Less Siege action!
Today, we check out Mighty Avengers #34, Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #2, and Blast to the Past for Avengers #25. Enjoy and spread the word!
In the middle of Siege, we find very little in the ways of Siege issues. At least not official Siege books.
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So what was Loki up to before Siege?
The Mighty Avengers #34
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Neil Edwards
Last issue, the Dark and Mighty Avengers fought it out with a Cosmic Cube-powered Absorbing Man while Loki manipulated from his own lair. Osborn sent the Sentry at the Absorbing Man. Hank had Amadeus patch him in to whatever intel Iron Patriot was recieving. Absorbing Man used his power to split the Sentry into his heroic and villainous halves and changed Ms. Marvel back into Moonstone. Both Pym and Osborn flew into Project: Pegasus looking for the Absorbing Man's ball and chain which had also gained the properties of a Cosmic Cube. One of Jocasta's many bodies was taken over by Ultron. While the Absorbing Man kept splitting people up, Pym won the race to the ball and chain but it was a moot point since he was hit by the door on Norman's entry. The Wasp tricked Ozzy into believing he had already gotten the ball and chain and was able to gain the upper hand pretty quickly. Pym entered the battle with the Cosmic Cube charged ball and chain but it wasn't enough to turn the tide of battle. Norman was falling apart after losing his prize but was given a spell-breaking sword. Iron Patriot charged into battle with the sword and was able to stab the Absorbing Man with it and depower him. Loki worked on the media to send this image out live. The Mighty Avengers were made to look like chumps and asked to leave... all save USAgent who was stripped of his rank and title for working with fugitives. Pym left after recording an image of Loki on his goggles.
In this issue, the Mighty Thor is called in to rescue his brother from... the Mighty Avengers! Some flashbacks may be required. Jarvis travels the world to get the special ingredients necessary to make the Mighty Avengers a nice meal. The Avengers discuss current events until Pietro finally learns that the Scarlet Witch they've been listening to isn't actually Wanda Maximoff. Hank tells him who he believes their Scarlet Witch is: Loki. The Mighty Avengers head to the Isle of Silence, fight trolls, and capture Loki. After a little torture, Thor arrives and fights the Avengers until Hank agrees never to torture a god again. Hank is allowed to ask Loki one question and get a truthful response and he asks if Loki would like to join the team. Everybody quits. Back in the Infinite Mansion, Jocasta is hurting. One of her many bodies seems to be acting on it's own...
In the little town of Broxton, Oklahoma, not a lot ever happens. Unless you count the city of Asgard showing up right outside of town. Or Tony Stark's mind being put back inside his body on the roof of the local inn. Or that Skrull Invasion thing.
And the upcoming Siege.
OK, it's a busy little town. Pre-Siege, it was still relatively quiet. That's why we find Dr. Donald Blake dealing with a simple foot injury in his office. Sure, the teenager got that injury from collecting rocks on the underside of Asgard but STILL.
In the middle of this scheduled appointment, Blake gets a divine summons from the last person that should be asking him for help: Loki. As soon as his patient leaves, he hits the streets and becomes Thor in order to take care of his half-brother. Gods are bound by certain rules and one of those rules is that they have to respond to mythic distress signals even if they don't care much for the one in distress. Because of this, Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport near to Loki's location and ends up on the Isle of Silence.
Thor is amazed to see fallen Trolls. Since he can tell they hadn't been defeated by Loki's doing, he knows that something greater is amiss. Loki's not letting up with his telepathic summons. He keeps on urging Thor to move forward and save him from whatever peril he currently faces. Thor is wise enough not to fully trust the god of mischief but rules are rules. Thor keeps moving closer to Loki's location.
When Thor reaches Loki, he discovers his half-brother trapped in a strange contraption. His captors are none other than the Mighty Avengers!
This is going to require a flashback.
Two hours ago, Jarvis traveled the world using the Infinite Mansion's many doors. In his travels, he picked up the best foods and ingredients, all in an attempt to serve the Avengers with only the finest of home-cooked meals. Jarvis doesn't mind that the Avengers don't usually eat a full meal or notice all the special love and care he puts into each dish. Jarvis is a professional and he'll never let the Avengers see him cry. Sure, he might betray them for money in order to help his sick mother but he'll never be offended by them not finishing a meal.
