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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodata and Howard Chaykin (artists), Rain Beredo and Edgar Delgado (color artists), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters and production), Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo (cover artists), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer) with special thanks to Stuart Vandal, Michael Hoskin, Ronald Byrd and Kevin Garcia
In 1959, Dominic Fortune is debriefed about what happened in Sweden. He explains about the Nazi’s version of Captain America and how Nick Fury took off with the contents of the Red Skull’s briefcase. Fury, meanwhile, meets up with General Hill and hands over the briefcase after discovering that what is inside the case is a serum that the Third Reich has created. It’s a hybrid of the super soldier serum which created Captain America and the Infinity Formula, which is responsible for his slow aging process. In the present, Spider-Man deduces from information found at the scene of their latest battle that Superia was working on something way above what he’s used to. Ms. Marvel remembers that she saw something in Superia’s hand when they fought and reckons she still has it on her person. Luke calls Victoria Hand and she informs him that she knows where Superia will be at midnight. The Avengers head off and stakeout the marina. When Superia arrives, they prepare to engage but they are blasted by one of Superia’s ships. Fortunately, this is only a temporary setback. Iron Fist destroys the ship and Superia gives in when facing a fight with all of the Avengers. Dr. Strange takes the briefcase from her and Nick Fury appears on the scene. Dr. Strange hands over the case. Soon, they are in Mockingbird’s hospital ward. Fury explains that the case, which is the same one he recovered in 1959 from the Red Skull, contains a mixture of the Infinity formula and the super-soldier serum. He doesn’t know exactly what it might do to Bobbi. Hawkeye is willing to take that risk and Fury injects the formula into her. Bobbi’s eyes open almost immediately as the serum takes effect.
(present)Wolverine is in a police interrogation room with one of Superia’s agents. He informs her that their teammate, Mockingbird, is at death’s door, shot in the chest by one of her &*$@% colleagues. He warns her that if Mockingbird dies and she doesn’t cooperate with them… well, does he even have to finish that sentence? That said, he has two questions for her. What do H.A.M.M.E.R. plan on setting up there, and where is Superia?
The woman replies that she doesn’t care if his friend dies. “Wrong answer,” replies Wolverine. Hawkeye storms in and shouts at her. “You don’t care!” She backs off her chair and ends up on the floor, holding her arms up in a defensive manner. He snarls at her and asks if she cares now. He asks her again where Superia is. She replies that she doesn’t know. Clint tells her she’s lying. He can smell it. Wolverine informs her that his friend has a personal stake in this. She says again that she doesn’t know. She’s just one of the technicians. Logan tells her that the others were grunts but she was right there as Superia’s right hand.
Watching through the two-way mirror, Dr. Strange informs Luke Cage that he’s uncomfortable with this. Luke replies that these are bad guys they’re dealing with. Sometimes they have to play hard ball. However, he notes Strange’s discomfort with the situation. He picks up the phone as his wife calls him. She tells him that Spider-Man has been sifting through all the stuff they poached from the H.A.M.M.E.R. raid and she thinks that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, he’s some sort of really smart guy. He’s found some stuff.
Luke asks to speak to Spidey. He informs Luke that the H.A.M.M.E.R. agents they were fighting were pumped full of a really potent mutant growth hormone. That’s why they were ‘roided like that. The notes that he is reading refer to some kind of formula. There are some very far out calculations and formula specs that are way above what he’s used to, and he’s used to some wacky stuff. Luke asks what they should ask their little H.A.M.M.E.R. agent as they have her on the ropes. Peter suggests he ask her what the formula is that Superia is working on.
Strange, Cage and Iron Fist all enter the interrogation room and find the agent with an arrow aimed at her face. Luke asks the question but she replies that she doesn’t know. Superia kept it to herself. She said it was the future; a gift from the past which was their future. She said that if they all did what she said they would all be blessed. They would all see their true potential. “And you just did whatever she said?” asks Hawkeye. The woman responds by asking if he does everything the traitor Captain America says. Clint grimaces and asks once again through gritted teeth, “Where is she?”
Meanwhile, Spider-Man reads more of Superia’s work and determines that she appears to be working on really unstable strains of growth hormone. Lord knows how far she’s willing to take it, but this other formula… he doesn’t quite understand what she’s making. Ms. Marvel takes a look and asks him to wait a second.
