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Comics

Brace for War in Sinister War #1

As we get closer to Ben Reilly’s huge return as the Amazing Spider-Man in Issue #75 as part of the Beyond era, I wanted to take a look at Nick Spencer’s last big event for Pete. Can this mishmash of various Sinister Six teams fighting leave a huge impact in the grand scheme of things? I’m betting no, but who’s to say.

For context, I originally hopped onto Spencer’s run around the #850 landmark and the Sins of Norman Osborn one-shot. I had a fun time with both of those but Last Remains quickly lost my interest, although I do love the Order of the Web’s involvement. That’s to say I’ve heard all the critiques with this run being too drawn out, not getting to the point with Kindred in time and not making any lasting resolutions to One More Day. 

If I’m being honest though, I think I liked this issue. Is it a top-tier Spider-Man story for the ages? No, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. Is the craft from a comic storytelling perspective really that good here? Also no. What it does do is have fun; it’s just teetering on that goofy 90’s Spider-Man animated series vibe. Mark Bagley and the colorist Brian Reber are able to pull off some impressive stuff here with the various teams crashing the film premiere. Everyone wanted to go all out here. 

Some other positives here include some of the interpersonal relationships. Pete gets to support MJ as she walks the red carpet and it’s a genuine feel good moment. Carlie Cooper & Harry get some interesting back-and-forth interrogating as they have their own mystery to figure out, then whatever is going on in Mysterio & Vulture’s feud. Now it’s time…to address the octopus in the room.

Technically the return was in Amazing Spider-Man #70, I get that, but this felt the most insulting. I am of course talking about Doc Ock, formerly known as the Superior Spider-Man. We get a brief moment of Pete reflecting on the events of Superior plus Mephisto actually being in the issue. Something more artistic could have been done here rather than starting with a punch to Vulture from one of his arms. He’s doing his whole spiel you’d expect. I hope the later issues of this event will have any ounce of reflection from him. 

The Kindred and Mephisto & Strange moments were just flat-out boring. You would want to see the various villains fighting because that’s the promise of the event; instead we get this mystery almost laid out to Pete but not quite just so it can be dragged out bit more. I am intrigued by what the second issue is going to bring with the smaller Sinister Six groups showing up at the end but again, I’m also dreading those pointless Kindred speeches and Mephisto/Strange talks. I’ve always felt Strange just gets tacked onto Spidey stories for no reason and this is no exception. If the meat of the event can just focus on the action and let Bagley do his thing, this can be a decent one.

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Comics

GC616 News (Marvel Comics Releases for 07/14/2021)

The GC616 logo, still painted onto a tablecloth flashes across the screen as the broadcast begins. Reagan, hair messily bleached, sits at the anchor’s desk (once again a folding table with a black table cloth over top.

Reagan: Good evening and welcome to GC616, your trusted source for superhero news. Tonight’s top story: an altercation between Thor and Captain America.

Earlier today while the Avengers were taking care of an incident involving robots, Thor, the king of Asgard arrived in Midgard seeming stressed to say the least. Over the course of his visit, Thor took out all of the remaining robots with his lightning before having a minor altercation with Captain America.

Multiple eyewitnesses noted that it appeared as though Thor may have been having difficulties keeping control of his powers. More on this story as it develops but first, Katie is here with some Spider-News

The camera cuts over to Katie, brow furrowed and arms crossed. 

Katie: This is my segment! You can’t just barge in here and take over my story —

J. Jonah Jameson: WHEN THERE’S A STORY INVOLVING THAT WEB-HEADED MENACE TO BE TOLD, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I’M GONNA TELL IT — FIRST!

Katie: This isn’t even only about Spider-Man! It’s about a symbiote infestation! And if you wanted an exclusive, why didn’t you go to your little Daily Bugle office? 

Jonah: LITTLE? WHAT ARE YOU CALLING LITTLE? THE BUGLE IS THE FINEST NEWS ESTABLISHMENT IN ALL OF NEW YORK!

Katie: Well, at least here at G616 we aren’t SCREAMING ALL THE TIME!

A clip-on microphone sits on the desk. Katie and Jonah lunge for the device simultaneously. A brief skirmish ensues before Katie manages to wrestle the equipment from Jonah. She pins it on her shirt and shoves her hand in Jonah’s face to keep him at a distance.

Katie: Many apologies to our G616 viewers today. Somehow, this…Spider’s shadow got through security. Can I get a little help here, anyone? 

She waves her free hand around, signaling for assistance. Her other hand is clamped over Jonah’s mouth, desperately muffling the raging man. Two guards emerge from the shadows to haul Jonah out of the studio. 

Jonah: OH, YOU’RE ON MY LIST NOW, MISSY! EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO THE GREAT J. JONAH J–

Thankfully for Katie, a door slams. She smiles and turns toward the camera, trying not to appear disgruntled.