Besides, that betrayal was a long time ago and no longer counts.
The Mighty Avengers eat Jarvis's specially prepared food while they catch us up on their latest adventures. The Wondrous Wasp and some members of his team have been having guest appearances in other books and it's time to fit them into the close continuity established in this series. For example, Hank helped remove a bomb from Luke Cage's heart over in The New Avengers #60. Not only that but he and the Vision were instrumental in Steve Roger's return over in Captain America Reborn. Unlike the New Avengers, the Mighty team only has to be told about Steve's return once. Hercules mentions the last bit of business. It seems he's about to be killed over in his own title and he'd like the Mighty Avengers to show up.
That last bit will have to wait until later. Quicksilver has business of his own to discuss. His sister. Pietro only joined this team because it had some sort of connection to the Scarlet Witch. Unfortunately, Maximoff is always a moment too late when it comes to this particular Scarlet Witch showing up. Everyone else knows that the Scarlet Witch that has been helping out the team is NOT Wanda but Hank has been hiding this information from Pietro... probably because the speedster might just leave the team when he finds out.
The topic strays into line-up issues. USAgent was lost to the team last issue when Norman fired John Walker for working with fugitives. Herc thinks it would be a good idea to build up their ranks before a confrontation with this Scarlet Witch. Wasp explains that he's already gone to everyone he could and no-one is available to play on their team. This is kind of similar to Dan Slott's predicament when he was filling the rost. He got the 'also rans' and the people that weren't busy doing something else. Hercules is the biggest draw for the team. Unfortunately, the way Hank puts it makes the current roster feel under-appreciated. Jarvis smooths over these bumps by telling the Avengers just how worthy they are of filling the Avengers legacy.
The conversation about the Scarlet Witch is filled with words left unsaid and Quicksilver isn't an idiot. He knows when something's is repeatedly being left out of the conversation. He demands to know what they aren't telling him about his sister. Hank finally relents and lets Pietro know that the Scarlet Witch helping them out isn't even really a girl. Pietro is pissed off that he was left out of the loop. He feels like he's been wasting his time with this team. Hell, he didn't want to be on it to begin with. He was here for one reason and one reason only and now that reason has been taken away.
When Hank tells him that the being impersonating his sister is none other than Loki and that they've figured out a way to capture the god of mischief, Quicksilver is interested strictly out of the need for revenge. There's also the chance that Loki knows where his sister really is.
The Avengers take one of Pym's dimensional doorways straight to the Isle of Silence. Pym didn't set up this particular door. In fact, this door and others connecting to the Isle gave him the idea for dimensional doorways in the first place. This door was put in place by Loki during the Acts of Vengeance. This one and others like it allowed the super-villains to appear all over the world at a moments notice. It's nice to see that these doors inspired Hank because the connection was pretty strong.
Now that the Avengers are on the Isle of Silence, they meet up with a group of trolls that Thor will later find all beaten up. Hercules and most of the team set about fulfilling that bit of the future while Quicksilver races off with Pym on his back to set up... the Device. The two head to a building set up on the Isle. Hank explains that this building is one of Loki's homes and that the mischief god comes hear annually at the same time. It's one of the only constants associated with Loki and it's their only window to catching the Asgardian.
Quicksilver travels back and forth from the troll battle to Loki's annual home, gather up the rest of Hank's supplies. From the Infinite Mansion, Amadeus Cho tells Pietro that the Device their building has to be built precisely or it could malfunction. Quicksilver replies back angrily about how he wouldn't cut corners on this project. Since we're at the Infinite Mansion, we see that Jocasta seems to have come down with something. We know that Ultron possessed one of her many doubles last issue and it looks like something is starting to happen to her current body. She chalks it up to a virus but doesn't take any extra time to look into it.
When we cut back to the Isle of Silence, Loki is just teleporting in and since Hank and Pietro finished the Device, the god of lies is trapped. The rest of the Mighty Avengers finish off their battle with the trolls and join Wasp and Quicksilver in the building.
