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October 17, 2009

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Avengers Under Siege pt 2

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Written by: Billy
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Before we get started with part two, let’s recap last week’s column. We learned about how the Avengers are a pretty tight knit group, and that they like to hang out together at the mansion when they aren’t fighting the forces of evil. We saw how from behind the scenes Baron Zemo was subtly manipulating the Avengers as part of a plot to take control of the mansion and humble them in the process.

980510-10_5_2009_2_40_28_pm_largeThe Masters of Evil accomplish this feat by luring everyone away from the mansion, then busting through the defenses and laying a whoopin’ on Jarvis! Now, we also know at this point that these Avengers have faced down many tough challenges, but never one this personal and close to home.

The next portion of our story starts out with Zemo and the Fixer watching their first victim come back to the mansion; it’s The Black Knight. He was just on a date with The Wasp, and it didn’t go very well because her old flame Paladin showed up. He unknowingly enters the mansion and is almost blasted by Yellowjacket. He chases her down a hallway and gets sucker punched by Mister Hyde.

Next, the Masters focus on Captain Marvel; they decide to lure her to the mentally unstable Blackout so he can entrap her with his Darkforce powers. After doing just that, the other Avengers start to figure out that something is awry. Captain America seemingly shows up out of nowhere at Wasp’s house to tell her something is up, because he just called Avengers mansion and SHE answered! We see Hercules get drunk and then get drugged by Black Mamba of the Serpent Society (in disguise of course) while perusing around town. As Herc is walking back to the mansion, Cap and Wasp get his attention and tell him about their abducted comrades. At this point, his bullheadedness gets the better of him and he rushes in blindly and is met by TigerShark; after pummeling him, Mister Hyde, The Wrecking Crew and Goliath begin to kick the crap out of Herc. Now we see something rarely, if ever, seen before – Hercules beaten unconscious and near death.

We then switch to Zemo, who is using the mansion’s defenses to capture Captain America and The Wasp, but Janet barely escapes, and Zemo figures that she alone is no threat. So right now, Cap, The Black Knight, Hercules and Jarvis are all captives of The Masters, and Captain Marvel is presumed dead. Zemo then has Blackout encase the entire mansion in Darkforce so no one can get in, and he can have his fun torturing his captives. The Masters then heave Hercules’ lifeless body from the building, and Wasp has him taken to the hospital for medical attention. While in the hospital, Ant-Man shows up because he heard the distress call for all the reserves to come out of the woodwork. Later at the hospital we see The Absorbing Man and Titania show up to finish the job on Herc and whoever else might be around. Somehow the Wasp and Ant-Man manage to get the edge on these two and subdue them.

Meanwhile, Zemo begins his physical and mental assault on the Avengers 980659-10_5_2009_4_06_48_pm_supertrapped inside the mansion. He begins taunting Captain America by rifling through his personal belongings, and finding a picture that Cap has of himself and Bucky right before he was presumed killed in WWII, that he then rips in half. He then has Mister Hyde take his original shield (not the one made from vibranium) and crunch it like a piece of tin foil. After Cap’s spirit won’t break, Zemo tells Hyde to start beating Jarvis while Cap sits helplessly and watches. At this time we see that Captain Marvel isn’t dead, but trapped in the Darkforce Dimension. Monica struggles to find a way out, and eventually does when she sees a light and jumps into it; she then realizes that she has jumped out while The Shroud was using his ability to command Darkforce. We also get a peek at another reserve Avenger, Dr. Druid, who has telepathically sensed something wrong and gets ready to join the fight. He then meets up with The Wasp, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel and Thor, and they begin to formulate a plan to rescue their captive teammates.

Back to the mansion, where The Black Knight has been awakened by the screams of Jarvis the butler being savagely beaten by Hyde. Dane then remembers that he and his sword Excalibur have a psychic bond, and that he can use this to summon the Ebony Blade to his hands. Initially, he can’t get the sword to respond because The Fixer is keeping it under some kind of stasis field for testing. Inexplicably the power goes out, and this gives the Knight his chance to break free, and get Cap and Jarvis untied as well. He does that and then after a brief scuffle with Hyde, Thor and the rest of the Avengers show up and an all out brawl ensues between both teams.

avengersundersiegeInitially things seem closely matched, but we cut to a scene where Dr. Druid makes telepathic contact with Blackout to try and subdue him. After Thor whips the entire Wrecking Crew, he has his hands full with Goliath and his enormous size and power. The Wrecker wakes up after a while and starts a war for the ages with Captain America. They fight on and on until finally Cap knocks him down, and Thor KOs Goliath who falls on The Wrecker.

We move to the roof where Blackout is being helped by Dr. Druid, only to be shot in the back by Zemo’s poison dart gun. Captain Marvel comes to the rescue and melts Zemo’s guns like butter, and then tells him the game is up. Zemo won’t accept defeat, so he grabs Cap’s shield and begins to fight the star spangled Avenger himself; who coincidentally he believes killed his father. Cap tells Zemo that his father died because of his own recklessness, but Zemo doesn’t believe him and goes berserk, lunging at Cap. Cap easily moves out of the way, but then realizes they are right on the edge of the rooftop, so he turns to help Zemo, but he refuses and falls off the roof, seemingly to his death.

As the dust settles, we see Captain Marvel approach Steve Rogers, who is kneeling down near his footlocker in his room that has been trashed by Zemo and his Masters of Evil. At this moment we see Cap in tears; he tells Monica about how Zemo tearing up his pictures earlier didn’t bother him, but now that the smoke cleared it is hitting him hard. Especially when he discovers Zemo tore up the only picture he had of his mother.

980665-10_5_2009_4_30_55_pm_super

This was a huge, groundbreaking story on so many levels. For one, seeing for the first time the “bad guys” invade the home and physically beat down the “good guys,” let alone a regular human being. Secondly, do you think for even a minute anyone thought that they would see Captain America in tears? I can honestly say that I never thought I would see the day. Truth be told, I still get a little emotional when I read the last few pages of this heart wrenching story.  Superheroes to me are supposed to be too tough to show pain and suffering, but at the end of the day they’re still people too. A story like this is the difference between Marvel and DC. The everyday problems and emotional sides of their characters that make then more believable, more human. Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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4 Comments


  1. Jeff Jackson

    Darkforce!!! That’s how you subdue Monica Rambeau!!!! I never thought of that! Next CoC, I’m drafting the Shroud, Cloak, Blackout, Silhouette, and Asylum!


  2. billy

    @Jeff-that’s the ticket! lol



  3. Man, that Hercules is pretty awesome! I’ll bet he could even take down Dr. Strange!!


  4. billy

    @Andy-apparently not. lol



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