Slingers #9

Background

Last issue.

Dusk and Ricochet rescued Hornet from a rat and human creature calling it's self the Griz. It had been a construction worker named Mac Garrity, whom Hornet had saved from suicide. Later the Griz was reassembled by it's mutant followers and reawakened.

Prodigy returned to crime fighting, but caused a gangbanger to be shot by a stray bullet. He carried her to hospital, hoping to save her.

Story 'Loose Ends And Lost Boys'

Seven years ago.

A young Johnny Gallo was leaving a grocery store with his mother when he sensed a runaway car behind them. He dodged the vehicle as it slammed into the shopping cart. His mother was stunned at her son's superhuman agility, and her fear was confirmed. She had been dreading this moment from the moment he was born. Johnny had inherited his father's eyes, but something very different from his mother. Before Johnny had returned from the scene of the near car collision, his mother was dead. She had been killed by an armored duo that scolded her for hiding him from the world. Johnny arrived to see a crowed gathered around her.

In Central Park, Ricochet and Hornet were doing more training. Hornet blasted Ricochet's disks out of the air but Ricochet's heart wasn't in it. Dusk arrived and Ricochet was indifferent.

Over the city, a robotic pair calling themselves "Nanny" and "Orphan-Maker" were discussing Ricochet. Nanny called him her second failure, and "Peter" (Orphan-Maker) to be her first.

Back in Central Park, Hornet was enjoying his training and Ricochet decided that he wanted to leave for the day. He told them it was his father's birthday, which confused Dusk, who knew that he didn't get along with his father. Ricochet explained that nothing was ever good enough for his old man. The older Gallo was out of work, so Johny decided to go to school. It wasn't good enough, so he got a job but it still wasn't enough. Sometimes he wanted to show up wearing his costume but he knew the old man would just say that there were better superheroes. Ricochet walked away, saying that his dad's birthday didn't make the old man happy either.

Hornet told Dusk to go after him, and he wouldn't stand in the way. Dusk didn't know what he meant. Alone, Ricochet wondered how he would even tell his dad about being a superhero. He pondered living in the park with the birds and homeless when his danger sense went off. He was ambushed by Orphan-Maker, who hit with a dust that knocked him out. Orphan-Maker didn't see why Ricochet was so special.

Johnny woke up in their aircraft, as Nanny reassured him that he was safe. He sarcastically asked she knew that she was an egg, which she thought was precious. She sympathized at how awful his life must have been, with an unsympathetic father. She blamed herself for not have retrieved him sooner but she was going to fix everything. She was going to make him a child again, where he could get all of the love and attention he needed. Meanwhile, Orphan-Maker was sent after Johnny's father. Johnny refused to let him die on his birthday, because his mother had also died on his dad's birthday. Johnny freed himself from his rope with a disk and threw it through the ship's controls. The ship crashed and Ricochet ran to his father's home, find his father asleep on the couch.

Orphan-Maker arrived and was quickly attacked by Ricochet. The intruder didn't like Ricochet but was going to obey Nanny's instructions to liberate him. All Ricochet cared about was that Orphan-Maker killed his mother. After being tossed away by Orphan-Maker, Ricochet taunted him that Nanny really wanted him. He dared him to kill his father, because they didn't like each other anyway. At least then Ricochet could be Nanny's favorite. Orphan-Maker left, telling him that he was her favorite and he deserved his father.

Johnny's dad stood behind him, saying he'd heard everything. Johnny confessed that he was a superhero and that his mother was dead because of him. His father didn't know what to say, other than the situation was a mess. His father began to tell him that there were stronger heroes out there, and Johnny went to his room without letting him finish. Laying in bed, he was surprised to see Prodigy coming through his window.

General Comments

I'm glad that the drama between Johnny and his father is moving forward. It wasn't going to drag on to forever, to an impossible degree, like a certain hero and his aunt. The story was pretty predictable: Johnny doesn't like his dad, and one villain is called Orphan-Maker. All of the Slingers are getting their individual character expanding issue.

Hornet made his acknowledgement of Dusk's attraction to Ricochet, so we'll see where that goes.

Easter Egg: Johnny's mother is buried next to Ben Parker.

Overall Rating

I was never an X-Men fan so I don't know anything about Nanny and Orphan-Maker but I like the idea. If I've heard right, they didn't last long as characters.