Buzz (Limited Series) #2

Background

The Buzz debuted in Spider-Girl #18. This miniseries, which came out six months later, takes a closer look at his origin and motivations.

Story 'Kill Switch'

  Buzz (Limited Series) #2
Summary: Buzz's suit controlled, Spider-Girl, Dr. Jade
Editor: Mike Marts
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Sal Buscema

Last issue we left off with the Buzz swearing vengeance on Dr. Jade, the woman who killed his mentor and namesake Buzz Bannon. This issue starts off with the Buzz laying into more of those costumed goons from last issue. He’s doing a pretty good job, until Jonah and Marla Jameson decide to deactivate his powers by using a failsafe switch they built into the super-suit in case it ever fell into the wrong hands.

You see, last issue they discovered that Buzz Bannon, the guy who originally volunteered to wear the super-suit, was dead and that a stranger had taken his place. Naturally, they think this stranger killed Buzz and then stole the costume.

Consequently, the Buzz’s suit locks up in the middle of the fight. The goons start to gang up on him, but then someone throws a gas grenade and firecrackers. This somehow scares the ruffians off (I guess they don’t make costumed henchmen like they used to). Our mysterious stranger takes the Buzz to the back of his van. Who is this guy? It turns out that it’s Richie Robertson (the computer whiz from last issue). He saw the whole turn of events from last issue and wants to help Jack out with his mission.

Cut to a few quick scene changes. First, we see Dr. Jade talking with the mysterious mastermind behind her robbery last issue. Second, Richie and Jack test out the enhancements that Richie designed for the super-suit. Third, we see Jonah ranting about how much of a menace the Buzz is and how he wants him put behind bars.

Sometime later Richie eavesdrops on a police broadcast that reveals the location of Dr. Jade and sends the Buzz out after her. Our hero has to meet up with her in mid-air, however, since now she is wearing a green, full-body power-suit of her own. They trade a few punches, then Dr. Jade hits the Buzz with a control-disc that acts as a remote control for Dr. Jade’s mysterious employer, who proceeds to take control over Buzz’s super-suit.

Luckily, Spider-Girl (remember her?) happens to be passing by, and knocks Dr. Jade away before she can do any more damage to Buzz. Unfortunately, Dr. Jade’s mysterious employer makes our hero give Spider-Girl a big wallop as thanks.

Now, because we need to up the tension and move the story along, our mysterious mastermind has decided to skip to phase two of his master plan - killing everyone associated with Project: Human Fly. (This strikes me as a bit premature, since you already have one costumed do-gooder on your trail, but I’m no criminal mastermind.)

So the Buzz heads straight to the Daily Bugle building and rather easily takes Jonah Jameson hostage. Spider-Girl, of course, chases after him. Unable to regain control of the suit before he accidentally hurts his own grandfather, however, a desperate Jack tells Richie to hit the kill-switch and shut off the suit’s power.

Richie does as he is told, and the Buzz goes into a nosedive, tossing Jonah over to a surprised Spider-Girl. While he’s falling, Jack convinces the mysterious mastermind into letting him regain control of the suit or else he will destroy it. This is quite a gambit, since if the suit is destroyed Jack will be dead as well. Luckily, it pays off because at the last second the suit’s controls are released and Richie starts it up again before Jack can crash. The Buzz lands on top of some trashcans and Spider-Girl swings on over. After the requisite recap of events they decide to team-up and track down their mystery adversary.

General Comments

The action really heats up this issue and the introduction of Dr. Jade’s mysterious employer adds an interesting plot twist.

Overall Rating

If you’re a fan of the MC2 universe, then this series is a treat. For the audience this series was aimed at (presumably younger, newer readers of comics) this was a pretty fun ride. Being an older reader, I appreciated the relative freshness and naivety of the characters and storylines. DeFalco may be derivative, but at least he steals from the best. But if you’re looking for something introspective or meaningful, this isn’t it.