Say what you will about the Masters of Evil but you sure can't accuse them of not trying to live up to thier name.
In what is easily the high point of Roger Stern's terrific six-year run as "Avengers" writer, the Masters launch their grandest plan ever. The setup is simple: Seeking revenge for the death of his father at Captain America's hands, Baron Helmut Zemo forms the largest and most powerful version ever of the Masters of Evil. At one point or another his band includes Moonstone, Blackout, Grey Gargoyle, Yellowjacket II, Screaming Mimi, Whirlwind, Goliath, Tiger Shark, the Absorbing Man, Titania, the Fixer, Mister Hyde and the Wrecking Crew.
That's a whole lot of evil.
The Masters launch a well-thought out cordinated assault that takes over Avengers Mansion, captures Cap and the Black Knight and beats Hercules to within an inch of his life. With the chips down, the Wasp must organize a counter-attack of Avengers to fight back. The action is terrific but the drama is at its height, no more so than when innocent butler Jarvis suffers horribly at the hands of the Masters. Zemo is shown as a man obsessed with vengence but smart enough to not let his ego get in the way as he commands the pack of bad guys. Captain America is also shown at his best, refusing to give in but endures a stunning private loss late in the story. And seeing Earth's Mightest brought low makes thier comeback all the better.
This new hardback version loses the fun painted cover of the 1998 paperback. But it does contain an additional issue in which the Avengers aid Namor in a civil war in Atlantis, explaining why the man had to be absent from the battle. The artwork is crisp and clear in that great '80's style and enhances the action sequences. Overall, if you haven't picked it up before, get this now to enjoy one of the truly Mightest moments in the history of Marvel's greatest heroes.