Captain America #398
Issue(s): Captain America #398
This was originally meant as a storyline in Quasar, but it got expanded to be an Avengers family crossover. This is confirmed in a later Quasar lettercol, and then a lettercol in Avengers #348 says that Gruenwald "provided the basic idea" but, and Bob Harras and Fabian Nicieza "fleshed int out into a book by book outline" and then the individual writers took it from there. Harras being involved in the bigger picture makes sense. This is an Avengers event and Harras was writing the flagship book of that family. Beyond that, Harras was also the X-book editor, and crossovers had served the X-line well, so it made sense to try to do something similar for the Avengers. It's also noteworthy that Harras was a critic of Claremont's use of space themes, specifically the Shi'ar, in X-Men, and here we have that alien race being shifted over to the Avengers books. The X-Men are not used at all despite the Shi'ar connection, which is an interesting show of restraint.
Operation: Galactic Storm as a title was a play on Operation: Desert Storm, the name for the US led Gulf War against Iraq. That war had been over for a while at this point (it took place in early 1991, with a build-up called Desert Shield starting the previous summer). But this story is not meant to have any direct connection to the Gulf War. This is a Kree/Shi'ar War, a war between two major space empires, and there are no parallels to things like Iraq invading Kuwait or anything like that.
The story begins with Rick Jones having a dream of devastation on the Kree homeworld of Hala, culminating with Captain America ripping off his mask to become the Supreme Intelligence.
Rick is staying with the Pantheon, so he first goes to ask
She suggests calling Captain America, and Rick does.
Cap and Rick agree to meet in Benson, Arizona. One awkward Quinjet ride with John Jameson later...
...Cap and Rick are at the diner. Rick and Cap are both a little apprehensive about their meeting; it's presented as if the characters are still raw over the dissolution of their partnership from the Steranko period. Rick and Cap have been together several times since then, and seemed to resolve their differences in Avengers #72 but i guess it's true that their encounters have either not been substantial or have been outright hostile (e.g. Avengers #106).
In any event, the conversation is interrupted by Warstar.
Cap jumps in to help out.
Cap gives Rick his Avengers ID card, which doubles as the ignition key for his skysled, and orders Rick to flee the scene. That doesn't work out so well because Rick is kidnapped by some more members of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.
In the meantime, Cap manages to defeat Warstar by knocking out the smaller B'Nee unit, the brains of the duo. But since Cap's ID card also functions as his communicator, he can't contact Rick or any of the Avengers.
The main story from this issue ends with the Supreme Intelligence reactivating his mobile robot body, first seen in Captain Marvel #46 (no footnote, and for what it's worth i don't count this as a separate character; it's just a shell for the Supreme Intelligence).
A back-up story has Cutthroat, Jack O'Lantern, and Blackwing preparing to break Mother Night out of jail, but it turns out she's made bail.
So she takes them all back to the Red Skull's hideout, where he abuses and humiliates her.
This is a surprisingly slow start to this crossover. Which isn't necessarily good or bad, it's just an interesting approach. The whole thing with Rick will really turn out to be tangential to the main story. On the other hand, if the Avengers had paid closer attention to Rick's dream, things might have turned out differently. But starting with Cap seeing an attack on Rick is a nice way to have things slowly unfold from the Avengers' perspective. This crossover also manages to save this book, in a sense. Mark Gruenwald has been getting increasingly directionless on this title. So this crossover, at least for the time being, gives Cap something important to do, shunting the dreary subplots depicting simpering women to the back-ups (or to put it another way, it pushes Capwolf back a few issues).
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 177,458. Single issue closest to filing date = 177,100.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part one of Operation: Galactic Storm. It continues in Avengers West Coast #80. The Hulk will (jokingly) mention Operation: Galactic Storm during his War & Pieces crossover with X-Factor, and Rick Jones appears in that storyline, so Rick's appearances in Operation: Galactic Storm (and the Hulk's off panel appearance here) should take place before War & Pieces.
