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Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), David Finch (Penciler), Danny Miki (Inker), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), RS and COMICRAFT’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), Omar Otieku (Production), Stephanie Moore and Molly Lazer (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)
Captain America gathers Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman together as the new Avengers. They meet at their new headquarters, which is at Tony Stark’s penthouse in Stark Tower. They convene with S.H.I.E.L.D. deputy director, Special Agent Hill, about the reformation of the team, but she is rude and has no interest to deal with the team. She then learns that Captain America has clearance to form whatever team he wants for whatever mission and, after a private conversation, she allows the team access to S.H.I.E.L.D. files on the recent breakout. The group learns that forty-two prisoners escaped. They also learn that Electro was behind the breakout after a video clip and learn that he caused the disturbance to free one prisoner in particular, whose identity is unknown. The group tracks the criminal down to Boston via his bank accounts and are able to capture him, though he faints before they can interrogate him. Spider-Woman gets an idea and is able to coerce some prisoners into revealing who was the primary target: Sauron. The group then discovers that Sauron’s S.H.I.E.L.D. file is locked and that the S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost in the Savage Land has gone off-line. The group travels there, but is attacked by a Tyrannosaurus rex, which destroys their Quinjet. The group is separated and Spider-Woman finds herself surprisingly attacked by Wolverine.
As she ascends to the top floor of Stark Tower in New York City, Jessica Drew is left in awe at the luxury and greatness before her. She arrives at the meeting room, and is welcomed by Edwin Jarvis, butler to the Avengers. Jarvis quietly directs Jessica to another part of Tony Stark’s apartment, where Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and Luke Cage are already assembled and in meeting with an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. via video phone. Captain America spots Jessica and welcomes her to the new Avengers. She is right on time.
Tony introduces himself to Agent Hill, but is cut off by the unimpressed woman on the screen. She introduces herself as Special Agent Hill, deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and announces that, whatever they want, the answer is no. They have the Sentry in custody and the other Raft prisoners are in lockdown. They can take care of this situation.
Stark continues on with his speech regardless of Hill’s dismissal and informs her that she is looking at the new team of Avengers put together. Annoyed, Hill tells Stark that she is going to hang up on him now, but it isn’t out of disrespect. She just doesn’t have the time to deal with this today. This garbage is what landed Nick Fury where he is today and she is telling Stark that this is not happening.
Spider-Man becomes more interested and asks where Nick Fury is. Captain America takes over and introduces himself to Special Agent Hill, before proceeding to ask her if she has his file. Hill responds that she does. Captain America tells her that she should be aware then that he has full champion license. Unable to argue after that bit of information, Hill admits that she did not know that.
Worried, Spider-Man tells Captain America that he is not joining the Champions. Cap smiles and tells Spider-Man that a champion license means that he has the right to assemble any team he sees fit to go on any mission. “Yeah?” replies Spider-Man, “I have clones.”
Tony looks at Agent Hill and reiterates to the heroes assembled that it means they do not need permission to put the Avengers back together. He does not mean to offend Agent Hill, but considering that there are about 40 criminals that, as of last night, were under S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and now running around New York City, one would think she would welcome their expertise. Agent Hill, stubborn, tells Tony that she is not interested in outside help.
Tony tells Agent Hill that she is missing the point of the conversation again. Jessica Drew is an active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and now an active Avenger. She has full access to all the information on what happened on the Raft the night before. What the Avengers would like to do is work with S.H.I.E.L.D. and get this done quickly. Agent Hill gives Tony a dirty look and the man apologizes to her if it seemed that they were calling to ask for permission. Captain America asks Hill where she is on this investigation, as they would like to help. Agent Hill asks to speak to Captain America privately, to which he agrees.
Sometime later, Jessica changes into her old Spider-Woman outfit and comes down the stairs of Stark’s apartment, announcing that she is a superhero again. Tony looks at Drew and tells her that in the most p.c. and professional way he would like to say...”Damn girl,” interrupts Luke Cage. “Exactly,” responds Tony. Spider-Woman thanks the men and walks over to Spider-Man and asks Peter how his arm is. She takes his water bottle as Luke Cage remembers that they know each other and then asks if they are related.
