Aero & Beam/Volume 2 is the second volume of the ongoing Fantendo - Drive series Aero & Beam. Taking place in 2019, this volume follows the events of the last, focusing on the Misfits' Team Red, specifically the titular Amber "Aero" Arlen and "Eliza" Beam "Baxter" as they encounter a superpowered gang known as the Firestarters and their leader, Kim "Blaze" Long.
The volume is the fourth installment of the New Heroes imprint. Reception for the volume has been (TBA).
"Things are going well for Aero and Beam. They're in a happy relationship, they're moving up the ranks in the Misfits, and they're working well with other heroes. But when a superpowered terrorist known only as Blaze starts murdering cops in cold blood, the organization is conflicted on what to do when they learn that the villain isn't as two-dimensional as she seems. Will Aero and Beam make it out unscathed? Or will their relationship go up in flames?"
#1: Do You Believe
Aero, Beam, and the rest of Team Red go on a mission, while their personal lives continue in the midst of conflict.
The volume begins with a beautiful panel of New York City as the sun rises. The next panel shows the exact opposite, the inside of a dimly lit warehouse. Armored soldiers surround a tied-up woman, who struggles and screams through the duct tape put over her mouth.
- Soldier: For the Director!
The other soldiers cheer and step closer to the woman, bringing their legs back to kick her and cracking their knuckles as they prepare to beat her. Suddenly, a burst of energy races through the room, tearing through the chests of every soldier before dissipating in mid-air. Out of the shadows steps Beam.
- Beam: Not today, assholes.
They all fall to the ground lifelessly as she jogs forward to help the woman. She surrounds her fist with energy and cuts through the ropes before ripping off the tape. The woman yelps and holds her mouth as Beam helps her up.
- Beam: Sorry about that, but we don't have much time.
She quickly nods as a soldier busts through the door, with heavy armor on and a rocket launcher in hand. The Misfit protectively puts her arm in front of the woman.
- Soldier: We kept this one! Last words, freaks?
Beam sighs and shakes her head, rubbing it, as the woman looks increasingly nervous. Our hero looks up and shouts something.
- Beam: Speed!
An orange blur zooms past Beam and the woman, taking the rocket launcher from the soldier as he frantically looks around for the blur.
- Soldier: What the hell was that?!
The wall behind the two is busted open by a flaming fist, which belongs to Frostburn. From behind the wall, him, Aero, Blizzard, and Mission step forward. The blur stops in his tracks, revealing himself to be a man in armor.
- Aero: We're Team Red.
The cowardly soldier quickly runs towards the door and tries to open it, but finds that it's been locked. The armored man dashes forward and handcuffs the soldier to a pipe with a grin on his face.
- Armored Man: We'll let the big guys handle you, buddy.
- Aero: Thank you, Speed. The prisoners?
Mission smiles proudly up at the team leader.
- Mission: Already freed, mam. Their security system is dreadful, but I would expect that from these ruffians.
Aero nods and grins. Frostburn mutters something to himself.
- Frostburn: I could've caught that soldier too...
The woman appreciatively hugs Beam tightly. She looks uncomfortable as she awkwardly pats the woman on the back.
- Woman: I-I didn't know what was happening, they just...they just took me because of my...abilities.
She squeezes our hero tighter, causing her to cringe. Aero grins over at Beam cheekily, who shakes her head with an unamused look on her face.
- Aero: Those men won't be troubling you anymore, miss. After this base, the world will be rid of them for good.
The door is busted open by brute strength as the leader of the men and a brigade of soldiers flood through the room. Aero narrows her eyes and looks at the woman.
- Aero: Mission, get her to safety. Now.
- Mission: Right away.
The woman runs over and reaches down to take Mission's small hand as they run off. Beam sprints over to Aero's side as the soldiers all get their guns out. The leader speaks up.
- Leader: We believe in Director Fastid's cause! You freaks and the false protectors may have imprisoned him, but E.N.D.O will never die!
They all throw their fists into the air with a rallying cry as Beam scoffs and rolls her eyes.
- Beam: Let's fry these douchebags.
