A point 1 issue from comixology (so not quite an issue 1, but close enough). The point 1 issues were meant to be jumping on points for new readers. So under that guise, let’s take a look. I’ll be honest, I forgot which volume of Avengers this is from, but I think it was 4. Yeah, 4. That’s what I’m going with. It’s fairly recent and was done by Bendis, at the time when Bendis did about 100 Avengers books a month.
The cover shows the team, Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, and Bucky-Cap (I think, judging by the costume) coming out of what appears to be a sun in the middle of a city. Pretty bleh stuff in terms of composition, but well drawn. No real recap, other than saying the names of the heroes. We open the story on Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman #2 gliding around a jungle, in search of aliens when she stumbles onto a big old robot. The problem is that the Intelligencia is already there. This group of super villain geniuses has MODOK, Klaw, the Mad Thinker, the Wizard, and the Red Ghost. Theoretically, they should be smart enough to do anything they want. Something tells me that won’t be the case. We then go to Avengers Tower where Abigail Brand, agent of SWORD, is telling Steve Rogers (not Captain America) about what happened to Drew. Rogers doesn’t seem to know anything about this agency but Beast assures him it’s on the up and up. Thanks Beast, for telling me about this secret organization. Rogers seems a little peeved by the fact that people are in more than one group and Spider-Man makes a World of Warcraft joke.
Anyway, the Avengers decide to go check out what happened, since apparently SWORD can’t handle stuff on their own. They go to where Spider-Woman was and check for clues. Iron Man can tell there was something “unearthly” there, which he further elaborates as “something not from the earth.” You are so smart, Tony. Wolverine smells blood and Iron Man picks up something in the air.
Now we see Jessica Drew, naked and imprisoned. From what I remember, she’s been taken prisoner and undressed before, which brings up a disturbing question. These are pyschotic villains who captured her and stripped her down. Are we to think that she wasn’t raped? I don’t think any of these bad guys are known for having positive relations with women and might be kind of… should I say desperate? Anyways, ew. The Wizard and the Mad Thinker divulge their plan to her in typical grandstanding fashion while teh rest of the brain trust looks at the spaceknight. Just as they activate something, a couple of the Avengers teleport(?) in somehow and free Jessica, while the others crash in and knock everyone unconcious. We learn that the spaceknight left an energy trail Iron man could track. Really, eveil geniuses? You couldn’t tell you were leaving an energy trail?
The spaceknight turns on, only to become… ULTRON! I was expecting some huge battle but Thor just smashes him once and then he teleports away, vowing to come back when he’s ready. Tony seems really freaked out by this and apparently this leads into the Age of Ultron, one of last year’s big events.
Overall, I though the issue was kinda of quick, with not much too it. It was interesting seeing the Intelligencia, but as they acted unintelligently, I wasn’t too impressed. It was a stand alone story (or a prequel to what was then a far-away event) so it didn’t make me want to buy the next issue, which dealt with Fear Itself. Not bad for a free read, but not one that I’ll go back to again.