Avengers No. 8 - Meet the Press

The Avengers prepare for the press conference that will announce their presence and their mission to the world. Iron Man is disturbed to find that Pepper Potts has taken an open-ended vacation from her position at Stark Solutions, leaving him to cover her responsibilities as well as his own. He is visited by Nick Fury, who suggests that, along with She-Hulk (whose membership had already been approved on the Wasp’s recommendation), The Avengers also consider admitting Spider-Woman as a member thereby solidifying the relationship between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the team.

The Avengers gather the next morning on the lawn of Avengers mansion, before an assemblage of reporters. Fielding questions, some hostile, the Avengers acquit themselves well in the press conference before Iron Man is confronted by a furious Simon Williams, accusing Stark of lying to him about the fate of Williams Innovations. According to Simon, Stark closed the company, and fired all of its employees! Before Tony can answer for himself and deny these claims, the gathering is suddenly interrupted by a band of super-villains teleporting into the crowd.

Calling themselves The Masters of Evil, and led by a mysterious woman called The Crimson Cowl, the band of villains include Iron Man’s enemy Whiplash, The Wasp’s nemesis Whirlwind, Electro, The Abomination, and two villains the heroes have never encountered – The unstoppable Juggernaut, and the sorcerous half-demon Satana.

Thinking quickly, Doctor Strange teleports the majority of the assembled press corps into the mansion, trusting JARVIS’ security measures to protect them. The battle was quickly joined by The Amazing Spider-Man (who had been atendiong the press conference in his secret identity of Peter Parker). Doctor Strange managed to defeat Satana, and Thor teleported himself and the Abomination to Nevada, where he fought the gamma-beast to a standstill. Frustrated by the appearance of Spider-Man, Electro made his escape. The Crimson Cowl called a retreat, but Whirlwind refused to acknowledge her order, being left behind to face the Avengers alone. Discretion being the better part of valor, Whirlwind quickly realized his error, and fled.

The Avengers were left with one captive trapped in a pocket holding dimension, and a nagging question – The Crimson Cowl had obviously assembled a hand-picked team to attack them, but had not accounted for Spider-Woman’s presence. How had the Cowl known that She-Hulk would be joining the team, and not known that Spider-Woman would join as well?



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