Avengers No. 3 - Some Assembly Required

The issue begins with Iron Man, accompanied by Agent Phil Coulson, on board the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, interviewing Agent Jimmy Woo on the breakout at The Vault. Woo’s information tells Stark very little he didn’t already know: Seemingly in an instant, all the security safeguards of the facility were shut down, and all of the tech criminals housed therein were suddenly freed and in possession of their gear. The “warehouse” in the Vault where the tech gear was stored remained locked and undisturbed, but all of its contents disappeared into the hands of the villains.

Meanwhile, in Midtown Manhattan, The Wasp and The Scarlet Witch join Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four for a “superheroines’ brunch”, a tradition Susan and Janet have been practicing for several months. They are joined by Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk. Walters mentions her difficulty finding work as a prosecuting attorney since her transformation, and Janet attempts to convince her to join the Avengers. Meanwhile, a casual off-hand remark by Susan causes Wanda to become visibly agitated, snapping a wineglass in half and cutting her hand. Unbeknownst to anyone else, a voice in the Witch’s head has started to prey upon her insecurities and her aggression.

Tony Stark is interrupted by Nick Fury, who informs Stark of a meeting in Latveria between A.I.M. representatives attempting to sell stolen Stark tech, and representatives of Hydra, all supervised by representatives for Doctor Doom. S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot interfere in events in Latveria, but the Avengers have no such restriction. Iron Man calls the Avengers to assemble.

Leaving the restaurant, the quartet of superheroines is accosted by a phalanx of paparazzi, whose flashbulbs and invasive questions continue to agitate the Scarlet Witch. Susan Richards uses her force fields to shove the crowd aside, and make way for the Wasp and the Witch to get a taxi to Avengers Mansion.

In the Quinjet, en route to Latveria, Iron Man briefs the team on what they can expect to find when they reach their destination. It becomes readily obvious that the heroes have not yet gelled as a team. Thor, drinking heavily from a keg he has taken from Avengers mansion, demands less talk, and the simple opportunity for battle. Doctor Strange questions the motivation behind the team entering Latveria, and expresses his concern for facing an opponent like Doom. The Scarlet Witch continues to succumb to the voice in her head, urging her towards violence and madness, with only the Wasp noticing and attempting to soothe her.

The Quinjet detects A.I.M. and Hydra forces on the ground, as well as The Fixer, The Grim Reaper, Viper, and Lucia von Bardas. Iron Man fails to come up with a plan of attack quickly enough for Thor, who transports himself to the ground in the midst of the villains and attacks. Viper quickly teleports herself to freedom, while the Grim Reaper attempts to battle Thor one-on-one, and is quickly thrashed by the Thunder God.

Iron Man flies from the Quinjet and blasts the mountainside with his repulsors, burying the AIM and Hydra forces as well as the Fixer and the Grim Reaper. Von Bardas, protected by a force field, is unaffected.

In the Quinjet, the Scarlet Witch starts to reach a breaking point. While The Wasp tries desperately to calm her, Doctor Strange attempts a spell of soothing, which she mistakes as an attack, and retaliates with full power hex bolts! Transporting the hex bolts harmlessly outside of the Quinjet, Doctor Strange detects the presence of a female form next to the Scarlet Witch.

Bursting from beneath the avalanche, Thor searches for more battle, but is shocked to see the form of his father Odin, who chides and belittles Thor for neglecting his duty to Asgard. Odin then attacks Thor, and the two exchange mighty blows that shake the mountain itself.
On the Quinjet, Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamatto to reveal the presence of Amora the Enchantress. Her hold on the Scarlet Witch broken, the Enchantress deflects an attack back at the Witch before being struck from behind by Iron Man’s repulsors.

“I have no idea what is happening here,” Stark says, ‘but I don’t have time for it.”

The Enchantress teleports herself to the side of Odin, who is revealed to be a magically-disguised Skurge the Executioner. Promising Thor this is a battle that has just begun, the two disappear in a burst of magic.

Lucia Von Bardas allows the Avengers to take Stark’s stolen tech and leave Latveria immediately, assuring them that her master would soon come calling on them for the excursion into his sovereign land.



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