Operation: Galactic Storm is a 1992 Bat Family Crossover of The Avengers. The main idea was drafted by Mark Gruenwald, Bob Harras and Fabian Nicieza, and it took place in the pages of Avengers, Avengers West Coast, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wonder Man and Quasar. It is about the Forever War between two alien races, the Kree and the Shi'ar.
Rick Jones had a weird dream, with Captain America in Hala (the Kree homeworld), right after its destruction. He arranges a meeting with him, to tell him about that dream, and intended to have no further role in any cosmic conflict. Fat chance. During that conversation, an alien tries to abduct Jones, but it's not a Kree, but a Shi'ar. He's part of the Imperial Guard, a group of Shi'ar superheroes, and there's also Starforce, a group of Kree superheroes. Both of them try to secure Kree artifacts left on Earth, and the Avengers try to contain the situation. And Quasar has bad news: the Kree and the Shi'Ar are using a worm hole located very near our sun, which is disrupting its natural activity.
The Avengers divide into three teams: one will stay on Earth, the second will visit the Kree, and the third will visit the Shi'ar. They are all incapable of convincing the alien empires to quit using the portal or stopping the war, and Lilandra even sends the Nega-Bomb (a weapon of mass destruction of intergalactic scale) to the Kree galaxy. She's eventually convinced to retrieve it and begin peace negotiations, but it's too late: the bomb had been stolen by Skrulls (who have an even greater feud with the Kree), who then set it off.
For a number of reasons all the Avengers survive the explosion, which destroys 90% of the Kree empire. But the actual architect of the Kree genocide isn't the Shi'ar or the Skrulls: it's the Supreme Intelligence, the leader of the Kree. The Kree were in an evolutionary dead end, and he did this so that the Kree emerging from the disaster will be stronger.
What to do about it? The Avengers are divided. Captain America, Crystal, Starfox, Clint Barton, Living Lightning, Captain Marvel II (Monica Rambeau), the Scarlet Witch and Quasar think that Thou Shalt Not Kill. Iron Man, Black Knight, Sersi, Hercules, Vision, Wonder Man and Thor (Eric Masterson) think that they must Pay Evil unto Evil, and so they execute the Supreme Intelligence.
Operation: Galactic Storm contains examples of:
- All for Nothing: As the Inhumans takeover of the Kree shows, the Kree remain a stagnant non-evolving race.
- Big "WHAT?!": Screamed by Wonder Man when the Vision reports that the Kree have captured the Nega-Bomb. The Vision (who was an annoying Straw Vulcan back then) simply repeated what he said, understanding that Wonder Man didn't hear him.
- The Chessmaster: The Supreme Intelligence, who manipulates the Kree, the Shi'ar, the Avengers and the Skrulls to take things to precisely the ending that took place.
- Conflicting Loyalty: For Binary (formerly Ms. Marvel). Cross the portal and retrieve the Nega-Bomb, and prevent the annihilation of the Kree, or fix the things going wrong with the sun because of the portals and prevent the annihilation of the human race? As a human herself, Carol Danvers did not doubt... and indirectly allowed the genocide of the Kree.
- Damsel out of Distress: The Kree send several villains to kill Lilandra. Ultimus got to her, and Eros tried to protect her. He was utterly defeated by the Kree, but fortunately Lilandra took advantage of the extra moments to retrieve a weapon and defeat Ultimus by herself.
- Debate and Switch: Vision and Wonder Man are trapped in the Nega Bomb. Wonder Man wants to sabotage it, to prevent a cosmic genocide. The Vision wants to let it explode, for the greater security of Earth. But eventually, it's the Skrulls who locate, capture and fire the bomb.
- Defector from Decadence: The Supreme Intelligence wants to give a great honor to Captain America: kill him and incorporate his mind into his own massive collective mind. But Cap's constant will to live and stay a unique being makes the Supreme Intelligence change its mind and reject him.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Rick Jones's dream about the destruction of Hala, which begins everything, turns out to be true.
- Due to the Dead: Averted. When Captain Atlas profanes the tomb of the late Captain Mar-Vell, he points out that Mar-Vell is considered a traitor by the Kree empire. So... if he was a traitor, he doesn't deserve to be left undisturbed even being dead.
- Evil Counterpart: Starforce effectively serves as the Kree counterpart to the Avengers.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Hulk is mentioned several times by Rick Jones, but did not appear in a single scene.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The Avengers divide into three teams: one heads for the Kree, another for the Shi'ar, and another stays on Earth.
- The McCoy: Wonder Man, during his discussion with The Vision and explaining that the security of Earth is not worth an interstellar genocide. Damn it, Vision, he's a superhero, not a synthezoid!
