Comics : New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #11

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This review was first published on: Dec 2011.

Background...

This is yet another of Marvel’s “specialty” comics that is sponsored and distributed exclusively by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). It is yet another in its series of New Avengers “Military” comics. The comic is distributed exclusively on U.S. Military bases.

In Detail...

"Electric Nightmare"
New Avengers (Military - AAFES) #11
Jun 2011 : Review (No SM)
Summary: No Spider-Man
Writer:  William Harms
Artist:  Shawn Martinborough
Cover Art:  Dean White, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
Lettering:  Dave Sharpe
Colorist:  Felix Serrano
Project Manager:  A.J. Fierro, Raphael Rodriguez
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alomso
Editor:  Bill Rosemann
Assistant Editor:  John Denning
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Review

It is September 17, 1944, the eve of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne strike of WWII (depicted in the film A Bridge too Far). The story opens up in the belly of a plane high over the English Channel with dozens of paratroopers silent sitting, waiting for the planes to reach their destination, over 300 miles away, and far behind enemy lines. A young soldier psyching himself for his first jump is consoled by a grizzled older soldier, who passes him a Captain America comicbook that was handed to him by General Patton himself.

The comic tells a story that takes place in the Eastern European country of Symkaria (a fictional country created by Stan Lee that lays along the southern border Latveria. Silver Sable comes from Symkaria). A pair of Symkarian soldiers guarding a village are attacked and rendered unconscious by an electrical blast. The two strangely garbed men, gather the inhabitants of the village, blasting anyone that opposes them. The then take everyone hostage, and torch the village.

On a dock on the cost of the Mediterranean, Captain America is seeking to discover who diverted some supplies that were bound for refugees. Cap is surrounded by numerous dock workers who attack him, only Cap easily defeats them all. He then reports in and receives orders to head for Symkaria. In Symkaria prisoners are being experimented on by more men in suits similar to the ones worn by the men who attacked the village. The procedure involves them being strapped to a chair and having vast amounts of electricity shot through their bodies. When Cap arrives at the castle where they are being held he surreptitiously makes way inside.

Once inside the castle, Cap locates the prisoners, and informs them that he will free them but they must remain quiet while he attacks the electrical men. Cap follows a pair of them to the lab where the prisoners are being experimented on, where he is assaulted by an electrical man. Blasted from his hiding place into the lab, Cap is taken captive and confronts the scientist performing the experiments. The scientist tries to explain to Cap that he will do whatever it takes to keep the Nazis out of Symkaria, even as Cap argues that what he is doing is simply becoming a new kind of Nazi. The Scientist doesn’t care. Cap escapes and manages to destroy the machine that is turning the men into killing machines.

His work done, Cap summons the Army and which arrives with medics to care for the injured as Cap heads off to his next mission. At this point the story switches back to the paratroopers in the plane and the young soldier hardening his resolve for the battle ahead.

In General...

Unlike all previous issues in this series, this particular comic stars only Captain America, and does so in a time that pre-existed the Avengers. Still, the story reads like a classic WWII Captain America comic, and even though Cap is the only Avenger in the comic, it still reads pretty well.

Overall Rating...

Even though this was a very good comic, we as readers have come to expect a full contingent of Avengers and it is a touch disappointing that it only stars Cap.

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. In this comic, Cap carries his classic “shield-shaped” shied (rather than his modern-day round one).