It is a few days before the Fourth of July, and things in Indianapolis are running smoothly (as smoothly as they can be Post-Vanishing, any case). Which is something that the Indianapolis Champions take in stride, even if they are a bit bored.
Unfortunately, two things happen:
The first is that Mari Illustrious Makinami, "Captain America", has just curb-stomped part of the Illinois Division and things appear to be heating up over on Chicago.
The second (and most important) is a pair of killings which have taken place right on their backyard. Killings that appear to have been done by the very same star-spangled young woman who is creating discontent over on Chicago...
This story has the following Tropes:
- Asshole Victim: Every single "main" target of Taskmaster!Mari is a criminal, and a pretty hard-core one at that. The problem then becomes that the methods she is using and the collateral damage she incurs (innocent human lives) are aimed explicitly at making Cap Mari look bad.
- Brick Joke: When Uncle Steve briefs Mari on how she's suspected of murder, she mentions that the Extraordinary Avengers team could vouch for her, and asks how she could possibly get from Chicago to Indianapolis fast enough to commit the killings. Uncle Steve explains that there are Ferengi merchants in Chicago, marketing transporter technology that she could have used, and reminds Mari that, with all of her Supernatural Martial Arts knowledge, she could have easily created a Shadow Clone to stand in for her. This is what gives Cap Mari the idea to actually do just that on the last two chapters....
- Also one which is spectacularly laced with Irony: the reason why Cap Mari is acting up against the Champions on Rise is because the three chosen members of The Champions which are to provide security during the Fourth Of July event are pretty powerful but have (in her opinion) highly exploitable Kryptonite Factors. The Champions which assist Cap on the final fight of this story also appear to have highly exploitable Kryptonite Factors... and then it turns out that, because of other factors that neither Mari knew, those Champions are totally immune to them.
- Clear Their Name/Clear My Name: The story starts with the Indianapolis Champions looking to clear the name of Cap Mari, and this same girl decides to give the town a visit to help on the last couple of chapters.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: What the Champions unleash upon Taskmaster Mari when she tries to exploit their Kryptonite Factors.
- Double-Meaning Title: The title could mean the dilemma of having two Maris running around, one good and one evil (Cap and Taskmaster), causing chaos (willingly and unknowingly), or it could mean the fact that one of the main characters is an Alternate of Mari, "outside looking in" at the situation with Cap Mari over on Chicago, and feeling annoyed by it.
- Elsewhere Fic: This story happens in parallel to Rise Of The Extraordinary Avengers Coreline.
- False Flag Operation: It turns out that the person committing the murders is an alternate of Mari Illustrious Makinami-but this one happens to be an amalgam with the Taskmaster, looking to ruin the reputation of the Captain (for money, for reputation, to "graduate" from the "super villain school" created by an Alternate of Brother Blood, and because she's irked that Cap stole her "schtick").
- Magical Database: Turns out that Project Northern Lights exists on the Core Timeline, and its objective nowadays is to be one of these with the location of every super-villain the United States Government can get data of. It is consulted by Mari on the third chapter.
- Mirror Match: Captain Makinami vs. Taskmaster Mari.
- Not So Different: Turnot thinks that the Champions, the Justice League Unlimited and Avengers Infinity are all Corporate-Sponsored Superhero teams in one way or another (the Avengers get most of their gear and funding from Stark Industries while the Justice League gets most of its gear and funding from Wayne Enterprises), and thus the latter two groups are a bit hypocritical in "looking down their noses" at the Champions. Not to mention that these two groups have also had a history of bad things happening because of their sponsors, of Avengers teams doing missions that (unknown to them at the time) were in the interest of Stark, or the paranoia of one Alternate of Bruce Wayne or another acting up and making things difficult for the rest of the organization.
- Orgy of Evidence: The various murders on the story are performed with techniques used by Cap Mari which are themselves unmistakable. The Indianapolis Champions look into the case because they are smart enough to know that someone as skilled as the Captain would not use the techniques if she were looking to perform covert assassinations (as the police is being led to believe).
- Serial Killings, Specific Target: An odd example where the "specific target" is not one of the people being killed: the Taskmaster Mari is targeting villains that resemble the Joker R gang (and some innocents as "collateral damage") in order to make people assume that Captain Makinami is hunting down said gang in a "rogue" pre-emptive strike.
- Worf Effect: Captain Makinami is beaten badly when Taskmaster Mari uses materia to become too fast for Cap to defend against.
- Worf Had the Flu: Captain Makinami is unable to unleash her full power upon Taskmaster Mari because the building they're fighting in is already badly damaged; any magic or chi attacks would cause it to collapse.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Turnot's reaction to reading that Captain Makinami had handed a borderline Curb-Stomp Battle to a team consisting of a Kryptonian, a DC-verse Martian, and a Submariner-style human/mutant Atlantean hybrid.