Justice Avengers: Last Issue!
It is morning in New York City, and the First National Bank is being robbed. Right away, the heroes Rocket Raccoon and Nightwing have entered to try and stop the robbers. Elsewhere, The Question is watching television when he learns of the robbery and leaves to investigate, while mutants Rogue and Storm are separately outside the bank when it occurs. While Storm goes after the robbers' helicopter, Nightwing and Rocket take on the thugs. Blue Beetle arrives to see Storm's fight with the helicopter, and intercepts the villain himself, taking him out with a giant taser from his armor.
At the same time, Jack Ryder, who has been inside the bank while it was robbed, transforms into The Creeper and begins causing a distraction to all sides. The Question blasts open a panel to begin evacuating the hostages, as Rocket moves to take on the thugs in the vault. Rogue touches an unconscious robber to try and glean knowledge about their cause, then hides in an alley, where she finds a seemingly ill man. The Question interrogates one of the bank robbers, to no real avail.
Storm and Blue Beetle introduce themselves to one another, and Storm makes mention of some sort of Academy where Blue Beetle could train his powers. The two abseil down, to meet Rogue and the old man. The old man introduces himself as Dr Kirk Langstrom, and says he was admitted to the hospital for hypersensitivity, where he believes someone tried to kill him. Meanwhile, the Question takes the robber into an alleyway to properly interrogate him, and gets the name of a crime lord called the Big Man.
Just before the police arrive, wealthy bachelor Tony Stark pulls up, and is followed to the front door by a suspicious Jack Ryder. Police Officer Jean DeWolff bars their entrance, only to be greeted by Blue Beetle who offers his assistance at any time. Rocket Raccoon comes up to make the same offer, but recognises BB has having a Reach host, becoming completely terrified. He attacks Blue Beetle, pretending to be a wild animal, but the boy is having none of it. Almost everyone around is completely bemused, though Tony merely congratulates Rogue on her 'animatronic' and walks on. The others go off to discuss things further, while Nightwing also greets DeWolff. As the two parts ways, Nightwing promises they'll be seeing more of him.
Rocket leads Blue Beetle down the road, along with a curious Rogue and Storm. Jack tags along, but promises to keep the story hush-hush for now. They arrive at Rocket's spacecraft, the Naughty Otter, and opens communications with his eye-in-the-sky, Pyko the Tortoise. Blue Beetle is allowed to take a broken Reach Scarab, Rocket's souvenir of a near-legendary struggle, since he wants to give it a decent burial. Jack starts conducting an interview with Rocket, while the other three head off. Storm offers Rogue a place at her Academy, before flying away.
Rogue and Blue Beetle talk, with Blue Beetle mentioning how he's teaching his new 'friend' and armour, Khaji Da, about morality. The two hit it off, and part on good terms. Storm calls Vice Principal Grey to tell her about her day, and Jean Grey comments that while Mr Summers won't be pleased with her wandering off, Principal Xavier will be delighted to hear about the new friend Rogue. Rocket talks with Pyko, and is evasive about his reasons for being on earth.
Tony Stark, having finished his work in the bank vault, gets back to his home and receives a call from Reed Richards, inviting him to a rocket launch to investigate the origins of mutants. He also gets a call from an ex-employee, who is incredibly resentful for having been canned along with the weapons division while he was in the middle of a project. Tony is threatened with payback time before the mystery threatener hangs up again.
Spider-Man swings on by, and rescues an ungrateful window washer. Said window washer is promptly attacked by a tremendous Man-Bat. On the ground, Jack is calling his producer Sam, trying to convince him of his conversation with Rocket. Jack then sees the monstrous creature above, morphs into the Creeper and scares the Man-Bat off. Rocket soon catches wind of the beast, and does battle with it over the rooftops. The Man-Bat is eventually downed, but then goads Rocket in a guttural voice, telling him to turn against humanity. He of course refuses, and the monster slinks away.
Blue Beetle decides to follow up on the offer of a place at where he can train his powers, and flies over to Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning. He meets Storm on the way, and together the two fly to the school. Meanwhile, Rogue calls Vice Principal Grey to register an appointment, then calls Tony Stark, to explain some things about Rocket. Speaking of rockets, Tony invites her to Richard's launch, and also offers Rogue a place to stay, should she ever need it.
Blue Beetle and Storm arrive at the school, and are greeted by teachers Hank McCoy and Jean Grey. Blue Beetle is lead inside, while Storm is chastised by Vocational Activities teacher, Mr Scott Summers. Jean manages to convince Scott to leave the matter be for now, then leads Blue Beetle to Professor Charles Xavier. Professor X is more than happy to help train Blue Beetle to be the best hero he can be, and takes him outside for a training regime with Warren Worthington III to test his strength, speed and flight.
Rocket talks with Ryder for a bit about the nature of humanity, then Rogue drops by to invite him to the launch. Soon after, Rocket calls up Sergeant Stan Carter for a job. Carter directs his attention to two of the four biggest crime lords in the city: The Owl and the Big Man. As the evening draws in, Jack Ryder, the Question (in his civilian identity Ivan Barret), and Blue Beetle head over to District X, where Bruce Wayne is hosting a charity fundraiser. Another person of interest is heading there; a young lady haunted by troubled dreams, known as Wesleigh Dodds.
Blue Beetle meets with Rogue on the way to the fundraiser, and introduces his regular identity as Jaime Reyes. Meanwhile, up in the sky, an Iron Man takes the time to glide, but quickly takes a tumble. Blue Beetle manages to catch the mechanical figure, who then receives a very inopportune phone call from Rogue, telling him she's accepted his offer of a place to stay. Khaji Da uses its tracking powers to deduce that the Iron Man is in fact Tony Stark, who quickly denies the fact and flies off.
Jaime meets up with Rogue again, and gives her the full list of his powers. Rogue nervously tells him her powers, as well as her tragic story. Jaime shows sympathy, and offers her a date. The moment is promptly interrupted by the arrival of Dr Langstrom, who seems to be much better, but has a worrying new amount of internal biomachinery. The three of them take their seats at the tables of the fundraiser, and eat well while discussing their respective families.