Spider-Man replies no. Luke asks if he gave her his powers. Spider-Man replies that Spider-Woman is in no way related to him. So she ripped off the name, replies Cage. Exactly, responds Spider-Man. Offended, Spider-Woman recalls that Spider-Man gave her permission. Spider-Man reminds her that he didn’t say she could lend it out. There are like ten Spider-Women now. There are three, corrects Spider-Woman, and they are ripping off her name. He isn’t seeing a dime, replies Spider-Man. Of what, questions Spider-Woman, who cannot tell if Spider-Man is joking or not.
Luke Cage turns to Captain America and asks about the other man who was with them last night. Spider-Man recalls the man and admits he thought it was Thor for a moment. Spider-Woman informs the two that the man was the Sentry and that he saved her life twice last night. Captain America tells the group that the Sentry is a complicated story and that they will deal with him after their current problem.
Spider-Man asks if they know what happened last night. Captain America announces that there was a prison break. Sarcastically, Spider-Man pretends to be in disbelief. Cap continues and explains that they thought it was a security failure at first, that turned into a riot, but now they know for sure that it was a prison break, specifically for one person, whom they do not know yet. Iron Man announces that he has received all the files and folders on the case from S.H.I.E.L.D. and then asks if Agent Hill is okay with this. Cap tells him that they will see about her later on. Iron Man then displays a list of criminals who escaped last night.
The heroes look at a visual of forty-two super-powered criminals who escaped last night, one of them being the primary target. Iron Man announces that he has a bit of a video file. Cap informs the others that S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to salvage some digital recording. Iron Man plays the small clip, though it is too blurry to make out what is happening. Suddenly, Spider-Man sees something familiar in one of the images. Iron Man freezes the frame, and Spider-Man recognizes the costume and shoulder of the man responsible for the breakout. It is Max Dillon, also known as Electro.
Spider-Man feels embarrassed, as he knew somehow this would be his fault. Only in your warped brain, responds Luke Cage. Iron Man patches into his server and begins to run a search for Max or Maxwell Dillon. He explains that he is trying to see if anyone by that name has made any electronic money transfers. In seconds, Iron Man comes up with a location: Boston. Spider-Woman asks for his rap sheet, which Iron Man quickly pulls up.
Iron Man explains that an hour ago Electro transferred a lot of money from a Swiss account to an account in Boston and then took it out of a national bank. Spider-Man asks what a lot of money means. To me or to you, replies Iron Man. Spider-Man then asks what is in Boston. Iron Man announces that Electro has eaten at the same restaurant every night for the last three weeks.
Spider-Woman looks at the rap sheet and realizes that Electro is in Boston for a woman. During his last prison stay he would make one phone call each week to the same person, who is Mia Salem, a waitress for the Brown Derby. Spider-Man realizes that he has been an Avenger for ten minutes and needs to lie down, but the others ignore him as they get a location for the restaurant. Iron Man tells the group that they are going to Boston.
He then leads the group to the hangar of Stark Tower, where they are greeted by the sight of a remodeled Quinjet. Captain America is most surprised, and tells Tony that, for a person unsure of whether they should regroup the Avengers, he is prepared. Iron Man tells Captain America that he designed this Quinjet months ago and it was in beta testing when the team fell apart. Spider-Man is impressed, but Spider-Woman asks if Daredevil will join them. Cap tells her that he is working on it. Iron Man tells all the put on their seat belts. “Yes, mom,” replies Spider-Man. Iron Man tells the group that on a quiet day he will teach them all how to fly a Quinjet. Spider-Man is relieved to learn that they will have a quiet day, as he hasn’t had one since he was eleven.
