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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2016) #8
“In Avengers We Trust, Pt 1: Red and Blue States”

Writer: Neil Bogenrieder
Assistant Writer: Mohammed Jaafar
Editor: Mark Alford

Predicted Art Team: Sarah Stone

[Page 1]

[Panel 1: Takes up the first half of the page. Camera perspective, recording at a Dutch angle and taking cover. We see Betty Brant in front of the camera, with the background of a torn-up street in Manhattan, gunfire, explosions, and concussive blasts echoing in the background. Betty is (unsurprisingly) terrified, taking cover behind one of the massive chunks of road torn up.]

Betty: This is Betty Brant, reporting live from the scene of a mass theft from a Roxxon Research and Development plant.

Norah! You getting this?

[Panel 2: Side-by-side and equal size with panel 3. The camera turns towards the dust cloud, where we see the perpetrator revealing themselves and escaping the chaos. It’s Detroit Steel, firing another round of missiles in random directions. It’s here we learn that the camerawoman is Norah Winters, and that the Bugle has become an online news service to keep up with costs and competition]

Norah [op]: Yeah, I got it. A little too close for comfort if you ask me.

[Panel 3: We see two blurred figures swipe away Betty and Norah before they are consumed in the explosion, which rips up the street and incinerates the place they were just standing.]

???: Cutting it a little close! You alright, Betty?

Betty: Yeah-

[Page 2]

[Panel 1: Marginally smaller than the previous first panel. We find that Betty and Norah’s saviors were Spider-Man and Silk, in a midair shot that has them vaulting out of the smoke from the explosion.]

Betty: -Thanks, Spidey.

Spider-Man: Don’t mention it.

Betty: If you don’t mind me asking, who’s your new friend?

Spider-Man: Silk. She’s the new sidekick. We’re still working on writing her Wikipedia entry.

Silk: You gonna be okay, Ms. Winters?

Norah: Yeah. Have camera, will live. Thanks.

Wait, how do you know my name?

Silk: Read your blog. We do have lives besides swinging around in spandex, y’know.

[Panel 2: Thinner panel, but not so thin. Spider-Man and Silk have dropped off their rescuees, and are jumping towards the reader’s right side to continue the fight. Norah is moving forward, shouting towards them.]

Norah: Really? Think we can get an exclusive on that?

Spider-Man: Maybe later. For now, get to safety. We’ll handle this.

Silk, take him from the top. I’ll go down low.

[Panel 3: Side-by-side with panel 4. Silk is running on the side of the nearest building, swiftly dodging gunfire from Detroit Steel’s heavy cannon. We can see Spider-Man in the street, sliding under him to avoid being struck by the chainsaw on the other arm.]

Silk: Hey, boss. Any reason why we’re fighting Detroit Steel and not one of your usual rogues? Not that I mind. Just, you know, curious.

Spider-Man: Believe me, kid, I’d take fighting guys in rhino suits over fighting guys in giant suits of armor any day.

[Panel 4: Spidey has gripped the back of the Detroit Steel armor, having already ripped off its right wing and proceeding to punch his way through the suit.]

Spider-Man: That is, if I was able to count on Stark to keep his own villains in check.

Ever since he formed the Mighty Avengers, he’s been giving his own baddies the cold shoulder. Probably thinks there are bigger fish to fry. Ergo: leaves the street-level heroes to do his dirty work.
[Page 3]

[Panel 1: Spider-Man has found what he’s looking for, Silk joining him on Detroit Steel’s back plating.]

Silk: Wait, is that his power source? I thought it was on the front.

Peter: You’re right, but Johnson moved it into an interior source recently. That one on the outside is just an oscillator. Shocker pulled a trick like that a while back with his gauntlets.

Ooh, he’s tried shielding the wiring with carbonadium. Give me a hand?

[Panel 2: Spider-Man and Silk both yank on the power source, taking the two of them to rip it out of the system. His power gone, Detroit Steel topples over, with the two leaping off.]