Loki taunts and curses within his prison. Hank takes it all pretty well. He tells Loki that the Asgardian was trapped through the power of science. There's one major question Hank has been wanting to ask the god of mischief. Before he can get it out, Pietro breaks in with his own question. Where's Wanda? The other Avengers enter the building before Loki can manage another lie.
Once they're all inside, Loki does his best to manipulate everyone in the room. He's pretty good at this sort of thing. Centuries of practice, in fact. When Hank feels things have gotten as out of control as he'd like them to get, he blasts the Asgardian with a bolt of pain. Pym tries asking his one question after Loki gets done cursing him but Pietro interrupts once more. Quicksilver grabs the pain controller from Hank and asks his question. Wanda. Answers. Now.
Loki claims to know nothing of Wanda Maximoff's location but that's not the answer Quicksilver was looking for.
While Quicksilver tortures Loki for an answer that never comes, Loki is busy summoning his half-brother. After a while the other Avengers start getting a little bit squeamish from all the torturing. This leads us to where we entered. Thor shows up and looks fighting mad.
This is one of the few times Thor has found Loki approaching him with an actual, legitimate threat. Usually, it's just a lie wrapped up to trick him into one trap or another. Seriously. Thor has just shown up to watch as the Avengers torture his half-brother. Sure, Loki's a bad guy but the AVENGERS ARE TORTURING HIM. That is all sorts of messed up.
Before Thor delivers a godly beat down, he asks the Avengers what the hell they're doing here. When he learns that they've found a way to trap Loki and about all the torture, the reasons for it are pale in comparison to whatever punishment they've given out. Hank tries to explain it all by going into his new role as Scientist Supreme. Loki laughs and tells him that was just another of his schemes and he's astounded that the Wasp fell for it. There's enough room for doubt here that we might actually believe Loki is telling the truth. If only because "Scientist Supreme" is a completely stupid idea.
As Loki is laughing, Quicksilver is drawn back to angry territory and starts turning on the pain once more. Thor moves in to stop this complete lunacy. Thor beats Quicksilver down quicker than you'd expect while Hercules holds back the rest of the Avengers. This is not an area that the Avengers really want to get into. Defending torturers. They sit this one out.
Before Thor smashed Pietro's face with his hammer, Pym grows to giant size and tries to hold Thor's hammer back. It's doubtful that Hank could do this for long but Thor is just waiting for Wasp to agree never to build a trap like this again. When that's done, Thor warns that his eyes will be on the Scientist Supreme to make sure he keeps his word.
Thor goes into Hank wearing Janet's name. If he wears it, he's got to honor that legacy. That means no building torture machines until he takes the Yellowjacket name back.
Thor tells Hank that Loki will be brought back to Asgard where Balder will judge him for whatever crimes he has committed. Pietro isn't happy with this. He hasn't been able to ascertain the location of his dear sister just yet. Wasp believes it's the right move. He went too far with the torture trap. Pym leave Loki with a warning. If Loki finds a way out of this trap, Hank will just build another.
To show that there's no hard feelings, Thor agrees to allow them to ask Loki one question and get a truthful response. Before Pietro can ask about his sister again, Hank asks him the one question he's had on his mind the entire issue. This is the one question that is keeping him up at nights.
Would Loki like to join his team?
Looks of surprise and disgust spread on everyone's faces. Hank tries to explain himself but it's a stupid idea. Loki leaves with his half-brother believing Hank to be a complete moron. The rest of the team decides this is the moment when they should just walk away. This team is done.
In the Infinite Mansion, Jarvis is trying to keep the team together but Amadeus was listening to that whole thing as well. He and Herc are gone. They'll contact the Mighty Avengers when it's time for their guest appearance in Herc's comic but that is IT mister. Jocasta is still suffering from that virus she should have taken care of right away. She can't even switch bodies anymore. Jarvis helps Jo back into the control chamber hoping that Hank will be able to help when he returns.
On of Jocasta's extra bodies has been listening in. She hears that Pym is returning. Her eyes glow with the image of Ulton as she says "Father is coming home."
Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #2
Writer: Scott Reed
Penciler: Miguel Munera
Last issue, Hiro-Kala, the Son of Hulk, and his crew of Sakaar survivors investigated the Fault aboard their stone ship. Hiro-Kala was teleported away through powers not his own. On the sub-atomic world of K'ai, we found out that the people tried to summon the Hulk and seemed to have failed. We pulled out to see a microverse probe leaving the planet, returning to the HMS Endeavor III to join the Microns and inform them about this attack. Arcturus Rann and Marionette were fighting and Mari is only convinced to stay when Carl told her that Psyklop had attacked K'ai. It took a bit more convincing to get Arcturus to approve a mission to save the savage planet. Back on K'ai, the Psyklop were just about to suck the soul out of one of the locals that had worked so hard on summoning the Hulk when the Son of the Hulk teleported in. His people were tracking his location and following aboard the Stone Ship. Hiro got a burst of his worst fears, which looked a lot like kissing a girl, before he attacked the Psyklop in a rage. After that was done, he looked around the planet and decided that, instead of punishing this planet, he might as well save it in his own style. This created lots of explosions.
In this issue, Hiro-Kala addresses the people of K'ai and returns the dead to life. The people are happy to be saved by the Son of Hulk. Hiro-Kala has resurrected a group of people but changed them so that they can track down the Old Power. The team formerly known as the Micronauts prepare for their mission to save K'ai. Arcturus has a siezure. Carl finds out he's not water proof. Axeman Bone gets the mission to kill any remaining Psyklop. Hiro-Kala directs some of his resurrected. Lihla kisses the Son of Hulk. The Axeman finds the Microns. Hiro-Kala shares his vision of prophesy with Lihla. Marionette attacks the Axemen. Hiro-Kala gives Lilha a gift.
I'm very sorry that I can't get into the Son of Hulk books. I'm pretty sure they aren't very good but it's got that damn Realm of Kings label on it so here I go.
Hiro-Kala has just defeated a great bulk of the Psyklop and brought their ships crashing to the ground. That gets the survivors of this invasion to gather around him and wonder what he'll do next. What he does is deliver an impromptu speach. He explains that he was brought to this planet against his will and he's like to learn more about the place. The people agree to help him. They give him their thanks for the last-minute save. What's his name, anyway?
Hiro-Kala starts rattling off thelist of names he's been given. While he's doing that, he uses one of his various powers to send green energy into the remains of the Psyklop. Out come the souls of the already slain K'ai people. Hiro provides them with new bodies. The people are just about to worship him when he tells them that he isn't a god. He's just Hiro-Kala, the Son of Hulk.
To the people of K'ai, that just about as good as being a god. They start cheering for their savior. The only one not cheering is the one that inadvertantly summoned this son of Hulk to K'ai. She still hasn't been given a name so we're still going to call her "Latoya." She has seen that Hiro-Kala is little more than a monster and will cause this planet's doom or something. Latoya wasn't that happy about summoning the Hulk to begin with. She finds Hiro to not be a welcome substitute.
Hiro stops the worshiping. He doesn't want or need it. What he needs is people to go about a certain number of tasks that he'll place before them. Those he resurrected will soon help him seek out the Old Power and destroy it. In the meantime, Hiro is going to figure out who brought him unwillingly to this place.
Aboard the HMS Endeavor III, the Microns are preparing to save the planet K'ai from the Psyklop not knowing that the invasion has already been stopped. Commander Arcturus hasn't authorized intervention just yet. This first time out is simply recon. They'll decide what to do from there. Since Rann is not the man he once was and is, in fact, dying, he arms himself with a big honking space gun before they exit the craft and swim out into the ocean.
On the way up to the ocean's surface, Arcturus has one mother of a siezure. That's just the beginning of their problems. Carl has learned that he's not made for swimming. His circuits are being flooded. They're also going to have trouble with some evil-looking giant fish. Marionette swims to Arcturus' side and helps him to the surface. They make one of those last minute escape things that should be much more dramatic than it actually turns out to be. On the way up, Arcturus claims that he can sense the Enigma Force Nullifier. It's on the planet and maybe that's a good thing. Maybe you have to pay more attention to figure that out.
Once on the beach, Carl's systems are severely compromised. Mari quips about this cyborg being such a tough fighter to be taken down by a dip in the pool. When she finally gets her and Arcturus' helmets off, she's able to look around and get her bearings.
And that's when they learn that the Psyklop might not be a threat any longer. That could be a good thing or it could be very, very bad.