Erstwhile, in a dark place on the other end of town, the four biggest crime lords of New York- Silvermane, the Rose, the Big Man and the Owl -are holding a summit to discuss the 'mutant problem'. The Joker drops in with Harley Quinn, and brings his own radical plan to the table: ignite a huge struggle between mutants and men, so that the mobsters are free to loot as they please. He asks only for ten million funding to make it possible, and threatens to knock them all dead if they refuse. The Rose isn't worried about him, so much as he's worried about what the 'Kingpin' will say, indeed what he might do.
Back at the fundraiser Langstrom is overcome with some kind of disturbance, excusing himself from the table. He bumps into Storm as she arrives, and the two talk civilly. Welseigh Dodds bumps into Jaime and Rogue, and is helped up by Jack Ryder. The group talk for a while, until Wesleigh is called over by her overbearing mother. Rogue voices concern to Jaime that their relationship might be going a little too fast. Tony Stark makes the scene, and Wesleigh is reluctantly made to 'converse' with the eligible bachelor. Ivan quickly catches Stark for an interview about his stance on mutant relations.
Tony then talks with Storm, Rogue and Jaime, inviting them all for his visit to the launch. After some convincing from Wesleigh, Tony goes with her, along with Jack, to meet her mother and pretend to be civil. Jack seems to get along quite well with Wesleigh's mother, while Tony quickly gets bored and starts acting up. Wesleigh storms off in a sleep deprived huff, and Tony takes his cue to exit. Jack shows concern for her, but she brushes him off as she heads for a taxi.
Storm tells Tony that she'll try and get to the launch, but can't say for certain where Scott Summers is involved. Blue Beetle escorts Rogue to her new home, where she has a look around where she'll be staying in one of Tony's apartments. On the ride home, Wesleigh has a bizarre and prophetic dream (A common occurrence for her) about a gold fish, a camouflaging reptile, and an eight legged being.
The next morning, a special day begins for the New York Natural History Museum, as they are playing host to the Visigoth Diamond. Xavier's institute is on a school trip to the place, but the Joker's gang is also slipping in, under the guise of a 'special surprise show'. Joker and his boys head through the back corridors, spreading knockout gas and taking out the guards. Soon enough, he makes it to the security room, and begins to flood the whole museum with gas, hoping to lure out someone like Tony Stark.
Storm uses her power over wind to keep the gas trapped in place. Jack Ryder happens to be on a "busman's holiday", visiting the museum to talk with a Latverian dignitary, and he sends the dignitary to safety while he races off to deal with the gas attack. While Storm's class heads for the exit, a mysterious figure disguised as Spiderman steals the diamond for himself. A girl named Raven, inside the building, pursues the crook, while outside the Question, Iron Man, and Wesleigh Dodds as the Sandman are en-route.
The Joker issues his demands: He wants to know where fellow supervillains like the Riddler are, and he's willing to blow up the whole building to find out. Before too long, the Batman himself makes the scene. Gleeful, the Joker jumps into his car, and races off with Batman in hot pursuit. Raven pursues the Spider-Imposter, and the Sandman locates him too. Unfortunately, despite Sandman's best efforts, the Spider-Fake weaves a web of trickery and manages to give her the slip. Iron Man breaks into the building, and corners one of Joker's abandoned goons carrying a gun.
Meanwhile, Blue Beetle pays a visit to Dr Langstrom, concerned for his wellbeing. He finds Langstrom distraught with his new mutated condition and on the brink of suicide. He discovered he had changed after a truck accident happened and he survived without much harm. Blue Beetle manages to talk him down. The two talk about Langstrom's now dead family, and it turns out his daughter knew Jaime's best friend. Jaime suggests Xavier's Institute as a place to get Langstrom help, and he drops the doctor off at the front gates.
Elsewhere, Rocket is on the hunt for information about the Owl. He catches a fairly minor and harmless mutant criminal called Caliban, lost on his way to the Owl's lair. Rocket corners him in an alleyway, and ruthlessly digs into him for information. In the end, he manages to get the location for where the Big Man's minions will be committing their next robbery. He very roughly sends the crook on his way.
Back at the museum, Iron Man, the Question, and the Sandman are taking care of the various mooks still remaining. Rogue calls Blue Beetle about the havoc ensuing, and he heads over to the museum. The heroes all find the bomb, and try to figure out how to defuse it, but when the device does go off, it does nothing but play music and release confetti. And then it really does explode, but Blue Beetle manages to protect the group. The situation finished, the three introduce themselves to one another, and even the Creeper shows up.
Blue Beetle heads over to Rogue's place, so he can help her move her things. They talk for a while, before he flies her to her old, dingy accommodations. One of the things they pick up is Rogue's locket, holding a picture of her parents. Wesleigh heads back to her own home, and calls up the doctor at the school lab where she works, Dr Michael Morbius, to see if she can use the lab equipment on her off-day. Outside the museum, the mutant children are being comforted and Jack is being questioned by police. J. Jonah Jameson, incensed with the loss of his diamond, stands outside letting reporters listen to one of his signature rants.
Just then, in a puff of smoke, the enigmatic Mysterio arrives, and announces his intention to bring Spider-Man to justice. Jack approaches the boasting magician, and begins picking holes in his story. Wesleigh, on her way to the lab at the time, spots the extraordinary affair and gets off to have a watch. Mysterio also requests a steep reward for his 'chivalry', which prompts Wesleigh to start heckling him and interrogating him too. After some more back-and-forth, Mysterio makes his grand exit, having thoroughly convinced Jack that he's a fake. Jack invites Wesleigh to dinner at an expensive restaurant.