Katie: Thank goodness he’s gone! I feel so sorry for those poor souls over at the Bugle…Anyway, before that man rudely tried to overshadow me, I had breaking news for you all. I suppose it’s not breaking anymore. The only thing that’s broken is my hand after trying to rid myself of that lunatic…Ahem. The Fantastic Four’s headquarters have been completely engulfed in what appears to be black tendrils from a symbiote. Several superheroes arrived at the scene of the Baxter Building. 

It also appears that our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has returned after his…ahem, killing spree the past week. Unfortunately, Spidey’s suit was completely ripped in the ensuing battle. Although, he’s pretty ripped himself *cough.* 

Witnesses saw The Thing rampaging like the Hulk. As Spider-Man aided the Human Torch in battle against their rocky comrade, a grotesque version of Mr. Fantastic released an explosion of the oozing black gunk upon the heroes. I would hate to be the guy in charge of clean-up. 

No wonder Jonah was so hysterical! Any combination of Mr. Fantastic’s intellect and the power of an alien symbiote from space is news. Not good news, but news nonetheless! Wait…what if that symbiote explosion possessed all the superheroes below the building? What if we’re all in danger? What if Jonah gets credit for breaking this story before I did? Oh, god. The possibilities! 

With Katie plagued by infinite probabilities involved in “What if?” scenarios, the camera cuts back to Reagan.

Reagan: Erm, thank you Katie. Now we have a breaking news report from Brason. Brason?

BREAKING NEWS hits the screen as we cut to Brason speeding in his car to get to the crime scene first.

Brason: Not much time to explain, folks. We have received word that a group of Alchemax guards have captured Andrea Benton, known as Scream, right outside of Alchemax headquarters. At least two dead guards have been discovered so far and what seems to be a symbiote codenamed Doppelganger. 

He sloppily parallel parks nearby and when he exits his car, he is bombarded by a Senator Krane supporter wearing a “For Humanity” hat. 

Unnamed Krane Voter: Reporter sir, I saw the whole thing. 

Brason: That’s great but I need to get to the guards for some real answers. 

Krane Voter: Alright, but just know that Scream fellow I saw was in cahoots with that Spider-Man villain, Carnage. 

Brason: I will keep that in mind. That doesn’t add up at all. Who does he think I am?

Pretends to write it down with some scribbling. Immediately goes up to the officers and guards. 

Brason: What was the scene here last night, how did Doppelganger get out? Is Andrea Benton in custody? 

Alchemax Guard: We had everything handled with Doppelganger. Scream had no reason to get involved, and Andrea was dealt with by the police. She killed one of ours, she is no hero. 

Brason: Has Krane commented on your testing of various monsters and symbiotes? Is your organization for or against the Humanity Act?

Alchemax Guard: *a nervous pause before he answers* My pay grade is not high enough to answer that unfortunately. 

Brason: I might as well ask this one last question, maybe the man who confronted me did see Carnage, or I’ll look like a joke. I’m hearing rumors that Carnage or Cletus Kassady made an appearance at the fight outside of Alchemax?

Alchemax Guard: We would have known if we saw him, I can guarantee you he wasn’t here last night. 

Brason: I knew it! Why did I even go for it?! Well, that’s all I have for you. Thank you for your time. GC viewers, I hope I was able to create a better picture of the events that took place here last night. Back to you. 

Reagan: Thank you so much Brason, next up, one of our new reporters, Justin has some Krakoa-related news. Justin?

A pause.

Justin?

An eerie silence falls over the GC616 Studios. A silence interwoven with the smell of sulfur. A purple puff of smoke BAMFs three figures behind the desk. One is Kurt Wagner, holding a cutlass to the throat of another man in the middle who wears a tattered suit with longish hair. The other is Black Tom Cassidy, whose hands are clamped heavily over the man’s shoulders until he shoves him hard against the newsdesk. As he does they both point menacingly at the man. Black Tom with his hand, but Kurt Wagner with his cutlass. 

Black Tom: And say tha’ fook outta the Krakoan Woolworths!

They BAMF away. Justin looks at the camera, flips his hair Loki style, and sits with a wolfish grin. 

Justin: Hello, again, Citizens. Yes, I am returned. Back from my prolonged time-looping hellscape beyond the Zero Point and from extended embedded assignment on the mutant nation of Krakoa, where both X-government and metaphysical officials are still in an uproar. 

Despite the general success of the recent Hellfire Gala and newly gained political clout the fledgling island nation has garnered, there is still an unexpected unease rippling through the populace. While I was unable to gain any real hard evidence as to the cause of said malaise due to my clandestine stay, one mutant who spoke to me said that he and his friends “The Xorn Brothers” were looking into the matter. 

“Oh, aye, the weebles have kinda spread like wildfire around ‘ere,” said the mutant who would only identify himself as “David”. “But me, the elf, and Starlight Express are on it. Those weebles are the least of your worries when you deal with Onslaught, but if even a humie like you is feelin’ ‘em, that means we gotta start crackin’ on all the more, yeah?”. When I pressed for an explanation, the Brothers Xorn simply harrumphed and “David” started to cackle breathlessly before moving their whole party toward one of the newly constructed Gates that lead to new Krakoan territory Arrako (formerly known as the celestial body Mars).

