Avengers Midwest

Issue #4

The Evil Eye Opens

Having defeated Bullseye and the Fixer, the heroes make their way up Mount Wundagore to the site of the AIM archaeological dig. Deadly Nightshade stays behind to guard the prisoners and take care of the villagers while the others infiltrate the dig site.

Lowrider notes the high levels of radiation in the dig site, so the heroes sneak up on knock out a couple of AIM scientists to take their radiation suits. Cadmus and Lowrider are immune to the local radiation for their own reasons, so Walker and Render wear the suits to avoid the horrible mutagenic effects of the radiation. Render suggests that they tie Cadmus’ hands and make a gambit of him being a prisoner to get inside the base before starting a fight. Lowrider changes into vehicle mode and they bring him in as the “prisoner’s” “confiscated vehicle.”

Inside, they find MODOK examining the Evil Eye of Avalon in a huge eldritch machine with several dozen AIM scientists accompanied by the notorious mercenary called Taskmaster as well as the Hydra agent called the Grim Reaper. Their gambit is clever enough to fool the average AIM goons, and they get close enough for Walker to use his mental powers on one of them. Dominating his mind, Walker convinces him to shut down the machine so that he can seize the Evil Eye with telekinesis.

As soon as the Eye leaves the machine, MODOK demands that his “drones” kill the intruders, and battle is joined. Taskmaster and Grim Reaper try to take on Cadmus, only for Taskmaster to get taken out by the Olympian’s massive strength and tactical genius. AIM scientists are knocked out left and right, but MODOK collapses the tunnel before Lowrider and Walker can escape with the Eye.

To get away from the battle, Lowrider and Cadmus flee into a chasm deeper into the mountain, following the trace of a strange signal that would be imperceptible to any merely human sensors. In the meantime, Render finds an experimental AIM exo-suit and dons it, wading into AIM goons.

Seeing the battle turn against him, MODOK tries to flee in a hidden shuttle. Cadmus clings to the shuttle and beats it as it flies away, damaging the thrusters enough to send it toward the ground. MODOK abandons the vessel to fly away under his own power, and Cadmus must choose between pursuing the villain or keeping the rocket from crashing into innocents on the ground. In the end, the bellicose son of the god of war decides to save lives and lets MODOK escape. Render finishes off the remaining goons and worries about fighting the Grim Reaper, but the Reaper decides to flee in order to inform his masters about this setback (and because Cadmus managed to break his collarbone before running off).

Underground, Lowrider and Walker have an encounter with a strange man calling himself the High Evolutionary. He warns Walker that a war is coming between humans and mutants, and that he and his New Men intend to ride out the storm safe underground. For driving the intruders from “his” mountain, the Evolutionary extends to them an offer of friendship: should they ever need his advice or aid, they have but to call and he will respond.

With MODOK fled and the villains captured, the heroes interrogated their prisoners. The AIM scientists revealed that they were responding to a bunch of weird energy signatures cropping up across the planet. Something is causing objects possessing cosmic power to flare up to potentially dangerous levels. The next such object is in Denver, Colorado.

Walker decides that he has the mental strength to control the Evil Eye and attempts to bond with it, using its immense cosmic power to augment his already potent mental abilities. Render observes that his own physical abilities are somewhat lacking, so he chooses to keep the experimental exo-suit as an edge over his foes.

The group loads their prisoners up onto the Peregrine and make for the United States, stopping briefly at the Triskelion to turn in the villains. They have a quick meeting with “Dum-Dum” Dugan and the acting director of SHIELD, the Contessa la Fontaine. After having their request for intel denied (since none of them have SHIELD clearance), they take off for Denver!

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