Apox, the Omega Skrull is free and has battered his way through the heroes of the MC2 universe in search of the Fantastic Five. Unfortunately, the F5 (except for Franklin Richards, a/k/a Psi-Lord) are off on a mission to the Negative Zone, leaving their children behind. Spider-Girl is on the scene, but will she be powerful enough to hold off a cheesed-off Skrull?
Apox, showing as little regard for decorum as he has for anger management, blasts through the wall of the F5 headquarters in search of his prey. Spider-Girl immediately goes for the "doohickey" on Apox's back that was key to defeating him last time, only to discover that it is no longer there. Psi-Lord drops a five-ton gizmo on Apox's head but can only buy a few seconds. The children charge into battle, but cannot slow Apox down or keep him from firing off a signal flare to the Skrull worldship that freed him. The ship activates an "extermination field" around the F5 building.
Back inside, Torus (the youngest child, son of the Human Torch and Ms. Fantastic) attacks Apox despite orders. Apox takes him captive and blasts a hole in the floor to escape with him. Grim and Rad head off to guard the portal to the Negative Zone while Doom investigates the force field, which is currently resisting the efforts of the Avengers to punch through it. Psi-Lord and Spider-Girl head off after Apox. As they travel, Spider-Girl notices the Big Brain robots and asks if they can be used. Psi-Lord says no, then proceeds to tell Spider-Girl that the F5 are visiting the Invisible Woman in the Negative Zone. Long ago, during a fight with "a cosmically powered warlord from an alternate future," the explosion which destroyed his doomsday device scarred Reed Richards (turning him into Jell-O, apparently) and ripped a hole in the very fabric of reality. (Don't you just HATE it when that happens?) Invisible Woman managed to plug the hole, but the strain put her into a state of suspended animation. Reed stayed behind to trip to repair the damage.
Meanwhile, Apox has gotten the information he needed from Torus and is heading towards the Negative Zone portal. And according to Doom, the force field surrounding the building is absorbing energy and will explode in just a few hours with enough force to take out the island of Manhattan. What else could go wrong?
(Well, the Goblin-goop-and-alien-symbiote-influenced Normie Osborn is at Oscorp submitting blueprints for pumpkin bombs and a new, improved Goblin glider, but that's just setting up a future storyline.)
Back at F5 headquarters, Apox has reached the Negative Zone portal but is slowed by the efforts of Rad and Grim, who actually succeed in hurting him. Psi-Lord and Spider-Girl arrive and Psi-Lord unleashes a serious mental attack, but is distracted enough by Grim to lose his concentration. Apox breaks free, stuns Psi-Lord, chucks Grim through a few floors, tosses Rad out the window (where she collides with the force field, and turns to Spider-Girl, who is enraged and attacks with everything she has. Apox swats her away and rips open the portal to the Negative Zone, causing the room to depressurize. She saves Franklin and Torus from falling into the portal, but Apox escapes through it.
Her friends and allies are unconscious (or dead?) and the force field around the building is building up for an overload that will devastate New York City. Can you say "cliffhanger?"
Now this is some good stuff. We not only have plenty of butt-kicking throughout the issue, but we learn more about what happened to Super Group Formerly Known as the Fantastic Four. Seeing Spider-Girl throw herself against someone who is out of her league powers wise has been done many times before but doesn't get old; heck, that's a large part of who she is.
I have to say that for the inevitable "Hey, don't forget to see the new Fantastic Four movie" plotline, this one's better than advertised. The F5-lets are somewhat predictable but are mostly harmless, and I liked the F4 backstory. Next issue's trip to the Negative Zone should be a doozy.
The one-page Normie cameo was, sadly, confirmation that the bad Green Goblin is making a comeback in some shape or form. If Normie's turning back to the dark side, color me unimpressed as he was much more interesting as a good guy then he is as just another super-baddie. I'll give DeFalco the benefit of the doubt seeing as how I fell for his last head-fake when Normie set up Phil Urich as the Goblin, but somehow I doubt it's going to happen that way again.
Main story, good. Setup for future story, disappointing. But that's another review for another day.
Four webs. This has been a consistently good story and, at only three issues, it's all killer and (virtually) no filler. Always a plus.