Out of the Way
|"Out of the Way"|
|First published||August 24, 2016|
|Cover date||August 2016|
|Written by||John Barber|
|Art by||Paolo Villanelli|
|Colors by||John-Paul Bove|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Edits by||Carlos Guzman|
An assault on the Chateau reveals a shocking secret.
Four years ago in a secret underground facility in London, Mike Brogan, Action Man, confronts the trespassing Ian Noble. Ian tries to make an escape, but Mike easily catches up with the boy... and makes him an offer.
Yesterday in SIS Headquarters, Director Bestley explains to Ian that his job is to go to the Chateau, Doctor X's primary science laboratory, disguised as Colditz and copy as much data as he can from the building's computer servers. Ian worries that somebody at the Chateau will recognize him as an impostor, but Agent Gale assures him that their intel has revealed no connection between Colditz and Doctor X's people. Ian pulls Chan aside to tell him about the traitor within their ranks and his suspicion that it's Agent Salmons. Chan doesn't take the accusation seriously but promises to have his friend's back.
Today in the Bavarian Alps, Ian, disguised as Colditz, is brought to the Chateau, where he meets the doorman. Turns out the doorman is Colditz's lover and immediately sees through Ian's ignorance of their romance, ordering the guards to fire on the impostor. His cover blown, Action Man goes in the Chateau, guns ablazing. Salmons and Gale are sent in to assist, and, while he's busy fighting off the Chateau's security, Ian relays his suspicions of Salmons to Bestley, who's baffled by the accusation. She asks her subordinate to put it on hold and focus on the mission; which he does by discovering the lab, and the horrible mutations within. The main scientist introduces himself as the Professor and his monsters are sicced on Ian. While busy avoiding blows, Ian notices the scientist holding a data card similar to the one given to him by Chan for this mission, and points his finger to Chan. Bestley puts him under arrest.
Spotting a power cable, Action Man punches it and causes an explosion than engulfs the room while he makes his escape with the Professor and the data. Salmons and Gale land to pick him up; Gale apologizes for not knowing that Colditz and the doorman knew each other and Salmons recognizes the data drive isn't from the Action Man Programme. Ian has a realization: how did Gale know about the doorman if they had no intel on the Chateau's staff? Gale plainly notes that's because she hired them both. She shoots Salmons, forcing him off the Chateau's roof, and reveals to a bemused Ian that she is Doctor X.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Action Man Programme||Others|
- The Chateau is noted to have jamming technology similar to that detected by the Americans at Autobot City in Monument Valley, which happened over in the "All Hail Optimus" arc of The Transformers, released shortly before this issue.
Action Man references
- Salmons notes that Ian's predecessor "never shied away from a space war"; this implication of alien-fighting exploits isn't elaborated on, but seems to be a nod to the 1981 "Space Ranger" Action Man toy subline, which included the alien villain Captain Zargon (and, interestingly enough, Rom the Space Knight).
- Once again, this issue is named after a book by Colin MacInnes: in this case, the posthumously-published Out of the Way: Later Essays.
- Regular cover: Ian Noble jumps from an explosion, by Chris Evenhuis.
- Subscription cover: Terrence Salmons with Ian Noble in the background, by Paolo Villanelli and John-Paul Bove.
- Retailer incentive cover: Ian Noble snowboards while shooting bad guys, by Andrew Currie and Jay Fotos.