The Mandarin is back and he's planning something big! The Avengers scramble across the globe to stop him, but can their efforts really triumph over the Mandarin's villainy? Plus, and unexpected appearance of Ultimo!
PART 1: THE MONSTROUS MASTER PLAN OF THE MANDARIN
Whilst imprisoned, The Living Laser constructs a new pair of his wrist lasers that he uses to escape his cell. He is confronted by Iron Man and the pair face-off. Iron Man is defeated and The Living Laser attempts to break through the prison walls but is teleported away by a shimmering light. The Golden Avenger realises this is the work of The Mandarin and calls together an emergency meeting of The Avengers.
The escaped convict is teleported to The Mandarin’s lair where he’s commanded to join Mandarin’s other “lackeys” Swordsman, The Executioner, The Enchantress and Power Man. The Living Laser refuses but after the Oriental Overlord displays his power by easily destroying “Namor”, everyone falls into line. The Mandarin then proceeds to explain his plan – a plan involving a colossal diamond.
Elsewhere Iron Man is first to arrive at the Avengers Mansion where he is attacked by Hercules who mistakes him for a trespasser. Thor enters and breaks up the fight. We learn from a beat cop that Avengers Mansion is off limits like the UN Headquarters and the Baxter Building. The rest of The Avengers appear and the meeting takes place.
The now colony sized team are interrupted by a transmission from Nick Fury who informs them super villains are attacking in Asia, Africa and South America. Fury says this is an international incident so S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t get involved. Captain America devices a strategy and despatches teams of Avengers to the various locations - with the exception of himself and Quicksilver who stay at the mansion. Meanwhile The Mandarin is delighted that his plan is coming together.
PART 2: TO PERISH BY THE SWORD
The Mandarin plots to take over a small South American country rich in diamonds – which are central to his plans for world domination. Swordsman and Power Man arrive with hired mercenaries and attack the capital city, eventually defeating the army. The invaders then storm the presidential residence and give the President an ultimatum to surrender. The super villains have placed a sword the size of a city over the capital that will explode on impact if dropped and destroy the entire city with it.
The President feels he has no option but to surrender, but just as he is about to sign the renunciation papers, The Wasp swoops down and snatches the pen from him. Almost immediately Goliath also bursts into the chamber and starts duking it out with Power Man. The two hard hitters go toe to toe as The Wasp stuns Swordsman with her Wasp’s Sting and steals the remote for the giant sword from him. Swordsman quickly recovers and returns the favour by spraying the tiny Avenger with nerve gas. Meanwhile Goliath finishes off Power Man by shrinking to ant size then swiftly changing back and clobbering him with a surprise attack. However it’s all to no avail as Swordsman has the remote and presses the button to drop the sword on the city, coaxing Goliath that he’s failed.
The giant sword drops from the air and the citizens believe they are doomed… but seconds before impact Iron Man’s repulsor rays prevent disaster and he manages to hold the sword in the air. The size of the weapon is too much for the Golden Avenger to bear and his transistors are almost spent. Yet with one last heroic effort, he manages to hurl the sword away and drop it in the jungle where it explodes on impact. While Goliath watches the events, Swordsman sneaks up behind him and is about to finish him off, but he is rescued at the last moment by The Wonderful Wasp. The super villains and mercenaries are all rounded up and it’s discovered The Mandarin is the mastermind of the whole invasion.
PART 3: STRUGGLE… IN A STRANGE LAND
South East Asia, where The Mandarin continues his quest to plunder the world’s largest diamond sources. The Executioner and The Enchantress have called forth trolls from the Netherworld to ransack local mines. Hercules and The Scarlet Witch battle the hordes and the Son of Zeus demolishes them with his mace while The Scarlet Avenger opens up the ground itself to swallow them up. Outmatched, the trolls refuse to fight on. The Executioner sends them back to whence they came and challenges Hercules to a duel of immortals. The challenge is accepted but this place is not deemed worthy for such a battle. Thus the Executioner, disobeying Mandarin’s orders, uses his enchanted battle-axe to transport the quartet to The Citadel of Silence.
Hercules warns The Scarlet Witch to be wary of The Enchantress’ powers as he leaps into battle against his own foe. The Enchantress, in love with the Prince of Power, wonders if Hercules has romantic feelings for Wanda. The mutant uses this opportunity to form an overwhelming attack with her hex power. Meantime the clash of the titans continues as Hercules and Executioner’s battle rages on until the Asgardian’s axe gets stuck in a wall. Hercules vows to fight on hand to hand but his nemesis uses this opportunity to clench the demi-god’s chest in his unbreakable grip. The Enchantress meanwhile calls forth a Frost giant to attack The Scarlet Witch. Wanda is unable to defeat the monster and cries out to Hercules who, almost down to his knees, leaps up and lands a final devastating blow to knock his opponent almost unconscious. The Executioner warns that only an Asgardian can defeat the Frost Giant, thus the Lion of Olympus flings his defeated foe at the creature. The Frost Giant explodes on impact and the repercussions subdue both the exiles from Asgard. Hercules binds them in The Enchantress’ indestructible hair, awaiting the judgement of Odin. He then uses The Executioner’s axe to return himself and Wanda back to Earth. The Mandarin, seething with rage, curses himself for trusting immortals.