Spider-Man: That should do it.

Hup!

[Panel 3: Spider-Man and Silk stand triumphantly over the collapsed Detroit, Spider-Man tossing the power source into the air. In the bottom of the panel, we can see a crowd celebrating in some fashion, taking pictures on their phones, press mixing in as well.]

Spider-Man: Good job, kid.

Silk: Thanks. Shouldn’t we, y’know, slip into the shadows, make ourselves scarce?

Spider-Man: I was labeled as a menace by the public for eighteen years. I think I can safely say I deserve a little time to soak in the love.

[Panel 4: We see a voice catch Spider-Man and Silk’s attention, prompting a very sour reaction from Peter. The dialogue box, one we’ve seen multiple times before, gives who it is away very clearly.]

???: Nice work, guys. I think we can take it from here, though.

Spider-Man: Ugh.

I take it back. Still feel like making yourself scarce?

[Page 4]

[Panel 1: Large panel. Takes up about a quarter of the page. Iron Man descends upon the duo. His armor has been drastically modified, including the inclusion of a singular visor, and multiple Tron-esque lines running along the armor. It maintains some similarity to the Model Prime armor in shape and color scheme. With him are the Mighty Avengers: Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Vision, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and Black Panther (T’Challa).]

Iron Man: It’s time the Mighty Avengers stepped in and cleaned up this mess.

We’ll even front the repair bill. The way I see it, we all win here.

Hey, Spidey.

Spider-Man: Stark. I was getting comfortable with you not poking your head down here.

Iron Man: Aw, I’m hurt. We used to be friends.

Spider-Man: There’s a reason we use “used to be,” Tony. And I know there’s something here besides Doug Johnson that caught your interest. Otherwise I’d be calling up Moon Knight and Cage to help clean this place up.

Iron Man: You’re right. Sort of. There’s something we want. The Avengers want.

[Panel 2: From Iron Man’s POV. His finger is pointed not at Spidey, but at Silk. Both Spider-themed heroes are taken aback at what he’s proposing]

Iron Man: We want your sidekick.

[Panel 3: Small panel. We see Spidey’s fist flexing. He doesn’t trust Stark in the slightest, and with a more reasonable motive than in Power Play: his sidekick’s safety is on the line.]

[Panel 4: Spidey’s head has lined up with Iron Man’s, his lens shrinking in distrust. Captain Marvel is in the background, awaiting orders, Silk also looking on, confused to her mentor’s sudden hostility.]

Spidey: You and I are having a chat. In private.

Iron Man: Done.

Carol, get a barrier set up. Get rid of rooftop press. Nothing gets close to the Detroit Steel armor without leaving in handcuffs.

Captain Marvel: On it.

[Page 5]

[Panel 1: As the Avengers begin to corral the press and onlookers, Silk is approached in the background by Captain Marvel, who begins striking up a friendly conversation with her. In the foreground, Peter and Tony walk off to a more secure location, Peter having caught the two conversing.]

Captain Marvel: I saw you guys fighting. You’re doing good for a rookie, Silk.

Silk: Wow, uh… thanks, Captain. You really think so?

Captain Marvel: Absolutely. Who knows? You could be an Avenger one day.

Spider-Man: You better not be doing what I think you’re doing.

The kid’s sweet, but she soaks up praise like a sponge. Can’t get enough of it.

Tony: That’s not on my orders. I think Carol actually sees talent in the kid.

Peter: And that’s supposed to make me feel better. You guys really have a way with comforting people.

[Panel 2: Tony and Peter have taken their masks off, discussing the matter at hand behind the ruins of the street.]

Peter: So that’s what this is about? You and your team just stopped in town to swipe up my sidekick and that’s it?

Tony: You’ve been dragging Cindy into combat with minimal training. Not exactly model superhero behavior.

Peter: Oh, this just keeps getting better and better. Now I’ve just learned that your government hit squad has been following my intern and learning her secret identity.