The Quiet Council of Krakoa also proved similarly cagey. When asked to comment on the “Onslaught” as well as the general feeling of unease felt by the mutant population of the island, a surly, cigar chomping Council representative said, “Who the f$%k is this guy and why does he smell like a flatscan?”. Afterwards I was…politely asked to leave the island after a…lengthy “debrief” process with the island’s security team X-Force and later provided egress, as you saw at the top of my report.

But I assure you, Citizens, my quest for truth is undaunted! Even though I can’t really remember what my mom looks like or the last 72 hours, give or take. We will return to you next week with more top-notch reporting and up to the minute updates on the evolving state of Mutant affairs.

I’m Justin Partridge III and that’s news to me!

Reagan: Thanks Justin! Now here’s another new reporter, José with a report on Iron Man. José?

After finally receiving the On-Air signal on his long-range communicator, José rushes to the front of the window, where alien constellations glisten in the endless black of space. When he first arrived on this rum-dingy FTL ship, he knew it would be the best view for his first live report, though he expected to have stronger feelings about the whole thing. In fact, José expected to have any physical feeling at all, especially with his equipment, but that’s astral projection for you. 

José: Hello team! I am reporting from the farthest reaches of space where the most unlikely crew is on its way to fight a god, and you will never guess who is leading them: The Invincible Iron Man!  

Just as he rehearsed, José walked down the corridor to the main passenger room, where his interview subjects stood waiting. Even as an astral-projected ghost, he never got used to how weird these folks looked. 

José: But Iron Man is now missing, somehow transported to an unknown and untraceable world, and here to describe his current whereabouts are his teammates.

With the gloating ghost-camera, José put Frog-Man and Gargoyle into the shot.

Frog-Man: This is my first time on the news without the humiliation. Hi mom! I’m Frog-Man! 

Gargoyle: As for Stark’s location, we have yet to figure it out. According to Hellcat’s tenuous mental link, Iron Man is on a barren planet, living on a colony with other lost souls. 

Frog-Man: Apparently it’s the planet where Ultimo is from. Fun fact: There are so many Ultimos! Makes the one we have feel less special, if you ask me.  

José: Once you lock onto him, will you have a rescue plan prepared? 

For an instant, Gargoyle and Frog-Man exchange a worried glance. 

Gargoyle: We have options, but without a true way forward, all is in flux. 

Frog-Man: Like it wasn’t to begin with. I mean, Iron Man had to call on me, Frog-Man, for help! Against a cosmic tyrant named Korvo, or something. Only someone really crazy would do that, and right now I think he’s crazy enough to throw in the towel and stay on that colony. 

Gargoyle: Eugene…

José: Would you say your partnership with Tony Stark was inspired by complete helplessness or yet another personal crisis? 

From the next room over, an intimidating pair of iron boots stomped into the scene, pushing Gargoyle and Frog-Man out of the shot. 

War Machine: That’s it! Get this guy out here! This is a serious operation, not a goddamn TV show!

José: And we are out of time! Will Tony Stark ever return from his cosmic odyssey? Who knows! But with friends like these, a man has no choice but to find himself. Back to you Reagan.

Reagan: Thanks José, now on to — oh! [annoyed] It’s Chad again. Hi Chad, what’s happening today?

The newscast is transitioned from the studio footage to Chad’s sizzle role, a highlight of this weeks reel is him showing his entire ass to Galactus while shouting “Eat this bro, fucking beta”. When the reel ends, we find Chad in a highly swanky event which is actually the film premiere of “Down in Flames, Up in Smoke”. The camera is facing Chad’s back as he gets something from the bar. As he turns towards the camera, he finishes shotgunning his beer in a powdered baby blue suit.

Chad: What’s up! I am here at a fancy ass movie premiere for Cage Mcknight’s new movie “Down in Flames, Up in Smoke” but the real smoke-show is Mary Jane Watson. I saw with her boyfriend earlier, honestly I could fight him. Anyway GC52 sent me out to report on the event.

The cinema’s lobby is clearly empty as the movie is about to start inside. If you are watching at home, it’s clear Chad is terrible at his job. A group of costumed villains start to walk past him until one stops, a man in a green striped shirt.

Sandman: Bro I love your videos dude. Can we get a selfie? Can’t wait to show my buddies.

Chad does indeed take a picture before Doctor Octopus whistles for Sandman to follow him while also telling Chad he loves his work. The camera follows Chad as he follows the group into the theatre which is popping off.

Chad: OH SHIT! There are so many villains in here beating each other up and Spider-Man. Dude! Mysterio is here! I am in over my head but Imma get involved. See you next week Chadians!

The camera cuts out as Chad slams a folding chair over the Vulture and the report turns back to the newsroom.

Reagan: [dryly] Chad everyone, never a bore.

Reagan pauses before transitioning to the next segment.

Next up is something very special, an interview with Multiple Man himself. Bobby?

