Speedball has been declared an anomaly in time and space TWICE, but only Timeslip remembers both times. At least the Guardians of the Galaxy only wanted to take him away, now the Sphinx has come in to pick up where they left off and flat out demands Speedball's death! And then there's the matter of Kyle Grobe who crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 as a living mechanical being to consider. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Nobody of the arachnid persuasion appears in this issue, but in order to understand the entire story since the Scarlet Spider's membership you need it, so we made an exception.)
1947. Two policemen are called out to Carlos Juarez's farmhouse by his concerned family out East (you might remember Carlos as the farmer who came across Kyle last issue). They discover the basement lights are on and find Kyle amongst an array of equipment with Carlos' remains at his feet. The cops decide to take him, but Kyle, calling himself Advent now, rapidly ages them to bones before they can. Advent returns to his equipment where he receives a message from himself from the future warning him about a possible glitch in his plans: the New Warriors.
1996. The Sphinx attacks Speedball, citing him as an anomaly in time and space that threatens to unravel the very fabric of reality. The Warriors, taken by surprise, try to regroup as they figure out why Sphinx, whom they helped recently, would turn on them like this. But, Speedball isn't going down without a fight. He attacks Sphinx who easily bats him away and sends him for a crash landing somewhere in a New Jersey train yard.
The Sphinx prepares to do what he must to Speedball just as Turbo comes to the rescue, sending him flying. Powerhouse joins the fight as Sphinx launches a train engine at them, which serves as a nice distraction to get his hands back on Speedball. The rest of the Warriors land but Sphinx is more than a match for them.
Meanwhile, up in orbit near the Earth, Garthan Saal aka Nova Omega (Richard Rider's replacement thanks to his act of insubordination towards the Nova Corps) continues on with his assignment to map the stars in that sector of space. However, his work is interrupted by a transmission of the battle below that could lead to a major environmental disaster. Nova takes off towards Earth and arrives in time to see Turbo flying up unconsciously towards him. Using his powers to slow her down so he can catch her, she fills him in as they fly back down to rejoin the battle.
Nova tries to talk to Justice, but he's a little too busy dealing with Sphinx's blasts to listen. Nova decides to can the chatter and focus on Sphinx as well, but despite all his power is easily smacked aside. Justice tries to ask Timeslip if she's seen any way to prevent her prevailing vision from happening, but all she can say is the event is getting closer. Justice tells her to leave, to try and change things so that Speedball won't be killed. He also asks Firestar to put herself at risk and unleash everything she's got at Sphinx (and in case you gleamed over the past recaps, Firestar's power threatens to make her sterile).
Turbo speeds away with Timeslip just as the train yard explodes. Turbo quickly drops Timeslip off in Battery Park before turning around to return to the fight. Unfortunately, Sphinx teleported away in time and all Firestar did was set off a series of electrochemical explosions that threaten to release high levels of toxic radiation. Nova uses his powers to remove the threat, but gets a page he asked for to return to his ship and receive a transmission from the Worldmind. Orders are orders, and he takes off back for his ship.
Sphinx reappears and grabs Speedball. The Warriors make one last attempt to stop him, but it's not enough. Speedball is blown across the river into Battery Park where Timeslip runs over to him. Speedball is dying, but there is one last thing she can do for him as he touches her head. The Warriors arrive to find them, but are confused as Timeslip has no idea who any of them are before she passes out. Sphinx arrives for parting words and to beg forgiveness before disappearing once again, leaving the Warriors to stand over the body of their fallen teammate.
An action-packed issue that refuses to let up. I said last issue that I'd refrain from critiquing the story until it's end, but there are some elements here I can comment on. For instance, the involvement of Nova Omega was completely pointless. He saves Turbo, saves the team from toxic poisoning, and does NOTHING against Sphinx before taking off again. Also, it was a little convenient that Speedball crash lands right where Timeslip was in order for her to reach him first. 360 degrees of directions Speedball could have been sent, and he was sent right to her general area. A little bit contrived. Also, last issue it was declared as being the holiday season in 1995. This issue has the story taking place in February of 1996. Unless there was another time event that went undocumented, that's a bit of a continuity glitch there.
3 Webs. Lost points for an unnecessary team-up, some poor continuity between issues, and playing up the odds to make a story work.