Gideon Mace, the man who killed White Tiger's family, has been murdered (taken by an “upgraded” Quickfire under the direction of Cortex CEO Jason Quantrell) and his heart removed. Power Man and White Tiger were investigating this crime. Quickfire has used the heart to make a monster and has corrupted Vic and Ava into demonised (or debased) version of themselves (similar to her own current form).
The Blue Marvel has two sons, Kevin and Max. Kevin was lost in the Neutral Zone and his father couldn't get him back. This upset the younger son who left and found funding with the terrorist organisation W.E.S.P.E. to “research” the Neutral Zone (but really he just wants his brother back). Kevin and his dad weren't really on speaking terms and clashed last time they met but now suddenly seem to be okay.
Luke Cage is undercover at Cortex but they know he's bluffing. Jessica Jones met with her husband to have a chat with Jason Quantrell, but he hasn't been “Jason” for a long time. He has been taken over by a member of the Beyond Corporation...
A flashback shows us that Jason Quantrell hired W.E.S.P.E. to create something to put Cortex on the business world map, having failed with previous endeavours. They build a device not to dissimilar to a Stargate or the Auger that A.I.M. used to search the multiverse in recent issues of Avengers (vol.5). When activated, Jason looks inside the portal; allowing his possession to occur.
Back in the present, “Jason” has removed the faces of Jess and Luke and then sends them into Earth's orbit.
Meanwhile Kaluu, Captain America and She-Hulk are approaching White Tiger and Power Man's location only to find four monsters. When one starts manipulating chi, the Mighty Avengers realise who the monsters really are. “Quickfire” uses her powers on “White Tiger” to speed her up, allowing her to scratch She-Hulk and debase her. Kaluu tries spell casting to stop the spread of these monsters but he is too slow for “She-Hulk” and he too is debased, leaving Cap alone to fight off six monsters...
In Blue Marvel underwater base, he picks up a distress call from Jessica Jones and manages to rescue them using his portal technology. Dr Brashear Sr thinks Luke and Jess will be okay but they have been exposed to radiation. Spidey quips that the cosmic radiation will turn Luke into Luke Fantastic, leading Blue Marvel to snap at him for the inappropriate timing of his jokes. As Jess is coming to she tells Monica that the Beyond Corporation did it, leading Spectrum to snap. The Beyond Corporation (very significantly) messed around with Monica's life for a year and now she wants payback...
First off, I love the title of this comic – a “subtle” nod to the difficulties of today's writers to tell their own stories and still fit in with the endless events, a task even harder for those on team titles who also have to take into account individual title plotlines.
Nice issue, progressing the storylines well. The “Quickfire” plot was well delivered. Sometimes, a possession story or one featuring identical-looking-but-different monsters can be hard to follow but it was well handled here. Part of me thinks this subplot is set up just to show that Sam Falcon is worthy of the title of Captain America by taking on all off the monsters whilst somehow saving his friends trapped within in the next issue. Whilst I can understand writers wanted to establish “new” characters I don't remember the other (many) replacement Captain Americas having to go through such rigours. Whilst there are no doubt reasons for this, it is probably not helped by the fact that Steve Rogers is still around and normally taking Sam through missions as though he is incapable.
Other than that, we had a bit of backstory showing how Jason Quantrell got into the current dilemma and then an example of just how powerful the Beyond Corporation is. This eventually ties back to Monica Rambeau's encounter with said bad guys during her time with Nextwave. The issue even ends with her reverting to the costume she wore back then. This is one thing Al Ewing is very good at, continuity (ironic given the afore mentioned title of this comic). He ties strands together well whilst remember stories from ages ago. Whilst I haven't read every comic ever and so don't necessarily know all of these threads, that doesn't spoil the existing story and if I'm that curious to find stuff out then the internet is there and so I can check up on things if I want. Too many writers rely on a reader's knowledge backstory into order to tell their own and don't give the reader the needed information. Ewing, in a similar way to Dan Slott, can acknowledge past issues from yesteryear but not at the expense of the current plot and I like this. I don't need to know the history of Nextwave to follow this story but it's cool if I do.
Spider-Man's appearance is little more than a cameo and he's in “joke” mode this time. I've seen from previous issues that Ewing knows that there is more to Spidey's character than that, so I don't mind. I also quite liked the quip Spidey made (once again another nod to Marvel characters backstory).
Finally the art, and as before I'm a fan. Good range of scenes with suitable colour - loved the "Monica losing it" scenes though I can't say I'm a fan of Nextwave Monica's look compared to her more recent one. That isn't really the fault of the artist though and it wouldn't be the nod to past continuity that I praised above without it!
Nothing truly remarkable, but solid and moved the plot along.