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Quote1.png Solo, Eh? I've heard of you... you're a self-proclaimed anti-terrorist whose origins are somewhat hazy... and whose methods are somewhat questionable! Quote2.png
Captain America

Appearing in "Assault Rivals"

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Synopsis for "Assault Rivals"

In the sewers beneath Paris, France, agents of the terrorist organization known as ULTIMATUM are attempting to blow up the famed Arc Du Triomphe. However, their operation is interrupted when the anti-terrorist mercenary known as Solo teleports in on them. Solo guns down all of the soldiers but one. He demands that the terrorist to give him the location of his commander Toler Weil. With his life on the line, the terrorist buckles and tells Solo that he can find Weil in Symkaria. With the information he needs, Solo tosses a grenade at the terrorist. Announcing that while he lives, terror dies, Solo teleports away as the grenade explodes.

Meanwhile, in Symkaria, the country is reeling after the assassination Vivian, the woman who was to marry King Stefan. With the CIA potentially implicated in the attack on the royal palace by ULTIMATUM, the ambassador of the United States to Symkaria heads to the palace in a limo to answer to the allegations. As they approach the palace, the vehicle is pelted with tomatoes by the angry citizenry. Inside the palace, the Ambassador Hawthorne is introduced to acting Prime Minister Alphonse Gallatik who then takes Henry to see Silver Sable who is investigating the murders.They are surprised to see Spider-Man with Silver Sable, but things quickly turn to the business at hand. She briefs Hawthorne on Silver Sable International's investigation into American groups like the Life Organization, who are somehow involved in a plot to assassinate the king of Symkaria. After the ULTIMATUM attack the day before, Sable found a panadoxin pill that points to the CIA also possibly being involved. She warns the ambassador that should they find proof of CIA involvement there will be stiff reprisals from her country. The ambassador assures her that American is an ally of Symkaria, however, Sable points out past partnerships between the United States and nations it now considers enemies.[Continuity 1] When Spider-Man suggests they should focus their energies on finding the assassin, the ambassador tells Spider-Man to butt out, due to his vigilante status in the United States.

Angered by this, Spider-Man decides to go outside where he addresses the news crews camped outside of the palace. On live television, Spider-Man tells them that his activities in Symkaria are intended to embarrass the United States and that he is being a model citizen. He also uses the opportunity to send a veiled message to his wife Mary Jane to let her know that he is fine.[Continuity 2] The report is watched by Aunt May, Nathan Lubenski, and Mary Jane. Seeing this report prompts Mary Jane to tell May that Peter called to let them know that he is okay. However, Spider-Man's interview with the media is cut short when the press is made aware that Captain America is being parachuted into the country. Cap is swarmed by the press who ask him if he is here in his capacity as an Avenger or to help the CIA. All the star-spangled Avenger can tell them is that he is here to do the right thing. Also watching this development are the members of ULTIMATUM. Major Weil orders his men to mobilize and prepare for the worst. As they go about their duty, Weil begins planning his own escape strategy.

Soon, Captain America is brought in for a strategy meeting, that Spider-Man is forced to wait outside. The wall-crawler considers heading home, as he is tired of being looked at as nothing more than hired help. However, when the others emerge from their private meeting, Captain America vouches for Spider-Man and his involvement. With files from the CIA, Captain America informs them that ULTIMATUM has set up operations on the Symkaria/Latverian border and that they are planning a strike so they can find the real assassin and absolve the United States of any responsibility. Silver Sable also informs Spider-Man that his contract has been fulfilled and that he can go home if he wants. However, Spider-Man's sense of responsibility prevents him from turning his back on the rest of this mission. The Wild Pack, Cap, and Spider-Man are dropped near the ski lodge where ULTIMATUM is set up. As they prepare to attack, Captain America asks Spider-Man what his motivation is, and is proud to hear that Spider-Man is joining the operation for the sake of his own country. Suddenly, they are ambushed by ULTIMATUM soldiers hiding in the snow. While Spider-Man and the others are busy fighting the guards outside, Major Weil realizes that his operation is a failure and makes preparations to blow up his hideout and escape.

However, before he can do so, Solo teleports into the room. Before the mercenary can kill Weil, he is surrounded by guards. This gives the Major a chance to make a break for his escape vehicle. Solo manages to catch up, but before he can gun down Weil, Spider-Man and his allies come crashing through the wall. Spotting Solo, Captain America hits him with his shield. This allows Major Weil to make hie escape. Solo is furious at their interference, pointing out that Weil is a top ULTIMATUM official. Having heard about Solo's activities, Captain America expresses his dissatisfaction with the mercenary's methods. Learning about the communications room, Spider-Man doubles back and webs up an ULTIMATUM operation and demand that he give them the access codes. He refuses, but Silver Sable manages to get the information out of him. As the ULTIMATUM agents are being arrested, Solo teleports away leaving Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and Captain America go over the records they pulled from the computer. They are surprised to learn that the assassin that was hired was the mutant killer known as Sabretooth.[Continuity 3] They all agree that in order to clear the United States of any wrong doing they must find Sabretooth alive and force him to testify. That's when one of the Wild Pack informs Silver Sable that the American ambassador has been recalled due to death threats, and there is some real fear that this may be a precursor to war.


Continuity Notes

  1. Silver Sable points out how the United States once sold missiles to Iran, an enemy of the United States. This is a reference to the Iran-Contra Affair of the late 80s. This was in contravention of weapons embargos against Iran. However, at the time President Regan sold the missiles to avoid Iran being influenced by Russia. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  2. Peter and Mary Jane are identified as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.
  3. They are surprised that Sabretooth was the assassin as they believe that he was dead. Sabretooth was believed to have died in New Mutants #75 following his battle with the X-Men and X-Factor in Uncanny X-Men #243 and X-Factor #39. However, at the time, Moonstar noted that while Sabretooth seemingly died, Death had not come for his soul. In fact, Sabretooth returned alive and well in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #10 between that story and this one.

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