Comics : New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #7

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This review was first published on: 2009.

Background...

Marvel produces numerous "specialty" comics over the course of the year. This comic is the latest in an on-going series that have Marvel and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has produced together. The comic itself was only distributed on U.S. Military bases.

In Detail...

"An Army of One"
New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #7
May 2009 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Nathan Cosby
Writer:  Marc Sumerak
Artist:  Pere Perez
Staff Only
Issue
Review

In a scene reminiscent from the beginning of Iron Man: the Movie, a General is out in the desert (this time the American SW as opposed to Afghanistan), testing new military ordinance (supplied by OsCorp — more on this later). Unfortunately for these fine, upstanding military types — unbeknownst to them, and smack dab in the middle of their firing range, is the green behemoth known as the Incredible Hulk, and the Jade Giant is none too pleased about having his nap disturbed.

Needless to say, he goes completely sub-orbital and begins trashing the military base, much to the consternation of the General and his troops. Immediately Col. Nick Fury (head of SHIELD) reaches out to contact Iron Man at Stark Tower in NYC. Fury indicates that he might have to call in the Thunderbolts to handle the situation, but The Golden Avenger states that won't be necessary, as he has sent out an all-hands alert to a number of heroes to bring down the Hulk.

Back at the base, the Hulk is trashing the place big-time with the military (barely) holding its own when a pair of soldiers wearing blue versions of Iron Man's armor buzz the brute, distracting him from the other soldiers and then lead him away from the un-armored soldiers. As they lead the Hulk on a jolly chase one of the armored soldiers indicates that the armor they are wearing is defensive only with no offensive weaponry.

Unfortunately the Hulk catches up with them grabs one, and starts to crush the soldier's body armor. Fortunately for the soldiers, the X-Men (who are now based in San Francisco) are first to arrive on the scene. The Mutant team (Beast, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, Cyclopes, Wolverine, Storm and Colossus) jumps the Hulk, with Wolverine taking point and Nightcrawler porting the two soldiers out of harm's way. Nightcrawler gets them to An M.F.E (Mobile Field Exchange) where he learns that they are Sergeant First Class James D. Wells and Technical Sergeant Theresa L. Bradley before Bamfing back into action.

Then, just before Hulk can pound Nightcrawler, he turns to discover several dozen superheroes (including members of Young, New, and Mighty Avengers, Agents of Atlas, the FF, and several other (non-aligned) heroes (She-Hulk, DD, Thor, Hercules, Deadpool). The cavalcade of heroes (supplemented by the military) all pile on the Hulk with Sentry, She-Hulk, and Captain America (Bucky) Iron Fist, Thor and Hercules all getting in powerful shots before a team of military sharpshooters take Hulk our with a barrage of Admantium tiped trank darts drop the beast like a bad habit. Totally sedated, Hulk reverts to Dr. Banner and is carted off as the Heroes then assist the soldiers rebuild their base.

In General...

Another fine New Avengers/Military issue with a well-written, well-drawn, action-packed issue full of everything that a fan could want in an issue of this sort. Sure, sure the plot is rather simple (Hulk attacks military, they respond, heroes intervene and bring down Hulk), but who really cares. It harkens back to a simpler time and not only wraps everything in one issue, but it follows thematically from last issue (where Stark actually sold a pair of defensive armor suits to the U.S. Military) and (essentially) stays close enough to the mainstream of what is going on the Marvel Universe to be considered canon (to be sure, it has not been established if these stories are, in fact, canon, but they probably could be shoehorned into continuity, though this reviewer wouldn't really want to have to attempt that feat which would require juggling the likes of The Flying Karamazov Brothers.

Overall Rating...

Again, I really enjoyed this story, and read it for what it was (a story that was equal parts a comicbook story as much as a tribute to the men and women of the Military who put their lives on the line to serve and protect this country). Still, it reads half a beat out of synch as Stark is on the outs, and Osborn is the new sheriff in town. Still that is really very minor as this story could have been originally slated for an earlier release (the series has jumped back and forth from annually to bi-annually).

Footnote...

This comic was produced especially for the U.S. Military, and is only sold on Military bases, but can be acquired easily enough off any of the auction sites, and makes a very nice addition to a serious collector's library.