In the capitol city, Hiro gives Axeman Bone orders to seek out and destroy any Psyklop that remains alive but it turns out Axeman has already sent orders to do just that. Hiro praises Axeman's initiative but, once he's gone, mocks him in front of his daughter, Lilha. Lilha doesn't actually enjoy this. She has some feelings for Hiro but keeps on getting the cold shoulder.
Before this can be explored further, some of the K'ai Resurrected approach Hiro asking him what he wants them to do. Hiro explains that they are now able to use his power which is extended to them through Hiro. Soon, he will give them the purpose they crave. Now, they need to get out of his sight so he can continue his conversation with Lilha. He doesn't want to be here. These people aren't going to benefit from his leadership.
Lilha believes that uncovering a forgotten chapter in his father's life is one of those things that needs to be explored. In front of a statue depicting the Hulk kissing Jarella, Lilha decides it's time to kiss Hiro.
Mari and Carl are still stuck on the beach while Arcturus is unconscious. In the downtime, Marionette goes through tons of exposition. Arcturus is the thousand-year-old descendant of the creator of the microverse. He spent those thousand years in suspended animation while being connected to the Enigma Force. Arcturus became a hero but is slowly dying because of the Enigma Force. Nothing can stop it. Well, nothing except an ancient lost artifact called the Enigman Force Nullifier. You may remember Arcturus talking about that a few paragraphs up. Arcty is spending his final days searching for the thing. He was even willing to let this invasion happen and not interfere just so he could continue searching for a way to save his life. It's not a very heroic way to die.
All the time we run through this back story, Mari and Carl are being watched by Axeman Bone's men. They don't understand what the two Microns are talking about but they do know that they want to kill them dead. It's what Axemen do. Carl notices that they're being watched too late to prevent getting gunned down.
After her kiss, Lilha gets something very special in return. She gets a look into the prophesy that seems to be guiding Hiro's life. Hiro has lots of different powers running through him. One of those powers is the gamma power of his dad. Bruce Banner's powers are triggered by anger. Skaar's powers are triggered by savagery. Whatever triggers Hiro's power, the power itself is strong enough to shred all of reality to little bitty pieces. He got this message delivered to him by a Galactus in a toga. You know it's got to be true. Yes, it's symbolism. It's also funny.
On the beach, the Axeman's men rush forward to kill anyone who didn't die in their first assault. The funny thing is that their first attack didn't kill anyone. Sure, Carl's seen better days but it just pissed Mari off. She draws a sword and starts fighting her way through the Axemen.
Back in the city, Hiro lifts a necklace from it's place in this museum and places it around Lilha's neck. He gives it to her as a token of his trust. Lilha wants to hear the word "love" but that's not happening today. Hiro has been given a prophesy about his part in the destruction of everything. He knows that the signs of that prophesy are coming true. Here. Now. In this place. That is the first and only thing on his mind.
The Avengers #25
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Don Heck
In this issue, Dr. Doom decides to take down the Avengers to show the Fantastic Four who's boss. The Kooky Quartet argues among themselves. Wanda gets a letter from Latveria telling her that she and her brother might not be dirty orphans. Dr. Doom pals around with peasants. The Avengers get arrested, quickly escape, and race through town before they get beat up by the populace. Dr. Doom waits in his castle for the Avengers to arrive and then puts a plastithene dome over his entire kingdom to make sure the Avengers don't escape his form of justice. The Avengers fight Doom and make him run off to repair his armor. The Fantastic Four get word that Doom is attacking the Avengers but are denied permission to help. The Avengers hide out in a cave but realize that the plastithene dome is harming the citizens of Latveria and plan a counter attack. They break into Doom's castle, fight it out with the dictator, locate and pull the lever that lowers the dome, soundly beat a bored Dr. Doom, and escape the country.
You know, I don't think I've actually done an Avengers tale starring just Cap's Kooky Quartet yet. It's about time, eh? These four Avengers (Captain America, Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver) were the replacements when the original team decided to spend all their time in their own solo adventures. The team wasn't the most powerful line-up ever. In fact, it might be one of the weakest lineups in regards to power. Cap and Hawkeye didn't have any actual powers, just peak human abilities for Cap and trick arrows for Clint. Scarlet Witch's hex power was unreliable. Only Pietro's super speed was a stable super ability on this team. Still, what the team lacked in strength, it made up for in determination. They weren't about to let the Avengers legacy fall on their watch.
