Slingers #6

Background

Previously, on "Slingers..."

The team had their first great victory. They stopped the Black Marvel, saved a hotel full of innocent people and Johnny rescued Kathy. It was a great success, except that their prodigal son, Prodigy, was killed inside of the collapsing hotel. Kathy told Johnny that she knew he is Ricochet.

Story 'Truth, Consequences, Dares & Dysfunction'

  Slingers #6
Summary: Spider-Man reference
Editor: Ruben Diaz
Writer: Joseph Harris
Pencils: Chris Cross
Inker: Rob Stull

Working late one night in the engineering department, Eddie was making improvements to the Hornet armor. He was interrupted by his advisor, Mr. Coyles. The door was stuck and Hornet managed to escape before Coyles barged into the room. Eddie was frustrated with himself for wasting time learning how to improve his technology while the others were waiting for him during a meeting. At the meeting place, Ricochet was tired of waiting for Eddie when he wasn't even the one to have called the meeting. He complained to Cassie that he felt abused and manipulated and wasn't comfortable with her being dead. Throwing a returning disk carelessly, he knocked himself off of the roof top, much to Cassie's amusement. Hornet arrived and asked how well the disk was working. Ricochet stammered that it was fine, everything was fine.

Hornet pondered how he got to this point, it had all seemed like a no brainer. A guy named the Black Marvel gave him a chance to use his arm and everything seemed like it would get better. No things werent so clear. Ricochet was still complaining about how his dad was suspecting that something was going on, as he hadn't seen Johnny leave out the front door but his bedroom window was left open. Kathy now knew who he was and worried if he'd come home alive. Cassie chimed in that she had no idea what it was like to have loved ones wonder what she was up to, if she'd come home, or if she was alive. Ricohot began to stammer out an apology and Hornet pondered who would have missed him if he had been the one to die that night, instead of Cassie.

He thought back to the first day of college and how the geek is supposed to be excited for school. He wasn't. His self consciousness jaded him, especially when Cassie showed up to class and sat next to Johnny. Ricochet started complaining to Hornet about how he was supposed to be the smart one of the group but kept them waiting when gathering was his idea. Cassie broke the tension by saying they should play a game. She suggested "truth or dare" and Ricochet immediately asked what she was. She said it didn't work that way but replied that she died, woke up, and can teleport. Thats all she knew.

Thinking back to just being a college girl, she remembered being shy and wondered why she got dressed the way she did. She did like the attention after all. She certainly liked it that day. After a class, she nervously asked Johnny if he wanted to work on a group project with her and Eddie immediately volunteered. Johnny agreed to his idea, saying Eddie was smart. He invited Ed to join them then walked away, to Cassie's annoyance. She didn't know who she was at that time and didn't know what she was now.

Hornet tried to apologize to her for leaving her alone after she fell and died in the alleyway and she told him to stop. There was stuff he didn't know. She prodded Johnny to choose truth or dare, and he went with dare. He was told to lean over the side of the building and fall off, letting Dusk catch him. He only complained after he got into position and then said falling is cliche for their group. Standing on the edge, he thought to himself that that he had thought she was weird but now she was also a flake. He wondered if falling off of a roof did that to a person. Johnny took his turn thinking back to that day when Eddie and Cassie suggested they cooperate on the school assignment and told himself that he's a normal guy. He knew that Hornet thought of himself as fearless and a tough guy with all of the answers. He didn't want anyone to know that he gets scared just like everyone else. It was after Johnny left the others that he was met by Dan Lyons and they continued his training. Johnny complained that the training was exhausting him for the next day. Lyons ignored him and introduced him to Richie, telling him that he was going to be Prodigy.

Back in the current day, Ricochet fell off of the roof. Dusk took her time, making both Hornet and Ricochet nervous. Ricochet kept falling and Hornet flew after him, catching him right before he hit the pavement. Looking around, they saw Dusk waiting next to them, wondering what took them so long. She teleported them back to the roof, saying that it was Hornet that didn't let her save him. She left them, making the point that they didn't trust her. Ricochet decided he would stay with the group and he told Eddie to go back to his school stuff. Halfway back to campus, Hornet realized that he hadnt given Ricochet a ride home. When he returned, he saw Johnny and Cassie in a kiss. She had told Johnny that Eddie is sweet, but that he was reckless. They never saw Hornet watching.

Elsewhere...

Ritchie walked away from the rubble of the collapsed hotel, trying to take a mental note of everything that had happened. He had survived and had no idea how. He remembered fire, smoke and rock falling onto him but the suit had protected him. It was as if the costume needed him.

Still elsewhere...

A Maggia goon named "Jimmy Eyes" was running through the subway tunnels, chased by some large, hairy animals. They got to him and they were followed by an even larger creature.

General Comments

This is a decent issue. Eddie seems to be coming into his own as the undeclared leader of the team. He's the obvious choice, as Johnny is too erratic and Cassie doesn't know enough about herself. Dusk letting Ricochet fall is slightly sadistic (to both Ricochet and Hornet) but her point is well made. They need to trust her and they don't. I never read "team books" so I don't know how those books build trust between characters, but this was fitting. It was a little convenient that they were all thinking back to the same day and the same moment. Pondering how they got to that situation is fine but the way it played out feels too coincidental.

Prodigy's return makes me wonder if the creative team was going for an undead superhero team. Ritchie's survival played out the same way as Cassie's, with neither really knowing for certain what happened. As this is a Spider-Man related title, I couldn't help thinking about symbiotes when I read about Prodigy's costume needing him for survival.

Harris must want us to hate Johnny, and it's working. For the whole issue, he's complaining, sticking his foot in his mouth about Cassie's death and pouting when she asks him to play along. He's cynical, which makes sense under the circumstances but he also comes across as a jerk.

Overall Rating

It's a good follow up to the conclusion of the previous story arc, even if it puts the team mates in an unflattering light.