Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1-4 (September-December 1993)

This miniseries is notable for several reasons: It brings the “Avengers Prime” (Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor) with their version 2.0 counterparts (USAgent, War Machine, and Thunderstrike) together as a group for the first time; we are introduced to Alioth, who was featured in the Disney+ Loki series alongside Ravonna Renslayer and Kang; and the colors by Chris Matthys are fantastic;

The story begins with Ravonna—also known as Terminatrix, partner-slash-successor to Kang the Conqueror as of last year’s Citizen Kang storyline—discovering the threat Alioth poses to Kang’s time empire. Meanwhile—if that word has any meaning in a time-travel story—a woman named Revelation summons our three newer heroes to help her defeat Kang (or so she tells them).

Revelation sends them to fight Ravonna, in disguise as Kang while serving in his place, and after Ravonna narrowly escapes, she stumbles on an obvious plan.

Mwa-ha-ha!

In issue #2, the classic trio interrogates their host, although Cap is more than familiar with her already.

And before you know it, Classic Coke meets New Coke.

Ravonna flees, leaving the two trios of heroes to face off against each other, with the old tigers trying to convince the young lions they’re on the wrong side.

Soon, Cap’s down zero shields to two, but at least he’s fully aware of what he’s up against.

Eventually, Cap calls for a time-out to try to get to the bottom of things…

…but they’re interrupted by some very well-armed sanitation robots. Once they deal with that and get back to talking, it’s clear from Rhodey’s actions that their truce is a very precarious one. Note how Cap keeps his cool, but Tony is not happy…

…but his anger is wasted, as Cap shows below.

Eventually, the two trios reach a detente, sealed by the promise of… pizza. (Why do I expect these guys to show up any minute now?)

I’m afraid the promise of the pie will have to wait, as a mysterious figure transports the sextet to a meeting of the Council of Crosstime Kangs, which makes your average faculty meeting look… well, actually, they’re pretty much the same.

The assembled Kangs attack in issue #3, and Cap gives the order to retreat, which he then has to defend to Thor, who has never appreciated fine points of big-picture strategy as well as the Living Legend of World War II does.

After they escape through a portal, they find themselves apparently back on Earth (although years too early for pizza).

Once again, Cap is the first to realize what’s going on, based on his experiences during the Citizen Kang storyline.

(With all due respect to Mr. Macchio, it was Captain America Annual #11, though, not #10.)

Cap takes a calculated risk and calls out the mayor as Kang himself…

…which seems to be confirmed once the local constables have a little more advanced tech that they oughta.

Cap takes another chance that the police cars are not “just” police cars, and as they retreat once again, Thor Jr. takes his turn complaining about running away.

They don’t get far before they run into the cloud to beat all clouds. (Maybe Alioth was the model for this?)

The final issue starts with Ravonna reviving her era’s Kang before we rejoin our heroes, having been knocked unconscious by Alioth and then rescued by <checks notes> “limbic infundibula… the only known lifeform native to the transtemporal dimension,” according to the exposition. No doubt the six wayward travelers in time are grateful, but have their minds on other things, and even Cap clearly has had enough.

Next, Ravonna shows up to apologize for the subterfuge, followed by Revelation, who turns out to be a future version of Ravonna herself. (In the future, it seems we are, all of us, either Ravonna or Kang.) They need all six Avengers to help fight Alioth, who threatens not only Kang’s empire but also the Avengers’ own time… and to sweeten the pot, they get cool tech for the ride, although both Cap and Thor know this means trouble ahead.

Finally, Kang shows up to give the heroes something useful, and then takes off.

Conveniently, Alioth is just outside that hole in the floor, to which Cap volunteers to keep everyone grounded, with the help of the mighty shield (and an assist from Mjolnir).

While the other five battle Alioth below, Cap appreciates all too well how crucial he is to this effort.

The key eventually absorbs the lifeforce of Alioth, as well as the collected Kangs, into the form of Tempus, which the “prime” Kang explains upon his return after the Avengers have done their job.

Even worse than Kang’s treachery is his word “Kangdom,” which I assume prompted the attack below, which Kang dismisses without even a wave of his hand. (Very rude.)


ISSUE DETAILS

Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1, September 1993: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Bud LaRoca (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Steve Dutro (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #2, October 1993: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Bud LaRoca and Warren Martineck (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Steve Dutro (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #3, November 1993: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Don Hudson and Bud LaRoca (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Steve Dutro (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #4, December 1993: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Don Hudson, Bud LaRoca, and Dell Barras (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Steve Dutro (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.) 

Collected in: Avengers: The Gathering Omnibus and Avengers: The Big Three.


ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #419 (September 1993), Avengers #366-367 and Sensational She-Hulk #55 (September-October 1993), Infinity Crusade #4-6 (September-November 1993), Captain America #420, Nomad #18, and Thor Corps #1-2 (September-October 1993), Captain America #421 and Nomad #19 (November 1993), Avengers #368-369, West Coast Avengers #101, X-Men #26, and Uncanny X-Men #367 (November-December 1993), and Captain America #422 (December 1993)

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