We cut to two men sitting opposite each other at a dining table. There is Bobby Varghese Vinu, a young up-and-coming reporter who started at GC’s 616 News Division for the UK. Opposite him is Mr. Jamie Madrox, a gentleman known by many to be the superhero known as Multiple Man. He wears a suit, with the colour scheme based on his costume. 

Bobby: I must say Mr. Madrox–

Jamie: Please, call me Jamie.

Bobby: Well, I must say, Jamie, when I was planning the interview at my place–

One of Jamie’s dupes comes to the dining table putting two plates of food.

Bobby: Thank you. Anyways, Mr. Madrox, I admit that I wasn’t expecting you to bring your clones–

Bobby grimaces, realising his mistake

Bobby: I mean dupes. I apologise!

Jamie: Not a problem. I am used to it. 

Bobby: It’s a force of habit since the concept of clones is all too real now ever since Dolly the Sheep. So I forget that you can have a duplicate of someone without thinking “clone!”

Jamie: I guess clones are duplicates in a way.

Bobby: But not all duplicates are clones now, are they?

Jamie: Maybe. Though they do have my DNA so they might be clones.

Bobby: You also reabsorb them back, don’t you? So wouldn’t they be extensions of your consciousness?

 Jamie: You’ve thought about this a lot haven’t you? I could have sworn this interview was about something else.

Bobby: Of course. My apologies for going off-tangent. But before I ask, I must admit that I wasn’t expecting you to bring them to my place and make food. Not that I don’t appreciate it of course, as I do like a good home-cooked meal, but it was surprising.

Jamie: Ah, well, I got called for an interview on such short notice and I wasn’t able to absorb my dupes, so I thought that I might be able to bring them along!

Bobby laughs

Bobby: Anyways, I have heard that you’re presenting something at Technology Talks about an ionospheric bandwidth generator.

Jamie: That is correct.

Bobby: Now, here is a question I would like to ask: what is an ionospheric bandwidth generator?

Jamie: I am afraid I can’t divulge the details there.

Bobby: Fair enough. I must ask though, how do you do it? You must have a schedule for this sort of thing, wouldn’t you? And if you don’t mind me asking, how do you work around it with your powers?

Jamie: Well, as they like to say, sir, I do a lot of yoga and meditation. I read. I jog every morning.

Bobby: With the dupes?

Jamie’s phone buzzes and he picks it up.

Jamie: Apologies, Mr. Vinu. I must go attend the conference.

Bobby: But wait! How are you going to get the–

Jamie opens a gate and walks through it. The dupes join him, and the dining room is empty.

Bobby: Well…so much for my first day as a reporter.

Reagan: It’ll get better with time! And now for another piece of news from kra—

Reagan begins to transition to the next segment but is interrupted by a raven swooping into the studio. From its claws a scrolled up parchment drops. It falls lazily through the air until landing flatly on Reagan’s desk. Reagan skims the letter before reading it aloud.

Reagan: [Reading] To whom it may concern, 

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I also hope  this communication arrives to you as intended, and not as Otherworld sees fit. I try my darndest to get these to you as I’ve written them but for whatever reason this place seems to pervert them in the oddest of ways. Why last week I sent Reagan a tweet only for it to arrive as a sign at the bottom of their tea. 

I digress, you seek the events of Otherworld and I am here to deliver it. The lands of this place have been in quite the commotion since the coming of the mutants, or witchbreed as the inhabitants say, although that has a nasty ring to it. The latest rumblings come from Blightspoke. A fellow described Blightspoke as a place of lost treasures, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s full of shite no one wants. Apparently the mutants were poking their noses into some of this shite when the sheriff let a shot off at them. In a magnificent display of force the one who calls himself Gambit deftly defected the shot. It is said you could hear the shot on all the spokes. Needless to say the mutants wrapped up their business there and continued on. 

A little after this I got a scathing report from one of my informants in the Majestrix’s court, WHO WILL REMAIN UNNAMED. Apparently, Merlyn, the old wizard of legend has returned. I was told that he was previously the ruler of the Starlight Citadel until Lady Saturnyne deposed the old fool. When I pressed for further information my contact started laughing. Jai- my informant, has a way of doing that. Merlyn is back and his newest quest seems to be the eradication of mutants from these lands. A particularly brave thing to say considering that the rulers of two of these lands are themselves mutants. Not the only drama in the court though as it seems that the Majestrix and her Captain Britain seem to continue to be at odds. Even when their goals align against Merlyn they can’t help to not trust the other. Though I can’t blame Lady Saturnyne, the dear captain’s colors are a bit in poor taste, considering what they represent. 

As I write this to you, I currently sit at a tavern with a snout nosed fairy that escaped from Merlyn. All thanks to the Captain and her friends, or as they call themselves, Excalibur. Late the past evening Excalibur trodded right up to Merlyn’s tower freeing the prisoners therein. According to my new friend, Merlyn himself came out to greet them at his Water of All Reality. She didn’t say what the waters truly were but I’ll investigate in my own time and hopefully have it in my next correspondence. Once Merlyn showed Excalibur made an earth shaking exit accompanied by noises whose description eerily sounded like that of a locomotive. Surely they didn’t escape via train. But, Otherworld is a fantastical place and stranger things have happened. The other weird thing is that my new friend claims there was a king amongst the prisoners. The thought made me chuckle. A king in chains, sounds purely Athurian. 