Aero smirks and nods. She puts her hand in her fist, Beam charges her fists with energy, Frostburn surrounds his with fire, Blizzard creates two staffs made of ice, and Speed impatiently taps his foot against the floor.
- Aero: Well said.
The soldiers open fire on the team, but Aero thrusts her hands forward, using her aerokinesis to redirect the bullets. Some hit the walls, others crack the soldiers' armors, and some even go through their heads.
- Aero: Blizzard, make sure none escape! Speed, get those weapons! Frostburn, focus on attack! And Eli-Beam, you...
Beam is taking down soldier after soldier with her energy infused punches. Aero shrugs and smiles.
- Aero: Keep doing what you're doing!
In slow motion, we see Speed steal every weapon and throw them outside. He briefly stops to clunk two soldiers' heads together, knocking them both out.
- Speed: You got it!
Some of the soldiers run to escape, but Blizzard creates a thick sheet of ice in the broken wall's place, causing many of them to slam into it. The others who try to run back are quickly knocked unconcious by swings of her dual ice staffs.
- Blizzard: Can't say I'm sorry about this!
One soldier throws a punch at Frostburn, who catches his fist and sets it on fire. The man screams in pain as he steps back, falling onto his backside.
- Frostburn: Suck it!
Aero pins the leader to the wall with both hands angrily. He laughs to himself as she raises an eyebrow.
- Aero: What's so funny?!
The leader chuckles and shakes his head.
- Leader: I've seen what your freakish friends do. Everyone thinks you're heroes, but you murder people! Not in self-defense or in the name of the law! I know you'll do it too! Do it! Kill me!
This really seems to get to Aero, who sets him down and steps back. He grins and reaches for a knife in his pocket.
- Leader: Coward!
Before he can do anything, she simply socks him in the jaw, knocking him out as he slumps onto the floor.
- Aero: No.
With all the soldiers taken care of, the team members look around the room. Frostburn melts the wall of ice with his pyrokinesis.
- Speed: Anyone up for breakfast?
The Misfits all grunt in agreement before walking out of the base together.
A caption identifies the time as the next morning, with Amber and Eliza laying in their sizable bed together. The apartment has gotten some upgrades since we've last seen it, with newer appliances and a larger size.
- Amber: Mmm...Liz...
Eliza has her arm wrapped tightly around her girlfriend as she slowly wakes up, her eyes fluttering open. She grunts and presses her lips against Amber's neck for a soft kiss.
- Eliza: Morning, Strawberry.
Amber sighs contentedly and nuzzles her girlfriend, a sleepy smile on her face. Eliza chuckles and pushes her face into the blonde's neck.
- Amber: This is a nice way to wake up...
The brunette grins and pecks her cheek, raising an eyebrow.
- Eliza: Aren't you used to it by now, Amb?
Amber shakes her head and turns over, kissing Eliza on the lips as they both blissfully shut their eyes.
- Amber: I've fantasized about this for years, it's still amazing to me!
Eliza smirks and gently tickles Amber.
- Eliza: Fantasizing? I'd like to know more about that...
Amber giggles and blushes deeply, squirming around on the bed.
- Amber: You're terrible! Stop it!
She stops tickling Amber and nips at her neck happily.
- Eliza: You love me, Amb.
With a yawn, she smiles and nods. Her expression slowly turns to one of worry as she sighs and frowns.
- Amber: I'm worried, Ellie.
Eliza looks over at Amber, visibly concerned.
- Eliza: That was the last of E.N.D.O, Babe. We got rid of all those bastards.
Amber shakes her head and rubs her eyes.
- Amber: I know, I know, it's just...the leader said something to me. About how we called ourselves heroes, but we killed people, we broke the law. It got to me. What if he's right?
The brunette scoffs and cocks her head to the side.
- Eliza: Amb, don't listen to him. Sometimes doing what's right involves sacrifice. Sometimes you need to go against the rules, sometimes you need to make the hard call. You taught me that.
Amber slowly nods and smiles.
- Amber: Yeah...you're right, Liz.
She turns over and the two continued to spoon. Eliza smirks, satisfied with herself.
- Eliza: 'Course I am.
The blonde closes her eyes once more. She frowns, clearly not sure about what Eliza said.
