Tony Stark's term as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. could fairly be described as troubled. On his watch Captain America was assassinated; his plan to deal with the Hulk backfired and ended with the complete destruction of New York City at the hands of an enraged, unstoppable green monster; and all of his vaunted technology was rendered useless by alien invaders who infiltrated the ranks of government and super hero organizations and briefly conquered the Earth. Even by the standards of the last 8 years this stands out as an exceptional series of cock-ups, and so Stark had to be removed from power. To restore honor and accountability to the position of America's Top Cop comes Norman Osborn, a psychotic super-criminal so senselessly evil that he once chose his high-rise office space for the view it afforded him of the bridge from which he threw Gwen Stacy to her death. Presumably this was the one final fiendish breath drawn by the Bush Administration, but President Obama has not opposed the appointment.
Osborn wastes no time in forming a new Avengers team, comprised of other mentally ill supervillains eager to live out their fantasies of heroism -- Bullseye becomes Hawkeye, Venom becomes Spider-Man, etc -- and a few former Stark Avengers who are either too bloodthirsty or emotionally unstable to care who they're working for, so long as they get to hit things. And yet something is missing, for what are the Avengers without Captain America and Iron Man? This does not escape Norman, and in his glorious insanity he helps himself to one of Iron Man's spare suits*, paints it red, white, and blue, and declares himself THE IRON PATRIOT.
The Asshole Avengers have little time to enjoy their posh new lives as superheroes, however: a volatile situation has developed in Eastern Europe. One of Director Osborn's first official acts was to free Dr. Doom from federal prison (cuz, sure, why not) and send him back to his kingdom of Latveria. There he and his envoy are attacked by the Arthurian-era sorceress Morgana le Fey, who had shared what she thought was a tender love affair with Doom only to realize he was using her to gain access to her vast reserves of evil spells.
"BAVALOOMNI" is the most powerful magic word. If you are ever engaged in magical combat with an angry 6th-Century sorceress, say it first.
The Avengers arrive to calm things down -- or, more accurately, to tear Morgana's fucking head off -- but she cannot be thwarted so easily, as she continues to reappear from the past to attack them with magic and gargoyles. Is all hope lost? Probably! I'll let you know as soon as I read the new issue!
*Easily done, since Stark used federal funds to rebuild his personal infrastructure after it was smashed by the Hulk. Oh, the corruption!