Young Allies #5

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 
Now, Not Tomorrow, part five: Windows and Walls

Sean McKeever (writer), David Baldeon (penciler), Sotocolor’s N. Bowling (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Sabino (letterer), David Lafuente & Morry Hollowell (cover artists), Lauren Sankovitch (editor), Tom Breevort (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)


Brief Description: 

A flashback reveals how Singularity was abducted from his home by the Superior and along with Aftershock, Mortar, Ember and Warhead, subjected to different types of radiation, which gave them their powers. Today, Superior has trapped Firestar, Gravity, Toro, Nomad and Arana, claiming that he did the Bastards of Evil a favor by transforming them, as they led such pointless lives. He rants for a while, before announcing that they have to dismantle society so that a new one can be born. With the truth revealed, Singularity attacks Superior, who responds by murdering him. Nomad manages to throw a phone at Superior’s head, causing him to free Firestar and the others. But before they can mount an attack, Aftershock attacks them. Firestar tells Gravity to keep Superior busy, while she takes on Aftershock. Gravity manipulates Mortar’s body, trapping Superior inside of her. Ember goes after Arana who is tending to the wounded Nomad, while Firestar leads Aftershock out of the abandoned building. Mortar is in pain with her body being manipulated by Gravity, who, it appears, is planning to kill Superior - until Toro stops him. Toro takes Ember out instead, before he picks up the unconscious Nomad, while Gravity and Arana regroup. Superior frees himself from Mortar, before Firestar flies down, and he starts to feel dizzy. Firestar has a lot of radiation around her, and she explains that she absorbed Aftershock’s powers, as it is radiation-based, which she can absorb - but now she has to release it somehow. Gravity flies her into space, and holds Firestar as she expels the radiation in spectacular display. They return to Earth, where they capture Aftershock and reunite with the others, who are tying up Ember and Mortar. Toro and Nomad share a moment, before the Thing, Captain America, Spider-Woman and Luke Cage arrive on the scene. The Thing has a device from Mr Fantastic which Superior, Aftershock, Mortar and Ember are put into to restrict them from using their powers. Spider-Woman mistakenly calls Arana Spider-Girl, but Arana just rolls with it decides that she is actually called Spider-Girl. Nomad introduces Captain America to Toro, while Luke Cage gives Firestar his direct contact details at Avengers Mansion. The Bastards are then taken away in a transport vehicle to the Raft. The Avengers leave, after Cap tells the younger heroes that they remind him of the Young Allies, and Nomad informs the others how back on her own world she had a team called the Young Allies, and suggests they make their alliance official, but Firestar, Gravity and Spider-Girl are not interested and go their separate ways. At the Raft, the Bastards of Evil are in their separate cells, and Superior boasts that he will free them, as there is a plan in motion at this very moment.

Full Summary: 

Flashback, five months ago
Summerlin, Nevada, ‘Heck of a game, Devin. Go get showered. We’re taking you out for pizza’ Devin’s father tells him as they get out of their car and enter their house through the garage. Shortly, Devin stands in front of his mirror with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. ‘Whatever, Steph. I’ve got you and our time last night to thank for that winning goal, so…’ Devin tells the girl he is talking to on the phone, unaware that a short, glowing, green person is watching him through his bedroom window, Devin tells Steph to come eat with them, and then they can see if it will work for tomorrow’s game.

Six days later, a naked Devin is trapped inside a tank of green fluid, all sorts of wires hooked up to it, and energy radiating around him. ‘Day six, hour four. Subject: Devin is awake’ a voice calls out, adding that Hawking radiation has produced no ill effects to date, and subject: Devin appears healthy. The glowing, green young man floats amongst five tanks, all with green fluid in them, other naked captives are trapped inside, their bodies changed according to the radiation they have been exposed to, which is listed on the tank, alongside their name and vital stats. The short green being declares that all subjects are responding as intended, and recommends to himself that he prepares the subjects for personal narrative implants. Devin looks on through the tank in horror.

