This one’s another three parter, like a Simpsons Halloween Special. But not interesting. So, like a recent Simpsons Halloween Special. Uatu shows up in a splash page to tell us that this week, we’re going to see what would happen if Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel were all bad guys. Since we’re talking about a demon, a Hydra Agent and an alien from an evil space empire, we’re not at too much of a stretch here.
“What if these three yahoos were all evil? Who could even speculate?” Baldy yells, grasping his balls. “I can! For I am the Watcher!”
I love when he gets all mad about it. “Fuck you guys, I’m the Goddamned Watcher.”
We start off with Johnny Blaze, 70s stunt racer and future Nicholas Cage role, I’m sorry to say. Johnny and his lady friend Roxanne are excited that their travelling motorcycle circus (…okay.) has gotten a chance to perform at Madison Square Garden. They’re surprised when Johnny’s mentor and Roxanne’s father Crash “Flash Thompson” Simpson isn’t so in to the idea. Turns out he has cancer and could not be more blasé about it.
Johnny’s worried about his friend so he does the only logical thing. He sells his soul to the devil in a scene that’s pretty goddamn awesome.
Look at Johnny up there, praising Satan. I love comics.
So the Devil keeps his end of the bargain and cures Crash of his cancer. In the normal comic, he cures Crash only so that Crash can die performing his motorcycle stunt, driving home some of that irony that Satan’s so fond of. In this new universe, the Devil is… boring.
Crash safely executes the jump and then Johnny runs off to cry in his room. “Oh, boo hoo. I don’t have a soul any more. I had no idea this deal with the devil would go wrong.” At that point, Satan shows up and turns Johnny into the Ghost Rider, star of stage, screen and more drunken tattoos then Hot Stuff the Lil’ Devil.
At this point, Crash stops by Johnny’s room to see if Johnny still has any skin on his face. He fails to knock and Ghost Rider burns all his flesh off. BEHOLD THE FATE OF ALL SINNERS! Remembering who he is for a second, Johnny jumps on his motorcycle and takes off into the night, vowing to send to hell anyone who fails to politely enter a room. Just like in the Bible.
Not long after, reports start appearing all over America that Skeleton Evel Knievel is driving around setting criminals on fire. Roxanne sees this in the newspaper and realizes that that flaming skeleton can only be her boyfriend Johnny Blaze. She figures out that Johnny is heading for a prison so he can kill everyone in it and resolves to beat him there. Luckily Greyhound travels way faster than a motorcycle from Hell.
Roxanne arrives just as Johnny is attacking the prison and he murders the everloving fuck out of her. Like, we’re talking a fight of about one panel. I guess Marvel decided it’d be more interesting to have Ghost Rider fight Daimon Hellstrom: The Shirtless Son of Satan. Because showing the drama of a man possessed by a monster murdering his only friend is way less cool than him throwing fireballs at a dude in a Dracula cape with a pitchfork. At least we get a good shot of sad Ghost Rider.
Daimon and Ghost Rider fight for a couple of page, before Daimon finally gets fed up and sucks out all of Ghost Rider’s fire. This leaves Johnny nothing but a skeleton in a jumpsuit in the middle of the desert, his only hope for the future to provide background in a Road Runner cartoon.
Alright, that done, we cut live to our second story already in progress. Jessica Drew (AKA Spider-Woman, no relation.) is strangling Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD* because Fury’s captured Jessica’s boyfriend and fellow Hydra agent, Jared (What a chilling name for a Hydra Agent.) Jessica tries to zap Fury with one of her venom blasts but Fury uses Jared as a shield** and Jess murders him. She goes to kill Fury but can’t do it.
At this point, Fury’s girlfriend and partner, the Contessa enters and Spider-Woman prematurely venom blasts Fury to death.
Whoops. At this point, Spidey-Womey decides to cut her losses and heads back to Hydra Headquarters, presumably in the Terror Dome.
Back home, Jessica turns to the Supreme Hydra and his Supreme Mustache for help. She wants to know what her secret origin is, but Brian Bendis won’t clear up that convoluted mess for thirty years. Just then, the Contessa and a metric fuck-ton of SHIELD Agents burst in. Supreme Hydra and Jess beat cheeks, leaving a bunch of faceless goons to die. Being in Hydra sucks.
Shocked by his betrayal of his troops, Jessica is further shocked when Supreme Hydra tries to leave her behind too. Wow, it’s like this guy can’t be trusted or something. He tosses Jess out of his escape craft and then crashes it in the woods. He probably shouldn’t have also betrayed his steering wheel and brakes. Idiot.
Jess is knocked out by the Contessa and regains conciousness in the middle of her trial, which doesn’t exactly seem legal.
She’s about to go down for a whole lot of terrorist and accidental murder charges when her defence calls his witness. It’s the Supreme Hydra. Uh, minus the costume. Looks like somebody knows how to dress for a court date, JESSICA.
Supreme Hydra tells the court that it’s impossible for them to try Jess as she’s not a human. She’s a mutated spider! Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s about as dumb as Wolverine being a mutant Wolverine who was raised by Wolverines. Jessica gets tired of this bullshit and flies away.
Six months later, we rejoin her, in Paris on the run from SHIELD and Hydra and paying off criminals with ridiculous accents for information on her origins. Her completely trustworthy informant betrays her for the bounty SHIELD has on her, but Jess zaps him and flies off to use the information he gave her to find her father. The end! Boy, that was unsatisfying! I told you!
Alright, finally, we get to the Captain Marvel story. I like Captain Marvel but the current awesome Kelly Sue DeConnick one. I don’t know a whole lot about the original guy, except that he’s a guy named Marv-Ell who is a soldier for the evil Kree empire come to Earth to see if we were a danger or ready for conquest or whatever. But then he really liked it. He’s like the Silver Surfer without the missing genitals.
We open with Marv battling the Sentry. No, wait, come back! It’s not the Superman guy in the gold tights that Marvel tried to convince us was interesting and not boring and stupid for ten years. It’s just a big invincible robot. Much cooler. I have no idea why they are fighting but it seems important.
Back on a Kree ship, Marv’s not really friend Yon-Rogg and Marv’s sort of girlfriend maybe Una are reporting to their boss, Ronan the Accuser (He’s the bad guy in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie! In my head, he sounds like Sean Connery!). Ronan’s pissed that Yon-Rogg has sent Captain Marvel to Earth on his own and then had the Sentry fight him just because Yon is trying to sleep with Marv’s girlfriend. He takes Una hostage and then escapes. Okay, this is all making a little more sense now. I think.
Back on Earth, Marv-Ell is getting his ass kicked by the Sentry when Carol Danvers shows up. Yay, Carol! A character I’m familiar with! Between the two of them they make some sort of plan and are able to attach the Sentry to a missile using Marv’s uni-beam. Which I guess is his thing. Sentry is killed by the power of the US Government’s missile program. At which point Yon-Rogg shows up.
Marv chases him off and then Yon beans him with a rock before promptly suffocating because Yon forgot to put on a space helmet or take pills so he could breathe Earth’s atmosphere. That’s… that’s terrible. Like… what?
Ronan arrives and congratulates Marv-Ell on his work and then leaves him on Earth to monitor it and see if it’s a threat or not. Like… like normal. Except this time, Marv acts all sinister like he didn’t just save the earth from an evil robot.
I… I didn’t care for this one.
*Strategic Heroic Something Something Whatever, True Believer!
**This one’s just an actual shield, not a secret spy agency.