Avengers #312, Fantastic Four #334, The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #9, and Quasar #5 (December 1989)

These four comics are not especially significant, but hey, Captain America was in a lot of books in late 1989! All of them tie in to the “Acts of Vengeance” event, described in the last post, although that matters little for our purposes here.

Avengers #312 sees Cap return to the book after a month off, during which Avengers Island was sunk along (with Avengers Mansion on it). He appears at the end of this issue to intervene in a fight between several Avengers and some members of Freedom Force (the shady government group of somewhat evil mutants we have seen before), but Cap points out that the latter may not entirely be on the level.

I should probably mention that anti-Avengers sentiment is also on the rise again, perhaps because of the heightened attacks from villains that are proving more effective than usual.

While Cap and Hank Pym try to calm the angry crowd, Freedom Force take the chance to flee, leaving the Falcon to ask a question that would make Cap choke in disbelief if the Scarlet Witch hadn’t volunteered to track them herself.

Wanda gets distracted after she discovers that Vision is OK after a brutal attack from Avalanche (the Freedom Force member above you might have taken for ROM), and the rest of the Avengers lick their wounds and correctly surmise that things are unlikely to get better soon. (They’re obviously getting used to crossover events.)

In Fantastic Four #334, which takes place in the middle of Captain America #365, Cap and Thor try to pay a visit to First Family of Marvel Comics…

…to ask for temporary lodging, as the Avengers once provided the FF (long before Reed and Sue became Avengers themselves for a brief time).

But it appears Cap’s credentials are out-of-date…

…and two Avengers Prime are summarily embarrassed…

…especially once they realize the security measures were not even meant to be harmful.

Cap is otherwise impressed by Reed’s work…

…enough so that he predicts worse is yet to come, and predicts “all heck” if they persist. Oh well—do you think the X-Men are home?

Where were the FF, anyway? Earlier this issue, they flew to Washington to discuss the merits of a superhero registration act, expanding on the recent mutant registration act (mentioned in Captain America #343) and serving as a presage of the topic of the Marvel Comics “Civil War” a decade and a half later.

The bulk of the panels in this post comes from The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #9, which has Cap and several of his teammates overseeing a public forum about superheroes and public safety…

…as well as the registration law being discussed in Washington. Testimony is given in support of and opposition to superheroes…

…although the latter may be a little biased, considering the source: Andreas and Andrea von Strucker, twin children of Cap’s old foe Baron von Strucker, granted powers by Arnim Zola that activate only when they make physical contact with each other. Collectively they’re known as Fenris, although they have nothing to do with Loki’s wolf-son Fenris. (They don’t have anything to do with these twins either.)

Fenris, along with the rest of their Assembly of Evil—did you think only Avengers could assemble?—attack our heroes, and of course Cap is focused first on getting the civilians to safety.

Later he’s concerned about Iron Man, who has been absorbed by Hydro-Man, who seems to have a fairly obvious weakness that Tony brilliantly exploits.

Fenris escalates their attacks on Captain America to schoolyard taunts…

…but Hydro-Man makes an impressive comeback to capture a hero who is not electrically charged. (He’s learning!)

Iron Man dives into Hydro-Man (eww) to rescue Cap but is caught again, with batteries too weak to use the same trick twice. Cloak uses his transportation powers to absorb Hydro-Man while Dagger holds on to Cap…

…but like a pool vacuum and a child’s forgotten action figure, Cloak ends up catching Iron Man in the process, which Cap politely tries to point out.

That’s OK, Cloak… it’s just Tony.

Before long, the heroes seem to have the situation in hand, with Andrea von Strucker refusing to answer a question Cap didn’t ask, and the Jester (guess which one he is) making one last attempt at a getaway…

…with Cap smoothly catching the Wasp in his shield, before saying something that definitely could go without saying.

Finally, one row of panels from Quasar #5, with Cap showing confidence in the newest Avenger (whom he trained in Avengers Annual #18), which is remarkable given the power and skill of his assigned foe (who usually gives Thor a run for his money).


ISSUE DETAILS

Avengers (vol. 1) #312, mid December 1989: John Byrne (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Bill Oakley (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in Acts of Vengeance: Avengers (and eventually in volume 19 of the Avengers Epic Collection).

Fantastic Four (vol. 1) #334, December 1989: Walt Simonson (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), George Roussos (colors), Bill Oakley (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Into the Time Stream, Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson Vol. 1, and Acts of Vengeance: Marvel Universe.

The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #9 (December 1989): Terry Austin (writer), Mike Vosberg and Don Cameron (pencils and inks), Glynis Oliver (colors), Jim Novak (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in Cloak and Dagger: Agony and Ecstasy and Acts of Vengeance: Avengers.

Quasar #5 (December 1989): Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Paul Becton (colors), Janice Chiang (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in Quasar Classic Volume 1 and Acts of Vengeance: Avengers.


PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #308-310 and Fantastic Four #333 (October-November 1989)

ALSO THIS MONTH: Captain America #364, Marvel Comics Presents #34, and Damage Control #1-2, and Captain America #365 (December 1989)

NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #313, West Coast Avengers #54-55, Avengers Spotlight #29, Fantastic Four #337, and Punisher #29 (January-February 1990)

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