Meanwhile, Natasha is laying in bed, a blanket over her body. She opens her eyes and looks around to see an attractive young man zipping up his jeans.
- Natasha: We can't keep doing this, Spee-Liam. You're going to get caught slipping out of my room.
Speed, or "Liam", smirks over at her and puts his shirt on. He walks over and kisses her forehead.
- Liam: Amb and Liz are sleeping together, why are we any different?
She smiles slightly and rolls her eyes as he walks away from her. She sits up against the bed board, holding the blanket against her body to cover herself up.
- Natasha: They're in a relationship!
Liam chuckles and opens the door, quietly responding to her as he turns to leave.
- Liam: Don't be a prude, Nat.
Natasha sighs and reaches down to pick up her bra as he closes the door behind him. The next panel cuts to the afternoon, with Amber and Natasha eating lunch together at a restaurant with outside seating. Amber digs into her sandwich, a grin on her face, while the white haired woman blushes and picks at her salad.
- Amber: Liam, huh? Does the codename "Speed" indicate anything?
Natasha gasps, her face red as Amber giggles. She narrows her eyes and shakes her head.
- Natasha: Eliza is rubbing off on you. I was not expecting that from Miss Leader.
Amber shrugs and takes a bite out of her meal.
- Amber: So...?
A small smile comes onto Natasha's face.
- Natasha: That name is definitely not an indication, for your information.
The blonde raises both eyebrows and slowly nods.
- Amber: Is this a relationship type thing? Is it going to be?
She quickly shakes her head and takes a sip of her glass of iced tea.
- Natasha: Strictly friends with benefits. God, my parents would be so disappointed in me.
Amber smiles warmly and puts her hand on Natasha's.
- Amber: You are your own person. The only people who need to worry about this are you, Liam, and Fr-
Natasha jumps a little as Amber backs off, a sly smile on her face.
- Amber: Nevermind.
The white haired woman grumbles to herself as the blonde drinks her soda.
In a dilapidated room with peeling wallpaper and blood stains on the floor, a policeman is tied up in a chair. He suddenly wakes up and looks around, struggling to free to himself. A redheaded woman walks into the room, the song "Do You Believe" playing on a radio in the distance.
- Woman: My parents believed that America was the land of the free.
His eyes go wide as he seemingly recognizes the woman. He tries to talk, but a gag is stuffed into his mouth.
- Woman: They thought that they could build a better life here. They said, Kim, you can be anything you want in America.
She chuckles to herself and lights her hand ablaze. He screams into the gag and squirms around in the chair.
- Kim: My parents were good people. But they were wrong. If it's not your race, it's your powers. Only a certain type of person can be whatever they want here.
Kim lifts up her sleeve, exposing a nasty scar on her shoulder. Her hand draws closer to his throat as he tries to desperately move away, yelping from the extreme heat.
- Kim: Do you remember giving this to me? I remember everything you did. Everywhere you touched me.
She grasps his throat and squeezes, simultaneously burning his neck and choking him to death. A grin comes onto her face as he screams in pain.
- Kim: I've always liked this song. People think that love, that peace, that cooperation will change things. Will save our souls. But I know that to make progress...
Fried to death, his lifeless body leans against the chair. She taps his leg, lighting his body on fire to burn the corpse before walking away.
- Kim: You need to burn down the past.
She closes the door behind her, the issue ending on the haunting image of the policeman's burning body.
#2: Junk of the Hearts
A unique murder in New York City creates controversy and causes the Misfits to investigate.
The issue opens on Mission watching the city via his computer, his iPod on the desk in front of him. The song it's playing is "Junk of the Hearts". Suddenly, Frostburn taps Mission on the shoulder, causing him to jolt in his seat.
- Frostburn: Jeez, calm down, Jer.
Mission, or Jerry, clears his throat and adjusts his glasses, pausing the song. Frostburn peers down at the iPod and scoffs, crossing his arms.
- Frostburn: You really listen to that crap?
Jerry grumbles and shifts in his chair, looking over at his friend. He puts his fists against his sides.
- Jerry: I'll have you know that the Cardigans' brand of pop rock is nothing short of highly pleasant.