And it didn’t tempt you to bring me in when I was starting out.

[Panel 3: To the side of Peter’s POV. Tony has gotten more rigid, and is holding up holographic pictures of Doctor Octopus’ autopsy.]

Tony: You’re raising a lot of eyebrows in the higher ups, Peter. After Doc Ock, people began asking whether or not you’re too dangerous to not enforce some kind of restrictions on you.

I’m beginning to see where they’re coming from. We’re just not sure you’re a good influence on an impressionable college kid.

Peter: And why exactly should I just hand her over to you?

[Panel 4: Tony whispers in Peter’s ear; Peter is particularly horrified at what Tony has just said, tensing up. Silent panel.]

[Page 6]

[Panel 1: Peter and Iron Man put their masks on, Peter visibly provoked by what he just heard, given his narrowed lenses.]

Peter: Tony, I’m gonna tell you right now; what you’ve done these past three years is exactly why I quit the New Avengers. But this takes the cake for scumbag move of the year.

We do this my way. She’s an adult; she can make her own choices. Let’s let her decide. If she says yes, she goes with you. If not, we don’t bring it up ever again.

Tony: Deal.

By the way, Captain Watanabe gives you her regards as NYPD correspondent for the Avengers. Said something along the lines of “See you in prison.”

Peter: That’s somehow the most honest thing I’ve heard you say today.

Let’s just get this over with.

[Panel 2: Silk and Captain Marvel are lifting pieces of the street and clearing the road, still talking, when they’re interrupted by Iron Man and Spidey approaching.]

Iron Man: Cap! Mind if we borrow Silk for a moment?

Captain Marvel: She’s all yours. I think we can manage without her for a few minutes.

[Panel 3: Silk has joined the two. Spider-Man is off to the side, still fuming over what Stark has told him, as the other two converse.]

Iron Man: I’m going to cut to the chase here, kid. You’ve got potential. But. We think that Spider-Man is squandering it. Not applying it right.

In short-

[Panel 4: Close up of Silk, who is distraught by what she has just heard.]

Iron Man [op]: We want you to join the Mighty Avengers. Full time job and everything.

[Panel 5: Close of Iron Man’s visor.]

Iron Man: We could even find a cure for your healing factor problem.

[Page 7]

[Panel 1: Aerial view of the three.]

Cindy: How do you know about that?

Iron Man: It’s not important. What is important is that we can fix you. And a hell of a lot faster than Horizon can.

So, what do you say? Ready to become an Avenger?

[Panel 2: Cindy looking uncomfortable, having been shoved into a choice she wasn’t ready to take.]

Cindy: I dunno… this is a bit of a big decision…

Any chance I can sit on it and get back to you on it?

[Panel 3: Iron Man hands a clear, fiberglass business card, with holographic printing of the Mighty Avenger’s hotline, address, and emblem. Silk takes the card hesitantly.]

Iron Man: Sure thing, kid. Call this number when you’ve made up your mind.

[Panel 4: Iron Man takes off, the other Mighty Avengers following suit.]

Iron Man: Until then-

Avengers!

We’re done here!

[Page 8]

[Panel 1: Spider-Man intensely glares as the Mighties leave, Silk glancing at him in worry.]

Silk: Well, that was… whoa, boss, you okay?

Spider-Man:... Yeah.

I’m fine.

We’re done here, too. I’ll tell Carlie to get some of the new Smelter units up here.

In the meantime. You have class in 30 minutes. Best get going if you want to catch the train over to ESU in time.

[Panel 2: Silk standing behind Spider-Man, who is perched on the edge of a rooftop.]

Silk: Uh, no.

You reacted a little too salty for somebody with no bad blood.

Spider-Man: …Fine.

You remember how I used to be on the New Avengers three years ago?

Silk: Yeah. And then you quit. It was a big deal on the Internet.

Spider-Man: I never did tell you why I quit, did I?

