Madame Masque recently returned in the pages of Iron Man’s solo book. Her daddy is Count Nefaria, an extremely powerful Avengers foe. And apparently there are some protocols about him.
We start with Vision coming back to the team, after leaving when he couldn’t swap spit with Wanda any more (because she’s shtupping Wonder Man now). Vision’s brother, Grim Reaper, is back and doing business with the Maggia. That’s where Masque comes in: She’s now a leader of the crime gang. And she has an army of Dreadnoughts.
There’s a big, fun fight. Reaper’s henchman fail him.
After Madame Masque’s head explodes, Reaper gets away.
“That–doesn’t usually happen.” Great line.
Well, clearly that wasn’t the real Masque, so the team is going to have to investigate.
Masque, it turns out, is in hiding from her father, who is back from the dead and looking to kill her.
She has a ton of bio-duplicates in jars.
Turning to the Thunderbolts, Wonder Man is in energy form and attacks Atlas, who is trying to pick up Man-Killer in a bar.
Right now, the T-Bolts are split all over the place in various Thunderbolts plotlines–and there’s a bunch of stuff with Dallas Riordan, who is still being held by Crimson Cowl and fighting the V-Batallion.
The team shows up to help.
Why is this relevant? Well, Wonder Man knows Atlas is powered by ionic energy and he wants it. He’s also under Count Nefaria’s control. And now Atlas is, too.
The teams come together. Grim Reaper gets caught.
Black Widow is in the mix, too. So are the Fantastic Four, but only because Moonstone is trying to get help understanding her new powers. That plotline has nothing to do with the Nefaria Protocols.
In that story, we’re finally up to the big battle.
This story is getting huge. But fun.
Turns out, Nefaria is building an ionic bomb. Masque also wants to stop him, since the bomb will explode and turn the entire world into ionic slaves to Nefaria.
Nefaria appears to die in the end–he gets an overdose of ionic energy and explodes.
Meanwhile, we ALSO learn that the new Scourge works for the government’s Commission on Superhuman Activities.
Along the way, Carol Danvers asks Vision out.
And at the end, sadly, George Perez says goodbye…
The good news, though, is that after a couple fill-ins we get Alan Davis to replace George on regular art chores. Can’t really complain about that.