This is the third company-wide crossover event of the Marvel 2099 line (the first being the “Fall of the Hammer” storyline and the second being 2099 A.D. #1).
In 2099 A.D. #1, Doom took control of America. Sometime between then and now (about four months in real time) he was ousted by a fellow by the name of Herod. While Doom was happy to co-opt the new batch of heroes that were springing up, Herod simply wants them eliminated. So, he set up a false Captain America to act as President and had him instate a lethal crackdown.
We begin this issue in a television newsroom, where a smarmy anchorman is cutting to a live feed from a field reporter. She has breaking news footage of a chase between the Punisher and some SHIELD troops. The Punisher puts up quite a fight (filling up about four pages), but eventually a Wave Spider warship is called in and shoots him from above with a laser beam that scrambles his atoms.
That’s one hero down.
Next up we see Galahad, an Iron Man type of hero (but with a more patriotic color scheme of red, white, and blue) first introduced in 2099 Unlimited #6. He’s also tussling with some SHIELD troops. He takes a few of them out, but then one fires a high energy frequency cannon at him that short circuits the power suit and fries the brain of Ethan Crane (the guy that was directing it by remote control).
That’s two heroes down.
Cut to an outside shot of the Mantic Gallery, the magically cloaked abode of the 21st century technomancer known as Metalscream (first introduced in 2099 Unlimited #4). SHIELD agents have broken through the mystical protections somehow and are bombing the place. Metalscream emerges and attacks. They’ve activated an energy dampening field, however, that has cut the technomancer off from his source of power. Now Metalscream is powerless, and an easy target for the troops’ guns.
That’s three heroes down. That’s a hat-trick, folks. But, wait, we have one more to go!
The newsroom gets another live feed from a SHIELD satellite, showing the Hulk fighting off an army that has invaded Gammadion (the city formerly known as Los Angeles). While he fights valiantly, eventually the green behemoth is overpowered and his body is shot through by over a dozen lasers.
So the final tally is four heroes down.
We end this issue on an even lower note (if that’s possible). In response to the station airing their state sanctioned executions and urging the people to resist the police state, SHIELD troops burst into the newsroom and take out all the telecasters.
This comic book is the equivalent of a snuff film. The pace is frenetic and the plot jumps from one scene to the next without any sort background given to these characters. You’d think the writer would want these hero’s deaths to mean something to the reader.
So what do you do when you need to cancel a lot of books? Do you wrap up the dangling plot threads and give your heroes a happily ever after? Or do you say screw it, and kill them off in a company-wide event? It’s a bold idea, but the execution needed a little more work put into it for the story to special.
What happens next? Where does the world of 2099 go from here? Check out 2099 A.D.: Genesis #1 to find out.