PART 4: …AND A MONSTER SHALL STALK THE LAND
Thor and Hawkeye are in Africa where The Living Laser is threatening to destroy a capital city if he isn’t given control. Hawkeye wants first crack as he’s the “official” Avenger. The marksman’s blast arrows are repelled by The Living Laser but Hawkeye soon has him on the run. The villain takes a hostage but the victim tries to escape and is blasted by The Living Laser’s wrist beams. Thor’s Uru Hammer intercepts before the lasers make contact and the civilian escapes harm. Hawkeye takes this opportunity to pin The Living Laser down with his arrows.
Elsewhere a long dormant volcano erupts and from within the ash clouds and molten lava a sinister figure rises. Ultimo, The Mandarin’s most deadly creation is awake. This time Thor wants first shot and moments later the Thunder God arrives atop the mountain. Thor is blasted by force beams that Ultimo shoots from his eyes but manages to evade, not knowing what effect the beams would have even on him. He then unleashes thousands of thunder strikes that rain down on the blue skinned giant. Ultimo barely reacts. Thor tosses Mjolnir at the android but it’s blasted away by Ultimo’s force beams. Such is the power of Ultimo’s beams that for once Thor’s enchanted hammer does not return to him! With only 60 seconds to regain Mjolnir within his grasp before returning to the mortal figure of Don Blake, Thor pretends to flee to move Ultimo away from his hammer. The behemoth doesn’t stir. In desperation the Son of Odin hurls a massive boulder at his overwhelming foe but a mere sweep of Ultimo’s arm is enough to shatter the projectile.
Standing face to face with a creature even the Norse God cannot defeat and soon to become a helpless mortal, Thor stares bravely at the face of his doom… when out of the blue blast arrows from Earth’s Mightiest Marksman distracts his seemingly unbeatable opponent. Ultimo turns to face his new antagonist giving Thor the chance to leap towards his hammer. As the Asgardian warrior hurtles towards his target, 60 seconds have elapsed since he last held Mjolnir and both he and his hammer revert back to their mortal forms. The crippled Dr. Blake rolls downhill at great speed but manages to grab his walking stick as he falls. Thus regaining his mystical weapon, the doctor slams his cane into the ground and transform back to The Mighty Thor.
Meantime Ultimo has Hawkeye in his grasp and seeing his conqueror’s eyes starting to glow, Hawkeye prepares for his demise. Moments before Ultimo can fire another blast of force beams he is pummelled by the shattering blows of Thor. Ultimo releases Hawkeye and reels back towards the rim of the volcano, teetering on the edge the creature receives another devastating blow from Mjolnir that sends him back to the depths of bubbling lava. Thor closes the volcano opening with hundreds of giant boulders. Hawkeye then reveals he has imprisoned The Living Laser, who has disclosed he was working for The Mandarin.
PART 5: SHOWDOWN IN SPACE
The final chapter begins in Avengers Mansion where Captain America has traced electronic emissions from all the previous attacks back to one location. Minutes later he and Quicksilver head to a military base where a rocket is standing by for them. The rocket heads into space towards the location Steve Rogers has pinpointed and shortly the two Avengers arrive at a giant space station. Meeting no resistance they land aboard. The star spangled Avenger and the fleet footed mutant enter the main chamber and are greeted by the mastermind of the entire tableau – the mystical Mandarin.
The Mandarin tells his “guests” he allowed them to board so he could personally finish them off. Instantly the Oriental is attacked by Quicksilver who only manages to strike Mandarin’s force field. The super villain shoots a freeze ray from one of his infamous rings. Although Quicksilver escapes, the ray emanates enough cold to temporarily slow him down. Mandarin fires another freeze ray but this is blocked by Captain America’s shield. Cap recovers his famed weapon but is immediately attacked by Mandarin’s deadly karate chop. Such is the strength of the blow that even using his shield Rogers is sent reeling back. Quicksilver re-joins the action and manages to finally land a blow. However his speed still betrays him due to the earlier ice blast and Mandarin manages to use another of his deadly rings to stun him. Mandarin re-establishes his force field but Captain America tells him they were merely stalling for time as the rest of The Avengers and Hercules arrive.
Even when facing The Avengers alone, The Mandarin is adamant he will be ultimately victorious. The warlord reveals his giant diamond and we are treated to the ‘villain explains his plan to the bad guy’ bit. The synthetic diamond, powered by the real gems Mandarin has looted, apparently emanates a “hate ray” that makes people turn violent against anyone near them. Thus leaving the world in disarray and allowing the ringed one to conquer. Before The Avengers can attack, the ray is turned on them and the heroes turn against each other. Thor battles Hercules, sister turns against brother as Wanda turns her hex on Pietro, Goliath and Captain America face off and Hawkeye and Iron Man resume their old conflict.
As The Mandarin observes the events, he is hit by a painful sting and hurtles backwards, damaging his machine. The hate ray stops and it turns out to be The Wasp who attacked The Mandarin, him being the closest to her when she was affected. The Avengers cease attacking each other but their tormentor turns on yet another beam. Quicksilver reacts swiftly and uses his momentum to dislodge the machine spraying the deadly beams everywhere. One of them blows a hole in the outer wall of the space station behind The Mandarin who is sucked into the hole by the outdraft causing him to be lost in space. The heroes decide the entire station should be destroyed so as not to fall into the wrong hands. They set explosives and getaway in a rocket as the high tech facility explodes in the silent vacuum of space. On their way home Goliath points out this is the firs time The Avengers have all fought together and they should do it more often. Thor echoes his sentiment and Iron Man votes this should officially become the Avengers team. The decision is unanimous and the old order changeth again.