Which wasn't to say that they all got along. They didn't. Cap and Hawkeye were at each other's throats all the time. Hawkeye was just disagreeable. Clint had a big mouth and usually regretted whatever words escaped from it. Despite this, they were great team players... probably owing to the fact that Steve had them train constantly.
Our issue begins after the Avengers have returned home from a mission in the far flung future involving Kang the Conqueror. While the Avengers are staring off into the stars, lost in their own thoughts about their last adventure, they're being watched by one of the greatest Marvel super-villains of them all. Dr. Doom!
Doom does a lot of talking out loud while sitting all alone in his secret lab. Most of this is about how he can spy on anyone in the world thanks to his peeping tom machine. Still, stalking people from a distance has bored the dictator. He muses over the time paradoxes that might make himself and Kang the same person (which I'm happy came to nothing-- Kang's various identities are already complicated enough without adding Victor Von Doom to the mix). With those unpleasant thoughts pushed out of his head, Dr. Doom decides that he must defeat the Avengers. He doesn't do this because he has a score to settle. He just wants to defeat Earth's Mightiest Heroes to put the Fantastic Four on notice.
Back at Avengers Mansion, Clint Barton finds himself very interested in Wanda Maximoff. Since he believes Natasha Romanova to be dead at this point, it's probably healthy that he's moved on from that tragedy and opened up to the possibility of another romance. Since we'll learn later on that Clint pretty much makes out with every girl in the Marvel Universe, this is actually a warning sign. Lucky for Wanda, she only has eyes for the good Captain. Hawkeye realizes this and thinks that, maybe if he were leader, she would be more interested in him.
Tired of mooning over Wanda, Clint decides to leave the Mansion and have some adventures of his own. Steve Rogers takes issue with that but drops the issue in favor of not having another fight with the archer.
Rogers heads off to train in order to escape his own problems. You'd think this would involve being a man out of time but what Steve is most concerned with is the fact that he doesn't have much personality of his own. He's Captain America. That's about it. When will he be allowed to be Steve Rogers?
Time passes. Days go by. Eventually, Wanda recieves a letter from who she believes is a long lost aunt looking to reconnect. The aunt lives in Latveria and wants to meet her and Pietro as soon as possible. The Witch races to Quicksilver to tell him the good news but the speedster is too busy watching television to pay any attention to his twin sister. A well placed hex bolt takes care of that and Pietro is forced to hear the good news. They both try to share their joy with Hawkeye but they just piss the archer off and get him to say things that he immediately regrets.
Of course, Pietro and Wanda have no aunt living in Latveria. This is all part of Dr. Doom's well-laid trap. To celebrate the eventual defeat of the Avengers and eventually letting Reed Richards know that there's a team out there that can actually be defeated by Dr. Doom, Victor decides to take a stroll through his kingdom. This is awesome because Doom is actually good to his people. He hands a handicapped kid money and enjoys the crowd's cheers. Sure, not everyone in the crowd supports Doom's rule but they're going to remain mostly silent in this issue so it makes no never mind.
Eventually, the four Avengers arrive in Latveria and find themselves swiftly arrested. Yeah, we all saw that coming. The Avengers? Not so much. Instead of researching Latveria and learning that it is ruled by the biggest bad guy in the Marvel U, they just happily walked right into the super-villain's trap. This is not a shining moment to be Captain America. When they figure out what's going on, Scarlet Witch hexes their way out of jail. The team gets dressed in the hero best and take to the streets.
This move surprises the Latverian Police but is an expected event for the Doctorest of all Dooms. He's pulls a lever in his castle lair and a giant plastithene dome covers his entire kingdom... which must be very round. The dome was created not to trap super-heroes but instead to keep the country safe in the event of nuclear holocaust. It also reminds me of the dome that covered Springfield in the Simpsons Movie. Now I want to watch that movie again and see if they made reference to this comic. You think it would be a no-brainer.