[Panel 3: Close up of Spider-Man’s lenses, narrowed in concentrated thought.]

Spider-Man: Storytime, I guess.

It all started with Stanford.

[Note: from this point on the art has a flashback tone (sepia, black and white, artistic choice.)]

[Panel 4: We see a reimagining of the Stanford Incident that ignited the Civil War in 616.]

Spider-Man [Capt]: The New Warriors decided to bite more than they could chew. Picked a fight on live TV with a group of supers. One of them, Nitro, lit his keg.

Six hundred people died that day. All the New Warriors save Justice were part of that list.

[Page 10]

[Panel 1: Peter, MJ and Aunt May on a street, as the news bulletin above them reads “SHRA signed into law.”]

Spider-Man [Capt]: A woman named Miriam Sharpe lost her son. She threw a big enough fit that the government had to respond. And so they passed the SHRA. All government-recognized superhero teams had to reveal their identities to the government.

The New Avengers, the X-Men, everybody on any team had to be government sanctioned with a flag slapped on their shoulder.

[Panel 2: We see the past roster of the New Avengers at some sort of round table: Captain America, Iron Man, Falcon, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Spider-Woman and Doctor Strange. There’s heavy disputing amongst the members of the team. Spider-Man, however, is the only one who isn’t arguing; rather, he’s just sitting there.]

Ms. Marvel: Registration is a good thing! It’ll keep us all in line and keep our families safe!

Luke Cage: Or they could use them as hostages to keep us as their lapdogs!

Doctor Strange: I have to side with Luke. It gives America the power to reign us in and direct us where they want us to go. And who’s to say where they want us to go is the right place to go?

We can’t have one country holding a monopoly on the superhero community. It makes it look like they’re arming up.

Spider-Woman: I dunno. Registration has always sounded like a good idea. Maybe we should give it a try and work out the wrinkles later.

[Panel 3: Iron Man and Captain America stand at the end of the table. Iron Man has both hands on the table]

Iron Man: Look, we’re wasting time. It’s time to put this one to a vote. All in favor of registering?

[Panel 4: We only see the hands, but we see the count of Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Sentry and Iron Man.]

Iron Man: T’Challa sent in his vote of confidence this morning. So did Rhodey. Those not in favor?

[Panel 5: Now, it’s the hands of Cap, Cage, Falcon, Wolverine, She-Hulk and Doctor Strange.]

Iron Man [op]: Which leaves us with the deciding vote…

[Page 11]

[Panel 1: The view focuses on Spider-Man, who has his fingers interlaced with each other and holding his chin.]

Iron Man [op]: Spidey? Your vote?

Spidey: … I’m not going to vote.

[Panel 2: A shot of multiple Avengers, with a shocked expression on each of their faces.]

[Panel 3: A close of Spider-Man, whose lenses have narrowed.]

Spider-Man: No matter whose side I chose, my wife and aunt get caught in the middle.

The government learns my identity? They’ll use them as bargaining chips to secure my allegiance. And if I disagree, I’ll be person non grata of the state.

[Panel 4: Spider-Man crushes his Avengers ID card, letting the pieces fall out of his grip.]

Spider-Man: I can’t put my family under that kind of risk.

And if being on the Avengers puts them in that situation, then I guess I can’t be an Avenger anymore.

[Panel 5: Spider-Man walking out of the room, everybody watching him as he hits the door panel.]

Spider-Man [pres. Cap]: Turns out I jumped ship at just the right time. When we caught wind of the SHRA, registration for individuals was an optional thing.

The next day, they rushed the whole thing through Congress, making public unmasking mandatory. Cap took everybody who disagreed with it, and made the Secrets.

[Editorial Note: The Secret Avengers are Cap’s street-side Avengers team, dealing in threats to New York too big for one hero, but not big enough to require the Mighty Avengers’ attention.]

