Comics : New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #4

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

In addition to its regular line of comics, Marvel also produces several "specialty" comics during the course of the year. This particular comic has Marvel partnering up with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). The comic itself stars the New Avengers, and was distributed only to U.S. Military bases around the world.

In Detail...

"Letters Home"
New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #4
Jan 2007 : Review (No SM)
Summary: No Spider-Man
Writer:  Robert Kirkman
Artist:  Udon
Pencils:  Alex Chung, Scott Hepburn
Inker:  Alan Tam, M3th
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Review

Not so much an Avenger issue (either New or Mighty) this particular issue does instead features Captain America, along with a trio on non-Avengers (The Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, and The Punisher. Spider-Man does not appear in this issue.

As the story opens, Nick Fury (who is not the Director of SHIELD at this moment) is calling upon Captain America to help him against Hydra which has taken over a satellite control station in Flagstaff, AZ. Apparently, the satellite not only houses a particle beam, but also funnels all low-priority military emails to soldiers around the world. As it is the holidays most of the Avengers are off with their individual families, hence Cap is required to enlist the aid of non-Avengers, heroes with no families, to assist him in this operation.

In three separate vignettes, each of the heroes sets off on their particular mission; The Surfer heads out into space towards the satellite itself to deal with, not only the satellite but the Hydra robots that are guarding it, while on the ground, the Ghost Rider heads out to a remote relay station in Iraq to stop the Hydra agents who have taken control of that station. Meanwhile, Cap attacks the main base controlling the satellite in Arizona. As it turns out former Vet Frank Castle is also on the scene rendering his own brand of aid to the U.S. Military.

In General...

Acting as subtext to each of the vignettes are captions detailing letters home from soldiers to their loved ones. These "letters Home" include ones from both Norrin Rad and Castle himself.

Both the main stories and the letters home are well-written and poignant and are very obviously targeted to the military personnel who are reading the comics, all of which makes the comic that much more emotional.

Overall Rating...

These stories have had ups and downs, and even though this particular comic doesn't contain an appearance of our favorite webbed hero, it is still very well written and is a worthy addition to anyone's collection.

Footnote...

As stated, this comic was originally available only on U.S. military bases, however there are plenty of copies now available online from the various auction sites.