Climb Every Mountain to the Headquarters Without Fear!
Credits: Dan Raspler (writer), Dev Madan (penciler), Keith Champagne (inker), Bill Oakley (letterer), Noelle Giddings (colorist)
Grundómu continues to destroy the rainforest, while Junior deduces that the monster is somehow exhaling oxygen like a plant. The team decides to pit Bonfire’s fire powers against Grundómu, while Off-Ramp recruits the nearby scientists. The kid genius, Dr. Renquist (or “Ricky” as he doesn’t like to be called) theorizes that Grundómu is making himself invaluable to humanity by replacing the rainforest. Eventually, Ricky confesses that he created Grundómu and gave him this plan. Ricky is convinced by Junior that any nation on Earth would like to have a “colossal plant-based oxygen machine,” so he orders Grundómu to stop his rampage. Later, the team investigates Ricky’s lab to make sure things are on the up and up. Unfortunately for Hard Drive, Ricky shoots him in the side of the head when he isn’t looking.
In Subplot Land…
Hard Drive tries to encourage Bonfire during the fight, but he’s still upset about her tryst with Frostbite.
Bonfire is apparently having hot flashes, according to the cover blurb. Did DC really intend to associate this character with menopause?
Monstergirl is furious when Off-Ramp asks her why she doesn’t grow larger while fighting the Grundómu. Why exactly she’s so sensitive about her powers remains a mystery.
Frostbite is incensed that he’s been left behind. While taking a walk, he runs into a teacher from issue #6. He learns that “Flying Squirrel” of the Rat Pack is out of jail, and he contemplates checking up on him.
One issue dedicated to a monster fight was a little strange, but two in a row is especially bizarre for this book. I don’t know if Dan Raspler wants a change of pace, or if DC is trying to “mainstream” the title, but there is a sense that the direction of the book is changing. The cliffhanger certainly isn’t of the “________ is kissing ________” variety, but I think it works as an abrupt shock for the readers. I’m not sure what to make of Ricky, who I initially dismissed as a throwaway character, but it’s obvious he’s not supposed to be an incidental. He reads like something straight out of a Mark Waid script, which makes me wonder if Waid (or perhaps Morrison or Millar) ever did anything with the brat.