Last Hero Standing #4

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Jeff Caplan (E-Mail)


Loki's malicious plan to destroy the heroes of MC2 has been put in motion, pitting the heroes against their own. Sides have been taken and a battle has broken out between the heroes previously kidnapped by Loki and those that were unaffected.

Story Details

The issue starts out in downtown New York, with Stinger coming between the two groups of heroes to mediate. She tells them there's no reason to fight, and Spider-Man disagrees, stating that Darkdevil belongs behind bars and commenting on the Hulk's menace. Loki watches from the sidelines in his astral form, content with the results of his manipulations. The Hulk leaves, saying that something is wrong here and that he knows "just the guy to puzzle it out." Loki watches on and follows. Meanwhile, upon the Hulk's exit, Spider-Man suggests they make a list of potential menaces like the Hulk and take them out. Others affected by Loki's magic agree, while Stinger is shocked at the mention of a blacklist.

Spider-Girl gets the drop on two trolls in Asgard, and Nova, J2, and Wild Thing join in the fray. As Captain America goes to retrieve his mighty shield, he is attacked from behind a by a troll. Thunderstrike takes the troll down, and Spider-Girl offers a hand to a fallen Cap. He politely declines, but admits that his ribs might be broken. Thunderstrike advises him to take it easy, while J2 discovers a offshore. Thunderstrike points to their next destination...Asgard.

At the Avengers' compound, the heroes discuss their lapses in memory since the kidnapping. The heroes affected by Loki's magic deny being angrier and more aggressive since being captured. Doc Magus recalls the events leading to his capture and comes to the conclusion that his kidnapper was Dr. Strange. Meanwhile, at Strange's sanctuary, the doctor is attacked by Loki, who seeks to incapacitate the sorcerer before he can be revealed as the culprit behind the abductions. Strange is knocked out by Loki's magic, and at that moment, the Hulk busts in. Seeing the unconscious sorcerer on the floor, Hulk threatens Loki, who in turn casts his spell onto the green goliath.

Arguing all the way, the rest of the heroes make their way to Dr. Strange's, only to be attacked by the Hulk upon arrival. The Hulk tears through the heroes with ease, taking out Freebooter and Darkdevil before dismantling Mainframe. Stinger suggests they evacuate the civilians out of the area, but Wolverine and Spider-Man disagree, saying if they don't have the sense to run, they aren't contributing to the gene pool. Meanwhile, the Vision and Doc Magus look after the spellbound Dr. Strange, who wonders why Doc Magus can't see through Loki's magicks.

Back in Asgard, as our heroes walk through the streets, Captain America announces that he needs to rest, and that he'll catch up later. Nova callously informs him that he's leaving him there, and Spider-Girl comments on Nova's bad attitude. Thunderstrike assures Cap that he'll get medical attention, and Thor promptly lands on the scene. The thunder god greets his former teammate, and Cap informs him of the situation with Loki.

The Hulk, on the other hand, continues to beat the crap out of our heroes in NYC, taking out Bluestreak, Argo and Scarlet Witch easily. He then pounds on Wolverine, and grabs Spider-Man by the bionic leg to swing him around like a rag doll. Mary Jane watches her husband get pummeled on the news, and I'm sure that's pretty upsetting.

An Asgardian known as the Vizier tends to Captain America's wounds and informs him that his warrior days are behind him. Cap puts his chainmail on over his bandages, thanks the Vizier for his advice, but tells him that he has a duty to complete his mission.

The Hulk continues his rampage as he takes out Cyclops. The Vision tries to stop the Hulk by solidifying his hands inside the Hulk's chest, but the Hulk simply breaks them off inside him. The Thing attacks, but gets his bionic arm ripped off by the Hulk. Stinger wonders if they're going to have to kill the Hulk to stop him. Our heroes in Asgard watch the battle from a mystic pool and, as Thor swears to stop the Hulk, Captain America wonders who among them will survive the upcoming battle.

General Comments

Well, DeFalco, you've completely lost me. This entire issue consists of a huge super hero battle that, quite frankly, doesn't pique my interest. So the Hulk's on a rampage-again. Heroes fighting heroes over a misunderstanding-for what I believe to be literally the gazillionth time in comic book history. And over the course of the issue, we go from a super hero battle in Times Square to...a super hero battle in front of Dr. Strange's house? They could have saved the paper from this issue and just gone directly to issue five.

Captain America's weakness in battle is a disappointing subplot, as nothing has changed from the beginning of the series. Captain America can no longer cut it in battle, and we've seen this coming the entire time. With only one issue left in the story, it's not hard to tell where Cap is going to end up at the conclusion of the series.

Overall Rating

One web, because there's only one issue left, and at least THAT makes me happy.

 Posted: 2005
 Staff: Jeff Caplan (E-Mail)