(April 2000) Title: New Order
Story: Kurt Busiek
Art:George Perez/Al Vey/Tom Smith
Summary: The Avengers find themselves in a major crisis in the wake of last issue's media mess with the Triune Understanding. It's not an attack by Lord Templar or Pagan...it's a membership dilemna!! With Capt. America's resignation and the Vision's sudden departure, the team is already looking thinned down. The next to make their exit are Justice & Firestar who need a little downtime to rekindle their romance. In addition, Wonder Man is about to hit the road at the firm urging of the Scarlet Witch.
Avengers liaison, Duane Freeman seems especially pleased, noting that these departures will remove two mutant members and make room for a possible black face on the team which would quell recent protests about the team's roster. This leads to yet another debate about the race issue and a confrontation between Iron Man & Duane. Tensions rise, but the two compromise when Iron Man agrees to contact the team's black and latino members first. Duane promptly moves on to his next order of business: Thor's mandated public apology to the press for attacking a camera crew in anger last issue. Deeply offended, Thor refuses but Duane stands his ground against the Thunder God. Rather than apologize, Thor quits and departs angrily while shouting at the throng of press outside.
As fate (or some more sinister force) would have it, the news of the destruction of the Triunes' new HQ arrives at just this moment. Duane & Cap quickly realize that the entire scenario involved a fake Captain America and Duane nonchalantly calls in Jonathan Tremont, the Triune leader to smooth things over with the press. Just as the Pyms arrive to resume active duty, the band of non-Avengers responsible for the Triune headquarters fiasco: Warbird, Captain Marvel, Silverclaw & Ant-Man show up. The group apologizes profusely and explain the Taskmaster's involvement. While Cap, Wanda & Jan call the minority reserve members, Iron Man & Duane discuss Carol's membership. Much to Iron Man's surprise, Duane is already aware of Carol's situation and has been contacted by the government judge responsible for her "community service." He quickly agrees to admit her to the team which raises even greater suspicions for Shellhead who fears that Carol will be an easy target for the Triunes' smear campaign.
Cap & company are unable to find a available reserve member of minority status to assume active status. The press has also caught wind of Justice & Firestar's departure from the team igniting the anti-mutant protesters into a call for the removal of the Scarlet Witch as well. The stage is set for the arrival of Tremont & his personal super-hero, Triathlon. Tremont makes nice with the press and the Avengers, while Triathlon ably stops a group of anti-mutant terrorists trying to deface the mansion. The momentum of these events leads to the incredibly convenient suggestion from Duane Freeman that Triathlon be asked to join. Iron Man flat out refuses because he distrusts the Triune & Triathlon. Freeman accuses him of prejudice based on spiritual beliefs and threatens to rescind government privileges if he refuses to make Triathlon a member! Iron Man is forced to agree and Triathlon himself joins with a major chip on his shoulder and a determination to prove the Avengers' suspicions about the Triunes wrong.
Tensions are high, so the Wasp makes a wise phone call to a close friend, Jennifer Walters the Spectacular She-Hulk! Jen arrives and the group agrees that at this point, Janet is the ideal choice for chairwoman of the team. The new roster is assembled: Wasp, Goliath (both in new costumes), the Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Warbird, She-Hulk & Triathlon. Carol notes that it's about time the team featured more women than men! The new roster is quickly announced to the press amidst a sober mood and many tensions. They don't even yell "Avengers Assemble!" because the day has been soured by accusations of racism & many lingering suspicions about the motivations of those involved in the day's proceedings. Even Freeman himself questions whether he has done the right thing.
EPILOGUE: As the team returns the the mansion, a distress call is sent from what appears to be Silverclaw's homeland, which is under attack by mysterious warriors mounted on giant hawks!!!
Comments: SHE'S BAAAAAAAAACK!!!! Carol Danvers is back on the active roster! Will her recent alcholism make her a target for the Triune Understanding? Can she handle the pressure of active duty this soon?? Will she continue to take a leadership role like in last issue? Who cares!?!? Our girl is back on the A-Team and looking grrrrreat!