Yes, you read that right. This is the most bizarre issue of The Avengers ever.
Machinesmith is a gay robot-making villain who, himself, lives in a robot body (as seen in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One), and it turns out when a homosexual goes into a robot body, he starts getting wood for male androids.
The story, written by Mark Gruenwald, takes place during a formal reception/party, which proves to be such a ripe idea for stories that Larry Hama (his run begins next) does an extended party-arc in which he introduces Rage and Avengers Cupcakes. But more on that we when we get into #332-333.
Anyway, Machinesmith knocks Vision out and takes advantage of him, and then there’s an explosive love scene after which we see them spooning…
Obviously, more happens in these issues. But that’s the only thing really worth knowing. But just so we stay current…These issues are “The Crossing Line” story.
Stingray joins the team to save a nuclear sub that has been hijacked by terrorists. The Soviet Super Soldiers, who recently were renamed the Supreme Soviets and now are renamed the People’s Protectorate, also lend a hand. Actually, they fight with the Avengers for the right to take out the terrorists first.
Yeah, that’s really stupid. And it’s even more stupid that an Atlantean army also shows up to fight about who should take down the sub. Increasing the stupid, Alpha Flight also wants the right to save the world from the terrorists.
And it’s even more stupider that it takes these teams six issues to overcome their differences and eventually stop the terrorists.
But it’s not a full six issues, because a back-up series called “Avengers Crew” runs through these comics, which focusses on guys like Jarvis the Butler, Man Wolf the pilot, Fabian the tech guy, Guardsman the security chief, etc., as they try to rebuild Avengers’ Mansion and fight Mother Night and Machinesmith.
These are truly awful issues.
Creators and grades:
Main story: Fabian Nicieza, Paul Ryan. Grade: D+
Avengers Crew back-ups: Mark Gruenwald and various artists who aren’t famous and never become famous. Grade: D