She recalls crashing in on Superia and her agents. As Superia evaded the falling masonry, Carol noticed that she was carrying something - a small bronze-colored object that she slipped into her pocket. She tells Jessica and Spider-Man that she has something on her. Jessica then gives Luke some feedback on what Carol has remembered. Luke then asks the agent where the rendezvous point is. In case of emergencies, where were they supposed to meet up? The agent replies that Superia calls them. They don’t call her. Clint tells her that he’ll count to three and then she’ll bleed. “I don’t know where she is?” she cries. “One,” replies Clint.
Victoria Hand calls Luke and he asks her to tell Steve Rogers that they’ve confiscated all of H.A.M.M.E.R.’s intel and they’re sifting through it now. However, they’ve lost Superia and they’re working on that as they speak. Victoria surprises him by informing him that she knows where Superia is. She chartered a private boat leaving out of the marina right here in the city. She will be there, along with a couple of high-ranking H.A.M.M.E.R. scientists at midnight. They’re making a getaway down to Cuba, waiting for all this to blow over.
Luke asks how she knows this, to which Victoria tells him that she invited her along. “You talked to her?” he asks. Victoria says she’s sending him the information. Luke asks if she told Steve Rogers but she replies that she called him first. Time is of the essence, she adds. They need to move. Once she hangs up, Luke wonders what just happened.
(London, 1959)Dominic Fortune is being debriefed. He is asked his name and he gives it as Duvid Fortunov. His professional name is Dominic Fortune and he was one of Nick Fury’s handpicked ‘black ops’ Avengers. “His words,” he adds, “not mine.” His interviewer tells him it was the Avengers Initiative which was the president’s name for it. Fortune replies that, either way, they infiltrated and did some serious damage to the Red Skull’s castle in Sweden. They had a Captain America for themselves, a bulletproof Nazi Captain America. He is asked Nick Fury’s whereabouts, but replies that he’d like to know that himself. He is asked the last time he saw him. Fortune informs his interviewer that after the hullabaloo, Fury grabbed himself the Red Skull’s mystery suitcase and took off. “He just left you in Sweden?” he is asked. Fortune says Fury said he would find them. That was a month ago.
The interviewer asks if he was paid for his services. Fortune admits that he wasn’t given any money. When asked if it was promised, he says no. He thinks they all assumed… well, things like this tend to get paid handsomely. His interviewer surprises him with the fact that his name has been cleared in quite a few outstanding international incidents that he was wanted in questioning for. Fortune admits he didn’t know that. How would he?
His interviewer says it seems he was paid in legitimacy and asks, “What was in the Red Skull’s case?” Fortune assures them that he doesn’t know, but reminds them what he said earlier. The Red Skull had his own Captain America. Do they understand? He shot the guy with a gun as close to him as he is to the interviewer and he took it, right in the chest. Why, he wonders, would the Nazis have a Captain America. How did they do that? Why did they do that? He asks if they want to know where Nick Fury is? He wants to know what the Nazis were doing with a Captain America who can take bullets to the chest.
(present)The Avengers leave their captive and head out. Spider-Man doesn’t like this. He feels that Victoria Hand has betrayed them. Iron Fist tells him that isn’t true. In fact, she was the one who sent them on the mission to take out H.A.M.M.E.R. in the first place. Spidey replies that now Bobbi has a big hole in her chest, to which Ben Grimm lowers his head and says that she’s that way because of him. Logan agrees, but Luke tells him that’s not cool. Clint asks how it’s his fault and Ben admits that he jumped into the battle half-assed. He thought he was being funny and now she‘s in hospital. Clint assures him that he wasn’t the one who shot her. He didn’t put a *&%@ terrorist cell in a strip mall. Ben replies that he’ll fix this.
Wolverine tells Spider-Man that he’s wrong about Hand. She’s gathering intel for them in the most dangerous way possible. Jessica asks what she gets out of the insanity of a double life? “Why not just poison us, or…” Spider-Man cuts in and reiterates that this whole thing is fishy. Hawkeye says his spider-sense is tingling too. Spider-Woman informs them that someone’s coming and they’re five minutes early. They look down towards the dock and see Superia and the scientists. Logan asks Strange to make some magic, but Spidey asks them to wait. He hears something.
The whole team turns to see one of Superia’s craft rising behind them, lights blazing. It opens fire immediately and blows the Avengers sky high. The scientists are shocked but Superia smiles and orders the scientists to the sub. One of them asks how they knew they would be there. Superia replies that it’s okay because they knew that they’d know. Ms. Marvel recovers quickly having taken to the air. “Round two, witch,” she cries before heading at full speed towards her target. Superia spots her and fires as the other Avengers rally and Luke hurls Iron Fist towards the craft. He smashes through it with an iron fist and the craft explodes. He remarks that he hates it when Luke tosses him, but Jessica tells him he has to admit it looks pretty cool.
