"Who Killed Seven Soldiers?": It begins with a death: Lucas Ludlow-Dalt, a supervillain known as the Spider, found dead in his "secret headquarters". Within a week, a new superhero called "I, Spyder" is active, working with a group of low-level superhumans in Arizona. Led by a [[Golden A
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Appearing in "Who Killed Seven Soldiers?"
- Helen Helligan (Dies)
- Spider (Deceased) (In a photograph only)
- I, Spyder (In a photograph only)
- Gimmix (In a photograph only)
- Whip (In a photograph only)
- Dyno-mite Dan (In a photograph only)
- Vigilante (Flashback only)
- Nebula Man (In a photograph only)
- Rose Helligan (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Who Killed Seven Soldiers?"
It begins with a death: Lucas Ludlow-Dalt, a supervillain known as the Spider, found dead in his "secret headquarters". Within a week, a new superhero called "I, Spyder" is active, working with a group of low-level superhumans in Arizona. Led by a Golden Age adventurer named the Vigilante, six rode out... but a seventh was expected: Alix Harrower, who got cold feet at the last moment. She is being brought in because Helligan thinks she can help.
Helligan's next stop is a prison near New York, where she intends to question Ramon "The Iron Hand" Solomano, the Vigilante's arch-nemesis, who was a prosthetics expert. Her sister is getting married that day, but her family is boycotting the wedding because they believe that he beats her. At the prison, the Iron Hand gives a run-down on his "origin story"; how the news of his impending death drove him to do something with his life. He does not believe he is much longer for this world. Helligan tries to question him, but he refuses to co-operate. So she resorts to a different tack - Alix removes the Iron Hand's old prosthetic hand from a bag and begins dismantling it. This appeal to his self-image is enough to break him, and Helligan fills him in: she wants answers about the Nebula Man.
The Nebula Man was a monster created by the Iron Hand to conquer the world. However, it appears that the Iron Hand merely summoned the being, which comes from a realm at the end of time, and is tasked with destroying a team of "seven soldiers". So, when the Iron Hand found himself faced with the Seven Soldiers of Victory, he was only too happy to point the thing at his enemies. When the Vigilante tried to reform his old team, the Iron Hand gave the "summoning device" to his nephew, setting the team up to be slaughtered. He also reveals that his hatred of the Vigilante is because he beleived the hero was a racist after he insulted a member of the Iron Hand's gang early in his career.
Helligan's response to the story is shock followed by laughter. When Alix and the Iron Hand can not understand, she explains a hidden fact about the Vigilante: his second case was against a pack of werewolves, who cursed him with lycanthropy. He dealt with the curse quietly for many years, enjoying the benefit of extended life but always keeping a silver bullet in his guns in case he went rogue. One member of the Iron Hand's gang, Lido Lupelino, was also a werewolf and this was the basis of the Vigilante's anger. She asks who the Iron Hand summoned the Nebula Man from, but he has already gone off on a tangent: a few nights ago, he dreamt that the Vigilante came to him and told him that the men he killed in his career would be waiting on the other side. The stress drives the Iron Hand into a panic attack and he starts to bleed.
Helligan is beginning to suffer from a recent encounter where she was bitten by a strange being, but she is still going through the facts available to her, trying to assemble the big picture. She asks Alix to drive her to her sister's wedding, but when traffic gets heavy, Alix picks her up and carries her at a run.
At the wedding, the bride stands alone with her groom, a man with the surname Lupelino. As the vows are about to be exchanged, Helligan bursts into the room and accuses the groom of being a werewolf. The groom's awkward silence is enough to convince the bride not to go through with the ceremony, and Helligan dies of her wounds, content that she was able to help.
The whole situation, however, was incredibly awkward, and Alix has resolved to bury the costume as soon as she can. She has been hired as security for a superhero convention in Zenith City, and she is leaving her house in the care of her new tenant, a young Englishwoman named Sara Smart. Sara thinks that if Alix had a nemesis of some kind, she could be a wonderful hero, but unbeknownst to Alix, Sara has superpowers...
- This book was first published on December 21, 2005.
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