Chapter 7

"Captain America"

Suddenly, sailing straight as a proverbial arrow released by some extremely expert archer, a red and white, mostly, saucer-shaped shield slammed hard into the Fantasti-Car, forced to land via Thor's hammer mere moments before...

"What the hell...!" the Thing thunderously roared again as anger supplanted surprise in the span of a single solitary second.

So, too, did the Invisible Woman, ready to erect an unseen force field about the four, and the Human Torch, still flamed on and hovering very near the group, react with crossness mixed with amazement.

And all eyes turned toward...

"I am called," stated a muscular man in a red, white, and blue identity-hiding habiliment, including half-cowl covering a clearly handsome face, as his shield swooped back like an obedient boomerang, "Captain America. I assume this is not the New York of my time."

But it was Mr. Fantastic that stepped forth, while Giant-Girl, still shrunk back to normal, and Thor, holding his mystical Mjolnir menacingly, a little at least!, while the rest of the Fantastic Four remained to the rear of said scene...

"You are quite correct, uh, Captain America," Mr. Fantastic said with a smile as the man in red, white, and blue literally stood in a stance of potential contention. "Allow me to explicate..."

Amidst grumbling, as usual, from the Thing, swift shushing from the Invisible Woman, and fireball formation, just to be safe!, by the hovering Human Torch...

"That would make sense," Captain America mused as his stance slackened a little. "The last I recall was being back in New York City after fighting the Nazis in 1941 Europe. So it seems...I'm not only out my time...I'm out of my Reality. Interesting."

Mr. Fantastic was truly stirred via the serene sense of acceptance on the part of Captain America, a product of the Forties suddenly extant in a place some sixty-plus years after all that had happened to produce a powerful, but not super-powerful, personage. Reed Richards would look up the data on this individual later and learn a lot more about a formerly 4-F army reject physically resurrected as a true super-solder.

Not one with super-strength, such as the Thing, Thor, Giant-Girl, when using her super-suit to resize herself into a four-story superhero, Iron Man, the Hulk, and Spider-Man, surreptitiously watched by the Fantastic Four before arriving at this particular point of the City That Never Sleeps.

No, the "super" part of that previous statement, Mr. Fantastic would invariably learn, was in Captain America's supreme stamina and incredible reflexes. But it was still quite clear that this was, by any stretch of the usage of such a word, a superhero.

"In my time," commented Captain America in a manner that automatically caused those standing before and about him to pay special heed to him in much the same manner as Americans, and many more the world over, did in direct relation to the American flag. "Or, more accurately, my Reality...I was part of an entire team of crack counter-Nazi soldiers co-led by Sgt. Nick Fury."

"So?" the Thing thunderously roared with a proverbial chip the size of the Chrysler Building on his massive stone shoulders. "You sayin' ya wanna replace Reed as the head honcho or somethin'? 'Cause that ain't gonna happen, blue-boy!"

The slamming of one massive fist of rock straight and strong into the open palm of the other, creating a crack a lot like the lightning via Thor very recently, told Captain America that this was as true a hero as said Sgt. Fury from a Reality folded into the one formerly just for the Fantastic Four...

"Don't worry, uh, Thing," said a smiling Captain America, even though the use of such instead of a normal name like Ben Grimm rankled his well-mannered nature. "The group I was considering bringing together in this crossed-over universe was Giant-Girl, Thor, as well as those whose acquaintance I had made immediately prior to looking into the lightning brought forth by, I now know, Thor's hammer..."

As if on prearranged cue came a certain web-slinging/swinging superhero in blue-red, a boot jet-flying man in metal, an acrobatically agile African prince in black, and a green gargantuan nearly four times more massive than the Thing and whose super-strength surpassed even that of the Thunder God's...

"Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, and the Hulk have already agreed," continued Captain America, "and should Giant-Girl and Thor also agree, we will create a second superhero group here in greater New York to work hand-in-glove with the Fantastic Four."

"I see," said Mr. Fantastic while musingly stroking his chin in such a fashion so as to stretch it unnaturally long, only to allow it to promptly return to normal once more. "Considering the expected increase in super-villains, since other Realities now have invariably blended with our own, that would probably be an excellent plan. Have any potential team names in mind, Captain?"

With less consideration than those standing, or in Spider-Man's case, hanging!, around a crowding with curious citizenry street scene, Captain America announced...

"The Avengers!"

And so, because of the incredible cosmic energies expended by both the Silver Surfer and the Stranger so recently in Manhattan proper, a great and grand, historically speaking, new super-group came to be.

One with whom, from time to time, the Fantastic Four could come together in order to do combat with the new and no doubt deadly Earthly super-villains brought into being from those self-same Realities whose walls, proverbially speaking, had been obliterated.

From this moment on, Dr. Doom would be the least of Mr. Fantastic's overcareful considerations. And as far as the Thing and the Human Torch were concerned...boredom no longer played into their daily plans.

Nor anyone else's.