Tony Stark parks outside of a restaurant, but is abruptly attacked by Backlash, the first of many super villains out for payback. He is pursued into an alleyway, and defends himself with a dustbin lid as a shield. All of a sudden, who should arrive but the outrageous Aquaman? As Backlash and the prince of the seas square off, Storm wanders into the area, and whisks Tony out of harm's way. She takes Tony back to Stark tower where the two sit back to relax, and JARVIS is stunned that Storm is not a date.
Wesleigh uses the laboratory to try and find a way of counteracting Joker's laughing gas. While she waits, she has a brief meditative session, and catches glimpses of prophecies. Erstwhile, Jack finishes up the latest episode of his talk show, and has an announcement to make. Inspired by the Wayne Fundraiser, he has decided to host a special episode talking with members of the mutant community, with a counterpoint episode the next week. He's believes he's prepared for the trouble to come, but the same can't be said for his stunned producer.
Young Peter Parker drops in on Jameson's office, and brings with him a few pictures, hoping to get a job as a photographer. Jameson, not the most pleasant person to begin with, is fresh off his raging at Spider-Man, and casually dismisses the pictures. However, he immediately perks up when Peter offers to get pictures of Spider-Man (In other words, himself). Not long after, Jameson recieves a bomb, and a note from the Joker insisting that the newspaper focus on him more. Jameson refuses the demands as only he can.
Rocket hunts for the Owl, while the Question and Blue Beetle go after the Big Man. The two find one of the Big Man's hideouts, and break in to start giving the mooks there a hard time. It turns out the minions were only in charge of taking care of some of the Big Man's money, but the two do get some information on his personal Enforcers. Elsewhere, a black minivan heads towards a small jewellery shop, triggering Peter's Spider-Sense. Spider-Man interrupts their robbery, but Rocket Raccoon's traps are triggered, leaving everybody black and blue. The Creeper watches the whole thing with quirky glee, and Rocket interrogates one of the minions, to find out the Owl's tactics, and his hideout.
Dr McCoy leads Dr Langstrom downstairs into the clinic, or rather the top-secret health centre, and begins to give him a full body mental examination. There, it's revealed that Langstrom's condition was triggered by his old friend Dr Milo spiking his drink. Elsewhere in the mansion, Storm gets chewed out again for wandering off and for looking for trouble. On the way out, Storm hears the teachers discussing whether or not they're allowing her to grow and prosper. Tony calls Storm to tell her about the 'Iron Man revenge squad', and expresses his irritation at Storm being punished for heroism.
Much later, at the mall, Rogue and Langstrom meet each other again, while Raven meditates on the rooftops. Not long after, Langstrom transforms into the Man-Bat, and attacks the crowd. Rogue grabs him, and drains some of his memories and vitality. The result is the Bat with the Man's mind, wracked with anguish. The two try to comfort him as best they can, before a police officer drives them away. The Spider-Fake also decides to web his way over to the mall and rob one of the stores, only to be attacked by Raven, whereupon he slips away in another illusion.
The Joker calls up the Friends of Humanity, a suspect anti-mutants group, under the name of Jack Napier. He manages to convince the founder, Graydon Creed, to arrange a meeting with him, so that they can talk about how he can help with certain mutant-based issues. Wesleigh manages to meet up with Jack Ryder, to catch up over coffee. They seem to develop an attraction, and both have interesting secrets of their own, but Wesleigh has to go. As she leaves, Jack looks into the correlation between Spider-Man and vengeful hollywood workers, and his trail leads him to an abandoned studio, which he asks Jamal from his research department to check out.
Professor X calls Tony to talk with him about Storm running off. Tony rails into him for the schools' treatment of Storm, which prompts Scott to yell right back at him. What follows is possibly the greatest insult to ever be directed at Scott 'Cyclops' Summers. Xavier soon steps in to defuse the situation, and Tony states his humble gratitude towards Storm. A short time afterwards, he calls up Storm to apologise for any trouble he may have got her into. Storm realises he is drunk-flying as he makes this call, which suddenly cuts off.
Rocket reaches the Owl's hideout, sneaking in and taking a couple of the Owl's minions off guard. The two are not incredibly bright, but they somehow manage to convince Rocket that they're insurance workers for the Owl, and they talk him into checking out a Big Man hideout. By the time he gets there, the cargo has been cleared out, and the mooks there try and rough him up, to no success. Back at their respective hideouts, the Big Man and the Owl are informed by their minions about the encounters with the superheroes.
Rogue awakes that morning to find Jaime making her a cooked breakfast, with coffee. The two discuss plans for the day, and Rogue reflects that she needs to find where Langstrom's being kept. Jaime suggests asking him where he was hospitalised, and asking for findings when they go to Xavier's tomorrow. Rogue puzzles over the fact that she didn't become a bat-beast when she touched the Man-Bat, and Jaime compliments her while trying to jokingly relax her. Meanwhile, Nicholas 'Nicco' Cho checks into the IT room, and chats with his sleepy looking friend, Karen Starr. As for Ivan Barret, he reflects on his productive night's work, then heads to the scrapyard to fix up walkie talkies for Beetle and Sandman. He also peruses the newspaper, and finds a coded message inviting him for a talk in a certain bar at a certain time.
Jack Ryder talks with his assistant, Sondra, about fielding calls about his announcement the other night. Meanwhile, Rocket goes through his morning routine, and decides to not head back to the Owl's headquarters just yet. Instead, he calls up Jack, to check when the show is where Jack will need security. Jack says it won't be for another week, but suggests that Rocket come to help with planning, and prove that Jack didn't make him up. Rocket flies by Sam the Producer's window, and gives the man one hell of a start.
Meanwhile, the sinister terrorist Bane puts down his weights, and speaks with a few of his followers. His many black-armoured minions have been roaming the streets, as of late, promising revenge over the rich and greedy. Now his group has found none other that Tony Stark lying unconscious on the roadside, and just days after Bane received a call to capture that very same man. Tony is strapped to a board stood inside a sewer tunnel. A man named Greg Shapanka arrives soon after, equipped with his 'Blizzard' weaponry, sent by the Iron Man revenge squad for Stark's technology. Bane agrees to let him dissect and record information on Tony's suit, on the condition that he doesn't take off the mask. Blizzard agrees, and reinforces the restraints with ice, which has the unfortunate side-effect of waking up Tony. The frightened and confused Iron Man calls for help until Bane knocks him out again.