‘Uh’ Devin Touhy a.k.a. Singularity utters as he looks up from where he lies on the ground. ‘- experiencing his telekinesis. It’s a simple ability, but infinitely potent once mastered. That said, I must admit… that is quite an impressive amount of force working against me at the moment’ Superior tells the four young heroes trapped before him - Greg “Gravity” Wills, Angelica “Firestar” Jones, Anya “Arana” Corazon and Benito “Toro” Serrao. ‘It’s called gravity, genius - as in, you know, my name?’ Gravity snaps, angrily. ‘Tch. Don’t be so self-involved. It’s not you to whom I was referring’ Superior responds. He explains that it is Toro, the bull boy. ‘I think I’ve upset him most of all with what I’ve done to your friend’ Superior explains.

Superior turns to Arana and remarks that since they have taken it upon themselves to undermine his creations, he feels it is only fair that he allows Nomad to bleed out while they remain helpless to stop it. ‘So it was you. You made them what they are’ Arana exclaims. Superior states that they led such pointless lives before he found them, and now they are known all over the world. He adds that he is really quite proud of his big brothers and sisters - his fellow bastards. ‘But they’re not bastards. They have families who love them -’ Arana begins. ‘I’m their family now. I love them. I love them more than those pitiful yuppies ever could’ he boasts. ‘Warhead. He died - he killed because of the lies you fed him. You’re a monster. A six year old monster’ Gravity declares.

‘I’m ten, actually. But I’m not monster; that’s the antiquated morality you cling to like a child in the dark with his favorite stuffed animal’ Superiority exclaims, frowning. ‘If you had the intellect to see the world as I do, you would be applauding my efforts instead of condemning them’ he explains, adding that they have to dismantle society so it can be born anew. ‘That’s it! I have heard enough of your crap!’ Singularity declares as he gets to his feet. ‘Singularity. If you would just -’ Superiority starts to say, ‘My name’s Devin, you creepy little freak!’ comes the response, as Singularity unleashes a powerful surge of energy, breaking the ground up around them. ‘Yeah, that’s right - I remember now! Danielle shot right through me and shocked the truth free! I’m not the son of Graviton!’ Devin exclaims. Tears stream down his face, he clenches his fists, ‘You had me begging for the approval of a man I never met! You made me into a remorseless killer!’ Devin shouts.

Nearby, Mortar and Ember have woken, ‘Are they fighting?’ Mortar enquires as her malleable form sweeps alongside Ember, who tells her that he doesn’t know. ‘I gave you purpose’ Singularity claims. ‘You ruined me! You ruined all of us with your tests and radiation!’ Devin responds. ‘You’re straining, Superior. I can feel it. Can’t do it, can you? Can’t keep the heroes in check and fight me’ Devin declares as Superior turns his attention fully towards him. ‘You’re right, Devin. I can’t fight it any longer’ Superior frowns in response, and announces that he won’t. With that, he releases a surge of energy towards Devin, tearing the boy apart with an disturbingly loud SHHLUKK. ‘Now that that bit of business is out of the way, where were -’ Superior begins, before someone throws a mobile phone at his head, knocking him over.

‘Gotcha, green guy’ Rikki “Nomad” Barnes exclaims as she gets to her feet. ‘He lost control! We’re free!’ Gravity calls out as the heroes drop to the ground. ‘Now you’re mine -’ Toro begins, but before he can strike, ‘Gotta go through me to get to the boss, scrufball! And that ain’t gonna happen!’ Aftershock declares as she fires a surge of energy at Toro, knocking him backwards. Firestar tells Gravity to keep Superior busy, as he can’t use his telekinesis if he can’t think straight. ‘Okay, but what are you -’ Gravity begins. ‘Do it!’ Firestar snaps. Mortar sweeps towards Superior and asks ‘Is it true what Singularity said? You made me into this - you intentionally -’ she snarls, but Superior tells her that now is not the time - ‘No, what are you?-’ Superior begins as Mortar’s quicksand-like body washes around him. ‘This isn’t her doing, freak boy…it’s all me!’ Gravity declares, controlling Mortar, he tells Superior that this is for all the misery and death he has caused. ‘Oh, nice, like play-doh’ Gravity smiles as manipulates mortar into engulfing Superior.

