Storm Winds Gathering
The mighty crossover begins with a dire premonition of disaster in the Kree Empire. The recipient of the portent is Rick Jones, one-time professional sidekick and former friend of Captain America. The slow-developing nature of the story is apropos for a 19-part story, though those addicted to mindless action might prefer something more intense - but not much is more intense than a vision of an empire wiped out and Captain America transforming into the Supreme Intelligence. After the dream, the narrative soon transfers intelligently from Rick to Cap, since it's his series, and we find Cap is having a fair amount of difficulty in his life: his girlfriend is missing, his WW2 flame still isn't completely over him, his pilot is verbally antagonistic, and he hasn't had his breakfast (perhaps the least of his worries). Though it would be an excellent opportunity for Rick and Cap to straighten out their differences, Rick is too concerned with getting out of whatever is going on to be more than barely polite. Warstar of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard breaks up their tepid reunion (not a surprise to anyone who has seen the cover of the issue), instigating the first battle in the gathering storm. It doesn't last long, but it does enable the separation of Cap and Rick to further the mystery of why these things are going on, abetted by the successful capture of Rick by the rest of the Imperial Guard (who somewhat callously consider leaving Warstar behind). The winds of war are starting to blow. The supplemental story involving the Skeleton Crew furthers the lives of many of Cap's foes, but the narration is an imbalanced mix of humor and off-putting abuse. The Red Skull's attack on Mother Night is among the more violent and difficult to read panels I've seen, especially for a mainstream comic series not considering itself among the horror genre. Aside from this, the issue is a good official beginning to the mighty crossover.