Comics : Marvel Comics Presents (Vol. 2) #3

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This story is part of an Arc: "Vanguard"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

Omega Flight was formed to combat the steady stream of super villains entering Canada during the madness of Civil War. Made up of U.S.Agent, Sasquatch, Arachne, and Guardian, they protect Canada from such threats as Tentakill and Raptore. They may be a bit overqualified.

The new Guardian, Michael Pointer, is having trouble controlling his powers. They seem incredibly unreliable which might have something to do with his unpredictable emotions. After the collective mutant powers of all the de-powered mutants on Earth entered him, he destroyed his home town in Alaska, killing everyone he ever knew. Now in the Guardian suit and being forced to pay for his crimes, the Canadian government is doing their best to help him through his psychological issues. USAgent, the resident jerk on the team, doesn't like the situation very much.

In Detail...

"The Amex"
Marvel Comics Presents (Vol. 2) #3 (Story 1)
Jan 2008 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Arachne Appears in Story #3
Arc: Part 3 of "Vanguard"
Editor:  John Barber
Writer:  Marc Guggenheim
Artist:  Dave Wilkins, Francis Tsai
Cover Art:  Mike Deodato, Jr.
Colorist:  Tony Washington
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Review

We finally get to see some members of Omega Flight who aren't U.S.Agent and Guardian in this one. We even get to see the Canadian member! Sasquatch and Arachne are searching for the elusive Tentakill through a random forest in Canada. They track Tentakill to a small cabin where an odd man in a costume answers the door. Arachne brilliantly reveals she's with Omega Flight when she deduces he isn't Tentakill, apparently not realizing some other guy in a costume might be super villain too. Turns out the cabin is a nest of supper villains who don't plan on going down without a fight. When Sasquatch rips off the roof to reveal the specific bad guys inside, it's then you realize they don't have a chance against the two Omega Flight members. For the life of me, I can't say who a single one of those villains are, therefore: they lose. Badly.

Back at "Omega Flight Headquarters", Agent Brown asks about the progress with Pointer. Apparently it isn't going very well as Pointer is at his limit, unable to deal with his new powers and his fragile psyche, threatening to tear him apart. As they talk Pointer is haunted by a TV that replays the destruction of his home town over and over. His doctor is still hopeful, but a balance between the two needs to be reached.

An unknown woman who looks as though she was drained of life is slowly put on a stretcher and hauled away. There isn't much that can be said about her that wouldn't be guesswork, but she has some link Pointer's powers being able to function. When he used them in a previous part, she would writhe in pain. Now that she's dead, it's hard to say what will happen with all of that or what it means just yet.

U.S.Agent and Agent Brown watch the super villains from today's catch get hauled in to be taken to S.H.I.E.L.D. U.S.Agent is a little disappointed Tentakill isn't one of them and, surprise(!), acts like a jerk to Agent Brown. On their way out, Raptore gets loose and is silenced by Sasquatch's fist. As the villains leave, the unknown woman is covered up and this chapter comes to a close.

In General...

I'm a fan of anthologies, and a long serialized storyline is a staple of them. Because of the number of different stories I've read this way, I suppose I'm a bit more forgiving of a chapter or two that doesn't really go anywhere. In this story we get some exposition and a chance to see some characters we haven't gotten a chance to since the story began. With that in mind, by the third part of a twelve part story, a little more direction would certainly help.

However, there still remains the question of the quality of the story itself. Anyone who's read my Omega Flight reviews knows I'm not a huge fan of Michael Pointer, but I did enjoy the original Omega Flight mini-series. In spite of my disinterest in the character, Weapon Omega is still a fairly interesting story. By bringing in the other two members of Omega Flight who are a bit more likable, the story is a little more engaging, but they don't have much of a purpose in it so far. You could say the same about USAgent, but there are hints of something possible coming up for him in the future. By three parts in, I think the story could have a clearer explanation of each character's role, and where this story is heading outside of Pointer's mental health.

The art in this chapter was as good as the last two, and that is to say, pretty solid. Not fantastic, but it fits the story nicely. The extra time seems to have gone to having a single artist put down the pencils and inks and the effect seems to be something that really meshes well. It'd be nice to see some environments that weren't military building innards or random forests in Canada, but that's more of a problem with the plot then the art.

I get the impression that the Canadian government is going to be in the wrong in this one. A woman dieing at "Omega Flight Headquarters" (brilliant name by the way) seems more like Department H of the old days. I'm guessing U.S.Agent might be the one taking them down, and if that's the case, it's a horrible and annoying reversal of the Canadian/US relationship from the original mini-series. I should be fair though and wait to see how this pans out.

Overall Rating...

The plot doesn't have as much direction as I'd like it to by now, and the focus is on characters who are just as interesting and less likable then the ones on the periphery. Still, it had a villain named Raptore in it, that is always a nice bonus. I'd make it a quarter web up there if I could, but I recognize the madness of such precision.