Appearing in "What Lurks Below?"
- Melter (Death)
- Keegan, Melter's assistant (Corpse)
- Scourge (in the guise of Keegan)
- Marvel Girl
- Derek Freeman (First appearance)
- Nelson, Carter and other FBI agents
- Policemen (including Ted)
- Him (Only in flashback)
- Her (Only in flashback)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, New York City, New York
- Jamaica Bay
- Avengers Mansion, Manhattan
Synopsis for "What Lurks Below?"
Morlak, Shinski and Zota of the Enclave are attempting to leave New York City aboard a private plane at JFK Airport hoping to keep a low profile and not be arrested. However, this proves to be a faint hope as the NYPD has tracked them down and are racing toward the runway. The Enclave scientists attempt to make a daring getaway, however, end up crashing their plane into Jamaica Bay while avoiding an oncoming 747 airliner. Before the police can go into the water and capture the wanted scientists the water is rocked by a powerful energy pulse.
Meanwhile, at Avengers Mansion, Captain America, Wasp and Black Knight are present as Cap attempts to explain to their government liaison Raymond Sikorsky that they are accepting the Sub-Mariner as a member of the team. As the Wasp and Cap convince Sikorsky that Namor is a worthy member of the team and gets an update on restoring their security clearance, the Black Knight cannot help but marvel at the Wasp in action and wonders if she would be interested in dating him.
Elsewhere in the mansion, Hercules, and Captain Marvel show the Sub-Mariner to his quarters. When Namor takes a detour into Hercules's room, the prince of Atlantis marvels at the layout and tries to talk the Greek god into giving up his room. Weary at breaking up yet another fight in the mansion, Captain Marvel decides to leave the men to sort it out on their own. Spending her time thinking about her position with the Avengers and the Sub-Mariners recent admission into the group, Captain Marvel comes to terms with the fact that she just doesn't trust Namor. Before she can ponder this further, she notices the energy pulse from Jamaica Bay and decides to go and investigate. Arriving on the scene she meets with FBI Agent Derek Freeman who fills her in on the situation. He goes on to explain that while they recovered the Enclave members whatever they were carrying was lost in the water and that he had sent down a team of divers to recover it. When they are suddenly forced back up to the surface, Monica decides to investigate herself. Changing into her energy form she goes down deep into the water and finds some strange cocoon on the floor of the bay, however when she attempts to approach it a telepathic voice tells her to keep away and forces her to revert back to her human form. Needing air, Monica is forced to return to the surface and almost drowns in the process.
Meanwhile, at the secret hideout of the Melter, the longtime Avengers foe is monitoring the Avengers as one of their Quinjets leaves the mansion. Intending to use his new melting device to destroy the Avengers headquarters he begins preparing with his minion Keegan. When he opens his locker and finds the real Keegan tied up inside, the Melter only has time enough to turn and take a shot through the stomach, killing him instantly making him yet another victim of the vigilante known as Scourge.
Captain America, Black Knight, Wasp, Hercules, and Sub-Mariner arrive at the scene at Jamaica Bay and Captain Marvel provides them with a sketch of what she saw under the water. What she draws reminds Captain America of the cocoons that Adam Warlock and his mate Her would use to protect themselves, leaving them to realize that the Enclave may have created another artificial being. Seeing this as a threat, Namor brashly dives into the water only to find himself forced back like everyone else who has attempted to get close to the cocoon. Namor is reamed out by the Wasp for his lack of teamwork.
While Captain Marvel is sent to question Professor Shinski, the other Avengers attempt to approach the cocoon as a team. While they attempt to fight the force inside the cocoon trying to keep them away, Monica learns that whatever is down at the bottom of Jamaica Bay is not something created by the Enclave.
While back below the bay, the Avengers soon notice what they thought was a cocoon was really just silt and dirt from the water below. When Hercules attempts to push through again, the Wasp realizes that the thing inside the "cocoon" is afraid and tells him to stand down. She attempts to communicate with it and tells them that they are trying to help. With this realization, the being inside the cocoon relents and when all the silt washes away, they find that it is a metal cylinder of some kind.
Taking the cylinder back to Avengers Mansion, they attempt to learn what it is, however, all they can figure is that it is some kind of stasis device and that there is something alive inside. Checking with NASA and various intelligence agencies turn up no further answers and the Avengers are ultimately called back to Jamaica Bay to assist with the clean-up operation and have to leave the mystery for later.
After the Avengers leave, the cylinder briefly becomes transparent, revealing the body of Jean Grey inside. She sends out a telepathic call out to Scott Summers before lapsing into unconsciousness again.
This story is continued in Fantastic Four #286....
- The story is continued in Fantastic Four #286 and X-Factor #1.
- The Avengers battled the Enclave in Avengers Annual #12.
- Adam Warlock was created in Fantastic Four #66-67 and Her in Marvel Two-In-One #61.
- Captain America is on the right track when he refers to the space shuttle crash, which took place in X-Men #101.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
- At this time, Scourge appeared in several Marvel books killing off villains.
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