Frostburn grunts and looks at the computer. It's the early morning, so no one is around besides them.
- Frostburn: I just like somethin' with more punch to it.
The Pikachu turns his chair towards Frostburn, the both of them clearly bored. After a few seconds of silence, Frostburn speaks up.
- Frostburn: I can't stand Speed.
Jerry grunts and raises his eyebrows. Frostburn sighs.
- Jerry: His abilities are quite useful, Frostburn.
The Magma Sentinel shakes his head and rubs it.
- Frostburn: It's not that. Why is everything about the job to you, Jerry?
Jerry shrugs at him.
- Frostburn: He's good at his job. Well, I'm better, but he's still okay. I just...don't like him as a person.
The team's intelligence officer slowly nods.
- Jerry: I don't get his jokes.
Frostburn throws his hands up into the air.
- Frostburn: Exactly! Me either!
They both nod in agreement as Frostburn floats back and forth.
- Frostburn: He's always so full of himself...
Jerry points at him and opens his mouth to say something, but decides against it.
- Frostburn: And he's always spending time with Nat!
Not understanding why that would bother him, Jerry raises an eyebrow.
- Frostburn: I acted like such a jerk to Chilly when I got here, and now it's too late to fix it.
The engineer shakes his head and pushes his glasses up.
- Jerry: I'm certain that Ms. Thel views you as a close friend.
Frostburn waves it away and groans.
- Frostburn: That's not what I'm talking about.
Jerry takes a few seconds to comprehend what he means, and then his eyes go wide.
- Jerry: Ohhhh. I thought your species had no interest in romance.
Frostburn shakes his head and strokes his chin.
- Frostburn: A few of us are. What can I say, I'm rare.
The Pikachu writes this down on a piece of paper as Frostburn stares over at him. Jerry defensively shrugs.
- Jerry: It's interesting information!
- Frostburn: Whatever...I just can't give Nat what he can.
Jerry reaches out his hand comfortingly.
- Jerry: I can't pretend that I understand what you're going through, but I am certain that you are a good person and a credit to your team. Natasha knows that as well.
Frostburn smiles slightly and nods.
- Frostburn: Thanks, Jerry.
Suddenly, the three see Kim walk out of a warehouse, her hands still on fire with blood on them. Jerry gets up out of his chair and Frostburn looks down at him.
- Jerry: We've got work to do.
Frostburn nods, and the two run off to wake up their teammates.
Team Red congregates around Jerry's computer, watching the footage. Eliza squints at the screen.
- Eliza: Isn't this below our paygrade?
Liam nods in agreement, with Amber and Natasha deciding to listen.
- Jerry: To the contrary, Ms. Baxter. The crime is just your typical "burning someone to death" murder...
This statement visibly disturbs Jerry's teammates, which doesn't faze him.
- Jerry: But the victim and the culprit are what make it interesting.
He pulls up an arrest record and picture for the woman.
- Jerry: The woman in the footage is Kim Long, a citizen of New York City. Her parents moved to America from China when she was only five years old. Her arrest record is minor, all misdemeanors like shoplifting. Nothing violent.
Amber frowns and puts her hand on her chin.
- Amber: What would make an average woman commit such a horrific crime?
The Pikachu then shows them a picture of a police officer, the one Kim killed.
- Jerry: This is the victim, one Jonathan Gill. Died at 45 years old, having been an officer since he turned 18. Never married or had any children, but he had a few close friends, fellow officers. Suspended a few times for excessive force, but he had friends in power, which meant he always came right back.
Liam looks at the photo and crosses his arms.
- Liam: So we think that old Gill hit her and she hit back?
Jerry nods and clears his throat.
- Jerry: That is the theory.
Eliza seems confused, looking over at Jerry.
- Eliza: She's a cop killer, they'll have her caught in no time. Why do we need to get involved?
Amber puts her hand on her girlfriend's shoulder and sighs.
- Amber: Her intent makes her dangerous, and her abilities don't help. They might need us.
Natasha takes a deep breath and creates a snowball in her hand.
- Natasha: I guess I'll be more helpful than usual.
