The Avengers face a new kind of threat, and Black Panther is ready to borrow a Hail Mary play from Men In Black, to incredible effect.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Avengers: Mech Strike # 1 by Jed MacKay, Carlos Magno, Guru-eFX, VC’s Cory Petit, and Carlos Lao, on sale now.
The Avengers have faced some truly incredible enemies throughout their long history in the Marvel Universe. To deal with them, they have had to employ all kinds of methods to subdue, trap, and defeat various supervillains, alien invaders, and cosmic entities. Usually, winning a fight against any kind of skyscraper-sized monster will come with a lot of fanfare in the form of energy blasts and explosions. Occasionally, the day is saved by less extraordinary measures, though rarely are those means as gruesome as what Black Panther just borrowed from Men in Black.
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Avengers: Mech Strike watch the team go into battle against a dire new threat, one that towers over nearly the entire city of Cleveland as it annihilates and consumes whatever it can get. The heavy hitters do what they can to take down the beast while the rest of the Avengers work to evacuate the civilians caught in the fray, but all their efforts appear to be hardly an inconvenience to the beast. Worse than that, some of his attacks even seem to make him stronger, as the massive monster drains the Hulk’s gamma radiation and shrugs off direct hits from Captain Marvel. Black Panther watches from a nearby rooftop, calculating what he needs to do to end the fight before it gets worse. You tell others that you have a theory and that there is only one way you can show that you are right. Unfortunately, that involves looking at the creature they are facing and diving head first into its gaping jaws.
It may sound like the worst idea imaginable, but T’Challa mostly knows what he’s doing, or at least he’s confident enough to be willing to find out. After seeing their ally bitten by the beast, the other Avengers continue to fight as best they can. Captain America warns Iron Man not to get too close, although he himself cannot do much in this fight. With the Hulk out of commission, they need great firepower to contain the monster.
Fortunately, Thor is there with help in the form of an epic bolt straight to the monster’s face, which surprisingly seems to put him on the ropes. Of course, the Avengers have already seen him absorb energy attacks and heal himself, but even Spider-Man can see that the fight is about to end. The kaiju suffers pain before crashing to the ground. Thor gloats that he defeated the beast, but Captain America is quick to point out that he simply ate something he couldn’t bear.
Black Panther’s vibranium suit proved poisonous to the creature, even if they still didn’t know what it was. As shocking as T’Challa’s latest effort was, it’s a move that many readers are more than familiar with, just in a slightly different way. Seeing a hero jump down the throat of a giant alien should be more than familiar to anyone who has seen 1997 Men in black. The film, centered on a dark secret agency that protects the world from alien threats, stars Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, a veteran of the MIB with nothing to lose. Alongside Will Smith’s Agent J, the two chased down an intergalactic terrorist who turned out to be a twenty-foot cockroach with a weaker stomach than his appearance implies. To prevent the alien invader from leaving Earth with an entire galaxy in his pocket, Agents J and K faced the creature head-on.
In a last-ditch effort to defeat the monster, Agent K convinced the insect to eat it. Of course, being swallowed whole by an insect isn’t so bad when you have a hand cannon that can flip entire city blocks, which is exactly how Agent K escaped his gruesome fate and saved the world in the process. This is not to say that Black Panther is secretly a Men in black fan, but there is also no evidence that it is not.
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