This story starts with a bit of training mainly for Captain America against the other avengers, where we watch and see that he is getting better at holding his own for longer. Meanwhile the Masters of Evil wile meeting to discuss their prior defeat are visited by a traveler from another time named Immortus. After a short challenge they agree to let him help them defeat the avengers by him dealing with eliminating at least one of the hero’s.
In this story we witness Captain Americas continued anxiety over the loss of Bucky and putting Rick in the same kind of position. This is something that Immortus uses against the hero quite well when he captures and sends Rick back in time. But the development fails there, when Captian America instead of explaining the situation to the Avengers engages in a fight to get them to go with him to face Immortus.
In the end the team does go with him, fairing well against each of their independent challenges before Immortus sends the Captian back in time alone to free Rick. Then each of the remaining hero’s face off against a Master of Evil, again more on on one style.
In the end, all of this above though, does not happen, for time is manipulated upon the defeat of the Masters of Evil to place them back to right before the failure and thus the development and depth for the captain is only visible to the readers (and not all that strong to begin with)
But we do get something out of this issue in terms of development (even if it did not happen) We have our first Avengers Assemble call being given, and the person to make the call, Thor whom was charman of the team for the issue.
Originality And Continuity
This story does link well to the Masters of Evil prior appearance, and we do have some time before Kang and Immortus will be linked. The two villains approach do seem distinctly different.
Another issue for me, and a product of the time, the devalueing of the Wasp. First she ranks the same as Rick Jones when they are considering his membership to the team. If that did not hurt enough the Masters of Evil don’t even account for her when they pair off, sure they are one short of being even with the avengers, but just the same. But then she does prove mostly useless in turning the tide of battle before Captain America returns.
Don Heck, put out a solid comic with this issue, The story is epic in length and he has to tell a lot with each panel and alude to a lot between them and I think he does this masterfully. The pannel, and mistic looking first look at Immortus is quite inspiring, but then when we have him sitting as Captian America burst in is down right comic book classic. But lets not forget how well Don Heck draws the avengers in conflict with each other as shown in the included panel from Page 8.
In the end, the story is enjoyable but its significant flaws leave it lacking true greatness. Perhaps one downfall is it was a bit too much for just one issue, but then even if not, anytime a story proves to not have happened should be a moment to take pause and consider its worth. Long term it does add someone (of sorts) to the Marvel universe in introducing Immortus. For that reason, this cannot be ignored.