Hawkeye readies three arrows and fires them all simultaneously. Two arrows hit a scientist each whilst the third takes out Superia’s weapon. She’s carrying the briefcase in the other hand. As they close in on her, she puts her hands up. She tells them that she can save their friend. What is inside the case can save her. Jessica for one doesn’t believe her. Superia tells them it was a nice trick having Victoria Hand lie to her face. She’ll give them that. She thought she was one of them but they must pay better. Ms. Marvel asks what’s in the case. Superia replies, “Fair trade. Your friend gets a new lease of life. I walk. I leave the country.” Clint asks why on Earth they would trust her, though Ben doesn’t believe she’s lying and neither does Spider-Man.
As Superia speaks, Dr. Strange uses his magic to remove the case from her hand and deposit it in his own. “Negotiation over,” says Jessica. Superia tells them she’s going to want her lawyer, but Carol doesn’t want to wait. She flies in and smashes her in the face in retaliation for everything she’s done. Danny hears the cops coming, and as they wonder what’s in the case, Nick Fury appears and informs them that it’s his. “Of course it is,” replies Ben.
Fury informs them that about three months ago, there was a break-in at a very secret storage facility that only 25 people in the entire world even know exists. How H.A.M.M.E.R. knew about it is a question for another day. The case was stolen. Dr. Strange hands over the case as Fury adds that the contents of this storage facility include many things they would be happy to know are safely tucked away. But, the only thing they stole… the only thing H.A.M.M.E.R. was interested in was what is in this case. Spider-Woman asks what’s in it.
(Bayamo, Cuba, 1959)Nick Fury is in a bar with General Hill who is in his civvies. Fury asks why the Nazis had themselves a Captain America. Hill asks him to lower his voice before informing Nick that their intel going in said what was left of the Third Reich took upon itself to re-create the super-soldier serum that bought Captain America into the world. Fury reckons he could have told him that. Hill admits that they didn’t know that they were this far along. The thing is, he adds, these Nazis mixed the super-soldier serum, or their version of it, with the Infinity Formula… or their version of it.
Fury knows the Infinity Formula well. It’s what keeps him looking so pretty as he comes up to his hundredth birthday. Therefore, the Nazis have a super-soldier non-aging formula. He asks General Hill what he’s going to do with the formula. Hill replies that the answer is a little bit beyond them both. Frankly, he’d hate to see it out in the open. He doesn’t think they’re ready for it yet. “World’s going crazier,” replies Fury. “By the minute,” says Hill. Fury thought things would get easier, but they just made their own Captain America.
(present)Bobbi lies unconscious in bed. All the Avengers are at her bedside with Nick Fury. He admits that he doesn’t know how her body will react to the formula found within the case. Clint says that Bobbi gave up so much to become Mockingbird. It ended their marriage. She deserves another chance.
Fury asks him to listen. He points out that he’s going to turn Bobbi into something she didn’t ask for. If it works, she will become a cross between himself and Cap. It sounds great in theory but the Infinity Formula, he adds, is nothing but a ticket to every friend’s funeral. Everyone she knows will die while she watches… including him. Clint lowers his head and says, “Do it.” Fury tells him they have no idea how stable it is. “Or I will,” adds Clint. Fury takes a needle and injects the serum into Bobbi’s body. Luke asks Fury if she’ll have new powers if this works. Fury asks how the hell he should know. Moments after the serum hits her veins, Bobbi’s eyes open wide.
(The Raft, super maximum security prison)Superia is dressed in an orange jumpsuit and being led through the prison by numerous armed guards. She says her name is Dr. Deidre Wentworth and she is there without due process. She has not been assigned an attorney and she has not been judged in a court of law. One of the guards replies that she has the right to remain silent… really. She adds that if anyone can hear her, she’s being held against her will. As she arrives at her cell she tells the guards that they are in prison with her and they don’t even know it. As the door closes, a card is slipped underneath it. Superia picks it up and takes a good look. It’s an image of the Green Goblin. “Captain my captain,” she smiles. “Well done, Miss Hand.”
(1959)Dominic FortuneCitizens of Bayamo and Helsingborg
Nick FuryGeneral Hill
(present)Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Power Woman, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thing, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Nick FuryPolice officers
(in flashback)Ms. MarvelSuperia
Nick Fury and his cohorts continue their story in the upcoming series, Avengers 1959.
“Captain, my captain” comes from an 1865 poem by Walt Whitman, in this case captain referring to President Abraham Lincoln who had recently been assassinated.