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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodata (artist), Rain Beredo (color artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters and production), Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo (cover artists), Dean White, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson (variant 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)
In the present, Hawkeye is sitting for an oral history interview and extolling the virtues of the super hero known as Daredevil. Recently, Daredevil became embroiled in the battle against Sin’s army in New York City and performed admirably, bravely facing down one of her robots and taking out its pilot. In the present, Luke Cage can’t say enough good things about the man. He asks not if Daredevil is Avengers material, but were the Avengers Daredevil material. Back to the fight, Daredevil faces several more Nazi robots. He uses his agility, skills and cunning to evade their fire and uses their own weapons against them. Unfortunately, as he overcomes the last of them he sees Avengers Tower falling in the distance. In the present, Jessica Cage is interviewed and talks about how Daredevil overheard some of the Nazi’s talking about attacking Avengers Mansion. Knowing that the Avengers were busy, he headed over himself to intervene. As the battle raged, the mansion was in lockdown mode with only Squirrel Girl there taking care of baby Danielle. Daredevil took control of one of the robots and single-handedly took out all the invading soldiers. He entered the mansion and, using his radar senses, located an underground bunker where they would be safe until the danger was over. Three weeks later, Sin’s army has been routed and Matt Murdock is back in his office when he senses someone on the roof of his law firm. He finds Luke and Jessica there. They can’t thank him enough for saving their baby and Luke offers him a well-deserved place on his Avengers team.
(present)Hawkeye is doing his oral history interview. He speaks to the camera and says he goes online to see what people are saying about the Avengers. They all do it except for maybe Thor and Wolverine. He thinks about it a moment and laughs. He reckons Wolverine does it too and anyone who says they don’t is a liar.
His favorite topic of discussion is when people talk about who is ‘worthy’ to be an Avenger. Who are the real Avengers? All he can get from the internet is that nobody is, except maybe Captain America. Even then you get a little pocket of people who believe that Captain America is nothing but a propaganda tool put together by the military industrial complex. And, there are people who believe he died in World War II. No matter what evidence is produced to the contrary, they don’t believe that Steve Rogers is really Steve Rogers and that Steve Rogers is Captain America. And, he adds, there is a whole bunch of people who still believe that the name of the Avengers was sullied the minute the original team stepped aside to make room for new members. So, he asks, who is Avengers material then? That’s the question. Well, certainly not a crazy ninja mutant.
Wolverine: Or a public menaceSpider-Man: Or an alien from outer spaceThe Protector: Or a wizardDr. Strange: Or a convicted criminalLuke Cage: Or a rich, drunk guyIron Man: Or an ex-Hydra agentSpider-Woman: Or, I don’t know, a circus boy with a criminal record
We come back to Hawkeye, who says that the point is, is that sometimes the answer isn’t obvious at all. Sometimes… Sometimes it takes the Avengers to define a person. Sometimes, you don’t even know that something like the Avengers is exactly what you need until you have it in your life. It kind of sneaks up on you… catches you off guard.
(flashback)Daredevil swings through the city, using his enhanced radar senses to monitor where the invading Nazi robots are.
(present)Hawkeye reckons that with his enhanced senses, he bets the Red Skull’s blitzkrieg on New York was just about the craziest thing Daredevil ever had to deal with. A guy like Daredevil, he continues, like Spider-Man before him or even himself, never saw himself as the Avengers type, except that it turns out he is exactly the Avengers type.
(flashback)Explosions tear up the streets as civilians flee the hulking robots that have invaded their city. Daredevil is in the thick of the action. As one of the machines blasts away, he leaps high and uses his Billy Club to smash the cockpit’s window. “Der teufel!” cries the pilot as the robot crashes face first into the ground. Daredevil climbs off it and reckons that wasn’t so bad. He then looks up and sees a whole lot more standing there watching him - their Swastika’s displayed proudly.
(present)Luke Cage is in his own interview. He explains that he knows Daredevil pretty well, at least as much as he lets anyone know him. At the end of the day he is, without question, one of the best Ever. He won’t go into who he is and how he became who he became and he knows that there are a lot of people who think they know all there is to know about Daredevil and all his secrets. But, he can say from personal experience that the information about him out there is pretty much crap. All one needs to know about him is that he sacrificed everything to make New York City safer.
Luke believes that Daredevil has lost more and suffered more for his dedication to the city than anybody he knows. And he knows some people who’ve suffered and lost. He isn’t the strongest, he adds, and he isn’t the flashiest. But, Daredevil cannot be brought down. It cannot happen. He is driven by demons deeper than anything anyone you know has ever been driven by. And in this business, they are all driven by demons. Even with that, Daredevil still defines himself by his strive and dedication. Luke knows that people are going to ask if Daredevil is Avengers material. In his opinion, and he doesn’t mean to be all corny, the question is, are the Avengers Daredevil material?
(flashback)Daredevil uses his speed and agility to climb up one of the machines. He smashes open the cockpit with such speed that by the time the other pilots have aimed and the machines have fired, he is already gone, leaving the robot behind to be destroyed. He lands with a thump against a building through the force of the explosion and bounces down onto a shop awning. The robots approach him menacingly but, by the time they turn towards him, he has already gone. “Find the red,” barks one of the pilots in German. Unfortunately for them, Daredevil isn’t going to allow them that freedom. He emerges carrying one of their heavy weapons and begins blasting away. He doesn’t let up until they’re done. With the last one he gets inside the cockpit and punches the pilot. He smashes his helmet with his Billy Club and then punches him in the face for good measure. However, when he looks up, he sees Avengers Tower falling and gasps before taking the machine for himself.
