It's time for me to dig into my Pick of the Week! As of right now, I haven't read the comic in question yet, so all I'm going to say is this... Please don't kill off Hardball, Marvel/Sean McKeever. That is all.
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #4(of 6):
Summary: This issue gets started with Gravity, who abandoned the battle against the Worthy because it was too hard, suiting back up and heading to Las Vegas. Back in Vegas, Komodo finds Hardball alive(!!) after his battle with the Serpent possessed Juggernaut last issue... Whew... Komodo is angry that Hardball's fight with Juggy killed some idiots who refused to evacuate the area when Juggy arrived, and Hardball rightly points out that if it wasn't for his actions, Juggy would still be destroying Las Vegas. Not wanting to deal with Hardball right now, Komodo leaves to see where else she could help. The Order from California arrive on the scene and look to help with getting the stragglers out of Vegas, which had become tectonically unstable due to Hardball and Juggy's battle last issue. A few of the heroes stationed in Vegas begin to argue about whether Hardball made the right move taking Juggy on while there were innocents around, at which point Hardball shows up and rightly tells those whiners to stop bitching and to see who they could save. While yelling at his idiotic team, Gravity has the unmitigated gall to attack Hardball, blaming him for the death of the people killed by JUGGERNAUT'S attack. Hardball warns Gravity off, telling him that now wasn't the time to fight since there were still people who needed to be evacuated from Vegas, but Gravity is too stupid to listen, so Hardball and Gravity have themselves an epic brawl, while the heroes try their best to evacuate the city. Prodigy, who was put in command of the heroes starring in this mini-series by Steve Rogers, is back at his control center in Virginia, trying to keep everybody in line, a losing battle. Hardball and Gravity continue to tear into each other, causing a few small tremors to the already unstable area. Komodo tries to get the two to stop their fighting, but winds up getting cheap-shotted by Gravity. That act FINALLY clears Gravity's head, and he heads over to Komodo to check on her. With Gravity distracted, Hardball does what any normal person would do, walks over and hits Gravity as hard as he could. Gravity has the presence of mind to erect a force-field to protect himself, but the force of the shot knocks both Gravity and Hardball out cold, as well as triggers a massive earthquake in Vegas.
Thoughts: You can probably tell from the tone of the above review that I am an unrepentant Hardball mark. Let's begin with the good/awesome news. Hardball survived a battle with the super-charged Juggernaut... Let THAT sink in for a moment... No, he didn't defeat Juggy, but he survived, on his own, against the JUGGERNAUT! And in doing so, saved Las Vegas. Sure, a few people died during Juggy's last attack, but those people were warned to evacuate Vegas, so I don't see how ANYBODY can blame Hardball for those deaths... But then again, in my eyes, Hardball can do no wrong, so there's that. Gravity on the other hand, a character I normally enjoy, came across as a whiny bitch this issue... He's the one who ran home instead of remaining to battle against the Serpent's Worthy, so he has some set of balls on him to blame Hardball for anything. Maybe if he had been helping his fellow heroes, the people who died in the Juggy/Hardball throwdown would still be alive. But once again, remember who I'm a fan of as I say those things. All in all, Hardball being alive, as well as a good story make for a very happy X.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Kick his whiny ass, Hardball!