The Friends of Humanity arrive at a secret location to talk with 'Jack Napier', and instead find the Joker in the flesh. Graydon Creed orders his associates to sit and listen, but scientist Dr Milo is frightened out of his wits. Joker appeals to the group's fears of society becoming completely dominated by mutants, until normal humans are the minority. Milo makes the mistake of questioning Joker's motives, and the harlequin of hate brutally dispatches him. Milo dies unmourned, but Creed is still suspicious about where Joker would lead his group. Erstwhile, Man-Bat wakes up locked and restrained in a jail cell. Despite his desperate protests, he receives only scorn and mockery from the inmates and guards.
Deadpool enters Stark tower, and begins to go through his clothes and food. Strictly for detective purposes, of course. He's about to start looking for clues in a ham and cheese sandwich when Jarvis seals the building. Deadpool explains himself, as Jarvis lets him know that Pepper will be back at any moment. When Pepper comes in and threatens Deadpool, the suicidally confident mercenary attempts to sweep her off her feet. Wearing a threatening half-smile the whole time, Pepper gives him Tony's last known location and sends him on his way. Deadpool reaches Morningside Heights, and starts harrassing an innocent couple for information. He is unaware that a certain biker is watching him, with a bubbling fury.
Jack soon calls Wesleigh, and tells her about his findings related to 22nd Century Effects, which may be tied in to Mysterio. Wesleigh's current hotel room isn't the best place for such a talk, so Jack suggests continuing their talk somewhere else. Somewhere like, say, dinner at seven. Wesleigh calls it a date, while Jack would prefer 'business meeting'. Wesleigh compliments Jack on his daring, some might say reckless move on last night's show, and he simply says that it's a question that needs attending to, and besides which ratings will probably skyrocket. Meanwhile, Rocket heads up to the main reception desk, and has to contend with one of Jack's slightly air-headed secretaries.
Ororo struggles with what to do, before deciding to be up-front about it. She heads to Jean Grey's office, only to meet her in the hallway. Ms Grey tells her that Mr Summers wants a word with her. After embarrassing herself with some worried babbling, Ororo heads to Mr Summer's classroom, where she finds four other pupils sat. We're introduced to Cannonball, Magma, Sunspot and Karma. Summers announces that instead of putting them in detention for going out and doing heroic deeds, he's assembling them into a team to get them co-operating and working safely. Storm takes the opportunity to tell them about Tony's situation. Summers leaves the situation in their hands, and the team tells one another about their abilities before hitting the road.
The group arrive at Morningside Heights, and come across Deadpool, who immediately starts making the moves on Storm.
Deadpool alters time-space continuum by mentioning Teen Titans an indefinite number of years before its inception, and continues to hit on various female members of the team while offering mildly offensive team names such as "Teenage Pregnancy Force 5" before settling on the New Mutants. Providing part insane advice, part rambling references to no one in this universe will understand, he more or less wanders off with Cannonball and Magma in tow. Meanwhile, Sunspot, Storm, and Karma goes off to riverside to search for clues for Tony's whereabouts. The trio finds nothing for a while, until Storm notices a black marking on the sidewalk. Closer inspection discovers a trail.
Rocket goes to Ryder's office. Jack greets Rocket and offers him a position as a security consultant. Rocket offers practical advice and a very low price of 25$ an hour.
Sandman sneaks around New York. Almost beats up an old guy, and ends up attacked by a mummy. Likely the entire animation budget for the episode gets spent for the fight scene here. However! The mummy is actually an animatronic, which taunted her with a riddle. While Sandman was able to solve the riddle, Mysterio simply taunts her.
Question rigs up some smoke bombs and home-made gadgets and Batmans along the alleys of New York. Meets an overly excited small, skinny man (Foswell) with a brown suit and mustache who offers him a drink & tells him about the Big Man, narrowing down the options to three.
Blue Beetle continues to facilitate his somewhat complex relationship with Rogue, comforting her in her loss. Batman broods and continues to be Batman, as usual. Well, a jetlagged and likely slightly confused Batman given he doesn't really know New York very well.
Meanwhile, Joker claims to have morals, and promises Creed that he'll take the world to a new Golden Age without the existence of mutants. Creed agrees, but suggests to the Joker that his trust must be earned. Bane brings Tony to Blizzard, and returns to work only discovering the New Mutants are on his doorstep.
Scene now switches to Shapanka (Blizzard), who taunts Tony and gives him the ol' motivation. Blah, blah, I was laid off from Stark Co. I learned to weaponize liquid nitrogen (not actually plausible unless liquid nitrogen works differently in this mortal realm), and is now taking my sweet time to DESTROY YOU. Cue one line of banter from Tony.
Karen solves a programming problem. As the episode ends, Joker continues his rant in the background, and a certain blond female guard approaches man-bat...
Deadpool teleports Magma and Cannonball to Storm's location. Karma figured out that the marks are probably due to some heavy machine crash-landing. The group begins to investigate the sewer systems.
Jack reveals he's somewhat anthrocentric and takes a phone call. Rockets speaks of his mercenary experience, and notices a mysterious truck coming into the employee parking lot. Suddenly, mutant attack! A quartet of "mutants" with elemental-themed powers (Quaker, Icegirl, Shocker, and Firebolt), but their flashy entrance alerts Karen, who senses Shocker's electrical burst.
Cue (potentially fanservice-y) transformation scene (if there's anything that could make taking off oversized purple sweaters sexy, it's probably going to be Power Girl). Break to commercial.
Sandman threatens Mysterio, and the two trades more banter. Mysterio threatens her some more, and disappears.