Jerry raises a hand as to quiet them all.
- Jerry: Hold on, everyone. Ms. Long won't be so easily caught.
They look over at him, intrigued, as Eliza groans.
- Eliza: Lemme guess, she has some evil gang at her back?
- Jerry:...How did you know?
- Eliza: That's how these things work.
He nods and pulls up footage of Kim hanging out with a brunette, a dragon, and a goth woman.
- Jerry: The brunette is Long's girlfriend Pamela Draper, the dragon is Smog, and the woman with questionable fashion sense is Katherine Black. They're similarly gifted, and all of them besides Draper have been convicted before, meaning that she's likely to turn to them.
Liam smirks and taps his foot against the floor.
- Liam: It's six against four, this should be easy.
Amber smiles at the rest of Team Red.
- Amber: Let's do what we do and stop the bad guys together.
They nod and walk off towards the elevator, ready to search for their target.
Amber and Eliza are dining in a ritzy restaurant in the evening. The blonde is in an orange dress with ruby red lipstick on, while her girlfriend has a casual outfit on, a striped shirt with a leather jacket and black jeans.
- Amber: This is such a nice place, Liz...you didn't have to do this.
She scoffs and waves it away, smiling across the table at Amber.
- Eliza: It's our anniversary, of course I did, Amb. Nat helped me get the reservation, so you should thank her.
The waiter silently pours glasses of wine for the couple, with Amber sipping it politely and Eliza taking a swig.
- Amber: This has been the best year of my life, Ellie. I love you.
Eliza blushes deeply, looking to the side. Amber grins and reaches across the table, taking her girlfriend's hand and squeezing it lovingly.
- Eliza: You could get anybody, Strawberry. Why me?
The blonde chuckles and shakes her head, smiling.
- Amber: How don't you get it yet? You're my best friend, you have been since we were kids. You've helped me through so many things. You're fun, and you're beautiful, and you're humble, and you'd never let anyone lay a hand on somebody you cared about. You care so much, even if you'll never admit it.
The dark haired woman holds Amber's hand and looks over at her happily.
- Eliza: I'll admit that I care about you, but that's all you're getting, hot stuff.
Amber giggles and cocks her head to the side.
- Amber: I'll settle for that.
They're served two meals, mushroom and sausage ragù for Amber and spaghetti for Eliza.
- Amber: What's your take on Long?
Eliza shrugs, a bunch of noodles in her mouth, as Amber takes a bite of her dinner.
- Eliza: You've never wanted to mix business with pleasure.
Amber nods and puts her hand on her chin.
- Amber: It's just her motivations...usually it's money or prejudice or mental illness, but this...if we're right, she's some vigilante. Someone who thinks she's doing the right thing. Like us.
Her girlfriend raises both eyebrows.
- Eliza: Don't tell me you're letting that asshole get in your head.
The blonde woman puts up both hands sheepishly.
- Amber: I can't help it!
Eliza shakes her head and smirks.
- Eliza: You're the one who cares so much. That's why I love you.
Amber blushes and smiles slightly.
- Amber: We've just worked so hard for this. I don't want it to be for nothing.
The older woman puts her hand on the blonde's shoulder comfortingly.
- Eliza: It's not. I dunno if I trust myself to do the right thing, but I sure as hell trust you.
She clears her throat and nods, putting a smile on her face.
- Amber: Thank you, Liz. For everything.
Both of them eat their meals quietly for a few moments, before Amber breaks the silence.
- Amber: So how about Nat and Liam?
Eliza rolls her eyes dramatically.
- Eliza: Oh my God.
Amber grins and laughs.
- Amber: I know, right?
She scoffs and smirks.
- Eliza: You could cut the tension with a knife.
The blonde nods and sips her wine.
- Amber: Poor Frostburn.
Eliza laughs quietly.
- Eliza: I don't think Jerry has a clue what's going on.
Amber replies with a giggle, the two both smiling.
- Eliza: I think that wine is getting to your head, you always were a lightweight.
She gasps in mock offense and crosses her arms.
- Amber: Am not!
Eliza grins and nods.
- Eliza: You totally are.