Nearby, Aftershock is thrown into the air as Firestar blasts her with a powerful surge of microwave energy. ‘Hey, phony - up for round two?’ Firestar calls out. Ember moves towards Arana who is checking on Nomad, Aww, so cute. You think you’re gonna protect your girlfriend when the truth is you’re both good as fried -’ he tells them, before casting powerful flames towards them. But Nomad is able to throw up her photon shield to protect she and Arana. ‘Lo siento, gringo’ Arana tells her friend. ‘Oh hell no. Cheap. You are so cheap. Prepare to become fajita meat, you cockly little -’ Ember calls out, not finishing his sentence, as Toro appears behind him. At the same time, Aftershock chases Firestar, who flies higher up through the building. ‘Is that the best you’ve got? Electro would not be impressed’ Firestar calls back. ‘Stop talking!’ Aftershock shrieks.

‘P-please… please, it hurts… please stop’ Mortar pleads with Gravity as he continues to manipulate her body around Superior. ‘Is that what you were hoping to hear from those girls, Mortar? You know, when you were going to torture and execute them in front of millions?’ Gravity asks. ‘Why should I abide by the rules you refuse to follow? Why should I show you any mercy?’ Gravity shouts angrily, when suddenly, Toro puts a hand on Gravity’s shoulder. Gravity turns around to see Toro frowning at him. Suddenly, Firestar moans as she is struck hard by one of Aftershock’s energy blasts - so hard in fact that her long red wig falls off, and Firestar lands on the ground. ‘You really wanna see what I got, Firestar? Wanna see how much it takes for me to finally kill you?’ Aftershock asks. ‘Bring it, faker’ Firestar responds as she starts to sit up.

‘I almost kill them’ Gravity remarks to Arana, who tells him that if it is any consolation, Toro almost did the same to Ember. They look over to where Ember lies motionless beside a wall, and Toro starts to tend to Nomad’s injuries. Arana remarks that she gets the feeling that Toro has killed before. Suddenly, there is a scream from above, ‘What was -’ Arana begins. ‘That sounded like -’ Gravity starts to say, before he is pulled into the air. ‘You are a very bad person’ Superior tells Gravity. Free from Mortar, whose body washes about like waves beneath him. Superior tells Gravity that he would consider making him his brother, but that he is an adult, and he must be made an example of. ‘You were saying?’ Gravity asks as Superior seems a little confused. ‘Made - made a -’ he begins, before his eyes roll back, and he utters that he is dizzy.

Firestar swerves about, flying around Superior. ‘Firestar, what -?’ Gravity calls out, but she tells everyone to stand clear. Her flying has left microwave radiation trails and she points out that there is a lot of radiation flying around here, which should be enough drainage to keep the Bastards weak for a little while. ‘Firestar, what did you do?’ Gravity asks as he rushes over to Firestar, who stands, exhausted, and announces that she tested her theory on Aftershock first, pointing out that their powers are from excessive radiation poisoning, which is energy she can absorb and contain. ‘Yeah? Contain for how long?’ Gravity asks. ‘How much time do we have’ he declares. Firestar just looks at him anxiously.

Soon, Gravity streaks skyward, past the tall buildings, Firestar clings to him.  They reach space and Gravity declares that this is it - any higher and their lungs will freeze. ‘On my mark…’ Gravity begins, and in spectacular display, a brilliant burst of energy is expelled from Firestar. White hot light, pours skyward, as Gravity holds Firestar up. She appears to be in pain, so Gravity grabs her when she collapses, and he flies them back down to Earth, to the abandoned building. ‘Your powers are killing you?’ Gravity asks Angelica as she puts her wig back on. ‘Kind of. They gave me cancer. And they could again. I just have to be careful’ Angelica explains, her back turned to Gravity who asks her if she is okay. ‘Le’ts get her down below with the others’ Firestar suggests, referring to Aftershock, who Gravity is holding in the air. ‘Yeah, uh, okay…’ Gravity replies, before they fly down to a lower level, where Arana is using her webbing to tie Mortar and Ember up.

