Sunday, September 11, 2011

Breach #8 (October, 2005)

Word reached the Daily Planet about the battle in Washington, D.C., and Clark Kent was gone in a flash.

Senator Helen McClellan demanded passage through the military barricade of her neighborhood, then called to Mac and Tate when she saw them in the distance. Tim Zanetti was tossed aflame in their general direction, so Mac threw himself on top of his family to defend them. Helen got a brief look at the Major before the H.I.V.E. abomination continued its assault. "You were supposed to be so tough. But you're nothing! Except a joke!" Tim was exhausted and seemed likely to be beaten to death. However, the scientists at Project Otherside detected sudden rapid mutation of Zanetti's form and mind.

The Rifters had returned to their waterfall cave. Sebastian was agitated at this first ever rejection of the gift of kinship, and even the Herdsman was concerned that Zanetti had proven so unique. The cigarette smoking woman assured them that Tim's resistance wouldn't last. "It can't. Trust me, I know. Sooner or later, the Major will face his destiny."

The Major caught his opponent's massive hand in mid-punch, then hit him with an energy pulse. Green energy bled from the Major's eyes, and a wicked death's head grin gripped his lips. "You call me a joke? Tell me-- do you feel like laughing now? No? Because you know, don't you? You know you're nothing now. Nothing-- but a weak, weak thing!" The Major boiled and rent the creature's flesh, then tore out his heart. "You were but a small sacrifice." Mac approached the Major, who asked if he was also a weak thing. "I dunno. Some days-- maybe. What did they do to you, pal? You've got to fight this, Tim. They want you on their side... and you can't let that happen... because this is not you." Realizing what he's done, Tim fled through a portal. "--HELP ME! I won't become this! I WON'T BE LIKE THEM!"

The Major eradicated a forested section of the Adirondacks trying to wrestle his urges before realizing he had a tag-along. "Groovy Guy--! You want to help me? That's funny. Last time we met, you said I was a danger. Buddy, you were righter than you know." Superman realized that an innocent family had paid the price for his ignoring Tim's warnings, and wanted to do what he could for Zanetti. Tim felt he had been infected with a virus of the mind urging him to kill lesser beings, and wondered if other "guys in spandex go through stuff like this?"

The green flames of Tim's eyes flared up, and the grin returned. "It's burning through me like fire, G.G. I read up about you. They say you're invulnerable. That means I can't hurt you, right?" Superman admitted that was the theory, which was good enough for the Major, who blasted the Man of Steel miles backward. Sebastian hissed a "yes" as the urge raged in the Major, who pressed his advantage. Tim said aloud, "He's holding back--! He doesn't get it! YOU CAN'T! Or-- I swear--I will kill you!" Superman didn't think so, and Heat Vision backed up his argument. Sebastian's bliss returned to a hiss. Tim's suit was destroyed, and he was bleeding blue, but he had been returned to his senses.

Superman didn't want to hurt the Major. "Y-you had to, G.G. I-- I had to fight... something I couldn't kill. It couldn't deal with that. It's gone--! Whatever Sebastian put in my mind-- is gone. T-They didn't get me-- they won't get me! I-- I owe y-you... more than I can say." The cavalry from Project Otherside arrived as Tim collapsed into Superman's arms. Kal-El recognized that Tim was willing to sacrifice himself rather than hurt another. "I misjudged him," he told Dr. Campbell Chambers. "He's a hero." She agreed. "I'm sorry it took you this long to realize it. Now it may be too late."

Talia al Ghul couldn't believe her genetically altered soldier was destroyed in a matter of minutes. Lex Luthor tried to see the upside of the lost agent, thanks to the information gathered at the cost of his life. "Data we will need for the coming crisis." The embryonic soldiers could also be adjusted to provide a greater challenge.

Tate realized his meeting the metahumasn twice coincidentally on two continents didn't make sense, and with a pregnant glance at Mac, Helen said, "I--I... don't know, Tate. Maybe it does."

"Ally" was by Bob Harras, Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez. This issue strengthened Tim Zanetti's character, but it was still ultimately another big fight issue in a series whose life grows ever shorter. I think this would have made a fantastic eight issue mini-series. The same creative team could have handled the entire epic, rather than losing Marcos Martin for two issues after having so lovingly illustrated so much filler material.

Brave New World

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