Appearing in "Road to Redemption"
- Hawkeye (Clinton Barton)
- Domino (Dominic Dunsinane)
- The Masked Matador (Manuel Eloganto)
- Ned Nordstrom
- Wonder Man (Simon Williams)
- Power Broker (Only in flashback)
- Valerie Cooper (Only in flashback)
- Right-Winger (Jerome Johnson) (Only in flashback)
- Left-Winger (Hector Lennox) (Only in flashback)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Only in flashback)
- Avengers Compound Support Staff
- Hector Sandrose (First appearance)
- Mysteria Winters (Mentioned)
- U.S. Agent's skycycle
Synopsis for "Road to Redemption"
U.S. Agent is angsty about his position with the West Coast Avengers, and saves one of the Scourges of the Underworld.
In a seedy apartment building somewhere in Los Angeles, the Scourge of the Underworld pays a visit to Manuel Eloganto, intending to kill him, but finds that he has reformed and is babysitting his sister's children. Eloganto says that he has paid his debt to society, and stayed clean for years; he will never again dishonor his family as he did in his youth. The Scourge retorts that once a criminal, always a criminal, and is about to shoot him, but at the last moment he cries out and runs out of the room, running into Eloganto's sister on the way downstairs. He jumps into a gray van and starts to drive away, but someone named Domino asks him via the car radio what his mission status is. He destroys the radio.
Somewhere over the pacific coast highway outside Los Angeles, U.S. Agent is cruising on his skycycle. Clinton Barton, over the radio, tells him to remember the end of the summer bash to be held at the Avengers compound that night; Agent replies that he is busy, and comes upon an old man changing his tire. He helps him out, and the man hands him a church program; he is a minister, and his name is Ned Nordstrom. He offers to help U.S. Agent with whatever is troubling him.
Later, U.S. Agent pulls up to the Avengers Compound, wondering about the old man, and how he knew that something was troubling him. He hears the racket from the party and has to walk by it in order to get to his bungalow. A few of the other Avengers try to convince him to join the party, but he refuses. He goes to his room, and mopes around, thinking that he doesn't fit in with these "California clowns." Barton has left a life-size blow-up doll on his bed, which makes him even more upset. He reflects that all of the other Avengers are just "a bunch of goofballs, misfits, and slackers" and that "It's amazing that they manage to do what little good they do." He is tempted to leave, but without him, "this outfit would go to the dogs." He remembers his old dreams of power, which led him to sign up for the Power Broker's grueling strength-augmentation treatment, his dreams of glory which led him to take on the guise of Super-Patriot and challenge Captain America, and his dreams of honor which caused him to accept government agent Val Cooper's offer to replace Captain America. However, as Captain America he was forced to fight his old friends Jerome Johnson and Hector Lennox, who are calling themselves Right- and Left-Winger. His parents were kidnapped and killed by a group of militants called the Watchdogs. After that, the government decided to fake his death so he could go undercover. They fashioned new identities for him while he "laid low" and "trained like crazy." Then, he was assigned to join the West Coast Avengers and keep an eye on them. In his opinion, they don't take their jobs seriously enough -- the work superheroes do is what gives structure and meaning to their lives. He heads down to the communications center, unable to sleep due to the salsa music from the party, and greets Sandrose. There's nothing much going on, so he sits down to wait. Its not long before a woman calls in, saying she is in a bar and is being stalked by the Scourge. Agent heads out to rescue her, thinking about the various Scourges on the way -- he himself has encountered three, and Captain America had a run-in with a fourth. He gets to the bar, and after a run-in with a bouncer he finds the caller and gives her the code phrase: "Sheboygan makes good sausages." She says that her name is Lisa Winters, and the Scourge is after her. He shot out her tires a few blocks from here, but won't attack her while she is in the bar, for fear of harming the lives of innocents. She claims that he is after her because he has mistaken her for twin sister, Mysteria, a petty thief based in Las Vegas.
He gets her out the bar and has a fight with the Scourge, before finally bringing in the Quinjet to fly them to safety. The woman reveals that she is not actually Mysteria's sister, but is in fact Vagabond, a Scourge who chickened out on her first assignment. That's why the scourges are after her.
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