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 Avengers getting caught in a war between the Kree and the Shi'ar.
Rick Jones had a weird dream, with Captain America on Hala (the Kree homeworld), right after its destruction. He arranges a meeting with him, to tell him about that dream, and how he intends to have no further role in any cosmic conflict. Fat chance. During the 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. Meanwhile 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:
- Accidental Murder: Living Lightning tries to use his powers to stun Araki. It kills him instead, but fortunately it turns out Araki's a Skrull anyhow, saving Lightning from the mother of all intergalactic incidents.
- All According to Plan: Everything goes as the Supreme Intelligence had planned. Even getting executed is not an entirely unexpected part of its plan, and it escapes, albeit in greatly reduced circumstances, to plot another day.
- Big "WHAT?!": Screamed by Wonder Man when the Vision reports that the Kree have captured the Nega-Bomb. The Vision simply repeats what he said, believing that Wonder Man didn't hear him.
- Brain in a Jar: The last line of the Supreme Intelligence's defenses.
- 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.
- Conflict Ball:
- Between Vis (who's for setting the Nega Bomb off) and Wonder Man, who is naturally appalled.
- Quasar and Binary get into a tussle.
- 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 doesn't doubt... and indirectly allowed the genocide of the Kree.
- Damsel out of Distress: The Kree send several villains to kill Lilandra. Ultimus gets to her, and Eros tried to protect her. He was utterly defeated by the Kree, but fortunately Lilandra takes advantage of the distraction 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.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even Deathbird is disgusted by the Supreme Intelligence's orchestrated genocide of his own people.
- Evil Chancellor: Araki, Lilandra's usually loyal(ish) chancellor, acts very suspicious at several points, even nearly drawing a dagger on Lilandra before someone else bursts in. It's actually a Skrull replacing Araki.
- Evil Counterpart: Starforce effectively serves as the Kree counterpart to the Avengers.
- Forceful Kiss: Deathbird comes across an unconcious Cap after the nega-bomb goes off, and finds he's pretty good looking. She decides to take a free kiss, at which point Steve comes too.
- Get Out!: Cap, in disguise as an Accuser, does this in a Kree washroom. He doesn't speak Kree, but an Accuser bursting into a room and yelling something is universal enough to get the point across anyhow.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Hulk is mentioned several times by Rick Jones, but doesn't appear.
- Indy Ploy: How Team Iron survives the Nega-Bomb. At the last moment, Sersei uses her powers to make them all Only Mostly Dead, left floating around in space. She admits if there hadn't been another Eternal nearby, they'd have floated there forever.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: For once, Earth is not the center of the alien shennanigans of the week. Heck, barring the opening issues, neither side gives a damn about the planet... which is part of the problem. The warp gating around Earth's sun would roast it, and neither side cares a jot.
- Jerkass Ball: Iron Man's on a serious bender with one in this crossover, repeatedly snapping at other Avengers, leaving Cap behind, zapping Hawkeye for objecting and then pulling rank over everyone else to kill the Supreme Intelligence. Some of it, like his snapping at Sersei, is justified by his fear over her futzing with his armor and potentially killing him. The rest...? Not so much. Not for nothing a few years later The Crossing and then slightly later Avengers: Forever would claim Tony was actually being brainwashed during all this.
- The Juggernaut: Ronan the Accuser. Iron Man's fight with him is pretty much hopeless. None of Tony's tech so much as musses up Ronan's shirt.
- Jurisdiction Friction: The Avengers Kree team gets captured by Kree forces and taken to Hala. On arrival, Ronan the Accuser tries to take them captive, and he and Shatterax get into a dispute over whose collar it is, allowing Sersei to pull a fast one on them, letting the Avengers get away.
- 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 Kree team gets split up further when Iron Man takes off in a huff.
- 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 ... and they survive because they were put in a stasis spell. Even the Vision and Wonder Man, who were at the Ground Zero of the explosion, survive with just minor and inconsequential injuries. (Vision explains that this because they were at the exact center of the explosion, much like how the buildings the first A-Bombs were dropped on at Hiroshima stayed standing. Just go with it.)
- "Not So Different" Remark: 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 revels in it. Deathbird gloats that, in the end, her sister is no different from her. Moments later, surrounded by Kree corpses, Deathbird realizes with fear that it is she who isn't so different from her sister, and begins to fear for her damned soul.
- Pass the Popcorn: The other Accusers see Ronan and Iron Man fighting, but simply watch and bet on the results. This allows the other Avengers to get free and bust them up.
- 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.
- Promotion, Not Punishment: Lilandra makes Deathbird ruler of the conquered Kree, since she needs someone to do it, and it allows her to know where her sister is, not constantly looking out for the next knife in the back.
- 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. Heck, they're barely mentioned. 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 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. This is later Hand Waved as being due to a Cosmic Retcon that occurred in a Captain Marvel book.
- Unwitting Pawn: Pretty much everyone. But Deathbird especially, her bloodthirsty nature drives her to go to Hala and kill the current rulers, allowing the Supreme Intelligence to retake control... just as it had planned.
- 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).
- On the subject of killing the Supreme Intelligence, the side for killing him argue that they're not certain if it even counts as alive or not, and is therefore fair game in their eyes.
- 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 from Tony's duplicity during Armor Wars.
- Worthy Opponent: The Supreme Intelligence's view of Captain America. It shows its respect by deciding to add his conciousness to its own, which kind of requires Steve to be dead.
- 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 went along with the plan that exterminated the Kree.