"Brothers and Keepers, Part 3: The Killers Club"
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Joe Bennett (p), Jack Jadson (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Captain America battles against a raging M.O.D.O.K. he quickly discovers that the creature he's fighting is little more than an empty shell, and that the villain's mind currently resides elsewhere. Meanwhile the Navy's version of Captain America and the Falcon are busy confronting the corrupt Navy official by the name of Jimmy, but while they discover the man is up to no good, the last page reveals the true villain was waiting in the wings.
We've arrived at the point of the story where Christopher Priest starts to turn some of his cards over, and in doing so us readers are starting to get the sense that there is a bigger plot that ties the various threads that played out over the first ten issue together. Now the arrival of M.O.D.O.K. does make this story a bit more conventional than I've become accustomed to seeing from Christopher Priest, and the big cliff-hanger moment didn't quite have the proper sense of impact, as the character who is revealed to be host of M.O.D.O.K. consciousness is one who really hadn't been properly introduced to the readers beyond a quick character description provided by Robbie Robertson at the party. However, I do like the new gimmick that has been brought to the table, as while there is a certain novelty factor to the idea of M.O.D.O.K.'s giant floating head appearance, the character is a far more effective threat if it's able to hide itself in the body of a normal human until the time comes for the character to reveal itself to the unsuspecting heroes. Now this issue also offers up a pretty entertaining little tussle between M.O.D.O.K. body and Captain America, and the scene where Cap figures out he's dealing with automated responses was a solid little display of the character's ability to analysis a situation. The issue also offers up some nice moments where we're lead on a rather engaging guessing game when it comes to finding out where M.O.D.O.K. mind is currently residing, as we're given several potential suspects, including the Falcon.
Joe Bennett turns in an impressive looking issue that also manages to clearly present the wealth of new information that is brought into play. >From Captain America's sceptical expression as he figures out that M.O.D.O.K.'s body is operating on automated responses, to the cold, decidedly calculating expression on the Falcon's face as he shakes down a corrupt senator, the art does a wonderful job selling the intrigue of the story. There's also a number of impressive big impact visuals, from the double-page shot that opens the issue, as Captain America uses his shield to deflect an attack, to the follow up image of a menacing M.O.D.O.K., as I don't think the character has ever looked more dangerous that he has under Joe Bennett's pencils. The art also offers up a nice bit of action as Captain America makes his way through a small army of guards, and the last page image is a wonderful visual to carry readers into the next chapter.
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