In Boston, Max Dillon stands across the street from the Brown Derby and watches, as Mia Salem serves her customers in the outdoor section of the restaurant. Max waits for a while, but then decides to catch Mia’s attention with a small burst of electricity. Mia is shocked to see Max, who approaches her. She rudely asks him what he is doing here. Max tells her that they need to go, which confuses her. What is he talking about?
Max tells her that he has a private plane ready for both of them to get out of here. He promised her that he would get out of his super-villain crap and he did. They don’t have time to get into a conversation about this, though. They need to get on the plane right now. Mia is even more confused. She hasn’t seen him in two weeks. He never even called. Max tells her to shut up and listen. He has a load of dough now and they can soon be sitting on a beach in Wakanda sipping drinks. They need to go now.
Scared, Mia asks Max what he did. Max tells her that they can talk in the plane, but Mia suddenly realizes that he was behind the events in New York the night before. Max tells her to shut up again and asks if she is coming or not. Mia is horrified and can’t believe he did this, but her attention is called to a sight behind Max. Max, and everyone else on the street, turn to see the Avengers: Captain America, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Iron Man.
Scared, Electro attacks the group with his electrical powers, but he finds that his powers are not affecting them. In fact, the Avengers aren’t even moving to evade his blasts. Electro realizes that he is trapped in some sort of bubble, courtesy of Iron Man’s technology. Electro is shocked, but Iron Man tells him that they did their homework before coming. Max is about to touch the bubble, but Iron Man tells him not to do that. He does anyway and is shocked by the field. Captain America approached Electro and simply asks him who hired him and who did he help breakout. Max turns to Mia and tells the Avengers that he wants his lawyer.
Luke Cage turns to Spider-Man and asks him how he fought Electro. Spider-Man tells him that he would web up his hands and then pound the crap out of Electro. Do me up, responds Cage. Spider-Man webs up Cage’s hands, much to Electro’s horror. Cage smiles and tells Iron Man to open the bubble. Electro, however, faints out of terror. Disappointed, Cage tells the group that Electro was supposed to blurt out a name, not faint like a wuss.
As Spider-Man checks up on Mia, Spider-Woman calls S.H.I.E.L.D. and informs them that they have Electro and a sweep up and containment crew is needed. Cage turns to Spider-Man and tells him to get the webs off his hands. Spider-Man tells him that they don’t come off and that he has to wait an hour. Cage is angered, but Spider-Man reminds him that he said to web up his hands.
The others, however, are more concerned about the fact that they still don’t know what they need to know. Iron Man wonders how they wake up Max without having a big fight. Someone else points out that Electro can escape via the city’s electric grid. Still on her phone, Spider-Woman tells the group that she has an idea to find out who was broken out of jail. They will have to stop at her house, though.
At Ryker’s Island, Spider-Woman walks in with a box of donuts and greets all the prisoners there. She tells them all that most of them are drugged beyond belief and have their power-draining doggie collars on until their cells are all fixed up, but she knows that they can all hear her. Does anyone want to tell her who Electro broke out of prison last night? All she needs is a name. The prisoners are all silent.
Spider-Woman tells them that tonight for dinner they are being served meatloaf-esque main course and a pureed potato substance, which they will be having everyday for the rest of their lives. In her hands is a fresh box of apple crumb cake Entenmann’s donuts. She brought them for herself, but now that she is back in the tights that is a big no-no. The first person to tell her who Electro took gets the donuts. Suddenly, a prisoner screams the name Karl Lykos and asks for the donuts. The other heroes join Spider-Woman, as all the prisoners scream, “Karl Lykos.” Luke Cage is confused, but Spider-Man is worried.
In the Quinjet, Spider-Woman tries to pull up the S.H.I.E.L.D. file on Lykos. However, the file is restricted, much to her surprise. Luke Cage asks if she can open it, but Spider-Woman cannot. Cage is confused, as he thought Spider-Woman has clearance. She does, replies the woman, but not that kind of clearance. Few people do. Cage asks Cap what he thinks. Cap thinks something is going on. Spider-Woman agrees. Cage tells Spider-Woman to call her boss, but Spider-Man does not think it’s a good idea. Captain America states that, if they start calling around about this locked file, it will alert those who locked it that they are on to them. Cage then asks who Karl Lykos is then.
