Peter Parker returns to the sleazy hotel room after being counted among the missing. He embraces his wife and aunt, then the snipers shoots. He shoves MJ out of the way . . . and Aunt May gets the shot straight in the gut. The story continues off in Back in Black and One More Day.
Ben and Sally go off and interview Captain America and Iron Man to get a perspective on the registration act now that the Civil War is pretty much over. The interview with Cap quickly devolves into Sally yelling at Cap for not knowing what America is all about. She and Ben then leave and open their own news website – frontlines.com. Then they go off to interview Iron Man and tell that they know that he’s the traitor. He pushed for a war between Atlantis and the US to up the amount of heroes registering. He then manipulated his stock to create a pension fund for firemen, police officers, and super-heroes. With the fear of a terrible prison out there, he hoped more people would register. It’s diabolical and people died, but it was for the greater good. Tony gets pissed, but Ben assures them they won’t run the story. They leave and Tony cries.
Not long after this, a heartfelt letter from Reed gets to Sue. She returns to him. Tony meets with Miriam Sharpe aboard the SHIELD Hellicarrier, as he is now Director of SHIELD. He tells her of the new future they’re building and that 42 was named such as it was 42nd of a list of 100 ideas.
In Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, the Devil has taken control of Jack O’Lantern’s Punisher-killed body. Ghost Rider goes and helps a Sheriff deal with him. There’s zombies too.
During an anniversary television special, the Fantastic Four reunite. However, Reed and Sue decide to take some time off to deal with their recent problems – effectively replacing them with Black Panther and Storm.
Captain America is marched into an NYC courthouse. As he is, Sharon Carter and Winter Soldier both are present in the hopes of either rescuing him or just wanting to witness. However, as he’s walking before a crowd, a sniper shoots him down. In the chaos that ensues, Sharon goes to him. He orders the crowd to depart for their own safety, and then is shot again.
Winter Soldier goes to the window where the sniper was located and with the help of the Falcon, they quickly track down Crossbones. Winter Soldier beats him up, then Falcon orders him away as Capekillers arrive. They take Crossbones into custody.
On the way to hospital, Steve Rogers tells Sharon how beautiful she is . . . then dies.
At the hospital, Red Skull’s daughter gives Sharon a trigger word that forces her to remember what exactly happened when she ran up to Steve’s body. She killed Captain America.
Despite Cap’s death, the Initiative is still in full swing. 50 super-hero teams for 50 states, plus Omega Flight in Canada. Iron Man also peeks in at footage of the new Thunderbolts team. Afterwards, he speaks to Ms. Marvel regarding an encounter she had with Spider-Woman. Turns out she told Spider-Woman that Cap was alive in the hopes of bringing her and the rest of the group (read: New Avengers) back into the system. Tony disagrees with this tactic, the two part ways, and Iron Man decides to form a new team of Avengers.
Shortly thereafter, Cap’s body is brought to the SHIELD Hellicarrier. Tony locks himself into a room with it and confesses to Steve’s fallen body. He tells him that he feared a war would come between those with super-powers that despite how much he knew it was coming, it wasn’t worth the price he had to pay.
There’s a lot of good aftermath material here. The Ghost Rider story was particularly fun. The Fantastic Four was light-hearted and yet, meaningful. I like the idea of Reed and Sue taking a vacation and T’Challa and Ororo taking their place.
The Spider-Man snippet was effectively powerful. I have to comment and say that it’s nice to see the fallout from Peter’s revelation coming out now in the aftermath of the chaos of Civil War. It’s too bad none of it matters since “One More Day” – which was the laziest, sloppiest amount of storytelling I’ve seen in years. I mean, come on . . . (rants)
Ben and Sally completely lost me. The sheer amount of unprofessional actions just killed that book for me. It stopped being interesting and became, well, stupid and lame.
With these various books, we see a very interesting Tony Stark. On the one hand, when dealing with Sharpe and setting up the Initiative, Tony is smart and smooth and just all together with it. On the other hand, we also see full of guilt and shame. When confessing to Cap, there’s a bit of relief to see him come to terms that he’s done a lot of bad things that – despite being for the good – just aren’t worth it in the end. It’s well done and makes a very balanced Tony Stark.
Captain America’s death is wonderfully brutal. It hits hard and while getting shot in the back may not be the best death for Captain America, it serves its purpose. Plus, did Sharon really kill Cap? We don’t know yet – that’s besides the point. His death is like the last explosion in this story. It’s the final thought. He’s dead, the Marvel Universe has changed, and the future is uncertain. And everyone is charging right in.~W~