The first we see of Captain America, Peggy Carter is raising the fact that Diamonback hasn't returned from her computer class, after John Jameson drove her there (she was kidnapped by Crossbones after telling Jameson not to pick her up after class). That means that this issue was meant to take place the day after last issue (it's 5 in the morning when Cap and Peggy are talking). Cap then talks to Jameson about the same subject, asking why Diamondback didn't want to get picked up (but at that point no time frame is mentioned, e.g., it's not specifically said to be about "last night"). But Cap #395-397 take place concurrently with Quasar #28 and Thor #437, and we've had several stories in both Thor and Quasar since then (Quasar #32 and Thor #445 are their first Galactic Storm chapters). Avengers #341 also takes place after Captain America #395-397. One possibility is that the scenes in #395 that make it concurrent with Quasar #28 and Thor #437 (and before Avengers #341) happens earlier than the rest of the story from #395-397. But in that earlier scene, Cap set up an appointment for Thor to meet him later that night, and that's when the main story takes place. You could ignore that temporal reference and assume that the main story actually took place much later, the day before this issue begins. But if you're ignoring temporal references you could also assume that when Peggy and Cap are talking about Diamonback having been missing, they're just realizing now that she's been missing for a while (in fact, that temporal reference is less specific). The MCP seems to take the latter approach, placing a number of Cap appearances in between issues #397-398, and i guess i'm doing the same. It will be confirmed that Crossbones has been holding Diamondback for a long period of time, which doesn't help with Cap and Peggy's conversation specifically but it does mean that it's not wrong to place a gap between Diamondback's kidnapping and when we next see her.
Crossover: Operation Galactic Storm
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
Its hilarious to think that because of a major crossover, we get a delay to one of the defining (negative) moments of the Gru run. So yeah, bring on the Kree and the Shi'ar...but the Capwolf shadow is still lurking regardless.
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 27, 2016 3:26 PM
You can just taste the anticipation of us all getting ready to pile on Capwolf:-)
Posted by: kveto | January 27, 2016 4:35 PM
Why on Earth would a member of the Red Skull's inner circle be let out on bail?
Posted by: Thanos6 | January 27, 2016 4:39 PM
Hey, if the MU bail system works like that, it explains a lot about how often villains get out.
Posted by: kveto | January 27, 2016 4:42 PM
Maybe getting out of criminal charges in the Marvel Universe is easier than it looks when you consider that most villains get delivered to the cops unconscious by lawless vigilantes who won't be showing up to testify in court or provide any evidence.
Posted by: Red Comet | January 27, 2016 6:05 PM
being that I am someone in the comics industry I try to make it a personal rule not to disparage another professional with a fanbase but I have to say what is up with this art?? No wonder "Heroes Reborn" needed to happen, because this art just does not scream dynamic action and even the figures seem so stiff. I don't know what else Rik Levins did but this art does not serve a galactic story that well. So The Hulk has a cameo but it's behind a door?! Weird. Fnord is your (hilarious) P. David reference an actual thing? Did Peter David refuse to have the Hulk in this crossover?
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity, Actor, Comics CEO | January 27, 2016 7:30 PM
I don't have any behind the scenes info but Peter David was known to not like participating in crossovers, and between the scene here and the joke that i mention in the War & Pieces event, it feels like maybe David was "invited" to participate in this but managed to get out of it. Just speculation, of course. Mostly joking.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 27, 2016 7:45 PM
Between kissing Diamondback in issue 395, and his response this issue when Steve asked what happened to her, these issues seemed to have convinced many readers that John Jameson was That Guy. This plays into him being one of the suspects in the Facade mystery in 1994.
Posted by: Michael | January 27, 2016 8:44 PM
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 17, 2017 8:17 PM
As in, "Don't Be That Guy".
Posted by: Michael | January 17, 2017 9:45 PM
Comments are now closed.
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