Who's in this issue?
The official title of this story arc is "Enemy of the State". I think what would have been more appropriate would be to name it "Wolverine: Agent of Hydra" since obviously this is what this story arc has been about: Wolverine having been captured and turned into an agent of Hydra. This is confirmed not only from S.H.I.E.L.D's own intelligence, but the appearance of Baron Stucker, who is the leader of Hydra.
In this issue, we see that Wolverine does have a two-way communication going on with Hydra thanks in part to implants that they had placed in him to enable him to communicate with Hydra's home base. With Hydra's aid, Wolverine was able to get what he came for from the Fantastic Four's base: it wasn't capturing the superheroes, as what we were led to initially believe, but to steal Reed Richard's technology and turn them over to Hydra, who in turn would develop the technology to make it a weapon of their liking.
So far, this has been a fast-paced story arc with Wolverine facing off against one main superhero after another. The previous issue had him against Elektra in a fight to escape. This issue had him infiltrating the Fantastic Four's own homebase to steal technology. It appears that the next issue will have him face off against Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and the heart of the American Banking Industry. I'm left with the impression, however, that all these events that Wolverine is involved with almost appears too easy. He's able to escape a top-notch S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft carrier, infiltrate the headquarters of one of the world's most famous superheroes with relative ease, and escape nearly undetected. Either Wolverine is getting a lot of help from Hydra, or he's just one extremely talented fighter. Of course, I'd support the latter of the two, because after all, he is the best at what he does!
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"Enemy of the State: Part 3"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Deep within the confinds of Baxter Building, homebase for the Fantastic Four, Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) was working on his car while Ben Grimm (aka Thing) sought out his assistance to help apply some ointment on his back. Little did they know, however, that Wolverine was watching them from above.
Elsewhere, at the Hydra's home base, Hydra members, including their leader, Baron von Strucker, and The Gorgon were looking thru Wolverine's eyes the situation before them. As they watched, Wolverine infiltrates deeper into their compound. Part of Wolverine's subconscious tries to talk him out of accomplishing his mission, knowing that Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic) was a friend. He has flashbacks of what Hydra had did to him: killing him, then resurrecting him as a Hydra assassin. Though his subconscious knew that this was wrong, another part of his conscious (the brainwashed portion) tells him to continue on with his mission.
Meanwhile, in another part of the Baxter Building, Reed was in his think tank as his wife, Sue tells him that he was needed to read his son, Franklin, a bedtime story. Reed, in reality, had disconnected himself from his body and was in a secret area of non-space with two of his colleagues, Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and Dr. Henry Pym discussing the latest of his inventions: a Terraformer. This device would be able to terraform an entire region, such as Africa, and turn the land into a life-supporting environment. Despite Tony Stark's concern about what Reed had created, they believe that they could develop something that would help the world prior to them using it on other planet.
Just then, a security alert was heard, and they immediately disconnected themselves from non-space. Sue warns Ben and Johnny that she had picked up Wolverine's gene-signature in a room next door. Ben lifts the car that Johnny was working on and throws it through the next room, catching Wolverine by surprise. Johnny grabs Logan by the hands and pins him against a wall, his heat burning into Logan's arms. Logan overrides the building's security codes and unleashes fire retardant towards Johnny, momentarily taking him out. As he grabs him and is about to use his claws, the Thing bursts in, and breaks the floor that they stood on, hurling all three down to the next floor. The Thing and Wolverine proceeds to fight it out. As they do, Wolverine's subconscious tries to talk him into giving up so that the Fantasitc Four could help him out, restore him to what he once was before Hydra had brainwashed him. Wolverine though was able to take down the Thing with a wound to the Thing's shoulder. Soon, Mr. Fantastic stretches himself over Wolverine and encloses him around his stretching flesh. Wolverine gets a space-shift jump assistance from Hydra's homebase, teleporting him out of Mr. Fantastic's enclosure to another room.
In that other room, as Wolverine fights more of the building's security robots, he suddenly finds his lungs freezing on him. The Invisible Woman had appeared and had placed small force-fields inside his lungs. On top of that, she made his optic nerves invisible, causing him to blind. In his mind, Wolverines calls for a pick-up. At that instance, a Hydra aircraft bursts into the building, taking down Sue and freeing Logan from the Fantastic Four's building. As the Human Torch gives chase, Wolverine tosses a data disk to the driver of the aircraft, and jumps off towards Johnny, knowing that Hydra had got what they had come for. He grabs a hold of the Human Torch in flight, and the two of them hurl towards a gas station below, causing a huge explosion to occur.
Moments later, the paramedics had carted off whom they thought was an injured Human Torch into their ambulance. Little did they know that it was Wolverine that they had carted off. Only after the Reed, Sue, and Ben had talked with the firemen did they realize that the paramedics had carted off the wrong person since Johnny appears from the rubble that was left behind. Unfortunately, it was too late as Wolverine had killed the paramedics and made his escape.
Back at Hydra's headquarters, Baron Strucker was giving orders to use the information that Wolverine had stolen from the Fantastic Four and develop weapons from the information. He wanted the Hand to ramp up their effort in capturing more superheroes and turn them into their new super agents, while bringing Wolverine back to their location so that Wolverine could be re-tooled for his next assignment: an assault on Tony Stark and the heart of the American Banking Industry. He wanted to make sure that everything was ready before their secret bankroller was to arrive the next night as to not disappoint her.