Appearing in "Asylum"
- Professor Imam
- Reed Richards
- Sue Richards
- Edwin Jarvis
- Black Knight
- Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)
- Michael Carlin
- Michael Higgins
- Goliath (Clint Barton) (Only in flashback)
- Master Menace (Only in flashback)
- Vision (Only in flashback)
- Quicksilver (Only in flashback)
- Scarlet Witch (Only in flashback)
- Iron Man (Only in flashback)
- Hellcat (Only in flashback)
- Golden Archer (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Spectrum (Only in flashback)
- Whizzer (Only in flashback)
- Hyperion (Only in flashback)
- Lady Lark (Only in flashback)
- Professor Imam's Temple of Contemplation
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Behaviour Modification Device
- Captain America's Hotline
- Professor Imam's Eternal Triangle
Synopsis for "Asylum"
On Earth-712, Nighthawk enters Professor Imam's Temple of Contemplation. Imam tells Nighthawk he has been expecting him, and knows why he is there—Nighthawk wants help in overthrowing his former teammates the Squadron Supreme, who have taken control of the US government as part of their Utopia Program. Imam tells Nighthawk he hasn't the strength to aid him physically as he needs to save himself to train his successor as Sorceror Supreme in 443 years' time, but says he can help by transporting Nighthawk to a place where the Squadron had found aid before—Earth-616. Imam transports him there, with a warning that he will be returned in 12 hours' time.
Nighthawk materialises in the basement gymnasium of Avengers Mansion while Captain America is in the midst of a training session. Cap intially mistakes Nighthawk's appearance as an attack and fights him, but Nighthawk surrenders and convinces him of his identity. Nighthawk tells Cap about the Squadron Supreme's Utopia Program, and convinces him that the Squadron are on the verge of a dictatorship that will destroy individual freedom.
Cap calls an emergency meeting of the Avengers, as well as their temporary houseguests Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. After Cap relates Nighthawk's story, the Avengers and their friends are mixed in their reactions. Captain Marvel has an uneasy feeling about it, while Black Knight is reminded of the Vision's attempt several months before to take control of the Earth, and Hercules simply relishes the chance of adventure. The Wasp agrees with Captain Marvel that events on another Earth are none of the Avengers' business. Cap agrees, pointing out that the Avengers don't interfere with dictatorships on their own Earth, so why should they interfere on others? Mister Fantastic agrees with Cap, and Wasp rules that the Avengers cannot help Nighthawk. Cap gets permission to break the news to Nighthawk himself.
Nighthawk is disappointed, and enquires about the Defenders, only to be told that they have disbanded. Cap grants Nighthawk use of the Avengers' communications equipment so he can try and contact other teams—the West Coast Avengers, Alpha Flight, and the X-Men, while Caps checks in with his Hotline. Hearing reports of a man on a flying carpet in Queens, Cap goes to investigate, and, reminded of one of his own enemies, Nighthawk tags along.
Arriving on the scene, Cap questions one of his hotline volunteers, Reggie, about the sightings. Nighthawk finds some perfumed animal hair, and realises the case involves two of his own foes—Remnant and Mink. Nighthawk slips away, and Cap decides he cannot spare the time to look for him as he has an appointment at Marvel Comics headquarters about employment as an artist. He is successful, but takes issue with the Captain America comic's portrayal of him.
Nighthawk searches for his foes in Queens, musing on how they could have gotten to this Earth, while Cap returns home. Cap is met by his girlfriend Bernie, who is happy because she has passed her LSATs. Bernie wants to go out and celebrate, but Steve is preoccupied with his dilemma, and is coming round to the idea of helping Nighthawk. He leaves to find Nighthawk, while Bernie is left wondering if it is possible to have a normal relationship with him.
Nighthawk meanwhile spots a nighclub called the Magic Carpet and, knowing Mink's penchant for preying on high society and Remnant's for targets with carpets in their names, realizes it is a natural target for them. Getting past the doorman, Nighthawk spots Remnant and Mink inside with a third nemesis of his—Pinball. The three run outside, and Mink and Remnant try to escape on Remnant's flying carpet, while Pinball stays behind to try and flatten Nighthawk with his inflatable suit. Nighthawk uses Pinball as a springboard and attaches himself to the carpet with his grappling line. As Mink and Remnant try to shake him off, they accidentally fly through the windows of an Industrial Display Company filled with oversized props. Nighthawk pursues them inside and is attacked with Remnant's flares and Mink's "mink stink" gas. Pinball bounces inside and when Nighthawk knocks Remnant off a giant typewriter, Pinball breaks his fall. Mink attacks Nighthawk and he falls too, but the impact is cushioned on the typewriter's keyboard. Captain America arrives and tries to end the hostilities, but Pinball tries to run him down. Cap repels him with his shield, knocking him into Remnant. Then he casually punctures Pinball's suit with a throw. Realizing she's outgunned, Mink surrenders and jumps down into Cap and Nighthawk's arms.
The three villains explain to the heroes that, fearful of the Squadron's Behavior Modification Program for criminals, they approached the criminal mastermind Master Menace for help. He had invented a dimensional travel machine, and the trio volunteered to test it to escape their world. They beg Cap for asylum, but although he's tempted to help, he tells them that as they came from another dimension, they would be seen as non-persons. He tells them the only way to escape the Squadron is to defeat them. Cap offers to help, but Nighthawk tells him he's decided that it was wrong to ask someone from another world to help them. Instead, he offers the three criminals the chance to join forces with him, and they agree, becoming his first recruits to his team the Redeemers. Before Cap can wish them luck, Imam's magic transports them back to their world. Cap hopes that he helped them in some small way.
- This issue is something of an homage to DC Comics' Batman—Nighthawk has long been seen as a pastiche of Batman himself, and the cover of the issue, with Cap and the Batman-like Nighthawk fighting Nighthawk's outlandish foes on an oversized prop recalls classic Detective Comics covers. Nighthawk's foes, with their habit of picking targets based on their codenames, recall Batman's classic villains. Mink in particular—a thrill-seeking jewel thief with an animal-themed identity and a flirtatious relationship with her enemy, bears strong similarities to DC Comics' Catwoman. In the Magic Carpet nightclub, a patron wonders if Nighthawk had a TV show once—a reference to the 1960s Batman TV series.
- This issue contains a letters page, American Grafitti. Letters are published from Dusty Semo, John Lehre, R. Zander, T.B. Gay, and Mark Hatoff.
Links and References
- The Grand Comics Database: Captain America #314