Please have my warmest regards as I bring this month’s correspondence to an end. Will this arrive as intended? Who’s to say. Will this arrive as a letter dropped by a plague soaked avain? Judging by prior experience, undoubtedly so.  

Sincerely, 

Jake Fortier

PS: I almost forgot, my Krakoan correspondent said something about five mutants close to Excalibur being resurrected. To be honest, I haven’t the foggiest idea of who the hell they are. Although, knowing Excalibur, I’m sure I’m about to find out.   

As the letter is finished being read it bursts into flames, immediately setting off the fire alarms and dousing the set in water. Reagan, drenched in water from the sprinklers stares annoyed at the camera.

Reagan: Well, it’s time to end our show anyways so once more, thank you for tuning in to the second-ever broadcast of GC616.

The GC616 logo, dripping water appears as the broadcast cuts out.

Categories
Comics

GC616 News (Marvel Comics Releases for 07/07/2021)

The GC616 logo appears on screen as the camera zooms out to reveal the GC616 newsroom. At the moment, the newsroom is just an empty utility room in the first reasonably priced office space that the team could find on such short notice. The anchor, Reagan, quickly jumps up from behind the plastic folding table covered with a black tablecloth that doubles as both desk and lunctable for those in the office. Pinned on the wall behind her is a blue tablecloth hastily painted with the GC616 Logo.

Reagan stares off-camera and talks to the camera man. While not as nervous as she was at the Hellfire Gala, there’s still an element of anxiety to her.

Reagan: Are we live?

The cameraman, the same one from the Gala, says something inaudible that shocks Reagan into the same confidence that we saw at the Gala.

Reagan: Good evening and welcome to GC616. I’m Reagan Anick. Our top story tonight: the X-Men return to heroism and save the city from a psychic robot.

Footage of the X-Men piloting a mech in battle against an alien-looking robot appears in the corner of the screen as she talks.

The X-Men pilot a mech in battle against an alien robot in X-Men #1 (written by Gerry Duggan, art by Pepe Larraz, colours by Marte Gracia, Lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles) / Source: Marvel Comics

Reagan: Thanks to the quick thinking of this new team, led by Marvel Girl and Cyclops, New York City was saved from a psychic attack that would have led to immense damage and could have potentially spread to the world if not for the heroism of the X-Men. The other heroes that we have to thank are Polaris, Synch, Sunfire, and Wolverine.

Reagan shuffles the papers in front of her a little bit.

Reagan: After saving the city and receiving a welcome from both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, the X-men returned to their new base, a treehouse in a corner of central park that they have named Seneca Gardens in honour of Seneca Village, a 19th century majority Black settlement that was torn down in order to construct Central Park, displacing all of the inhabitants of the settlement.

Reagan pauses as the same muffled voice from early can be heard from behind the camera.

Reagan: Once again, a thank you to the X-Men for their heroics today. Now, if what I’m being told is true, we have someone with information on a teenage superhero group known as… [she looks off screen, squinting to read the cameraman’s lips] the Runaways. Let’s cut to them and find out more.

The feed cuts from the normal view of the GC616 offices to webcam footage of a dark room, with the only light coming from more than a dozen screens placed all around the place, and in the middle, a young man in a hooded cloak can be seen sitting on a rotating chair.

Reagan: Now, if what we’ve been told is correct, you have information about the not-famous-enough-to-get-a-real-reporter Runaways, right? You say you’re their biggest nemesis.

Cloaked man: I AM THE SHADOWS THAT CRAWL AROUND THEM DURING THEIR SLEEP! THE SWORD HANGING OVER THEIR HEADS! THE ABYSS THEY DO NOT DARE TO LOOK INTO! I AM…Glenn.

Reagan: I see you’re very passionate about your job.

Glenn: IT’S NOT A JOB! It’s an honor! I was tasked with watching every one of their steps by the heads of P.R.I.D.E before they fell, and I will not abandon their purpose, even after their deaths. I watch what they do every hour of every day. I have cameras all over the city. I have drones ready for anything they do!

Glenn does a spin with the chair as he puts his hands in the air.

Glenn: This week has been slow though, they’ve just been kinda sad. Gib, the child of the gods that wanted to destroy humanity and now lives with the runaways, keeps going to school and playing football. Lots of cats started giving him rats as sacrifices so he can feed, so I guess there’s that. Nico had a breakdown because of the wizard inside her staff sucking her soul. I would feel sorry for her if my purpose wasn’t destroying her and all she cares about. At least she told her girlfriend, Karolina, about it. The kid that is no longer with them because he betrayed them a while ago, Alex, wants to join the J-Team now. Let’s see where that goes!