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The Mighty Thor #446
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Captain Atlas, a Kree, lives with this philosophy. But when he realizes that the destruction of the Kree empire has been caused by the same entity he's always been loyal to, he considers himself partially guilty of the genocide, and commits suicide.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: According to Avengers Forever, the guardian of time Immortus wanted to make the Avengers return to Earth right away, and prevent any potential break of the Alien Non-Interference Clause. To this end, he subtly gave a feeling of interstellar xenophobia to Iron Man, reasoning that it would make him desire to return to his planet. It backfired. Before Immortus could do anything about it, this xenophobia was channeled the wrong way: it turned into hatred for the Supreme Intelligence, boosting the Avengers to execute the thing... the precise type of thing that Immortus wanted to prevent.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Subverted. The Avengers have to leave Hala and leave Captain America behind: if they stay to locate him, they'd have no chance to stop the Nega-Bomb.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: One of the worst offenders ever. A mass-destruction weapon of intergalactic scale, capable of destroying planets as easily as an atomic bomb destroys cities, and most Avengers are caught in the explosion area... and they survive. Even the Vision and Wonder Man, who were at the Ground Zero of the explosion, survive with just minor and inconsequential injuries.
- Not So Different: When the cruel Deathbird sees that her machinations have bore fruit, leading to her compassionate sister Lilandra sending the Nega-Bomb against the Kree (Deathbird didn't know yet about the Skrulls, or how the Supreme Intelligence manipulated her), she reveled in this. Deathbird gloats that, in the end, her sister is Not So Different from her. Moments later, surrounded by Kree corpses, Deathbird realizes with fear that it is she who is Not So Different from her sister, and begins to fear for her damned soul.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has an episode named "Operation Galactic Storm". It takes some general ideas from the crossover: the wormholes next to the sun, the destruction of the Supreme Intelligence, the evolutionary dead end of the Kree... but the Nega-Bomb and the holocaust of the Kree empire are completely skipped. Remember that it is a kids' show; they managed to pull many things anyway, but this would have been too much.
- Retcon: Avengers Forever, in attempting to undo the damage done to Iron Man in The Crossing stated Immortus had only manipulated Tony since the events of this story, in an attempt to keep the Avengers from interfering in intergalactic affairs. As noted in "Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!", in this story, it backfired.
- Series Continuity Error: At the conclusion of Part 14 in The Mighty Thor #446, Lilandra attempts to call off the Nega-Bomb after the Avengers team in the Shi'ar Empire saves her life, convincing her that the war with the Kree has already claimed too many lives. When we next see what everyone in the Shi'ar is doing in Part 16 in Avengers West Coast #82, Lilandra has almost immediately adopted a bloodthirsty attitude, swears to use the bomb to kill all of the Kree with it and even threatens to have the Avengers executed for questioning her, leading the team to try and talk her out of things all over again with no mention of what happened to her first change of heart.
- Shout-Out: The crossover begins with Shi'ar agents attacking Rick Jones in Benson, Arizona.
- Slow "NO!": When the Avengers see the bomb exploding.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Despite their own long-standing relationship with the Shi'ar (and Lilandra in particular), the X-Men are never brought into the story. The X-Men editors wouldn't let the Avengers writers use them.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: And can induce weird dreams even across the galaxies...
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Invoked by Captain America and his supporters. Defied by the others.
- Throw-Away Country: Much like the later Annihilation event, this causes a massive genocide of potentially trillions of people with the Kree race all but destroyed. Later, the Kree show up seemingly unaffected by events and continue to be treated as a galactic superpower.
- You Are Too Late: Lilandra seeks to prevent the detonation of the Nega-Bomb, but when she arrives in Kree space, it has already exploded.
- You Monster!: Captain Atlas had no idea of the Supreme Intelligence's ultimate plan, but Dr. Minerva already knew it from the start. Atlas is horrified that she willingly got along with the plan that exterminated the Kree.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Before the explosion, Vision and Wonder Man are trapped inside the bomb, and would've been able to defuse it if they wanted. Key word: if. The Vision argues that the most logical thing to do was to allow the explosion, as that would end the war and the Kree threat to mankind. Wonder Man isn't willing to take part in a genocide, and ultimately convinced him (yes, the bomb finally exploded, but that was when the Skrulls showed up). It can be argued that the Vision made up for his previous declined support of genocide by siding with the heroes who wanted to execute the Supreme Intelligence for his action.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Naturally, given the divide on what to do with the Supreme Intelligence, Iron Man and his group got the riot act for killing him and it put further strain on his relationship with Cap, which still hadn't quite recovered about Tony's duplicity during Armor Wars.