‘Hey. Got another one to tie up’ Gravity calls out. ‘Firestar! Are you -’ Arana begins, but Gravity tells her that she is good, and even gave his powers a temporary boast. ‘Never mind me, Nomad?’ Firestar asks. Nomad announces that she is okay, that her head bled worse than it bruised. ‘Yours?’ Toro asks as he hands Nomad a yellow disc. ‘Yes, thanks, Benito. Toro’ Nomad replies. ‘Benny’ Toro tells her. ‘Benny’ Nomad replies, when suddenly, ‘Aw, geez there, Gravity…’ someone calls out. Gravity and the others turn to see Captain America, the original Spider-Woman, Luke Cage and the Thing, a large piece of equipment carried on his shoulder, standing behind them. ‘…you sure can make yerself a mess, can’t ya?’ the Thing mutters. ‘Whoa’ Gravity utters. ‘Ya think?’ Arana remarks.

Shortly, ‘Ya flip this doohickie here and according ta Reed…insta-prison’ the Thing explains as he flicks a switch on the large piece of equipment, and energy beams pour from it, which surround Superior, Aftershock, Ember and Mortar in energy bubbles. ‘So, you’re an Avenger now, too, Ben?’ Gravity asks. ‘Eh…littla a this, littla a that, ya know how it is’ the Thing smiles. ‘No, no, I really don’t…’ Gravity replies. Spider-Woman goes over and shakes Arana’s hand, ‘So, you’re Spider-Girl’ she says. ‘Actually, I’m - well. Really, it’s - I - yes. I’m Spider-Girl’ Arana responds, while Nomad introduces Captain America to Toro. ‘He’s an old friend. Like, kinda’ Nomad explains. Luke Cage hands Firestar a card and tells her that next time she shouldn’t call Avengers Tower, but call Avengers Mansion, as there is no way he will blow her off. ‘Thanks, Luke’ Firestar replies.

The Bastards of Evil are loaded into a secure transport vehicle, and Lule announces that it is straight to the Raft for these little punks. ‘They ain’t getting away’ he adds. The Avengers climb aboard the hovercraft and Cap calls back ‘Fine work, all of you. Remidns me of the Young Allies back during the war’. He adds that they even had their own Toro, although her was smaller. The young heroes watch as the hovercraft takes off, and Nomad informs the others that back in her world, she made her own Young Allies team, sort of in honor of the original. ‘Kinda makes you think…’ her voice trails off. Arana looks at her, while Gravity smiles at Firestar. ‘What?’ Nomad asks as Firestar walks away, ‘No, uh-uh’ she declares, while Gravity announces that he is over this team thing. ‘Yeah, no way’ Arana calls back as she starts to walk away, too. ‘Que?’ Toro asks, confused.

And, in the Raft, Superior sits in his cell, ‘This was not a defeat’ he tells himself, adding that he thought it would be enough to open a window to what the future could hold. What it ought to hold, but that his eyes are truly open now and he can see that they need to do more, so much more, to wipe away the manufactured morality in which society slumbers. In another cell, a very angry Mortar moves her body like a wave, and in another, Aftershock sits, looking at her hands, where small sparks of energy suddenly appear. Superior tells his Bastards of Evil not to worry themselves, as they may be in prison, but that a prison is made of walls. ‘And if you look at any wall just right…’ his voice trails off, boasting that he will free them from this place, he will wase their confused minds and create new siblings for them. ‘This is no mere idle talk - this is a plan in motion. I stand by you now, not tomorrow. NOW’….

Characters Involved: 

Arana, Firestar, Gravity, Nomad IV, Toro (all Young Allies)
Captain America, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Thing (all Avengers)

Aftershock, Ember III, Mortar, Singularity, Superior (all Bastards of Evil)


In Flashback
Devin Touhy / Singularity
Danielle Blunt / Aftershock
Liana Feeser / Mortar
Jason / Ember
Singularity’s father

Story Notes: 

Captain America makes reference to the original Young Allies. This group consisted of the original Bucky and his four friends: Knuckles, Jeff, Tubby and Whitewash Jones. They were later joined by Toro. They had their own series in 1941 which lasted twenty issues for Timely Comics.

Nomad’s Young Allies team are from the Heroes Reborn world and appeared in Heroes Reborn: Young Allies mini series.

Although originally solicited as an ongoing series, this series is cancelled at issue #6. The team then appear in the Onslaught Unleashed mini series.

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