Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Featured Issue: Avengers #89
A mysterious figure in a mask and trench coat makes his way through the shadows, but he is not alone. Following closely on his trail are three figures, more alike than foreign. Here on the streets of America, the Avengers hunt the alien known as Captain Marvel.
As Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision attempt to confront the mighty Kree warrior, their entreaties are met with fear and hostility. When their offers of friendship are rebuffed, Quicksilver attempts a more direct approach only to be sent reeling by a single punch. Captain Marvel then decides to take the fight to the Avengers, though his initial efforts are foiled by Vision’s density shifting abilities. Stopping the android with his photonic Uni-beam and not wanting to engage with Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel attempts to flee by flying to the roof of a nearby building. To his surprise, he is blasted by an unexpected figure, Rick Jones. With the help of Rick Jones, the Avengers load Captain Marvel into their waiting Quinjet and jet across the sky to the hospital at Cape Kennedy and a waiting Dr. Donaldson. Upon their arrival, Mar-Vell is strapped in to a decontamination chair in the hopes of saving his life, as well as preventing the destruction of the Earth.
As the assembled heroes wait to see what will become of Captain Marvel, Rick Jones takes a moment to reflect on the events which brought them all together. While playing a gig in a Bleecker St. club, Rick is suddenly overcome by the presence of Captain Marvel. Still trapped in the Negative Zone and linked to Rick Jones via the Nega-Bands, Captain Marvel informs Rick of a visit by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Unseen by both Richards and Annihilus, lord of the Negative Zone, Mar-Vell has spied a way for him to escape the Negative Zone. All he asks is that Rick make his way to the Baxter Building to seek the answer that may set both men free. On his arrival, Rick switches atoms with Captain Marvel one last time, so that Mar-Vell may use his superior abilities to enter the Baxter Building. Making his way deeper into the building, Captain Marvel triggers a silent alarm, one which the Avengers Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision have been monitoring for at the request of Reed Richards. Their signal received, the Avengers quickly make their way to confront the unknown intruder. Just as they arrive, Mar-Vell is able to activate Reed Richards’ Negative Zone portal and free Rick Jones. Unfortunately, Rick is not the only one waiting and watching. Just before they are able to close the portal, Annihilus makes his way through. Immune to the attacks of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, only the quick wit and intangibility of Vision allow the heroes to send Annihilus back to his realm.
While the heroes are distracted by their brush with doom, they fail to notice that Mar-Vell has slipped out and stolen their Quinjet. As they realize what has happened, the Avengers discover something even more worrisome, Captain Marvel is nearly bursting with radiation, absorbed from his weeks spent stuck in the Negative Zone. If they are unable to catch up with the Kree, the radiation might kill him, or worse, start a chain reaction which will destroy the Earth. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel makes his way towards Florida’s Cape Kennedy in hopes of commandeering a rocket with which he can return to his home world. As a result, the Avengers are forced to pursue Captain Marvel and bring down his craft.
Back in the Cape Kennedy hospital, Captain Marvel’s condition is dire. His Nega-radiation has absorbed nearly all the power the hospital can muster. If they are unable to purge all the radiation from his system, the buildup will start all over again and their efforts will have been for nothing. In a last ditch effort, Vision offers to use the solar energy stored within his forehead jewel as an alternative power source. The process is successful, but it leaves both Mar-Vell and Vision in severely weakened states.
Galaxies away, the Kree criminal, Ronan the Accuser has escaped his imprisonment and has returned to Hala to confront the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Taking control of the Kree Empire from the Supreme Intelligence, Ronan unleashes a Kree Sentry to hunt down his hated enemy, Captain Marvel.
Ronan the Accuser