Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Earth 52 #8

Issue #8 begins with the team heading directly for Waller's compound in Belle Reeve to confront her after learning some rather disturbing information about themselves: they are (with the exception of Paradox and Myrmidon) Apokyliptian hybrids.

Meanwhile, on the way back, Necromancer nods off and has a dream, or at least what seems to be a dream. He finds himself in a hospital bed, though not the bed at the Belle Reeve facility, hooked up to medical equipment to monitor his condition. Looking around, he spots a pretty, though very pale, young woman across from him, offering a comforting smile just before he notices that his heart has flatlined just before waking up.

While the team stops in Washington to refuel the invisible helicopter, Fahrenheit is already on his way to Belle Reeve, having already split off from the team before they went to Zandia. He engages in a small fight with Task Force X, showing off his awesome powers by defeating the Top. However, once the situation cools off, he goes in to confront Waller, just before the rest of the team arrives. Heading straight in, they demand answers and Marathon sticks to his usual tactic: telekinetically strangling people.

Waller explains that they did not sign up for Project Fallback itself, but rather for an experimental program set up with the goal of using the metagene to cure terminal illnesses, which apparently all of the members of the team (again, with the exception of Paradox and Myrmidon) had. However, this was just a cover for Waller's true goals, making use of an Apokyliptian device that could bring dead people back to life, and increase their powers if they possessed the metagene (or if they were Homo Magi, in the case of the Necromancer).

Naturally, the team has some trouble coming to grasp with the idea that they have died, though for Necromancer the dream he had and the girl in it make a bit more sense now. Waller gives the group her files on the team and on the work they did, which is a bit suspicious, but they take what she offers and then leave, but not before Marathon throws Dr. Freeze (another member of Task Force X) out the window. And with that out of the way, the team decides to turn their efforts towards helping one of their own: Myrmidon.

Attempting to track down any leads as to his origins, the team heads to California's Magic Museum where they think there may be something that might help. A little searching of the museum finds a sextant and several teeth, the teeth are supposedly those of the dragon that Cadmus slayed. Something about all of this is nagging at Necromancer until he remembers the dream where his mother visited him, warning him to beware of the 'lost scion' and of the 'dragon's teeth'. Meanwhile, Myrmidon is simply planning to take the items and leave, despite the fact they belong to the Museum.

While they're discussing all this (or rather arguing), they are met by one of the museum curators: Dr. Helena Sandsmark, the mother of Wonder Girl. As is Myrmidon's way, he immediately begins hitting on her. The team speaks with her about the items and about Myrmidon and the possible connection, with the hope of being able to better examine the items. Necromancer takes a cursory glance over the items, noting that they are indeed magical in nature, but also protected by very powerful bindings, strong enough that he doubts he could dispell them.

After the museum closes, Dr. Sandsmark allows the team to examine the items. After Myrmidon touches the Sextant, it begins pointing in a very specific direction. Dr. Sandsmark believes that it is pointing towards Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons, a race of beautiful but fierce warrior women who, for the most part, kill any man that sets foot on their island. The only person to contact them outside of visiting would be Princess Diana, also known as Wonder Woman and ambassador of Themyscira, but she, along with the rest of the Justice League, have gone missing.

Dr. Sandsmark also mentions that Myrmidon looks familiar to her, seeming to share some of the same qualities of Ares. Meanwhile, no one is aware of the fact that upon touching the items, someone has been speaking inside Myrmidon's head, a very rare occurance. The team decides that if Ares is somehow involved, and possibly using Myrmidon, then they should investigate in the hopes of thwarting whatever plan Ares might have in mind. Once everyone has agreed, the team takes the items and heads for their helicopter, only to be confronted by Black Adam.

He offers for them to join him in a place that will be safe from the Reckoning. According to him, the Reckoning can not be stopped, but after it is over, he will need soldiers to help him conquer the Earth. He has already taken some of Earth's heroes who did not disappear along with the Justice League, Justice Society, or the Teen Titans, and has chosen to extend this same offer to the as-of-yet-unnamed team. Necromancer decides that its a good offer, but proposes one of his own, right before shooting Black Adam in the face with a magic blast.

However, despite being a fairly effective magic user, his attack is against a living god, and therefore doesn't even make a scratch. However, he does succeed in invoking Toth-Adam's limitless rage. As the Black Adam attacks, Necromancer puts up a decent defense, going incorporeal before the villain is able to land a strike. Meanwhile, the other members of the team, still attempting to cope with what they've just seen, try to calm Black Adam down. They are able to succeed, and Black Adam tells them that he will come for them should they fall in battle, and then leaves.

With that insanely close call out of the way, the team boards the helicopter and heads for Themyscira with the help of the magic sextant. Steve Trevor, going along with the team due to his prior experience with the Amazons, tells them that once they arrive, they are to surrender immediately. Once they land on Paradise Island and step off of the helicopter, they are met by a party of amazonian warriors, led by Artemis.

Necromancer immediately drops to his knees, bows down, and surrenders to the Amazons, while several of the others (Marathon, Fahrenheit, and Myrmidon) refuse to do so. After all, they haven't set foot on the island. The argument between Artemis and Myrmidon grows more heated, and Myrmidon declares that the island is his birthright before throwing the bag containing the dragon's teeth to the ground. The others attempt to react, Paradox trying to grab the bag but missing.

The bag hits the ground, the teeth spilling out and sinking into the earth moments before an army of skeleton soldiers, SpartoĆ­, rise from the ground. A blue gauntlet is clasped over Myrmidon's shoulder, and Ares says, "Good work, my son."

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