The Question pays Foswell and leaves. He considers the possibility of ambush quickly, but decides to go forward and investigate like a boss anyways. The blond guard reveals herself to be Harley Quinn, and releases every prisoner includes Langstrom. Langstrom is flabbergasted that Harley is willing to tolerate his mutant form and even tough him, and flees the prison with her. Cue epic escape sequence. Also probably a long guard getting beaten up by a sea of orange jumpsuits. But yes, tranquilizer shots and a few explosions later, the two are whisked away by a man speaking in heavily accented English and flees to Joker's hideout on a boat.
Langstrom, being ever chivalrous, offers repayment, but Harley laughs him off and pushes all the right buttons, telling him that he's not his fault for being mutant, and given the situation, she was going to offer him a place at the Joker's hideout to work so a cure for the mutants can be found.
Tony banter some more, though the ice he is entrapped in is making him uncomfortable. He trades further insults with Blizzard. Meanwhile, the Rocket Raccoon realizes that something's off and gets to the action just in time to watch the security guards getting their asses kicked by the "mutants."
Joker continues to speak of the mutant problem, makes a Carly Rae Jensen reference, and leaves. He rigs a terrorist attack on the building where Ryders worked in by disguising weapons as part of their Mook's bodies (mostly just to pin the blame on mutants). Bane calls Pepper and tells her about Tony's whereabouts. Being uncreative, he asks for a simple 25000 for the random, but asks Pepper to come alone. Pepper, being naturally genre savvy, comes along and will probably get kidnapped in the next episode.
The episode ends on a soft and light note with Blue Beetle giving Rogue a ride to her school.
The exposition is good, though, as the reader is once again reminded of the freakish accident that resulted in Man-Bat's transformation in the first place. In a few succint words, Langstrom explains his past - how something happened to him due to the scheming of Dr. Milo, his former friends. And so on. However, Langstrom articulates his guilt at killing the two people much too well, and Harley quickly jumps in to take advantage of the situation, honeying her words to ensue Langstrom's cooperation. She promises him a lab to develop a cure, and makes the situation of his functional house-arrest seem like it was for his own good by both promising that the equipment will be obtained legally, and the authorities must not know that this is what's going on.
Meanwhile, Question goes through the world's most epic (so far) prepping montage, proving that male characters also possess hammerspace. Scene is contrasted by Shocker making very loud and obvious exclamations about his "mutantness." Many poorly compensated and hopelessly outgunned guards are attacked as the chant "Death to Ryder! Death to Ryder" echo in the background.
Cue commerical break.
After a commercial break, the scene shift back down to the sewers, where Deadpool is offering yet more random references that only older viewers will probably get.
Meanwhile, Rogue and Jaime are still on full-blown high school teen slice-of-life show mode, reminding viewers that despite the crapsack situation everyone's in, there's a lighter and softer side to this whole thing. Jaime tells his girlfriend (they're official now) that he wanted to interfere and put Kingpin behind bars and truly become a superhero.
Rocket Raccoon does a lot of talking when he should probably just shoot the bad guys, but he breaks in the series' first dynamic entry. Shocker, not genre-savvy enough to recognize that he's probably going to get his ass kicked, orders Firebolt and Icegirl to attack, followed by Quake. They destroy a crapton of the nearby studio, but are surprisingly non-lethal as Icegirl is only freezing hands and feet of the guards.
Rocket rolls in, grenades Firebolt, and his body quickly turns into ice. However, he melts it within seconds, and destroys the ice within an explosion. Rocket Raccoon enters bullet time, leaps directly under Firebolt, and drop a trap beacon. The resulting explosion sends Firebolt through a steel wall and the "mutant" drops through with a panicked yelp.
And suddenly Jack Ryder/Creeper bounces out of nowhere in the episode's second dynamic entry, bouncing over Shocker onto Quakes. A few more epic exchanges occur, but Icegirl suddenly sees something and forces her companions to stop. The group yells out a few threatening things about "Ryder isn't here! We're leaving" and disappears in a giant metal hamster ball, but not before Rocket plans a tracking device, vowing vengeance on them later - he need to help the injured guards first.
Bane contacts his men for something, and seals Shapanka in the room with Tony. He offers him an hour before being shot. However, as he puts down the microphone, a mook runs in and tells him the tunnel's been breached by a bunch of superpowered teenagers, which prompts him to grab a megaphone (does he just keep a stockpile of them handy) and running off to face the threat.
Tony exchanges more banter (because he hasn't shown up in this episode yet). We find out Pepper's terrible at lying, but at least have half a brain as she tells JARVIS to contact all appropriate personnel if something happens to her. Outside, Bane's mooks watch Pepper leave Stark Tower, and begins to follow her.
Scene ends with Deadpool getting kicked in the groin. Cue opening theme song.
Pepper follows a sketchy delivery van, which takes her car to an even sketcher looking port. Despite every inch of the place screaming "YOU WILL BE KIDNAPPED", she goes along merrily, pretending to be brave when half a dozen men with combat vests and guns popped out of the van.
The mooks nervously approach Pepper, and then realizes that she actually did come along, without backup, weaponless and everything else. Pepper sort-of bluffs, telling them that she's called for help, but the mooks don't buy the story and tazers her from behind.
Meanwhile, the Sandman beats up a janitor and hits the old guy with truth serum. The janitor turns out to be the Chamelon, Mysterio's henchman. Turns out that Mysterio hangs around the sound stage, and is just too lazy to actually fight crime. Simply put, he wants to set himself up as the hero, so the Chameleon's along the ride for the money. When the Sandman has learned all she needed to learn, she allows the Chameleon to pass out, and leaves an Origami hawk with a badass message before she leaves.
In one of those dramatic things where Tony wakes from what seems to be a nightmare, he hears Storm outside and panics. (Stormx Tony shippers will probably rejoice.) More banter is traded with Shapanka, and some ambigious dialogue between the three occurs. Tony wants Storm to leave because it isn't safe. And, well, obviously Storm's going to stay - this is the New Mutant's first mission, after all. Some more what could pass for lovey-dovey banter occurs, and then suddenly - the room starts to heat up as smoke fills the room, ending the episode on an ominous note as a mysterious shape appears on camera.