Karolina Dean and Nico Minoru in Runaways #37 (written by Rainbow Rowell, art by Andres Genolet, colours by Dee Cunniffe, lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna) / Source: Marvel Comics

Glenn: Wait, finally! The past Gert, who is now present Gert, and is dating Victor, has just discovered that the future version of herself is dating her ex, Chase. They’re all running off, but Victor is staying in place…A SPACESHIP? An alien spaceship just appeared in the sky and landed right in front of him…They’re from Karolina’s planet! What’s going to hap-

The door to upstairs opens. It’s Glenn’s mother.

Glenn’s mother: SON! I TOLD YOU I NEEDED YOU TO GO TO THE STORE FIVE HOURS AGO. THE THOMPSONS ARE COMING FOR DINNER!

Glenn: MOM! THE NEWS PEOPLE ARE HERE! Fuck, I’m sorry, guys. I need to go. I’ll see you next week, I guess.

Glenn goes running up the stairs as he tries not to trip over his cloak, and the camera cuts back to Reagan in the studio, her eyebrows raised.

Reagan: Well then. That was interesting. Now to Katie with a report on a Hulk sighting.

Jen Walters and Jacqueline McGee in Immortal Hulk #48 (written by Al Ewing, pencils by Joe Bennett, inks by Belardino Brabo, colours by Paul Mounts, lettering by VC’s Cory Petit) / Source: Marvel Comics

The camera cuts to Katie, standing inside a hotel lobby. Next to her is a woman, tall in stature with a slightly miffed expression as she adjusts the sleeves of her dark grey trench coat.

Katie: Hello G616 watchers! I am here in New York City, reporting on a domestic disturbance report. And yes, it is safe to go outside downtown Manhattan again. After that gamma-fueled fight between several Hulks and the Avengers earlier, many citizens felt terrified. At least Blade was extricated from the fight early on. What was he even doing there? 

Jen Walters: Hello? If you don’t mind, can we start this interview?

Katie: Oh, right! I’m merely informing people that they’re in no danger of getting Hulk-smashed anymore. 

Jen scoffs, smirking. The recording audio picks up Jen’s muffled mutter.

Jen: I’d be more worried about She-Hulk smashing you right now…

Katie smiles at Jen, completely oblivious. 

Katie: Yes…Sorry I’m so scatterbrained! I  had a recent blood transfusion and I’ve been feeling like two different people lately!

Jen: Ah, I can relate. 

Katie: Wait, you can? You’ve had a — 

Jen: Can we just start the interview, please

Katie: Yes, of course! Ahem. Jen Walters, tell me, who was arguing and what was the cause of the argument? 

Jen: My cousin and his…whatever she is to him these days, were yelling about their relationship, of course. 

Katie: Witnesses in the lower levels of the hotel said it sounded like all hell broke loose up there. Do you have any insight into why the debate escalated so loudly? 

Jen: Let’s just say, those two have some…self-esteem issues. And a history. They aren’t the best at communicating their feelings. Who is? I’ve felt a loss of control as well lately. Yet, I didn’t cause a scene, ha. 

Katie: I see. Why was the whole building reported as “shaking” the moment corroborating sources also witnessed a “demon angel from the depths of hell” flying from your hotel suite. 

Jen: Look, I don’t know what to tell you about hell or angels. The domestic situation has been handled. My cousin’s a good guy, deep within the recesses of the hulking emotional barrier he’s constructed. He took an extended Vegas vacation and his girl…wasn’t thrilled about his absence. There’s been a lot of tension between all of us lately. Warring internal desires and all that. But I can assure you that no one was hurt. 

Katie: Well, I’m delighted to hear that everyone is safe. You avoided my question about the flying…harpy creature. Are you throwing me a red herring here? 

Jen stifles a laugh.

Jen: I’m throwing you a red something.

Katie: A red…? Well, thank you for your time Miss Walters. 

Jen: Pleasure. I wanted to set the record straight in case any misleading information leaked. 

Katie: Manhattan truly is safe today, evidently. Back to you!

Jen rapidly texts on her phone as the camera once again cuts away to Reagan in the studio, this time as she’s wrapping up a conversation with her cameraman, a grin on her face. The grin quickly falls into a more serious look as she notices that she’s live again.

Reagan: Thank you so much Katie. Now, on to some more news from Krakoa as one of our intrepid reporters relays the most recent word on X-Force, Krakoa’s covert ops unit.

The camera cuts to a completely dark screen. After a moment of silence, Reagan’s voice is heard.

Reagan: Did we lose it or….?

She is interrupted by a voice from the dark.

Voice: Frustrating, isn’t it? The dark? Oh, not all the time. Sometimes, we want the dark. We need it. Good things can happen in the dark, memorable things can happen in the dark. Sometimes you’re better off in the dark. Krakoa wants you to think that’s what’s happening with X-Force. They want you to trust them, to stay in the dark – for your own good. Well, we here at GC616 have a different view on that.  

Light flicks on, revealing Kevin wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora, trying very hard to pull off a look he isn’t quite managing. He is standing beside a wall full of photographs of various mutants and humans connected by red tape, which looks suspiciously like the wall of a crazy person.

