It’s only been forever (okay, nearly a year and a half) since the last issue, but woo boy, this one is a biggie! And by biggie, I mean it both in actual size and in content. Issue 6 comes in at a lovely 270-something individual panels and a LOT of new lore, as well as an ending that makes you want more but also makes you willing to wait for two and three quarter years for issue 7.
Before we start, be warned, there are spoilers ahead. Although this is just an overview, so I won’t be discussing every detail right now. If you haven’t read issue 6, go read it now!
Okay, first off, the cover. This time round, it’s a parody of Crisis on Infinite Worlds, where Supergirl is lying dead and bleeding in Superman’s arms. Medic lying dead in Heavy’s arms is actually works well because, in the same way Supergirl and Superman are immortal, we only ever see Medic and Heavy being, well, pretty immortal themselves. But really, Heavy’s emotions come off incredibly strong.
Going into the comic itself, we discover that Miss Pauling is kinda dead. Being dead or dying and seeing things is a recurring theme in this comic and you see it a good few times. Of course, after not finding anything in her dreams, Miss Pauling wakes up. Turns out, Medic is back and is filling everyone up with blood that he obtained by “using his underwear to soak blood out of puddles.” That had me laughing for a good five minutes. It also turns out that our theory of Demoman killing the blood-sucking robots with his alcoholic blood was true as well.
Meanwhile, Classic Heavy is scheming as usual. The rest of his team, those who are still alive, are wondering about how they’re going to get paid, but Classic Heavy sees a chance to make himself immortal using the thing he snatched from Gray Mann. He wants Classic Engineer to make more, but the guy is an engineer, not a biologist. So Classic Heavy sends out all of Gray’s robots, then goes off looking for Medic.
Meanwhile, Sniper is sneaking around. He’s stark naked and just about alive, struggling his way around the place trying to find an ally. He stumbles across Spy, who’s been shot in the leg while trying to kill Classic Sniper. I’m not sure HOW Spy got up there, in the last issue he was with Miss Pauling and company. Sniper kills Classic Sniper while Classic Sniper is taunting Spy before he kills him, and the two of them go off to find everyone else.
Meanwhile (yes, there are lots of meanwhiles), Heavy and Scout have parachuted in. So has a ton of Mann Co. Supply Crates, which are all free to open and filled with weapons. Everyone’s fighting robots and all that, while Medic heals everyone up the manual way.
Meanwhile (still going with this), Scout somehow gets separated and injured and nearly dies, only to be found by Spy and Sniper. They see he’s clearly nearly dead (although we have no idea what got him) and Spy disappears, only to disguise as Tom Jones and explain that he actually IS Scout’s dad. So yeah, Spy is Scout’s dad confirmed, but Scout obviously doesn’t get it and thinks Tom Jones is his dad.
Meanwhile, Pyro’s somewhere, and he finishes off the last two TFC guys, who I’m pretty sure were gay and planning to run off and start an orphanage after they’d finished killing the TF2 guys. Totally random.
The main event, so to speak, is the meeting between Classic Heavy, Medic and normal Heavy. Classic Heavy wants Medic to install the Australium device in him, but while he’s conscious. Medic slices the guy’s throat with the Ubersaw and stabs him in the stomach, but is amazed when that doesn’t kill him. Heavy comes along and challenges Classic Heavy to a real fight, and Classic Heavy makes the mistake of shooting Medic twice with a pistol. Heavy gets mad and smashes Classic Heavy to bits, only for that doctor-killing bastard to shove the Australium device into the gaping wound Medic made.
Of course, the device automatically works and Classic Heavy fights back, only to be distracted by Medic, who literally came back from the dead after taking a(nother) deal with the devil and manages to call his bluff, giving Heavy the chance to rip out the device and leave Classic Heavy crippled.
With pretty much everyone defeated, Miss Pauling comes back, gets a phone call from Engineer saying that the Administrator is almost dead and brings everyone back together. Classic Heavy is all like “omg how the fuck did you idiots beat Team Vanguard” and Miss Pauling makes a nice speech.
The comic ends back at the Administrator’s base, with Engineer saying that they’ve run out of Australium and that she’s going to peg it soon. Rather than saving the Australium, the Administrator uses it all in one go, reverting back to her younger self, saying it’s time to finish this. Whatever this is.
Overview over, now it’s time to talk about, well, stuff. Like the elephant in the room. The biggest issue of the comic is how it jumps all over the damn place, everyone is everywhere, and even though issue 6 is over 250 panels long, it still feels like it’s missing stuff. How did Scout get killed? What was Pyro doing? What was the rest of the TFC team really doing apart from sitting around? Only TFC Sniper seemed to do anything. How did Scout come back to life? And Medic for that matter? I mean yeah Medic can regenerate (and chances are that’s what he did) but how comes the TFC mercs don’t get the same treatment?
Actually, Spy was a real damn sissy in this issue, which is a stark comparison to his badassery in the earlier comics. He couldn’t even say to Scout that he was his father. But on the flip side, Medic did a bit of a flip on his own personality, seeming far less insane and as much a smooth-talker as Spy is.
We learn a lot of things from this comic. Things like Scout’s real name (Jeremy) and Medic’s real name (the obviously German Ludwig). Spy is Scout’s dad, Scout is still an idiot, Medic had plans to sabotage the TFC team all along, Soldier and Zhanna is official now, and Heavy doesn’t approve of that. We also discover more about Demoman’s missing eye – apparently Medic kept on growing it back and it would work fine until Halloween, where it would become a giant, flying eyeball and try and kill everyone.
But the most amazing thing though is that we find out what Team Fortress actually means. The teams that came before all had names, Team Citadel, Team Echelon, Team Vanguard. The official name of the team we’ve been calling RED all these years, the team of 9 insane mercenaries, is in fact Team Fortress. That was a super nice reveal and, I don’t know, brought the whole thing back full circle.
Overall, it’s a really good comic, just filled with pacing issues. In fact, I’m gonna go read it again. Because why not?