Spider-Man answers that Lykos is a mutant and he has been smacked around by him before. Lykos can suck energy or powers out of a person. When he does so, he turns into this giant, green, dinosaur monster. He is like a vampire dinosaur. He forgets what Lykos calls himself though. Sagey? Saggy? Sauron, respond both Spider-Woman and Captain America. Cage comments that Sauron broke out of jail and now his files are locked. Locked from the inside, comments Spider-Woman to herself. She then notices something and asks the others if they saw this.
She shows them a map of the S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost in the Savage Land. Cap asks if it is locked too, but Spider-Woman tells him that it is off-line. Outposts never go off-line. Cage questions what the Savage Land is, to which Spider-Woman replies that it is where Sauron lives. Cap asks Iron Man if he is reading all this. As Cage asks if this place really exists, Iron Man switches the course of the Quinjet to the Savage Land. Spider-Man asks if he can call his wife and tell her that he is going to Antarctica to get killed in the land that time forgot. Iron Man tells him to say “phone” and then the number. Spider-Man is confused, but Iron Man just tells him to verbally use the phone. “That’s creepy,” responds the web-slinger. It’s the future, states Iron Man as they fly off to the Savage Land.
Sometime later the heroes fly over the Savage Land. Cage asks the others what they should expect in this place. Spider-Man tells him that there are mutates and dinosaurs, and big cheetahs and a surprising amount of acceptable nudity. Cage asks if Spider-Man is joking, but Spider-Man says no. It doesn’t matter, though. They won’t survive the crash. What crash, asks Spider-Woman. Spider-Man states that you don’t go to the Savage Land without crashing. Iron Man tells Spider-Man that he hasn’t been here then when he was driving. As Spider-Man’s spider-sense goes off, Iron Man tells them all to put their seat belts on. “Yeah, that’ll help,” says Spider-Man, sarcastically.
Iron Man pulls some evasive maneuvers, as he flies around some dinosaurs on his way towards landing. Despite a bumpy ride, the Quinjet lands safely. The heroes calmly leave the Quinjet and Iron Man looks at Spider-Man. “See?” asks Iron Man. I stand corrected, responds Spider-Man. Suddenly, a Tyrannosaurus rex jumps on the Quinjet, only moments earlier occupied by the Avengers, causing the jet to explode. The dinosaur then chases after the Avengers. Iron Man attacks it, but tells the other to run for the trees.
Luke Cage and Spider-Woman find themselves alone in the jungle. Spider-Woman sarcastically admits that she is glad she joined the team. As she stands by a tree, Luke Cage stops and just stares at Spider-Woman in shock. Spider-Woman is confused and asks what he is looking at. Behind Spider-Woman, in the bushes, is a familiar, feral man, with three metal claws protruding from his hand, ready to slice off her head.
Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman I (Avengers)Wolverine (X-Men)
Mia SalemVarious customers of the Brown Derby
(on monitor)ElectroVarious criminals from the Raft
Special Agent Hill
Six months after Avengers (1st Series) #503, Electro is hired by a mysterious employer to break Karl Lykos out of the Raft, a prison near New York for super-powered criminals. Already on the island were Matt Murdock and his hired bodyguard, Luke Cage, who were there to meet with the mysterious super-hero, the Sentry, who was in jail by his own decision and for also apparently murdering his wife. Spider-Woman, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., also worked at the Raft when Electro attacked. Soon, Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man found themselves at the Raft to help out, and won the impossible battle. Captain America, inspired, asked Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, and Daredevil to join him as the new Avengers, though Daredevil rejected the offer. However, Spider-Woman seems to have a triple allegiance, as not only does she still work for S.H.I.E.L.D., but she also works for a secret employer whom she is reporting back on about the activities of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Sauron is a longtime enemy of the X-Men and, prior to this, was conscripted into the Weapon X program, though he later fled from the program when he was able.