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.
Whiplash has kidnapped the son of a wealthy industrialist named Mason Wilhite. Apparently Whiplash is attempting to exhort the plans and prototype for a Neuro-Sonics Caspian Device. Whiplash is standing high atop the roof of one of Wilhite’s buildings, and the news media is on the ground covering the event. Fortunately for the boy, Captain America (Steve Rogers) shows up, and quickly makes short work of the villain, beating him like a rug, and then turning him over to the cops before heading off to a previous appointment.
Next up, we see Thor in a vicious throw-down with the Gamma-spawned Abomination. The two Titians trade punches for a bit before the Norse god of thunder beats the green-hued beast senseless and hoists him into the upper stratosphere where he delivers the Coup de grace with some well-placed lightning. Upon returning to Earth, Thor turns the now unconscious criminal over to Colonel Nick Fury, the head of SHIELD, to cart off to incarceration. Whereupon, Thor also heads off to attend to another task.
Finally, we scope in on Iron Man as he attends to some terrible devastation occurring inside an urban area. The Golden Avenger correctly deduces that the rampart destruction is being caused by Fin Fang Foom, an other-worldly creature who remarkably resembles a Chinese dragon. Fin — who is really not this inexplicably violent — has gone berserk and Iron Man correctly deduces that something has disturbed his centuries-long slumber, causing him to become disoriented, and setting off the creature’s rage.
As Iron Man manages to distract the dragon and divert him out of the city he notices a sonic device attached to the back of Fin’s head, awakening him and causing him to run amok. Relieving Fin of the device, Iron Man joins Cap and Thor in an Avenger’s Quinjet as they all head off to their appointment. As they travel, they realize that all three of their recent adventures are somehow connected as these three seeming unconnected events bear a common thread.
Still, they realize that it was threats like this that caused them and other heroes to gather together, forming the Avengers, in order to deal with them. Still, they all agree that while they and others deal with these grave threats, it is others, non-powered mortals, who are the real heroes. They are of course referring to the men and women in the US Military. Then the Quinjet lands and the three Avengers take part in the opening of a new Exchange, amid the cheers of the gathered members of the U.S. Armed forces.
Unlike previous issues of this series, this particular issue didn’t really deal with the Avengers as a team so much as it dealt with three members of that assemblage of heroes. Also, where other issues in this series introduced specific members of the armed forces (presumably actual soldiers who serve in the military), this issue did not.
As always while the comic itself is fun to own, the story itself was more of a shell, a holding pattern if you will, which seemed to be written so as to fulfill a contractual obligation, and — unfortunately — simply not as interesting as have been previous issues. The artwork seems rushed, and there are no credits to speak of appearing in the entire issue, which is really odd for a modern-day Marvel comic.
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.