. He has adapted to the times. But as he said, do as you will.

Ultimate Nullifier realizes Magneto has taken a break from his whole terrorist stance. And he figured all that Kate Kildare crap was just a PR two-step. Go figure!

Magneto realizes the boy is not as brash as he lets on and then notices his power is coming back. Ultimate Nullifier explains the trick was temporary and adds he is not a mutant. Magneto warns him, should they meet again his tricks will not save him. Whatever he says, UN replies and sends a text message to Angel he’s coming back. Time for a band meeting …

in New York City, Kyle Richmond aka the former Defender Nighthawk meets with former SHIELD agent Fritch, who tells him Joaquin Pennyworth vouched for Richmond. He warns him about highly sensitive information. Kyle learns someone, another ex-SHIELD agent, he presumes, is feeding classified intel to some third party. More of a homeland security matter, Kyle figures. Fritch replies the chain of command is a bit confused right now. With Rogers back in the outfit, he doesn’t know. He prefers his national security heads when they don’t wear masks. No offense. Kyle tells him he gave up on it.

Fritch continues this is something stranger than stealing secrets. Maybe he and Joaquin can peel the onion. Speaking of, what is Joaquin up to these days?

Joaquin is Kyle’s successor as Nighthawk, and with his team of Defenders (She-Hulk, Son of Satan and Krang) is fighting the Dragon Man.

Returning to the Teen Brigade’s HQ, Ultimate Nullifier complains what the world is coming to. He thought Magneto was the oldest of old-school. How and when does he turn out to be a good guy? Just because they went to school there doesn’t mean she and Barnell get an alumni newsletter, Angel remarks. They are out of the club, remember?

He’s well aware, he remarks as he sinks down into a comfy chair. She and Barnell still hold the title ‘power couple’ around here. Maybe start acting like one.

Barnell protests that’s not fair. Angel tells him to let Ultimate Nullifier pout. Another misunderstood teenager screaming at the world from behind his video game chair.

If only, Ultimate Nullifier remarks. It’s just getting tougher to do this gig in secret but that’s the deal, right? So much for glamorizing subversion. No more moaning, he decides and jumps up, it’s about tradition, right? Get ready for another history lesson, Angel mutters.

Ultimate Nullifier continues they don’t live in the big towers and the Baxter Buildings and whatever other swanky places they live in, do they? They do what they do and no one ever knows. That’s how these crews have always done this. Except of course for good ol’ Rick Jones…

Rick Jones orders the Teen Brigade to go ahead and send an encoded message to the Fantastic Four. He met them once when ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross tried to recruit them to take down the Hulk. This time they can actually help him!

Sure, Jones and his guys got the glory. How many Teen Brigades have existed since the First World War, nine? Ten maybe. Each one committed to aiding the heroes of their era without hem ever being aware of just how much happens behind the scenes. They are just the latest iteration.

Angel yawns and announces she‘ll check in with the real powerhouse of the gang. Ultimate Nullifier asks why Chavez isn’t back by now. Ms. America checks in. Nullifier asks if she’s got the package. Belligerently, she warns him not to start with her. She thinks the package is a lot more than they bargained for.

No more masters, the semi-unconscious boy in her arms mutters. The Ankh is dead. Disparate rivers of chaos merging into one…

Elsewhere, a stony-faced being announces his idol screams across the extra dimensions… wailing decay… and so he awaits his sacrifice.

In New York, the Defenders’ work is done. She-Hulk asks for Damage Control. Nighthawk calls Richmond, who tells them he has something else lined up for them.

In Latveria, Doom’s adoptive son Kristoff Vernard has been crowned ruler and wants a more appropriate celebration, something in which all of Latveria can participate.

The new Young Masters of Evil have new backing and plans to recruit.

The boy warns America that out in the open they can find them …The Brak’mhüd! Black demons suddenly surround them…

Characters Involved: 

Angel Salvadore, Barnell Bohusk, Miss America Chavez, Ultimate Nullifier and others (Teen Brigade)
Sugar Kane
Stacy X

Kyle Richmond (former Nighthawk)
Krang, Nighthawk IV, She-Hulk, Son of Satan (Defenders)

Unnamed man (Larry Young)
Fritch (former SHIELD agent

Kristoff Vernard

in 1944:
Adolf Hitler
Red Skull

on TV:
Steve Rogers

Story Notes: 

At the moment, Steve Rogers is not Captain America.

Stacy X and Sugar Kane are both characters from Joe Casey’s Uncanny X-Men run. This is the first verification that Stacy didn’t lose her powers on M-Day.

Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler. Skorzeny was a high ranking Nazi official.

Deep Throat was the anonymous source in the Watergate scandal, later revealed to be FBI Agent Mark Felt.

Beak and Angel were students at Xavier’s school but both lost their powers on M-Day. They served on the New Warriors for some time later before joining the Teen Brigade.

Richmond gave the Nighthawk identity to Pennyworth in Casey’s Defenders limited series.

Originally, the Teen Brigade were shown to be recruited by Rick Jones from young amateur radio enthusiasts in order to obtain and divulge strategic information about safety hazards, most notably those involving the Incredible Hulk. Ultimate Nullifier hints here that the team has a more complex history.

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