Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. – 6


Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. – 6

General Info

Issue No:
6
On Sale Date:
March 2014
Cover Date:
May 2014
Era:
New 52
Story Title:
Trustfall

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Mikel Janin
Writer:
Sterling Gates
Penciller:
Neil Edwards
Inker:
Jason Paz, Jay Leisten
Letterer:
Taylor Esposito
Colourist:
Nathan Eyring
Editor:
Brian Cunningham, Kate Durré (assistant)

Characters

Main:
Steve Trevor, Etta Candy
Heroes:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz)
Villains:
Cheetah (Barbara Minerva), Doctor Light (Arthur Light), Crimson Men: Charr, Commander Kroll
Olympians:
The Fates (Morai): Atropos, Clotho, Lakhesis
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Killer Frost (Caitlin Snow), Mr. Green, Barack Obama
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Comments

Tie-in mini series to the Forever Evil event.

Synopsis

In the Green Room, Mr. Green explains to Etta Candy that A.R.G.U.S. has, in fact, existed for hundreds of years, despite all evidence to the contrary. It hadn’t always stood for “Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-humans”. The acronym, though, had been in use for centuries with many different meanings over that time. Accessing her bio-bracelet, Mr. Green initiates a holographic sequence, explaining that he intends to reveal to her the secret history of A.R.G.U.S.

In the 1700s, they were the Armed Revolutionaries Governing Under Secrecy, and while Samuel Adams was busy building committees and the Sons of Liberty, A.R.G.U.S. was spying on the British, and prepared the colonies for the revolutionary war to come. It was they who fired the shot heard round the world. A.R.G.U.S. helped to establish the United States Government, but eventually, the need for that involvement lessened, and the founding fathers changed the organisation’s focus.

In the 1800s, A.R.G.U.S. stood for “Anonymous Ranger Group of the United States” – a peacekeeping force during those difficult times. Their agents served under every president, helping to win every major battle ion the Civil War, and to pursue dangerous outlaws across the Old West. A.R.G.U.S.’ job has always been to secure America, changing tactics and focus as needed.

However, there were dangers in that role. A religious cult called the Crimson preyed on men’s desires and ensnared powerful men with their promises. In exchange, all they asked was help in bringing on the red skies of the apocalypse. In the late 1800s, they began systematically killing A.R.G.U.S. agents who stood in the way of that plan. By the 1900s, they had assassinated one of A.R.G.U.S.’ founders, and so they went on the offensive, sending the Crimson into hiding. Then A.R.G.U.S. shifted its attentions to the metahuman threat. The Crime Syndicate’s easy take-over of the Earth is proof of the threat that metahumans pose to humanity, and in the meantime, the Crimson Men have resurfaced. It will be A.R.G.U.S.’ role to unite the super-humans against the Crimson and the Syndicate, or life as Etta knows it will be extinguished.

President Obama explains that they intend to promote Etta, making her the keeper of the keys. She will know all of A.R.G.U.S.’ secrets, and above all, keep Colonel Steve Trevor alive. He is needed, and if he dies, hope for the planet dies with him.

Steve, meanwhile, is pretty sure he’s dead. He had been in Central Park moments ago, fighting with Cheetah over the Lasso of Truth. An explosion occurred then, and Doctor Light appeared, and moments later, Steve was floating in darkness, naked. Suddenly, the laughter of the Moirai alerts him to the fact that he is not quite dead. At the end of his life, he now owes them payment of his debt to them. Uncomfortably, Steve admits that he needs more time. He hasn’t yet used the Lasso on Firestorm to connect with Wonder Woman. The Moirai will hear no excuses, and demand their payment, reminding that though they helped him get all he needed to complete his plan, it is his fault he did not succeed with those resources.

They cast their gaze over his life, and determine that his past love is not enough payment. They want his future too – the future of reward he will receive for his efforts to save the Justice League. They will feed on his potential. Gritting his teeth, Steve responds that they’re lying. They trade in memories and magic, but there is no fate for him but the one he makes for himself. Shaking their heads, the Moirai pity him for his ignorance and take their leave, warning that they know his future, and they will not cross paths again.

Steve regains consciousness suddenly, within a block of ice. He is back in Central Park, only able to watch as Killer Frost desperately dodges Doctor Light’s attacks. Angrily, Light warns that if she stands beside Steve Trevor, she stands against him. This is problematic enough, as Caitlin is weak from going without feeding on the warmth of others for so long, and Light’s energy is beyond her capacity to process.

Light hurls her into Steve’s ice-block, freeing him. Grumpily, she reminds that she’s saved him four times now, and he might as well owe her a job at A.R.G.U.S. He comments that he’ll put in a good word – if they survive. Hiding behind a thick tree, Steve promises that he can help Doctor Light, but receives an unfriendly response. While Killer Frost holds Light back, Steve crawls over to Cheetah, who is fortunately still alive, and checks to see if she has any useful weapons.

As Light attacks Frost, Steve sneaks up behind him and wraps the Lasso of Truth around him. Compelled by its power, Light explains that he died, and then woke up confused. He was told what to do and where Steve would be. The Crimson had told him the truth – that Arthur Light is dead. Horrified by his own self-realisation, Light disappears in a blast of light energy, leaving Steve, Caitlin, and the Lasso at the edge of a crater. Grabbing the Lasso, Steve inadvertently explains to Caitlin how the Moirai showed him memories from his past, and she wonders if any of them were useful.

He recalls how, in Khandaq, he had approached Wonder Woman while wrapped in the Lasso, and demanded to know whether she loved him. She had responded that while she had loved him, she had moved on. Feeling hurt, Steve responds that the memory was not particularly useful. Suddenly, Martian Manhunter enters Steve’s mind and reports that he has freed himself of the Syndicate’s psychic prison. Regrouping, Steve and Caitlin rush to is aid, determined, despite being one of the last remaining lines of defence where all else have failed. He intends to rebuild the Justice Leagues, and rebuild A.R.G.U.S. without its shady dealings ruining everything.

Later, in the Green Room, Mister Green rendezvous with his lieutenants among the Crimson Men, assured that Steve and Etta are now on the path to making A.R.G.U.S. pawns of the Crimson.