Kevin: I’m Kevin, and welcome to the X-Force Beat. This week, I’m reporting on another series of mysterious incidents that have swept the US. Most of you probably heard about the high-profile murder of a US Senator in the streets of Washington DC, with no motive even suggested.  Some of you may also have heard of the strange, sudden disintegration of an NYPD officer in Central Park.  But I bet you hadn’t heard the extremely credible reports of a strange hulking monster in the Pacific North-West?

Grainy footage plays of a large red-eyed monster; its authenticity looks highly dubious.

Kevin: What do all these things have in common? As your humble reporter, legally bound by several extremely firmly worded contracts and multiple reprimands from prior employers for ‘wild evidence-free allegations’ – I can say nothing. But if I could say something, I might note reports that a certain purple-haired mutant was reported at the scene of at least one of these mysterious deaths, and maybe more.

Quentin Quire in X-Force #21 (written by Benjamin Percy, art by Joshua Cassara and Robert Gill, colours by Guru Efx, lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna) / Source: Marvel

The camera cuts back to the room, where Kevin draws a circle around an image of Quentin Quire with a red marker.

Kevin: I could also note that this same individual was spotted in Washington state shortly after the rash of appearances by this hulking swamp-monster, with sources suggesting that other mutants may also have been present and engaged in some sort of battle – just before sightings of the creature abruptly stopped. But like I say, I can’t mention any of that – or remind you of this mutant’s alleged links to the heavily-rumored mutant black ops team known as X-Force. Other networks may keep sneering at this as a ‘crank conspiracy’ – but I’ll let you be the judge of whether this seems like the work of some conspiracist.

The camera pans out to show that the set of connected photos is in fact dramatically larger than previously revealed, taking up the entire wall of a very large auditorium. After a knowing nod from Kevin, it cuts back to the studio.

Reagan mutters something about needing to stop conspiracy-types from ending up on the airwaves before turning on her usual anchor persona.

Reagan: And now for a special report from…a member of the Krakoan Quiet Council, Mister Sinister himself?

Sinister: Welcome to Sinister Scoops with your host, MISTER SINISTER!  Not the main Sinister of course, he’s a bit…distracted at the moment.  Instead it is I!  The Sinister with the journalism gene, dedicated to scooping the news on Krakoa for all mutant – and man – kind.  Or at least the important parts featuring Sinister.

Sinister puts his hand to his ear

Sinister: I’m hearing that the journalism gene is not a real thing but I would like to remind the GC616 staff that I am a high regarded geneticist with a very short temper who may not be able to kill humans, but will gladly clone them and leave them in constant doubt of which is which.  Not everyone has a Sinister System like we do after all.  

The Hellions discover the duplicate Mister Sinister in Hellions #13 (written by Zeb Wells, art by Rogê Antônio, colours by Rain Beredo, lettering by VC’s Ariana Maher) / Source: Marvel Comics

Sinister: Drama in the Hellions this week, but what’s new there? Orphan-Maker found himself snooping where he wasn’t allowed and he and his Nanny have found themselves falling out.  Will this finally push our seven foot tall child to grow up a bit?  His new unlikely friendship with Greycrow sure seems like it’ll toughen him up a bit.  Meanwhile, Empath is struggling to recover from the news that he…

Sinister stares in disbelief at the page he’s reading from

Sinister: SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR THE HELLIONS?  Is this thinly veiled excuse to give us Sinisters some useful henchmen actually producing results?  Greycrow isn’t immune to the drama either, as Kwannon rebuffs his latest advance and sends PsyCrow shippers spiralling.  Meanwhile, the main Sinister has some Sinister shaped spanners thrown in the works as ANOTHER Sinister appears, returning from Arakko, and he is NOT happy.  Presumably because of his vastly inferior cape.  Now in the service of Tarn the Uncaring, this scarred Sinister has joined up with the Locus Vile to get back what Sinister stole from him.  Some delightful DnA samples of those Arakki mutants.  Is Arakko the secret source of the journalism gene perhaps?  With Bar Sinister under the Locus Viles occupation at the moment, Tarn has asked me to read out a statement and…warning…to anyone listening.

The entire screen goes black with white text appearing on it

“Amino Fetus must not eat”

Sinister Secret #1

Those humans and their “Zeta Squad” may think they’re on to something but everyone knows a robot baby mutant coming from Cameron Hodge is destined for only one ability, manifesting cardboard suit necklaces.

Sinister Secret #2

And speaking of robot babies, Nanny isn’t as good at hiding her little one from the prying eyes of Sinister Scoops as she thinks.  I won’t tell, but let’s hope the other Sinister doesn’t watch the news…

Sinister Secret #3

The journalism gene?  I made it up.  But shhh, don’t tell anyone…

Reagan:  You know this is a news program right?  Why are you telling “Sinister Secrets” to everyone?  Anyway, on to the next segment!

We cut to a nervous wreck of a reporter, Brason, sweating in his nice suit. He looks very out of place in this crowd at Senator Krane’s statement on his new anti-alien movement following Knull’s invasion. 