 

[Page 12]

[Panel 1: Spider-Man and Silk are sitting at the edge of the roof. Spider-Man is wading in thought, while Silk is leaning over the edge.]

Silk: Sooo…. You hate the Avengers?

Spidey: It’s… a bit more complicated than that. We’re not besties, but I like to think we get along. The only one who I’m not fine with is Stark.

Look, kid, you’re new to this.

When I was your age, I wanted to be an Avenger more than anything. But as your responsibilities change, so do your priorities.

[Panel 2: Spider-Man’s head, his lenses positioned in a sad expression.]

Spider-Man: If you want to join the Avengers, I won’t stop you. Maybe it’ll be good for you, meeting all these other capes. I dunno.

But if you don’t think they’re the right fit for you, you’re always welcome back to… well, what we have right now. Mentor and sidekick. This is all part of growing into the suit.

[Panel 3: Silk, who has a lamenting facial expression, while in the bottom corner Spider-Man is silently thinking.]

Silk: I, uh… I got class.

[Panel 4: Similar panel, with Silk swinging off, leaving Spider-Man on the rooftop.]

[Page 13]

[Panel 1: Cindy is eating a burrito in her dorm, where she’s watching a show on her tablet, dressed in sweatshorts and a hoodie. She’s got the business card in her hand, clenched in her fingers. It’s nighttime outside, lit up by glowing billboards and street lamps.]

[Capt: The Dorm of Cindy Moon]

[Panel 2: A shot of the business card, it’s glowing text giving more light to the side of the room.]

[Panel 3: An upward shot of a hesitant Cindy, who is holding her cell phone in the other hand.]

[Panel 4: A shot of outside the dorm, the only light from the dorm being the glow of her devices. In the distance, we can see Stark Tower (the one from the most recent run of Invincible Iron Man) gleaming brightly.]

Cindy [op]: Hello, Mr. Stark?

[Page 14]

[Panel 1: Tony and Cindy walking down the corridor in Stark Tower, towards a room on the right side.]

Tony: You made the right call, Cindy. I know you and Peter have that whole parental bond- you know, you guys have the whole spider motif going- but trust me, you’re gonna love working with the Avengers.

Sorry to drag you out of bed at this hour, but I thought it would be nice to get you used to the place before we relocate you to the tower full time.

Cindy: I… uh, thanks.

[Panel 2: A closer shot of Cindy’s face, who is visibly disappointed.]

Cindy: Yeah, listen… I was wondering if it would still be possible to live on campus while I’m still studying?

Tony: Can’t do that, kid. Sorry. Protocol requires all Avengers be located on site in case we need to mobilize.

Cindy: Oh, uh… okay.

[Panel 3: Tony and Cindy continue walking down the hallway, Tony now distracted by battle reports and scenarios holographed by his watch.]

Tony: Anyways, I have something big I want to show you.

Literally big, not the metaphorical kind.

You’ll be the first of the Avengers to see-

[Page 15]

[Panel 1: The hallways klaxons are blaring, both Tony and Cindy looking up.]

Tony: Computer! What’s going on?

Computer: Alert from General Masoli. AIM extremists are active off the coast of Borneo. It appears that they are trying to harness the power of the Lava Men.

Tony: Alright, then. Time to accelerate your training.

Suit up, Silk. It’s go time.

[Panel 2: Tony’s hand slams onto a hall console, shouting into the intercom as Silk runs off to get changed.]

Tony: Mighty Avengers!

Assemble!

[Panel 3: Peter and MJ’s apartment. Peter and MJ are fast asleep in their bed, when a strong light bathes the room.]

[Panel 4: Peter lifts his head, to see the source of the light: the Quinjet taking off from Stark Tower.]

[Panel 5: Peter’s head flops back down onto his pillow, a disappointed look on his tired face.]

[Page 16]

[Panel 1: The scene transitions to a large panel of the interior of the Avenger’s quinjet. Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman are inspecting their gear together, Vision is merely standing complacently and aloof, Black Panther is hiding in the corner, and Iron Man is on holographic chat with commanders of every US military branch. The only one not doing anything is Silk, who is simply sitting down and watching the conversation.]

