The Tri-Sentinel (a mechanical beast designed by Loki) last seen during the Acts of Vengeance (Amazing Spider-Man #329) is back. It has been resurrected by Carlton Drake and his Life Foundation. With the help of Nova from the New Warriors, Spider-Man has to stop the monstrosity before it makes its way into New York.
Spider-Man is trapped within an energy bubble inside of the Tri-Sentinel. There he finds that the box of antarctic vibranium stolen by the crooks he and Nova had tailed provides the failsafe for stopping the robot. Unable to fight his way out of the bubble, Spidey smashes through the floor and into even more dangerous territory.
Meanwhile, Nova is tossed free of the Sentinel's grip and smashes into the building the Life Foundation was using as headquarters. Seemingly defeated already, Drake and his cronies take off cursing Spider-Man. Nova recovers and follows the now in-flight Tri-Sentinel to finish what he and Spidey started.
What follows is a well-written, very well-drawn action sequence as Spider-Man makes his way through the brain of the Tri-Sentinel toward the failsafe as Nova follows from the outside. Apparently, Spidey has done his homework since last clashing with the robot (as you would expect an intrigued scientist to do) and knows a bit about the programming of the monster. While evading traps of coils and gas, Spider-Man is able to program the robot to land a half-mile from New York.
Unfortunately, Drake discovers that Nova has the information disc that has enough evidence on it to put him away. He sends his 'Tac Squad' in a ship after Nova to erase the disc or erase him.
It becomes obvious that Nova can't do anything from the outside and Spidey isn't making progress fast enough on the inside. Luckily, Drake's ship fires continually at Nova until contact. Stunned, Nova realizes that the beam isn't doing him any physical harm, but in the background is causing the Tri-Sentinel a lot of trouble. He assaults the ship and forces them to focus that beam on the Sentinel.
The Tri-Sentinel is stunned enough to allow Spidey a mad dash to the control center where he is able to activate the failsafe. Antarctic vibranium spills over the controls within the monster, and as it stumbles out of control, Spider-Man makes a desperate retreat as Nova can only watch. Barely escaping from the neck of the Sentinel, Spidey swings to safety as the robot implodes into dust. Leaving only a fragmented piece of rock behind.
With the day saved, Spidey and Nova meet on a nearby rooftop. Nova admits that the information disc he was carrying had been wiped clean, and had he shared that info with Spider-Man from the outset, maybe the Life Foundation wouldn't have gotten away. Spider-Man puts the rookie at ease by claiming even us 'old pros' make mistakes. At least Nova has learned another lesson in teamwork.
There is a good and bad way to read this issue. The good way: Spider-Man was able to find a way to at least slow the Tri-Sentinel using what he had observed and his scientific mind. The Life Foundation, inadvertently, saved the day in an attempt to cover their own guilt. Nova, although extremely ineffective against the Tri-Sentinel, used his brain and teamwork to help Spidey save the day.
The bad way: The Tri-Sentinel is the culmination of what horror has plagued the X-Men since their inception modified by the God of Mischief, Loki, for ultimate destruction. It was beaten by a ray beam on accident... ouch.
Although the Tri-Sentinel went down a little easy and the Life Foundation lacked that 'limitless resources' potential some of Spidey's evil organizations do I still liked this storyline. Spidey and Nova's interaction and dialouge are well-written and it's nice to see Peter have to think his way through a fight once in a while.
With Michelinie and Bagley's work with Nova on this arc, it made me pick up some early issues of the New Warriors that came out at the same time. Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley make a good book and its recommended reading.
Just the start of Bagley's incredible run with Spider-Man.