(present)Jessica is in her interview. She explains that she wasn’t there, so she’s just telling this how it was told to her. She says that all of the Avengers ended up at Avengers Tower just after it fell. She’d left their baby in the hands of super-powered nanny Squirrel Girl over in Avengers Mansion. It was supposed to be a very safe and secure place. However, they’d just seen Avengers Tower fall on its ass so nothing was safe. What she didn’t know was that across town, Daredevil…
She pauses and says she almost used his real name there… Daredevil was dealing with some of the Nazis. He overheard them talking about gathering around Avengers Mansion and making sure it was taken as well. “Of course Daredevil speaks German,” she laughs. “Of course he does.” He figures that none of the Avengers were in the mansion. They were all out doing what they were supposed to be doing. Then, he remembered the baby.
(flashback)Avengers Mansion enters lockdown mode as several of Sin’s robots attack it. Inside, Squirrel Girl has no idea what’s going on, but she soon has to run for cover as bursts of enemy fire come flying through the walls and windows. She cowers in a corner, hugging Danielle tight but then notices that all the shooting has ceased.
(present)Squirrel Girl speaks to the camera. She says it was crazy and then suddenly everything went quiet. Everything was nuts and then, nothing. The building was okay. It sounded like they were attacking each other. There was firing and explosions, but nothing seemed to be hitting the building like in the first wave. She was holding the baby and didn’t know what she was supposed to do. She knows now that it probably wasn’t the smartest move, but she had to peek. And when she did…
(flashback)Outside, only one of the machines remains standing. Small but manageable fires burn across the building but all is quiet. Doreen hears a knock on the door and a voice asking if she’s okay. Wide-eyed, she replies that the building’s kinda locked itself. The voice tells her to go into the kitchen and get away from the door. Now! Doreen tucks herself away into a corner moments before the door explodes. She looks outside and sees Daredevil drop from one of the machine’s cockpits. As he strolls through what’s left of the doorway, Doreen gasps, “Wow.”
He asks her if the baby’s okay. “Thanks to you,” she replies. He asks her to follow him. Before she can thank him again, he warns her that it’s not over yet. He leads her through the kitchen and then points to a hidden doorway. “There,” he says.
(three weeks later)All is quiet over New York City. Matt Murdock is sitting in his office at Nelson & Murdock when he senses something outside. He heads up to the rooftop where he finds Luke, Jessica and Danielle. In costume, Daredevil leaps over the edge and asks how long they were planning on standing out there waiting for him to sense them. “Not much longer, I’ll tell you that,” replies Jessica. Luke says they were just respecting the struggle of a double life. Jessica passes Danielle to Luke and gives Matt a big hug. Luke smiles and asks if he didn’t think they’d fine out it was he who saved their kid. Matt is humbled as Jessica thanks him and replies that they’d have done it for him. She lets go and asks how he knew there was an underground bunker in Avengers Mansion. “Radar sense, remember?” he replies.
He asks how the Nazi stuff ended. Luke replies that they aren’t goose-steppin’, so he guesses it worked out fine. Matt tells them it’s odd to be fighting for your life and not be out there to find out how it started or ended. Jessica tells him that sometimes you’ve just got to fight. Luke hands over a small silver card. They wanted to give him something to say thanks. Matt says they don’t have to. Jessica asks him what they give the guy who has everything. He flips a cover and sees his name printed on an Avengers Identity Card. “I can’t accept this,” he replies. Luke tells him he has been called. “The call is given,” replies Jessica, saluting him.
Daredevil points out that he and Captain America hardly see eye-to-eye. Luke informs him that this isn’t Cap’s Avengers. They’re his Avengers. Matt adds that he thought they were on the way out, too. Luke tells him that they like where his head has been lately. They like what he’s trying to do with his life. “And hello,” adds Jessica. “We like you.” Luke asks him to try it out and not to say no. “Free food,” says Jessica. Daredevil smiles.
(present)The Avengers are in their interviews. Hawkeye asks who is a worthy Avenger. How about a selfless samurai warrior.
Wolverine: Or a misunderstood hero who never gives upSpider-Man: A cunning military mind from another cultureThe Protector: A true master and protector of the mystic artsDr. Strange: An unbreakable urban warriorLuke Cage: A futuristIron Man: The best secret agent in the worldSpider-Woman: The best marksman on the planetDaredevil: And… a swashbuckling ninja who can’t say no to a friend
Luke Cage, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Power Woman, Protector, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)
(flashback to the battle)Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Protector, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Squirrel GirlDanielle Cage
DaredevilNazi pilotsInnocent civilians
(flashback to three weeks after the battle)Jessica Cage, Luke Cage, Daredevil (all Avengers)Danielle Cage
This is part of the Fear Itself crossover. The Avenger Tower falling was also witnessed by Mocking bird in New Avengers (2nd series) #14.
The original Avengers stepped down, apart from Captain America, in Avengers (1st series) #16 to make way for Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
The sections where everyone talks about the next person during the interviews echoes a scene at the end of the classic 1985 movie, The Breakfast Club, where Brian writes an essay for the teacher in which he says he is crazy for asking them to write an essay telling him who they think they are, that he wants to see them in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions -Brian: But what we found out is that each of us is a brainAndrew: And an athleteAllison: And a basket caseClaire: A princessBender: And a criminal