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The Order #9: Review

Mar 2008
Matt Fraction, Javier Saltares

Story Name:

9: Dennis --or-- Bad moon rising

Review & Comments

4 stars

The Order #9 Review by (October 21, 2015)
Barry Kitson only does the breakdowns for this issue, and Javier Saltares handles the pencilling. But Kitson still does the cover. And Alejandro Arbona steps up to be full editor for the final 2 issues. I'm a little confused about American ranks. In the interview Dennis Murray is referred to as both Sergeant Major and Warrant Officer in the Navy. Does this mean he was in the Marines? I note that the Infernal Man is still aflame inside his containment suit at the end. So presumably *his* power wasn't artificial. But the details of his power are 1 of the many elements of this series that will remain unexplained. This is the end of the line for the Black Dahlias (including Wendy), Infernal Man and Maul, except for a flashback/mention next issue. 1 of the Sodtly robots will have an actual role next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Order #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The last of the flashback interviews is between Henry Hellrung and Dennis Murray, his paralysed body in an iron lung. Murray was a career military man (which destroyed his marriage) in the Navy, preferring never to be promoted above Warrant Officer. He was severely injured in an explosion onshore which left him in the state he is in now. (Reading between the lines, as the Marvel Chronology Project does, the incident was the 1 which led to Tony Stark's capture and the creation of Iron Man.) Hellrung offered him a place in the Order, in an armour within which he would live in a special fluid that would keep him alive. He would get his mobility back, plus some superpowers. Dennis metaphorically jumped at the chance.

Now Anthem/Henry and Hera/Pepper Potts assemble the team to go get Mullholland Black back from the villains who have been attacking them throughout this series. Heavy/Dennis is going to be in charge, and run it like a military mission.

He wants to bench Milo Fields because his Supernaut armour was wrecked in #6. But Milo and shape-changer Becky Ryan want to go in their new join form which they call Hybrid. Anthem is worried that they aren't trained in that form, but Heavy has changed his mind. He knows what they achieved together last issue, and he figures the team'll need all the firepower they can muster.

They fly to the suspected enemy base at the Salton Sea, a saline lake that was accidentally created in California. But the SHADOW enemy has its hands full at the moment with a re-powered Mullholland Black who has escaped from her cage.

Holly confronts Wendy, the leader of the Black Dahlias and her old lover. But Wendy is grieving for her gang who all died last issue during Black's escape. She grabs the guns from the body of Lisa and starts shooting at Holly. And Maul wacks her with the giant mallet they each wielded in their Order personas. (But presumably depowered Maul can't imbue it with energy.)

But super-energised Mulholland makes the mallet fly out of his hands, and loop round to hit Infernal Man in the back of the head. Then she grabs it and charges it up, and KO's Maul with it. Wendy/Cut's bullets can't hurt her. But the big boss Ezekiel Stane arrives and shoots her in the back with blasts (probably artificial) from his hands.

Meanwhile the rest of the Order are fighting the Sam Softly robots. Anthem fries a lot with lightning bolts. Heavy, Hybrid and Veda's golems wade through them. And Calamity races around speed-punching them. Then the team enter the building. And back at the Bradbury Building HQ Pepper and Kate Kildare lose contact with them. They decide to call in Tony Stark and SHIELD.

The Order are fighting yet more Softly's when Cut and the revived Infernal Man and Maul join in.

Meanwhile Stane has Holly strapped down with a power conduit attached to her head. Zeke goes into the usual mad scientist rant. He explains that the Dahlias got their powers from drugs he gave them, but he was in the process of boosting their powers to higher levels last issue when Mulholland's restored power killed them. He's now going to use Holly's amplified power of connecting to the 'subconscious' of Los Angeles in order to drive the inhabitants mad.

His reason for wanting to do this is to show how useless the Order is. And by extension what a failure Tony Stark is, the man who caused his father Obadiah Stane to commit suicide.

Zeke throws a huge mad scientist switch, and Holly erupts with energy.

The Order fight their way into a room that the enemy forces are defending, expecting it to lead them to Mulholland Black. But Ezekiel Stane has expected this. He waits until Cut, Infernal Man and Maul follow them in, and then seals the room. Which rapidly descends 500 feet into a vibranium bunker.

Zeke apperars on a screen to tell them what's going on. He's going to set off an Electromagnetic Pulse which will wipe out their artificial powers. Even those of his minions. He igores Anthem's protest that removing Heavy's power will kill him.

The bomb goes off. And Heavy falls to the ground. Without his power the fluid in his lungs will kill him. Anthem takes off his helmet, but there's nothing anyone can do. Dennis Murray dies.

Javier Saltares
Stefano Gaudiano
Brendan McCarthy
Barry Kitson (Cover Penciler)
Barry Kitson (Cover Inker)
Barry Kitson (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> The Order: Book info and issue index

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