The voice explains that - he tries to stay away from populated areas, so the monster doesn't come out to punish everyone. But he's alone, and only human. The man's voice begins to break up. It's taking over again, and he was ...
... Just for the ride.
Instead of the usual cheerily cartoonish intro, we are treated to badass orchestrated electric guitar instrumentals as Bane appears to PANIC, dropping his microphone for a comically larger megaphone, and orders his men to begin evac. Vague shadows, smoke, and tongues of fire dance around as the men scramble out of the sewers in an organized - but fearful fashion.
As Bane orders all security systems to be activated in the morningside tunnel, one of Bane's men is shown to run through a tunnel network, hitting a single large red button with tremoring hands, just as a black shape looms over him. Fade to black. A single bell chimes once, and the episode's title is introduced.
As the episode's introduced, the four "mutants" are in their metal ball, fleeing from the crime scene. They get in touch with Joker, telling him that Ryder wasn't present when something sends the sphere flying skyward. The viewer is first treated to gratuitous cleavage, then the rest of Power Girl herself as the "mutants" land ungracefully in a heap. She yanks a lamppost out casually, demonstrating her super strength, just as Rocket Raccoon and Creeper arrives on the scene. She whacks Quake as Rocket and Creeper take care of the other mutants, but gets hit by Shocker's lightning attack, which was conducted through her makeshift club.
Rocket freezes Icegirl with his space-tech, Power Girl gets up, takes the lamppost and throws it at Shocker. In a vague nod to action films, she knocks him off-balance with a carefully placed dive kick in front of him. As he counterattacks in rage, Creeper dives into Firebolt, and dodges a ton of angry fire beams. Some epic fighting follows, and then break to commercial.
Somewhere, a strawman feminist is ranting on her blog about how Power Girl is yet another fantasy invented to keep women enslaved and yoked beneath their heels and how this show is terrible and blah, but probably goes out and secretly buys all the JA: Power Girl merchandise afterwards anyways.
Rogue says farewell to Jaime, heads to school, does exactly what a schoolgirl does, and chats with her friends about everything and nothing in particular. Her friends tease her about her relationship with Jaime, and cue much squee from both in-universe and shippers outside.
Meanwhile, the tunnels are collapsing, and the mutants flee for their lives. In one of those sequences where everyone's powers come exactly in handy for something, a never-ending sequence of boulders seem to fall.
Deadpool, however, finds Tony, and in a cartoonish scene of hilarity shoots the Table in which Tony's being held apart. Before Tony has much of a chance to banter, however ...
The wall behind him begun to glow, and then slowly melted into slag. Rush of steam. Heavy booted fall. FIRE EVERYWHERE. The viewer is treated to the thing that was shown at the beginning of the episode for the first time as the skeleton-thing-in-leathers-and-on-fire slowly scanned the room.
A firelit room, where the skeleton thing slowly ambled forward, flaming chain in hand. Deadpool (somehow in Blizzard's arms like Scooby jumping into Shaggy) bemoans the fate that they're all going to die, while Tony tries to look like a badass and get his non-operational suit working.
Outside the tunnels, heroic music plays as a single one of Bane's mooks is shown to be blocking the way with an Ak-47. What should have been the most badass "You cannot pass!" ends in a whimper as he goes guns akimbo on the two flame-based mutants in Storm's group. Storm jams the guns and tries to deflect bullets (so nobody other than her gets shot - but only in the leg because she needs to be up to boost viewer ratings after conservative news media decry Justice Avengers as being the works of Satan due to the depiction of Ghost Rider), and it is this burst of gunfire that alerts the skeleton - Ghost Rider -, causing it to head off in Storm's general direction.
Of course, Storm's heroics are somewhat ruined by the events of Deadpool, who leaps in and takes a large number of shots. The crazy brave mook loses an Ak (thanks to Storm), and in the second crazy suicide brave/stupid action of the episode, takes a grenade and opens it up with his teeth. No doubt this character will become an ensemble darkhorse for being more badass than some of the heroes, but unfortunately, his reign of awesome is cut short - Ghost Rider appears to be unwilling to share the camera for more than sixty seconds, and yanks the mook to his demise with a chain-around-the-throat.
And just when you think the action can't get more intense, the grenade the mook pulled was already armed, and rolling towards Tony. Deadpool, however, suddenly pulls a heroic sacrifice (?) and stomachs it (literally) by diving on top of it.
Blizzard decides to take the opportunity to attack. He trades blasts with Magma, but gets knocked out as the Ghost Rider vaporizes the mook into a pile of ashes. Immediately, the skeleton conjures a motorcycle and leaves, leaving behind much fan speculation about whether the mook was actually meant to be a significant character but was cut due to budget constraints.
The Joker shows Langstrom around the headquarters, where Man-Bat is struct by how meticulously it replicated his lab in Hiram Penitentiary. Joker even allows him a phone call, in which he uses to call Rogue and Jaime to update them on his status. Before he could dial, though, the Joker cooks up the biggest sob story in the history of comic books, telling Langstrom that all he wanted to do was a comedy gig, but every time he tries anything he get punched into the asylum.
Crying genuine tears of sorrow, the Joker tells Langstrom that he tried his best to be a good guy, but Batman never lets him redeem himself. Citing Batman and the asylum as the reason for his insanity, he ends with the creepiest smile anyone has ever seen, telling Langstrom that he keeps on going because he would prefer to forget the past and focus on the future.
Overly zealous democrats seethe at a non-existent stealth jab at Obama's policies, but the Joker continues an eloquent speech about his dream: having Langstrom change the outcome of things, having everyone going back to normal. With Langstrom's cure, everything will become good and wholesome again. People can go back to being human, and maybe, just maybe, the Joker can get back to his normal life, to his brother, before he dies...
