The Transparent Fox:
Issue(s): Avengers #236, Avengers #237
Spider-Man recently found out how much money the Avengers make, so he's decided to try to join the team. He's been invited to join them in the past, so he figures he's a shoo-in, which leads him to make his request in the most obnoxious way possible.
And when he's invited to join as a trainee, like Starfox, he's put out.
Then the Avengers get a priority alert and Spidey's kicked out so they can respond. Except he stows away on their Quinjet. It turns out the problem is at Project Pegasus, which seems to be a real trouble area lately. This time, Pegasus scientists have disturbed a tribe of subterranean Lava Men, and they've already defeated Pegasus' guard on duty, Michael O'Brien, the Guardsman.
The Avengers, and Spider-Man, who they reluctantly bring along and who keeps screwing things up because he can't follow orders...
...are eventually able to quell the Lava Man attack and explain that it was all a misunderstanding.
However, in the chaos, a number of super-villains held captive at Project Pegasus are freed: Moonstone, Blackout, Electro, and the Rhino.
Moonstone does a good job keeping the other villains' difficult personalities in line.
Those four do surprisingly well against a full team of Avengers plus Spider-Man.
Blackout's "black-light" powers (Electro and Moonstone exchange a fun nerdy conversation about how Blackout's terminology isn't exactly scientifically correct)...
...are a good counter to Captain Marvel.
But the Avengers are eventually able to overcome them...
...although Moonstone and Blackout are able to escape.
All of the chaos results in trouble with a nuclear reactor, but Spider-Man's scientific know-how is able to save the day.
Overall, despite his initial cocky attitude and the fact that he stowed away on their Quinjet and the fact that he has trouble working in a team scenario, the Avengers are still willing to take Spidey in as a trainee, but their new government liaison Raymond Sikorski rejects the idea since nothing is known about him and he's a security risk.
In a scene where Spider-Man is admonished for keeping his Spider-Sense a secret, Starfox starts to feel guilty, because he's also got a special power that he never thought to mention to the team, and now that he knows how they feel about keeping secrets, he's not sure how they'll react if he tells them about it now.
As usual, there's tons of little character moments...
...and interesting plot twists and power tricks and more.
Stern is just a fantastic writer.
Among those character moments, we see Monica Rambeau applying for a small business loan. I'll note that the application seems to be going well, but some 40 issues later we'll learn she still hasn't been approved.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (11): show
as you point out, stern doesnt "de-power" powerful villains for no reason. these are all tough foes who should do well against the avengers.
Posted by: kveto from prague | November 5, 2011 5:19 PM
You have the same eggzact panel showing for your descriptions of the 'villains doing well against the Avengers' and 'the Avengers overcome the villains.'
But I suppose the difference between winning and losing is in the eye of the guy writing the wrap-up.
Posted by: JC | January 12, 2016 9:01 AM
It was a bold decision to include both Electro and Blackout on the small villains squad, given the striking similarities in their costumes. But the artwork just embraces this by having them standing right next to each other the first time we see them assembled and then I don't believe it was ever brought up in the script. It doesn't hurt that their powers and personalities are completely different.
Posted by: Dan H. | January 12, 2016 1:45 PM
Cap was kind of rough on Spidey here. How would anyone know the webbing idea would be a failure without the attempt.
Posted by: Urban Commando | March 4, 2017 6:35 AM
I think the idea was supposed to be that Cap knew from experience that the Lava Men could generate temperatures of thousands of degrees- far more than Peter's webbing could withstand. So Cap just wanted to use the webbing to bluff the Lava Men.
Posted by: Michael | March 22, 2017 11:07 PM
A lot of writers forget that Electro, when introduced, was a skilled electrician and lineman who was shown using scientific devices to boost his innate powers. Stern doesn't.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 11, 2017 7:30 AM
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