Iron Man: Admiral Chazen, I’m going to need you to move all of your ships in the area to a safe location outside of Borneo naval space.

General Hardell, I need a squadron of Thunderbolt bombers prepped and ready for a bombing run once we’re wrapped up.

[Panel 2: Captain Marvel sits next to Silk, who is obviously uncomfortable in her current situation.]

Captain Marvel: It’s good to have you on board, Silk.

Silk: Thanks, but I’m not sure what I’m gonna bring to the table.

Captain Marvel: You bring the webs back to the table. Represent the spider, kid.

[Panel 3: Captain Marvel puts an encouraging grip on Silk’s shoulder, doing her best to reassure the rookie Avenger.]

Captain Marvel: Hey, you’ll do great. Just keep your eye on the target and nothing will go wrong.

Plus, Tony’s bringing a new toy to the fight tonight, so we should have this in the bag.

[Panel 4: Iron Man turns to face his team as the hologram behind him fades.]

Iron Man: Avengers! Look sharp! We’re coming over the drop zone.

Remember folks, AIM has dedicated all of their forces to this operation. We shut this down, we have a chance to bring down all of AIM. Think we can do that?

Captain Marvel: I think we can arrange that.

Iron Man: Good. T’Challa, pop the hatch.

[Panel 5: The Avengers have leapt out of the hatch, Iron Man leading the charge with Black Panther on a jetpack, Spider-Woman using her armpit gliders, and Captain Marvel carrying Silk downwards.]

Iron Man: Avengers!

Hit ‘em with everything you’ve got!

[Page 17 and 18 Double-Page Spread]

[Panel 1: We see a group of AIM agents on the ground, herding up lava men in single file formations.]

AIM Agent #1: Hope they let us get back to the base soon. It’s sweltering here.

AIM Agent #2: You said it. Hopefully we can get the heavy lifting done soon so the big boys can get these freaks under our control.

AIM Agent #3: Hey, you two! Get a move on! We need to get the last batch back to AIM Island!

AIM Agent #1: Fine, fine.

Hey, you guys hear something? It sounds like a plane.

[Panel 2: A close of up of AIM Agent #2’s helmet, Iron Man’s high-speed figure reflected in the black visor.]

AIM Agent #2: Aw, crap.

[Panel 3: Larger panel in the center of the spread, in which all the Mighty Avengers have sprung into combat. Iron Man and Captain Marvel are firing off their lasers, Black Panther is slashing his opponents with his claws, Spider-Woman is firing off her venom blasts, Vision has just flown through an AIM Agent, and Silk is on top of another, firing a web to an AIM Agent off-panel.]

Iron Man: Don’t let up!

Spider-Woman: Does it look like we are, tin-man? Who’s keeping an eye on the new kid?

Vision: Calm yourself, Jessica. I believe Silk is quite capable of managing her own affairs.

Captain Marvel: Well, better to make sure she’s alive than let her go unchecked.

It’d suck to have to tell Spidey that his sidekick was killed because we weren’t paying attention.

Iron Man: Ex-sidekick, Carol. Once you make an Avenger, you’re a full-fledged hero.

Silk: Anybody got any good jokes? Because I’d like to take my mind off the fact that I’m fighting guys in beekeeper suits.

[Panel 4: Small panel, where Captain Marvel, AIM Agent in her grip, has slammed them into the ground, creating a shockwave that sends multiple others flying.]

Captain Marvel: I’ve got one.

So, according to all known laws of aviation, there’s no way a bee should be able to fly.

It’s wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground.

[Panel 5: Captain Marvel has grabbed a tank, smashing it into another and sending more bodies flying. Silk has landed a distance away, calling Captain Marvel out on her poor sense of humor.]

Captain Marvel: The beekeeper, however, flies anyways.