Expecting Langstrom to play right into his hands, the Joker is surprised to see that Man-Bat's response is less than enthusiastic. The medical training of Langstrom kicks in, and he refuses to operate on such a grand scale due to toxic byproducts produced in the process. Simply unwilling to risk public health, he neither accepts nor reject's Joker's offer. Joker's face is a mask as Harley brings in food for Man-Bat. He leaves with his characteristic smile, telling Langstrom to perform his calls in a kind manner. The episode ends with Langstrom staring at the phone in the bedroom as the camera slowly zoom out into the city=scape and beyond, a vaguely saddish theme replacing the typical ending credits.
Finally, cautious viewers notice Spiderman robbing a cash register. The blurry screencaps are posted and much speculation is fueled, but discussions ultimately go nowhere.
The opening credit song is superimposed over footage of the New Mutants, escaping the sewers with Tony. After the opening, the Sandman enters the warehouse-esque structure (on screen caption: the Sound Stage) and prepares to engage Mysterio.
Meanwhile, outside of the sewers, the group engage in some character development and bonding. Cannonball is quickly becoming a crowd favorite because of his simple reasoning. Tony reveals that he's got a soft spot for Storm, and doesn't take her well if she's in full-on Tsun mode. Many Pepperoni shippers are livid with rage and contemplates joining forces with those above, but realizes that Pepper's been kidnapped as of three episodes ago, and Tony's going to have to go bail her out.
A funny moment with Deadpool coming back to life (and promptly demanding payment), and it's time for a commercial break.
Langstrom calls Jaime, tells him everything's fine, and more or less acts super mysterious about everything. He promises Jaime that he'll find a cure soon, and hangs up. Jaime, being the naturally trustworthy soul, doesn't think to press the matter or investigate, but does take up Langstrom's suggestions about investigating Milo, the doctor that cursed Langstrom in the first place. With a maniac laugh, Man-Bat hangs up.
Sandman enters Mysterio's base, and sees the diamond immediately. Any complaints about the animation budget is quickly hushed as Mysterio launches a spectacular attack of terror-inducing spectres at her. Sandman counterattacks, but finds the spectres to be only illusionary. In the biggest plot-twist to date, she offers Mysterio a chance to work with her: act as her front-man and supply her with magic, and she'll help him to gain the fame in which he deserves. Mysterio thinks carefully for a moment and complies. He agrees to Sandman's deal and plans to return the stolen diamond at the earliest convenience.
The episode ends with Sandman walking off into the horizon, becoming a silhouette in the dark night.
... And of course Jaime's gotten himself in trouble again. Wait, no, it's just a cop-disguised-as-a-hooker, tipping him off about the suspicious activity at the hospital that Man-Bat's staying at. "Hooker cop" becomes the newest popular minority character, and fan theories begin to crop up all over the place as to whether or not she's some signature hero in disguise.
Of course, Jaime's going to investigate. He takes the police woman and flies her to the top of a roof. Camera pans to Langstrom's perspective, where he begins what seems to be an amiable relationship with Harley Quinn. While one lone biologist rages at the total lack of biological sciences in the episode, Langstrom makes progress towards the cure. There are smiles and glances exchanged and everything's adorable.
... Even the question is just drinking coffee as he studies the list in front of him intently, taking in each sip with dramatic precision. The same soft theme that appeared a few episodes back starts playing as Power Girl meets Rocket Raccoon and the two are met for the first time. The viewer sees the whole thing through Rocket's perspectives, who chooses to focus on her tremendous ... size, which is befitting a Kree. They bind the "mutants" as Rocket peers at them warily, and there's probably going to be a lot of dialogue next episode that'll catch up confused readers and tie up this part of the arc.
The lighter and softer tone is shattered as the policewoman, Jessy, pulls a gun on the Blue Beetle and threatens to shoot him. She reveals her status as Milo's right hand (wo)man, explaining that it was Milo who tried to kill Langstrom with some blood from a dead mutant. She's also part of an extremist group, the Friends of Humanity.
Jaime naively asks why. Jessy answers that she retaliates because Langstrom fired her. A long rant about Langstrom and Milo's backstory later, Jaime somehow miraculously convinces her to not do the stupid thing (which is obviously trying to kill him) and instead turning herself in for witness protection. Cue much unjustified fan rage about Jaime being a Gary Stu, and dejected fans slinking back to their hidden status.
The thug tries to strangle Jaime, and fails, in turn threatening his death on behalf of the Friends of Humanity. Jaime can only shake his head as he takes her off to the nearest police station.
On the Joker's end, he prepares to receive Bane (while insulting the man's ability to speak English). Harley brings Langstrom an albino hobo, mistaking his request for literal rats for something figurative. Langstrom explains his ideals for helping others, expressing to Harley that his only desire is to make the world is a better place. As they exchange banter, the camera bans out to none other than ... Batman, who narrates the events of the upcoming arc.
A war is coming. A war between humans and mutants. Batman explains that the mutants possess an extraordinarily large array of powers with no apparent upper limit. Joker would channel humanity's fear and outrage into a war that would annihilate the globe. Batman intends to stop him, but he would need allies. Like a black spectre, Batman disappears into the rooftops of New York - it's time for him to investigate, and he begins by, well, Bat-stalking Power Girl.
Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon is intimidating the "mutants", taking great liberties in exaggerating her powers in order to glean information from cegirl. However, Icegirl doesn't crack, and feeds Rocket a story about mutants out to hunt Ryder simply because of the poor conditions in which the mutants live in. Not to be outdone, Rocket gives her a stark overview of what is likely to happen, poking several holes in her story in a speech that would put Sherlocke Holmes to shame. (Page 75)
Icegirl cracks, sells out Shocker, who is under the employment of one Jack Napier. Meanwhile, it is revealed that the Sandman has been engaged in an extended fighting scene against Shocker, who hopes to garner audience sympathy by making it appears as if he was under attack by a mugger. Unfortunately, Jack was the only one to respond to his cries, and two of them subdue Shocker without effort. Shocker independently verifies that Jack Napier is behind all of it, who is ...
