Don't worry, I'm not talking about last month's issue, I just can't stand the most recent cover. So I'll get to Warbird #5 in a moment.
It's been an interesting morning though. My Internet went on the fritz, which left me scrambling to and fro, unplugging this and that in an attempt to fix it. The scrambling lead to me slamming my foot into the wall and tearing the skin off the end of my little toe, which was fun. I was starting to mellow down from that when I cruised by Seven Hells, and saw Devon's statement to those of us angered by the apparent fate of Cassandra Cain. If you've read this blog for any time at all, you can imagine how my mood went after reading that. I posted a comment, and now, for the first time, I've been asked not to comment at a blog again (don't bother to go look for it, it's gone).
Was I overly antagonistic? The more I reflect on it, yes. I told Devon that before (what I interpreted as) accusing the rest of us of not having read the books and understanding the character, he should do so himself. That was mostly in response to his assertion she shot David Cain in the head, killing him. I pointed out that Cain was nowhere to be found at the end of the issue, but there were assassins with broken necks all around, so probably she didn't kill him. Did I say it in an angry and sarcastic manner? Well, to whatever extent you can do that in print. On just about any other subject, it's the sort of comment I would delete five minutes later because I know I'm being rude and needlessly anatagonistic, in the process obscuring my point, if not losing it outright. But I didn't do that this time, so there you have it. Edit - 4:15 PM. So with my feelings of having acted like an idiot only increasing as the day rolled on, I e-mailed an apology to Devon this afternoon, and he was nice enough to accept it. Hmm, chalk one up for for my parents teaching me the value of being able to say "I'm sorry", and the value of recognizing your mistakes. So Warbird #5.
So, Dr. Strange came off as a bit more competent than last month. I am curious why he called Carol for assistance, then tried to stop her from helping when stuff starts to go crazy there at the end. What do you expect her to do Doc, just sit and wait for you to handle it? Traveler essentially had two Wands of Watoomb, and I've seen you get beaten by someone with just one (back when you and Spidey had your first team-up). I know I keep saying it, but it bears repeating: The ability to absorb energy is pretty handy. Carol really keeps using it to her advantage. I've got to admit I'm curious as to why Carol is going to turn down Captain America and side with Iron Man. I really hope it won't just be because she's trying to boost her image these days, and being a fugitive would hurt that. Maybe because she feels she owes Tony something for his help when she had the drinking problem, and giving her support to join the Avengers again? Of course, she has a military background, so maybe it's just a matter of being used to obeying government rules. She was the Avenger most likely to deal with various agencies and their regulations during her stint on the team it seemed.
Last month, I was wondering - and still am - about whether this Warren Traveler is any relation to the Judas Traveller from the Clone Saga. This month, Traveler brought Carol to a reality where everyone on Earth was devoured by a swarm of alien insects. I started wondering, is it some form of Ultimate Gah'lak'tus? Is it a universe where the Annihilation Wave wasn't stopped? But then I settled on another thought: it's an old Spider-Man enemy. No, not the Swarm. Well, not exactly.
Back in Spectacular Spider-Man #170-172, Spidey teams up with a bunch of his reformed former enemies (Puma, Prowler, Rocket Racer, and Sandman) to investigate a weird chest that Spidey had found in the ruins of a house recently. He'd been lead there by She-Hulk, who then left him buried under tons of rock. This put Spidey a bit at odds with the Avengers, especially after he showed up at Avengers mansion, and punched her in the jaw. Ignoring the fact he probably can't hit hard enough to send She-Hulk flying, with one punch, yet did just that, accusations are thrown around and Spidey's decision of teaming up with a bunch of former criminals gets the Avengers suspicions up. There's an obligatory hero versus hero battle, where Spidey's "Outlaws" somehow manage to avoid getting trashed long enough for the truth to be revealed.
The good guys find out that Space Phantom is behind all the trouble. I think this may have been his first appearance since his intial one in The Avengers. It turned out the chest contained a swarm of microscopic insects an explorer had found in the Amazon around the beginning of the 20th century. They were efficient hunting, killing and eating devices, and able to strike as a mass, enable them to even knock around Thor, while being immune to pretty much any attack you could conceive of. The heroes managed to seal it up in the chest again, Spidey webs it to Thor's hammer, and he tosses it in to space.
Around Amazing Spider-Man #350, a group called the Arcane Order, which I think had been started by the guy that found the swarm, tried to bring it back, using some machine powered by a mystical emerald stolen from Dr. Doom, a keepsake of his mother's, I think. Yeah, that's a bright idea. Spidey and the Black Fox, with a bit of an assist from Doom, managed to stop them from bringing back the swarm.
So I'm wondering whether this might be that same thing. It sounds larger, and more powerful, but it's possible that during the time in space, it multiplied, mutated, and grew more powerful. After all, I don't think anyone ever said where they ended up after Thor sent them on a space voyage.