LETHAL LEGION #2: Dark Reign and Continuity pr0n.
Frank Tieri is an underrated writer, and underrated "continuity pornographer." Dan Slott is best known for continuity porn these days, since Keith Busiek's focusing on ASTRO CITY the fast few years. But Tieri can bring the continuity porn as well, as he did in WEAPON X and EXCALIBUR.
Now he brings the continuity for us to slobber over again in LETHAL LEGION #2. A lawyer named Livingston is visiting a group super-villains in the Raft to get the full story on an attempted kidnapping. And the attempted kidnapping victim was Norman Osborn. In this issue, Livingston talks to Wonder Man (!) and the Absorbing Man.
Simon has been kept isolated from the other prisoners for his own protection. Starting off, Livingston asks Simon Williams how he got involved in a kidnapping scheme with some of the Avengers' worst enemies.
Fan rant: I liked Simon's speech in that NEW AVENGERS issue. It showed how frustrated he was being a "super-hero" and how it never solved anything. Simon's gotten the short shrift since Bendis took over the Avengers books. Bendis *could* have explored Wonder Man wondering "Am I really Simon Williams or just Wanda's idea of Simon Williams given form by her powers?" during and after HOUSE OF M. End of fan rant.
That crunch is Simon breaking his TV remote. There is a knock on the door. It's Eric Williams. Eric and Simon fight for a bit. (Grim Reaper can stand up to Wonder Man's punches?) After an hour, Simon finally asks Eric what's up?
It's been a while since the Busiek/Perez AVENGERS issues that covered the Simon/Eric relationship. For a long time the Grim Reaper's deal was "The Avengers killed Simon!" before changing to "Vision and Wonder Man are pretending to be Simon!" Plus GR and Nekra had one of those freaky villain/villainess relationships. Then the 90s came along and the Grim Reaper was more "KILLKILLKILL."
Eric introduces Wonder Man to the team. The Absorbing Man refuses to work with "a pig with powers" and leaves. Livingston wonders if that ties into how the Lethal Legion got caught, so he goes to talk with the Absorbing Man.
Creel wins a no-powers prison boxing match, which are good for "prisoner morale."
Tieri brings the Continuity Porn again! DAREDEVIL: YELLOW revealed Carl Creel was Jack Murdock's opponent in his final fight.
He's fought almost every A-list and B-list Marvel hero, but Creel's never been a complicated villain. They've added interesting aspects to him like his love for Titania and a strong aversion to killing innocent bystanders. The times he's been shattered/broken/dissipated/evaporated/etc. may have affected his outlook on life more than he'd like to admit.
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said that Creel boxed under the name "Rocky Davis," which was Creel's cousin's name. Rocky Davis also became a super-villain.
So Carl Creel has a sense of right and wrong, and Osborn "running the show" is wrong. Meaning the Absorbing Man is smarter than the federal government of the Marvel Universe.
Creel narrates the Kidnapping of Norman Osborn. The Lethal Legion distracts the Dark Avengers, while Iron Patriot can't be bothered. Absorbing Man sneaks up and fights the Sentry. More continuity as Carl says the Sentry "damned near killed me" the last time they fought, which was during a CIVIL WAR tie-in. Simon grabs Iron Patriot and flies off. But...
Curiouser and curiouser...
LETHAL LEGION is an interesting part of DARK REIGN, if not a vital one. It asks the question: What happens to the super-villains who don't want to tow the line with Norman Osborn?