... Arranging a meeting with Joker right now, at a mysterious cafe. And the episode ends with Jaime and Rogue finally going on that date of theirs. While viewers are aware that this is mostly transition, the sight of Power Girl flying off into the horizon was nonetheless cinematic enough to mollify much of the rage that existed.
Of course, somewhere, someone is raging on the internets because Batman showed up but didn't Bat-kick anything.
The Creeper returns, kisses Wes, and has more character development. This is echoed in Langstrom's interactions with Harley, who is actively flirting with the Man-Bat. Meanwhile, Jaime produces a device that'll detect Man-Bat's presence (it scans mutants), but for some reason they continue their their date rather than heading off to find Langstrom. The sudden shift to lighter and softer throws most viewers off, but Rogue's idyllic vision about humans and mutants living together side by side is adorable -
The Joker returns to the hideout with proof of Milo's death. Punctuated by sudden Man-Bat RAGE and Man-Bat ANGST because his revenge has been robbed from him. Amidst lots of rage and smashing, Harley returns with a mook in tow, and Langstrom decides it is a good idea to tell the Blue Beetle's secret identity to tell the mook because he believes Jaime should know about the cure that he's making, because the metahuman gene has been isolated in less than a week by a doctor who doesn't even have human hands to pipette reagents with, putting the rest of the world to shame.
... Through the perspective of the mook (also named Jack), we learn that Rogue has a reputation for being something one should never mess with. The Mook is scared, but finds Jaime's residence and leaves him a note. Meanwhile, Rocket, the Sandman, and Jack gathers. They determine that Joker is Jack Napier, and he is serious about starting the human-mutant war. After some deductive reasoning, the team narrows Joker's position down to a restaurant. Jaime, still on his date, texts back and forth with the Question about potential allies.
The episode ends with obligatory fanservice as Power Girl returns home, exhausted. She strips off, takes a shower, and .. emerges from the shower to find a certain caped crusader standing in the corner of her apartment.
Episode's fanservice begins with, of course, nearly-naked Power Girl panicking and running back into the bathroom. One obligatory "I'm Batman" later, and Batman delivers some sombre news. Noting the higher incidents of mutants in New York, he explains to Karen about Joker's plans. Power Girl's power levels are firmly established as hordes of fans take to the internet given details revealed in her discussion with Batman.
Meanwhile, Tony rages as he frantically tries to fix his suit still. Montage is mirrored by Man-Bat doing the same thing for the cure, and further expands on Man-Bat's mook, Jack who is shown to be an average joe from a poor background. The presence of such characters shed doubts on the Joker's villainy to the Fan Dumb, and Jack returns to Rogue asking for a sample to help Langstrom in his experiments. Here, Rogue gets her own personal flash-back outro, showing how her powers worked, how she had hurt others, and why she wants the cure. Her woobie status is firmly cemented by the end of the scene.
The Rocket Raccoon leaves Rogue a warning regarding the Joker, and the Owl is seen in the background talking to a suspicious female character. The Question, Sandman and co. gathers in a bar, reflecting upon issues in which Karen and Batman discussed above. The Joker's plan is fleshed out more and presented to the audience as a genuine threat - hinting at things to come. Jaime is brought up as a possibly ally, and it is here that the name, "Justice Avengers" - is brought up for the first time as the heroes realize the Joker's insane plan may be too big for any one hero to tackle independently.
The scene ends in a somewhat lighter note as characters from the X-Mansion are revisited, and Iron Man takes off into the skies, searching for Pepper.
Tony suits up, argues with JARVIS, and his entire mindset can be summed up with two words: SAVE PEPPER. What would be a long and fruitless search is cut short by Langstrom's mook, who does something stupid and shoots Ironman in-flight. Some gadgety-wizardy-based-threatening from him later, Iron man is on his way to the slums, which Bane has fortified into a fortress. Bane, noting the situation, lets Pepper leave with a backpack, the contents of which are not revealed. Pepper is lead to an arena-like location, coming face to face with Bane. As Tony swoops to the rescue, JARVIS gets in touch with Storm and friends, likely looking for some backup for the still-injured Tony Stark.
Rocket Raccoon infiltrates a Joker base, but is found due to an inopportune call. The raccoon fights his way out, but finds out it was all a set-up by Harley Quinn. Meanwhile, Langstrom's mook finds the X-men and asks the same thing, masquerading as a charity relief fund, the "Duane March." Jean is ambivalent, but Hank enters the conversation when Langstrom is mentioned, clearly concerned about the doctor's well being.
The Beast, in a sudden case of derps, decide to trust not only this random kid who appeared out off the street, but he fully acknowledges to one of the most powerful psychics in the setting (Jean) that it's probably a trap. This is also ignoring the fact that he himself brought up the possibility of having the cure becoming weaponized, but he convinces Jean that everything'll be ok, and they'll support the cure while keeping it secretive.
Jean, being much more genre savvy, showcases her badassery, and scares the mook into telling the heroes everything he knew about the Joker's plans. They learn the Joker's hiding out in an abandoned amusement park/sewer system, and much of what happened to Langstrom. The mook is fully convinced he's going to die, but Xavier wipes his memories and allows him to leave.
At the end of the episode, Joker meets with the mysterious woman, who is revealed to be Mystique. He tells her that a cure for the mutant gene is coming, and requests a few blood samples. Mystique, however, doesn't bite. At all.
Joker stumbles into a little boy after getting kicked out of the cafe. He muses on the "plight" of mutants even as the same topic is brought up by the others. The important question being asked by everyone is not only whether or not the cure will be made, but whether such a cure is good for the community as a whole. Of course, in a nod to Code Geass, Burger King sales triple for the month after Langstrom, having agonized about his condition for a good portion of the episode, sneaks out to buy some fast food.