Issue(s): Avengers #346
I love that of all the characters here, the two that needed jackets because they were cold were the one that control the molecules of her own body and the elementalist. Not the two guys that don't have any super-powers. I had actually forgotten that there was a specific in-story reason for (some of) the Avengers to start wearing jackets, since they become a trademark of Bob Harras' Avengers run. I guess even when the Avengers get back to Earth, it's still chilly. I'm not really opposed to the idea of a team deciding to wear jackets, either as a kind of uniform or maybe as an answer to the increasingly pin-up style depiction of female characters, but the fact that only some of the characters get jackets negates the former and Sersi's leggy demonstration shows that nothing is changing regarding the latter.
Meanwhile, the two nominal rulers of the Kree, Ael-dan and Dar-benn, are chewing out Ronan the Accuser for failing to locate the Avengers, unaware that it's because the Supreme Intelligence is secretly helping to keep them hidden (that's his narration in one of the above panels noting that Crystal is a creation of the Kree).
Supremor has added Dr. Minerva and Captain Atlas to the ranks of the super-team that he's assembled, who even get a name and logo: Starforce!
Captain Atlas is upset that the Shi'ar Imperial Guard member Oracle learned the secret of the Kree Omni-Wave Projector, and for some reason Shatterax decides to try to pick a fight with him. The fight is broken up by Ultimus, aka the Demon Druid, who makes an appeal regarding "what it means to be Kree". Which is interesting since i thought he just found out that he was Kree a few chapters earlier in this story, in Wonder Man #7.
The Supreme Intelligence lies to Starforce, telling them that the Avengers are agents of the Shi'ar sent to assassinate Ael-dan and Dar-benn. Starforce is sent after the Avengers.
I do like this team. Shatterax is nothing special, but he's fine. I like seeing the Pursuer and Supremor robot body concepts being re-used, and i think it's cool to have Kree characters that are call backs to Captain and Ms. Marvel. And digging up Ultimus and tying him in with the Kree is good too. A nice case of Mark Gruenwald style continuity mining (it might very well have all been his idea; Minerva and Atlas certainly were) being used in a way that feels organic.
A little less organic feeling is the repeated return to the question of using lethal force.
The Black Knight surely killed when he was in the Crusades and i have no problem with the decision that he'll make at the end of this story. But he's been on the Avengers for a long time, in many a tight spot, and never requested before to start killing. The Avengers have never done that, and he knows it. This is really just foreshadowing the upcoming decision, but it feels forced after we've similarly had Sersi raise the same issue. It's like we've realized we need a little build-up for that decision, and we don't have a lot of time to get it in. It might have worked better if some of the characters from Steve Englehart's West Coast Avengers were here, since that book did bring up the question of using lethal force before.
The fight is stopped when Ael-dan and Dar-benn show up, as much interested in where Starforce came from as what the Avengers are doing here.
Another player in this story is Deathbird. Last issue, we saw Deathbird show up at her sister Empress Lilandra's throneroom. Now, she's paid a smuggler to sneak her onto Hala (killing the smugger to cover her tracks). Then she goes and assassinates the two Kree leaders.
Which just gives the Supreme Intelligence an opportunity to return to power.
The Avengers are taken prisoner and sentenced to death.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part twelve of Operation: Galactic Storm. It continues in Iron Man #279.
Crossover: Operation Galactic Storm
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAel-dan, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Captain Atlas, Crystal, Dar-benn, Deathbird, Doctor Minerva, Hercules, Korath the Pursuer, Ronan the Accuser, Sersi, Shatterax, Supreme Intelligence, Ultimus
Ugh those ugly dated jackets are here. Who thought dressing the Avengers like Nick from Family Ties was a good idea?
Posted by: Robert | February 1, 2016 9:21 AM
I know it's not a popular opinion, but I love the Avengers jackets (I also like X-Men's similar jackets around this time). It gets labeled as a very 90s thing, but it makes sense for an organization (especially one like the Avengers) to have branded apparel, and I like the idea of team members sometimes wearing them, sometimes not, rather than always being in the same costume issue in, issue out.
As fnord points out, they're pretty ridiculous in this particular setting, since the two people wearing them need them the least, and "branding" isn't something they need to or should be worrying about while on a covert mission on an alien planet, but in general, I like 'em.
Posted by: Austin Gorton | February 1, 2016 11:45 AM
To me, jackets work if its just a way to identify without the need of garish, colorful costumes. When you're already wearing costumes and still need team jackets, that's overkill. (BTW: I was going to be on the "JAKETZ ARE SOOO 90s" side but considering I am a Sentai fan and sometimes the only real "uniform" a team may have is their team jacket prior to the spandex...then really its understandable.)
Posted by: Ataru320 | February 1, 2016 3:12 PM
I also like the jackets. I've always had a soft spot for superhero outfits that have such "normal" elements, like Animal Man's jacket or Jay Garrick just wearing a sweater.
Posted by: Berend | February 1, 2016 3:57 PM
"The Avengers have never done that, and he knows it."
Didn't the Thanos wars, weren't the Avengers blowing up spaceships left and right?
Posted by: Thanos6 | February 1, 2016 4:02 PM
Yeah, that's true. Space battles seem to be an exception. I always took that as a detail that the writers glossed over, rather than a conscious decision by the Avengers to kill. Like the pilots were parachuting out off panel like on the GIJoe cartoon.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 1, 2016 4:05 PM
I saw it as the Avengers willing to bend the rules in times of war; actual full-on war, like Carol's actions when Kang invades the planet during Busiek's run. And here they're not sure if this counts as a war from their POV, so...
Posted by: Thanos6 | February 1, 2016 4:08 PM
The jackets are terrible enough, but....kneepads? Sersi has kneepads? To....protect her knees? Kirby's Sersi was perfect for the Silver Age, and JRJr's modern redesign was a perfectly consistent and elegant updating of that look. But oh boy, 1990s Sersi just makes me want to cry.
Posted by: Lyde1848 | January 2, 2018 5:02 PM
Perhaps Sersi is keen on gardening.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | January 2, 2018 7:14 PM
I love that of all the characters here, the two that needed jackets because they were cold were the one that control the molecules of her own body and the elementalist. Not the two guys that don't have any super-powers.
As for Sersi's kneepads, obviously she knows who's President…hey, those priority clearances don't grow on trees, I'm just saying.
Posted by: Dan Spector | January 18, 2018 12:04 PM
The story goes destroying as progress. The AWC 81 sais than the shiar stolen the secret of the Omnionda from a random kree, here that kree is Atlas, just the kree who the shiar told that. In AWC 81 Minerva is in the Earth, here is in Hala. What? Lot writers, lot mistakes. Lot issues, lot mistakes. That´s the fail of Galactic Storm.
Posted by: Lord_Pengallan | February 19, 2018 1:29 PM
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