This issue launches the second monthly round of “Operation: Galactic Storm,” a storyline that began in the last issue and, amidst all the high-stakes outer-space action, gradually reveals some ethical disagreements between Captain America and his fellow Avengers, especially Iron Man.
Speaking of Tony, in our last installment, he surrendered to the Kree on behalf of the Avengers to save them from destruction… although Cap doesn’t quite see things that way, as we see in the opening splash below.
The absence of talking gives Cap some time alone with his thoughts, of which he has many, including being mindful of appearing confident in front of his team, disappointed that Tony does not appreciate his leadership—and open to the idea that, nonetheless, he may have made the right decision (albeit alone).
It’s always a relief to see a familiar face in an uncomfortable situation…
…but Ronan seems to escalate the problem, so our catcher signals for a curveball.
And what a curveball it is, fooling Ronan, even though the heroes’ insignias are built into Sersi’s disguises (and Iron Man looks like Deadpool).
After they duck into a restroom, Wade—I mean, Tony—flips his iron lid and demands that Sersi change him back, which she does (with Cap’s permission) while mocking the “complexity” of Tony’s handiwork. When Cap sends them on their next mission, Tony puts his foot down regarding another costume change…
…which escalates into flat-out (and violently) rejecting Cap’s leadership with the “I was here three issues before you” card.
If Hercules is concerned about the integrity of the team, you know there’s a problem—especially if Hawkeye (talking to Cap above) is your best bet to address it.
After Sersi crafts new, more functional disguises for the team, Cap gets a message from Iron Man, who seems marginally more willing to work together.
The Avengers commandeer a passing wanted-poster hovercraft, only to be attacked by Korath the Pursuer, who correctly identifies the powered threats in the group, but still notices that one of the “strong men or athletes” is missing.
Pursuers will pursue, I guess—even if they don’t appreciate that their prey is a superlative athlete.
Yes, Cap, guys who wear armor sure are the worst, aren’t they? (Insert comically exaggerated wink here.) Regardless, Cap disarms Korath and then takes him over the edge of the craft…
…using Korath’s own batons to disable his boot jets, much to his surprise (given that the “pursued” has no “real” superpowers).
Cap takes one of his legendary parachute-less dives, and with the help of the Black Knight, successfully lands back on the hovercraft.
We’ll continue Cap’s galactic adventures in Avengers #346, where we meet a new team of Kree warriors—surely the next comics sensation, complete with their own logo—and learn the origin of the Avengers’ “cool” 90s jackets.
Captain America (vol. 1) #399, April 1992, “Twenty Million Light Years from Earth”: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Joe Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Collected in: Captain America Epic Collection: Blood and Glory and Avengers Epic Collection: Operation Galactic Storm.
PREVIOUS ISSUES: Captain America #398, West Coast Avengers #80, Quasar #32, and Wonder Man #7 (March 1992)
ALSO THIS MONTH: Avengers #346 and Iron Man #279 (April 1992)
NEXT ISSUES: Captain America #400 and Namor the Sub-Mariner #26 (May 1992)
Of course, Tony flips out over Sersi manipulating his armour because at this point his nervous system is so near collapse that his armour has virtually become his life support system. But again, Tony’s keeping secrets so while they know it’s Tony in the armour again, they don’t know what he’s grappling with.
Also some good foreshadowing when Tony plays the “founder’s card.” Imagine how much more intense Cap & Tony’s disagreements over the years would have been if Tony played that card every time.
“Tony, did you have to eat three of the doughnuts? You didn’t leave any for Hercules.”
“Look, Cap, I’m the only founding Avenger here, and I say founders get unlimited doughnuts.”