Appearing in "Connecting Flight"
- Inspector General Berenski
Synopsis for "Connecting Flight"
Fleeing the Russians after stealing samples of Project Red Storm, Logan and Ben Grimm have an instant escape route from the prisoner train they are trapped on when their ally Carol Danvers buzzes over them in a stolen Russian observation plane. With moments to spare, the two manage to jump and grab the landing skis of the plane. They are out of range before Russian soldiers can recover and shoot them down. While flying in the air, they are suddenly intercepted by the spy plane that brought them into Russia, and was subsequently captured by the KGB and Spetsnaz.
Back at the Russian air field where they were originally captured, both KGB agent Natalia Shostakova and GRU Colonel Malenky are arguing over how best to contain the current situation. While Malenky is more concerned with getting promoted, Shostakova is more interested in completing her mission and takes to the air in her fighter plane.
Back in the air, Logan is dropped on top of the spy plane, and he uses the lock box containing Red Storm samples to breach the cockpit of the plane, knocking out one of the soldiers inside. When Logan tries to nab the pilot, he bails out. Outside, Ben tells Carol to get close enough to the spy plane so he can jump aboard and take control. As he climbs up onto the wing of the observation plane, they are suddenly attacked by Natalia and her squadron. As Logan secures the spy plane, Carol does some fancy flying to evade the Russian fighter planes. After some fancy aerial manoeuvres, Ben is finally deposited onto the spy plane.
As the Russians center on Carol's plane, she rams one of the Russian fighters, destroying it, but her plane catches fire. Quickly taking control of the spy plane, Ben pilots it close enough for Logan to pull her aboard just moments before her own plane explodes. Witnessing the whole ordeal, Natalia is impressed by the spies bravado.
Back on the ground, Russian officials who arrived at the scene are unimpressed with Malenky's failure and order him arrested. They learn that Natalia is off on a mission. Not knowing that she is pursuing the American plane, she is ordered to return. She does so gladly, believing that the Americans have proven their bravery enough to be let go. She turns back without telling her superiors who she was after.
Relieved to be able to make it home in one piece, the three spies are headed back to the United States. Along the way, they all wonder what their true mission was all about. When Logan tells them that it's not done and there is a second phase to their mission, this upsets Ben enough that the two begin brawling once again.
- Logan, The Black Widow, Carol Danvers and Ben Grimm collide in the crazy conclusion!
- There are a number of facts stated here that should be considered topical references as they would prematurely age the characters due to the Sliding Timescale. While characters such as Logan, Nick Fury, and the Black Widow age slowly, Ben Grimm, Tony Stark, and Carol Danvers do not. As such, any story about these characters prior to the Modern Age must therefore push forward along with the Modern Age per the Sliding Timescale. These facts are:
- The "experimental plane" that Ben Grimm is flying is identified as a Northrop YB-49. That plane was designed after the end of World War II. It did not make it past the test flight stage in 1947.
- Likewise should references to Natasha being a member of the KGB. Firstly, if Ben were flying the YB-49 the KGB did not exist at the time as they were not formed until 1954. More over this would have to be considered a topical reference as the KGB disbanded in 1991. As of 2016 the Modern Age of Heroes does not begin until the early 2000s (and continues moving forward), as such Ben's time as a test pilot would have occurred AFTER the dissolution of the KGB.
- Likewise are references to the Cold War and Russia being referred to as the Soviet Union as the Cold War and the Union both crumbled in 1991 as well.
- The Black Widow is referred to as Natalia Shostakova because, at the time of this story, she was still married to Alexi Shostakov, who was revealed to be her husband in Avengers #43. Per Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4, this was all part of Natasha's conditioning to be an agent of the Russian government.
- Logan and the Black Widow do not recognise each other here, despite meeting as early as 1920s. As shown in Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1–4, Natasha herself has had numerous mind wipes and implanted memories due to her training as an operative of the Red Room. Likewise, Logan was subject to a series of similar treatments from his experiences in the Weapon X Project as first depicted in Marvel Comics Presents #72–84.
- The second phase of Logan, Ben and Carol's mission as well as the true nature of Project Red Storm have not been revealed.