The two continue to talk happily, as the panels zoom out to show New York City by moonlight, everything peaceful for a moment.
Meanwhile, four police officers are dining at a Chinese restaurant, raucously laughing about something. Behind the restaurant, Kim, Pam, Smog, and Katie are at the back door. Smog uses brute force to break the door open.
- Kim: Katie, take out any witnesses. Non-lethally.
Katie sighs and rolls her eyes, nodding.
- Kim: Smog, Pam, don't let anyone escape. Leave the men to me.
Smog grunts and Pam nods quickly, clearly somewhat nervous. We see Katie slip in and touch the back of the owner's head, putting her to sleep instantly as she drops to the floor.
- Katie: Too bad I can't use the FUN way...
The officers look up as Smog stomps through the restaurant, as one laughs at him and speaks up.
- Officer: Hey Elliot, could you be any louder?
The dragon grits his teeth and shakes his head, simply standing in front of the door and crossing his arms. They seem confused as we see that all the employees have been knocked out.
- Kim: Good evening, boys.
The four look around as Kim walks into the room, a smirk on her face and fireballs in her hands. They seem shocked as they look over to Smog and the covered doors.
- Officer #2: L-Listen, we don't want any trouble-
- Kim: Shut up!
One officer gets up and runs towards the kitchen but Pam pushes him back with jets of water from her hands. Kim then throws one of the fireballs at him, causing him to drop and writhe in pain as he burns to death.
- 'Kim': Did you want any trouble when you held me down?
The second officer heads for the doors, but Smog picks him up and wraps his large hands around the man's neck as he struggles to breathe. Kim shouts at the dragon.
- Kim: He's mine!
Smog reluctantly lets go and throws him onto the floor as Kim uses her other fireball to burn the man to death. Pam closes her eyes and looks away.
- Kim: Did you want any trouble when you let Gill escape punishment? Let him hurt more people?
One of the two remaining officers gets on his knees to beg, trembling, while the one who insulted Smog stays confident, standing up.
- Officer: Freaks like you don't scare us! You deserved it!
This seems to rouse Pam, who pulls the officer over to Kim with her aquakinesis confidently. Kim holds him down by his chest and heats it up, her eyes narrowed.
- Kim: Suffer like I did.
The vigilante burns through the officer's chest, charring his heart as he dies painfully, screaming. The only survivor looks around the room, horrified, as Katie steps into the room.
- Katie: Gonna finish the job, boss? I can do it if you don't want to.
Kim chuckles and shakes her head, slowly walking over to him.
- Kim: No. He lives.
They all seem confused as Kim puts her hand on one side of the officer's face and burns it, scarring him forever as he shuts his eyes, crying out in pain. She suddenly stops, as he breathes heavily and falls to the floor, clutching the burnt side of his face.
- Kim: Run back to your precinct and tell them that we will stand down no longer. We are the Firestarters, and change is coming.
Smog steps out of the way as the man runs away from the restaurant, glad to have his life but in horrible pain. The "Firestarters" slowly leave the restaurant, clearly proud of themselves.
- Smog: What next, boss?
Kim smiles, an optimistic look on her face as they make their way down the street at night.
- Kim: Let's go stop some bad guys.
The issue ends with the four walking away, the Moon illuminating them.
Sides are taken as the Misfits disagree upon a large issue.
#4: Great Divide
Two relationships go through a struggle.
#5: Black Letter Day
Factions begin to take hold.
The two groups attempt to distract themselves.
Loneliness sets in.
#8: My Favourite Game
Negotiations fall apart.
Tensions run high as serious losses are suffered.
#10: Live and Learn
It's up to Aero and Beam to confront their enemies and stop a plot with massive consequences.
- Every issue is named after a song by Swedish pop rock band The Cardigans.
- The dishes that Amber and Eliza eat on their anniversary are a reference to Blank Out.
- The Chinese restaurant originally appeared in Devilish.
| Blank | Aero | Beam | Arial | Data | The Director | The Devil | Hugo Logia | Eric Sinn | Blizzard | Mission | Frostburn | Aran Leverletto | Amanda | Gethen | Tatsu | Tobias James | Helen Rizzo