Senator Krane in Extreme Carnage: Alpha #1 (written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, pencils by Manël Garcia, inks by Roberto Poggi, Marc Deering, and Cam Smith, colours by Guru Efx, lettering by VC’s Travis Lanham) / Source: Marvel Comics

Reagan: Is everything alright there?

Brason: I think so, the environment isn’t too hostile. Looking over the notes I gathered, some anti-mutant hate speech at the beginning. *whispers* Maybe someone was salty they weren’t at the Gala. Anyways, there’s Krane leaving the stage right now! Let’s try to get some further information. 

Brason sprints up to him very uncomfortably in his dress shoes. 

Brason: Senator Krane, we over at GC616 have a few questions about the Birthright Act! Have you contacted any members of S.W.O.R D. or the Guardians of the Galaxy on your plans about dealing with alien threats before they can reach Earth? Will Thor have to leave the Avengers and Earth entirely? Why are you so confident Charles Xavier would sign onto this after all he’s been trying to accomplish over the years with mutants?

Krane is caught off-guard at first with the fluster of questions & the detail of them. 

Krane: I can assure you we have taken all those questions into consideration. We have this handled and will have the Act ready for the President to sign on in no time. 

Krane steps into his trailer and slams the door in Brason’s face.

Brason: First off, rude. Second, something sounds fishy, GC viewers. He didn’t answer a single question. I’m worried about what we’re in store for. 

Crowd: FOR HUMANITY! FOR HUMANITY! FOR HUMANITY!

Brason: Now it’s getting too chaotic here. I’m gonna see myself out. I hear talks of another Krane rally tomorrow. Everyone please stay safe out there. Back to you, Reagan.

Once again, the camera cuts back to Reagan at the newsdesk.

Reagan: Thanks Brason! And now for some news on everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Person. On to y—

Before Reagan can cut back in from the office, the screen turns black as Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 plays as an icon slowly appears as the drums hammer away. The logo finally become clerk as “Checkin’ In With Chad” who is known as a hyper infamous Youtube sensation. As soon as the logo becomes clear to the viewers, the music quickly transitions into a heavy bass electronic track as Chad’s sizzle reel begins. A few of the highlights of the reel are as follows: Chad kayaking in the flooded streets New York City after Namor flooded the city, him taking a selfie with his tongue out as Magneto declares that Earth has New Gods, and one particularly tasteless one where he shouts “GOTTEM!” as Norman Osborn kills the Skrull Queen. The choice to bring him on the team was a tough one but his fanbase would help their ratings massively. 

Chad: What is up, nerds! When I got the call about being a real newscaster, I said hell no but then I was like wow. What if they, like, let me go to big ass parties and shit like the Hellfire Gala? That would be hella sick. But anyway, I am on Spider-Man duty. JJ Jameson always says he is a menace but I am not really sure why, I don’t read the news, just the headlines. Seems like enough. Anyway, a couple of Spider-Man bits of news this week!

Chad starts walking away from his cameraman, towards a scene of clear havoc recently caused by the semi-villain Star. It’s clear that he’s so used to holding the camera himself that when he was talking about what happened that the camera got none of it. When the cameraman finally spoke up, Chad swung around.

Star menacingly stands in front of a group of dogs in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (written by Jed Mackay and Karla Pacheco, art by Eleonora Carlini and Juan Ferreya, colours by Erick Arciniega, lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna)

Chad: Bro, I am straight up not going over it again so I will give you the TLDR. Star is like this super person who can change reality. She was mad or something, popped her high school bully like a water balloon, and Spider-Man gave her some soapy “great power” crap to show her the error of her ways. All that matters is that I got to meet a little dog named Tater Tot and got to buy a sick book called “Infinite Jest” from the bookstore she robbed. All my dudes have been telling me this book is sick. But also some other bad stuff happened. 

Chad fumbles in his SUPREME backpack before pulling out his iPad. He pulls up a video of Doc Ock attacking Curt Connors’ lab to hold up to the camera.

Various Spider-Man Villains attack Curt Connors’ Lab (written by Nick Spencer, art by Federico Vicentini, colours by Alex Spencer, lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna) / Source: Marvel Comics

Chad: So my buddy uses the dark web a lot so he got me this gnarly video. So it looks like the Lizard and Dr Conners are split in two now. There has been a lot of weird chatter that the villains are about to start an all out war. Sounds like the Sinister 6 are involved and shit too. I am going to find out more but I will kick it back to Megan back in the studio. Oh, Reagan. Sorry, my b.

Back in the studio Reagan purses her lips.

Reagan: Thanks Chaz! [sarcastically] Oh wait, it’s Chad isn’t it.

Reagan smiles before rounding out the show with her outro.

Reagan: Once again, thank you for tuning into GC616, and a massive thank you to our correspondents. Keep an eye out next week for more of our reporting. Have a wonderful evening.

Reagan quickly ducks down behind the desk as the camera zooms in to the banner behind her and music plays off of a phone held close to the microphone.
Reagan: [offscreen] That went great!