Saturday, June 29, 2013

Retro Review: New Avengers Military - AAFES #4

Comics have always had pretty strong ties to our troops. Back in World War II comics like Superman and Captain America were an extremely popular distraction for the troops in their down time and Will Eisner even created a comic book style M-16 maintenance manual during the Vietnam war for out troops.  So in 2005 Marvel continued that tradition by creating a series of Avengers one shots specifically to be given out to the troops in military bases and at USO shows.

Now while the first three had guest stars like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, this one manages to almost not be an Avengers book at all as Captain America is teaming up with non-Avengers Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer, and Punisher. You gotta look pretty hard these days to find Marvel characters that haven't been in the Avengers and this book manages to find arguably the biggest three.

The story is that HYDRA has taken control of a military satellite that has a big death ray on it. The satellite also is a low level communications satellite, it has a bunch of troops emails to their loved ones. Because the Avengers are all on Christmas break Cap calls up Silver Surfer to help. The Surfer agrees to go and disarm the satellite's death ray. Cap says he needs someone to head to the base that controls the satellite and Surfer suggests Ghost Rider. And finally Cap goes to the HYDRA base and kicks some ass with the help of the Punisher who has shown up because he wants to help the troops. As Silver Surfer is battling a HYDRA robot in space we get the narration of a letter he has written to his lost love on his home world, Ghost Rider's section gets a letter to his girl Roxanne, and the last section has a letter Punisher has written to his dead wife.

The story is a little lose with continuity, but is a pretty strong character study and the "Letters home" theme is pretty emotionally strong and would definitely strike a cord with the book's target audience. I thought it was odd that the Surfer suggested Ghost Rider as I can not think of one single moment where the characters have so much as met. Kinda odd that there are no Ghost Rider/Silver Surfer team up stories as they both share the common enemy of Mephisto.

This was an amusing enough story, although it can be a pricey book. Due to the limited release these AAFES New Avengers issues tend to go for about $10 a piece, so unless you're a collector it's really not worth the price.

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