Loners #3: Even Heroes Fall Off the Wagon

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By Eric Drumm
With CIVIL WAR rumbling across the Marvel Universe, some heroes felt it was best for them to hang up the tights and lead a normal life. THE LONERS are a group of former heroes who've banded together, starting a support group to cope with life without the mask. But where there are heroes there are villains, and like anyone trying to kick a habit, it's hard to stay off the horse for long. Leaving the hero hotbed of the East Coast for sunny LA., each of the Loners are looking for fresh starts to their lives in a new city. Young heroes such as Ricochet, Darkhawk and Lightspeed turned their backs on the daily grind of superheroics and now help each other cope with the loss of identity. How are they doing? Writer C.B Cebulski says that everyone has a story. "Each Loner has come to L.A. and joined the group for their own reasons. They're all dealing with the struggles of being an ex-superhero in different ways. So far we've seen how Spider-Woman [Mattie Franklin] and Ricochet are coping. It's not easy for them. We'll see how Phil [Urich] is attempting to put his past as the Green Goblin behind him and how Julie Power [Lightspeed] is faring without the companionship of her siblings in issues three and four." LONERS #2 showed that not all members of the group are sticking to the plan. Darkhawk, Spider-Woman and Ricochet put on their masks again to deal with the villain Nekra and bust up a Mutant Growth Hormone drug ring--and the rest of the group is none too pleased. Ricochet--Johnny Gallo--defended his actions and referred to his need for the mask as an addiction, and as a super-powered person he has a responsibility to serve the greater good. Could it be that the crime fighting lifestyle is truly an addiction that needs to be purged? "It's different for each character," says Cebulski. "Deep down inside, these kids were all heroes, and in most cases their powers defined the formative years of their lives. It's hard to just decide to give that up cold turkey. It becomes a part of you. For some it is an addiction, for others it's something else entirely." For better or worse, Johnny's "addition" got the better of him, sending him dashing into the night as Ricochet to track down a lead in the Nekra case. Following a tip, Ricochet went solo to investigate further. Met with Delilah--a katana-wielding maniac--and a seriously scary monster (who happens to be Hollow, the Generation X-er formerly known as Penance), Ricochet is on his own more than ever. With no one knowing where he is and no help coming, Ricochet might not bounce back from this one. He sure could use some support. "While they may not be a team, the Loners are all still friends, and friends tend to stick together. You'll see this all play out in issue three..." remarks Cebulski. Ricochet may be in a tight spot, but this is just the beginning of the THE LONERS' roller coaster ride. Cebulski says that there are some shockers lying ahead. "No one has yet been able to identify the secret character that will be showing up shortly to join the Loners in therapy very soon!" After CIVIL WAR, the entire Marvel Universe could use some counseling, so it could be just about anybody! Feed your need with THE LONERS #3 by C.B. Cebulski and Karl Moline, on sale June 6.

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