Because superheroes don’t care what they think is impossible.

Silk: Okay, hard mode: the joke isn’t a reference to an internet meme.

Captain Marvel: Nope. I got nothing.

[Panel 6: A random AIM Agent (we’ll just call him AIM Agent #4 for convenience) is hiding behind a rock, speaking into a comlink.]

AIM Agent #4: Scientist Supreme! We are under attack by the Avengers! Requesting assistance from AIM Island!

Scientist Supreme [Comm]: Acknowledged. Bringing the base to your coordinates. Stand by.

[Panel 7: Iron Man and Vision look up, with Spider-Woman hovering in the background.]

Iron Man: By God…

[Page 19]

[Panel 1: The Mighties are all looking up to see AIM Island hovering above them.]

Silk: So, who wants to see if they punch the giant floating island hardest?

Iron Man: No need, kid.

There’s a reason I have a control satellite in orbit right now.

[Panel 2: Iron Man’s finger has pressed a button on his wrist gauntlet.]

Iron Man: You’ll see why in about 3... 2… 1.

[Panel 3: Large panel. The water splits to show a giant Iron Man suit, nearly the same size as AIM Island. A mish-mash of older, repurposed Iron Man suits, it has clearly been untested in its capabilities, and has not yet been color-coordinated, with some pieces gold and red and black and grey sticking out. Think Superion and Menasor and you’d get a fair representation of what you’re looking at now.]

Giant Armor AI: ONEIROI Protocols on standby.

[Panel 4: The Mighty Avengers are all watching blandly with Iron Man at the controls, save for Silk, who is in the back of the cluster and freaking out.]

Silk: HOLY @#$%!

What is that?! A frikkin’ combiner?!

Iron Man: Wrong giant robot, kid. This right here is the solution to all of our problems.

Meet ONEIROI. The dream machine.

[Page 20]

[Panel 1: Massive panel. ONEIROI raises its right hand, firing off a massive laser blast that smashes through AIM Island’s shields (literally shattering it), a barrage of missiles caking the island in explosions.]

[Panel 2: The Mighty Avengers are still watching the spectacle, a few looking slightly uncomfortable, with Silk the most terrified.]

Iron Man: What’d I tell you? Works like a charm.

Silk: Oh, my God.

[Page 21]

[Panel 1: Iron Man watches AIM Island descend into the Pacific, pressing more buttons on his wrist.]

Iron Man: I’m pulling the ONEIROI unit back. The quinjet will be pulling up in a few minutes. Prep for extraction.

[Panel 2: Iron Man pats Silk, who is gaping at the carnage that has just ensued, on the shoulder, all the while oblivious to her reaction.]

Iron Man: So. First day- or night, if we’re on New York time- on the job.

You enjoy yourself?

Silk: Are you blind?

Iron Man: Uh, no. That’s Daredevil’s job.

[Panel 3: Silk points towards AIM Island, the pieces at least, which are sinking into the ocean.]

Silk: We… we just killed them all. How many people were on that island?

Iron Man: About… erm, 3,000.

Silk: That’s three thousand people there. They deserved trials. We should have allowed them to surrender. You didn’t even give them a chance to do that.

[Panel 4: Iron Man’s grip on Silk’s shoulder has tightened, his mask retracting.]

Tony: We do what we have to do. It might not be the best options, but it’s the one that lets the people we protect sleep at night.

And in the end, lives have to be taken. Simple as that.

[Page 22]

[Panel 1: Iron Man and the other Avengers are boarding the Quinjet, with Silk hesitating.]

Iron Man: You stop thinking about after a while.

Come on. We’re heading out. Celebration party at the tower.

[Panel 2: Silk standing on the gantry of the Quinjet, looking at the burning remains of AIM Island.]

Silk [cap]: Okay, then. I have a question.

When everything’s gone and superheroes like Iron Man have their way-

-what’ll be left to celebrate?

[To be continued.]