The dome proves to be every bit as indestructible as a nuclear war proof dome should be. Even Wanda's hexes are useless against it. The citizens of Latveria notice these colorful adventurers trying to destroy their beautiful dome and recognize them as the Avengers. The Latverian National Radio has told them all about these dangerous individuals and they become a mob of justice much quicker than you'd expect. Quicksilver creates a whirlwind of speed around the Avengers and the team escapes the dangerous mob.
Since Latveria is a small country, the Avengers are able to find Doom's castle pretty easily. They enter and work their way through the place without encountering a single trap. Seems like Doom saves that sort of thing specifically for his battles with the accursed Fantastic Four. When they reach Dr. Doom he happily explains that this isn't a personal attack. It's just good business. Victor needs to keep the Fantastic Four's attention somehow and he sees how they like fighting the Frightful Four more than him. Well, two can play that game!
The battle hits full throttle. Dr. Doom isn't not an easy foe to face but he finds the Avengers more difficult that he had originally planned. Finally, Clint hits him with an arrow that starts melting Doom's armor, forcing the evil dictator to flee the battle. The Avengers don't stick around. They figure Doom might have this room rigged to explode and race off to avoid that eventuality.
While the Avengers seek temporary lodgings in the caves of Latveria, Dr. Doom has put on a fresh armored suit and is holding an audience. This time he meets with the parents of that handicapped kid (the one he threw money at earlier). They've found a doctor who can cure their son but they need to get across the border to meet him before the doctor goes to America and is lost to them forever. They want the dome dropped. Doom will hear none of this. The parents are dismayed and express their frustration on the streets before wiser peasants realize talking like this could get them into trouble. The citizens clear the streets.
In the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four have just learned that the Avengers are in Latveria facing off against Dr. Doom. Reed moves quickly into action, ordering everyone to board his rocket in Long Island. Unfortunately, he can't get clearance to take off. The Four head on over to the Capitol to figure out why they can't rush into battle. They learn that Latveria is a friendly nation. This is the Cold War, after all. The United States made allies out of lots of otherwise hostile countries just on the basis of their battle with communism. The Avengers are on their own.
In Latveria, Quicksilver has made a food run and learns about the handicapped kid and his problem with the dome. He returns to the Avengers Cave and tells them all about it. Cap won't allow them to surrender. There has to be a way out of this situation where they don't get punked by Dr. Doom. They decide that it's rematch time.
The Avengers rush off to Doom's Castle, looking for the lever that will lower the plastithene dome.
This is round two! Cap and Clint are caught searching for the dome lever and engage Doom in Mortal Kombat. The battle goes back and forth until Doom finally catches the duo in a wire mesh net. Doom tries firing a disintegrator ray at the Avengers but finds that it's not functioning. Turns out he forgot to turn it on... or DID he? The Scarlet Witch has already hexed the ray, making it useless.
In the meantime, Quicksilver has located the dome lever but was unable to move it on his own. He gives the information to Cap and Hawkeye who have freed themselves from their wire mesh net trap. While Pietro joins the battle, Steve and Clint race off to move a lever.
The combined efforts of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch pay off. They're able to knock Dr. Doom off-balance. Doom hits the wall and is stuck by one of Hawkeye's stun arrows for good measure. Steve and Clint were able to move the dome lever which means all their problems are solved. Hawkeye leans in close to mock the fallen villain but Dr. Doom simply replies that this battle doesn't count because he doesn't care. So there.
The Avengers cover their escape with another of Hawkeye's arrows. This one produces Sneeze Smog. While Dr. Doom explodes in a sneezing fury, the Avengers race to the dome. Victor Von Doom recovers only to find that the dome lever has been destroyed. His back-up lever is similarly damaged. He can't raise the dome and keep the Avengers inside his postage-stamp-sized country.
The Avengers have escaped Latveria and are happy knowing that the handicapped kid will be able to get the medical attention that he needs. More than that, the Kooky Quartet just faced down Dr. Doom and won. That one's going in the record books.
You might just want to leave out the part where you went to Latveria without checking who ran the place...
Once in a while, we get 'em short and sweet. This is one of those. Look how tiny this article is! It's almost regular sized! It's also all we have for today. Join us next time for more Super Reads action!
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?
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