Child’s Play Second Move – Sleeping With the Enemy
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Darick Robertson & Brandon McKinney (pencilers), Mahlstedt/McKenna/Stegbauer (inkers), Avon (letterer), Hondru (colorist)
Graydon Creed’s men, the Tribunal, try to kidnap Firestar from the New Warriors’ headquarters but are stopped by the team. Justice arrives, explaining to Firestar that she needs to be given to Shinobi Shaw in order to work undercover to stop Gamesmaster. She reluctantly agrees, and Justice takes her to Shaw’s apartment in Tokyo. Shaw explains to Justice his plan to overthrow Gamesmaster and the Upstarts, confident that his apartment has been properly shielded from the Gamesmaster. The Gamesmaster watches their conversation as Siena Blaze arrives with the kidnapped Moonstar, Empath, and Karma.
The Tribunal are a variation of Tribune, the identity Graydon Creed assumed in the Sabretooth miniseries. Creed is listed as a member of the Upstarts in this issue, but the story never explicitly states that the Tribunal work for him.
The crossover moves over to New Warriors, spending almost half of the issue reiterating the plot, with the story only slightly going forward by the end. This is one of the problems with a crossover; if you don’t take the time to explain what happened in the other title, some readers will be confused while everyone else will be bored with the recap. The rest of the issue isn’t really different from the first part of the story, either. We see different Upstarts attacking different New Mutants and Hellions, but the story’s the same. The only advancement of the plot comes in the last four pages, when Shaw announces his predictable plan to betray the Gamesmaster. It seems as if Firestar would have received more attention, considering her past with the Hellions is at the center of the crossover, but she’s mostly ignored until the end of the issue. I’m sure New Warriors fans just viewed this story as an intrusion on the book’s ongoing plotlines, and I can’t blame them after reading this issue.