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Mark Waid (writer), Adam Kubert (artist), Sonia Oback, Dono Sanchez Almara, Romulo Fajardo & Edgar Delgado (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Alex Ross (cover artist), Evan “Doc” Shanea (variant cover artist), Mahmud Asrar & Dave McCaig (recap page artists), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Tom Breevort & Wil Moss (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)Avengers created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Sam Wilson meets with Jane Foster. They discuss her cancer and the kiss that they shared. Things are slightly awkward between them, before Sam receives an emergency call and flies away. Kamala Khan is at school, and the Vision is posing as her substitute teacher. After class, she meets with him on the roof, and in an attempt to build a relationship with Kamala after she distrusts him for having acted against the Avengers when he was under Kang's control, the Vision gives Kamala a headset which lets her experience all of the Avengers previous battles and missions based on recordings and collated data, as if she was there with the Avengers the whole time. Shortly, Miles Morales Spider-Man is under attack from villain who appears disorientated and announces that he wants his life back. Iron Man and Thor arrive on scene and Iron Man recognizes the villain as the Night Phantom, who he hasn't seen in years. As Night Phantom babbles about Pleasant Hill, the Vision arrives on scene and attacks him. Thor joins the battle and they defeat the Night Phantom. Maria Hill arrives on scene and tells the Avengers that their presence here is no longer required. She is anxious that the Avengers leave, but Iron Man gets a call from Sam Wilson who informs him that he needs backup, that he is flying into something and doesn't think it is friendly – a clandestine SHIELD operation in Pleasant Hill. Iron Man realizes the connection and insists that Maria take them to Pleasant Hill. En route, Maria informs the Avengers that Pleasant Hill is an experiment in incarceration and rehabilitation, where those confined are mind-wiped and depowered, and given new identities as productive members of a small town. As they near Pleasant Hill, they notice the Unity Squad on a hillside – along with another Maria Hill. The Maria Hill in the jet opens fire on the Unity Squad, who dodge the attack. Rogue and Quicksilver get themselves into the other Avengers' jet and a fight breaks out, resulting in the jet crashing. Everyone emerges unscathed, although Quicksilver and Rogue have been taken out. The rest of the Unity Squad engage the other Avengers in battle, before it starts to snow. The heroes find they are trapped behind some sort of dome, unaware that a little girl has trapped them and shakes the dome as if it was a snow globe. There is a bright light, and Tony Stark and Miles Morales are working at the Pleasant Hill Auto repair, as Pleasant Hill's population has increased by thirteen....
'Redwing can tell you don't like him, Jane' Sam Wilson a.k.a. Captain America remarks to Jane Foster as they watch him eat a mouse on a rooftop, where Sam and Jane sit at a table with a coffee. Jane is unwell, and tells Sam that she is sure Redwing is wonderful, but she has trust issues with birds. Jane explains that Odin has these two ravens – Hugin and Munin – they spy for him and are just awful. Jane adds that she means no offense and tells Sam that he and Redwing are welcome here any time. Sam looks at Jane as he drinks his coffee. He remembers kissing her when she was in her Thor guise. 'Why?' Sam asks. 'Heat of the moment. Probably won't happen again. Were you offended?' Jane replies, to which Sam asks her that he means why she puts herself through this, going through days and days of chemo to fight cancer, and then every time she picks up the hammer and transforms, it wipes out any progress. 'Why would you do that to yourself?' he enquires.
Jane can't believe that Sam of all people would have to ask her that. 'It's important to carry on a legacy' Jane points out, looking over at the shield that Sam has placed nearby, she adds that it is important to feel worthy. 'I become Thor because sometimes there are people who need my help. I become Jane because I'm fighting to save my life'. Jane informs Sam that the other Avengers don't know and asks him if he will respect her secret. 'Of course' Sam assures Jane. 'And respect my choice?' Jane asks. 'Not completely' Sam tells her as he sips his coffee. Jane pauses, “Not...” she quotes Sam, before they are interrupted by a message that Sam receives, informing him that there has been a Red Skull sighting in Manhattan.
'Crap' Sam mutters, before removing his jacket, revealing his Captain America costume underneath. He stands up and tells Jane that it is very possible that she is being fully truthful with herself, and if so, that is terrific. As he puts on his mask, gloves and glasses, Sam remarks that it is also possible that the reason Jane keeps picking up the hammer is because, deep down, she has given up hope and longs to die a warrior's death. Sam tells Jane that he won't out her, but that if he ever decides she is on a suicide run, he won't let her surrender, either. 'You're my friend' Sam assures Jane as he attaches his shield to his back, and takes flight, Redwing flying alongside him. Jane watches Sam go and waves.
Coles Academic High School, where Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms Marvel stands at the front of her classroom, writing a sum on a blackboard. 'Ms Kahn, will you please show us how to simplify this equation?' the substitute teacher, Mr Horton, asks, while Kamala's classmates look on. 'Eep' Kamala utters. She turns back to the teacher, who tells her that he realizes he is not her regular teacher, but he would not ask her if he didn't believe she was capable. 'You can trust me' Mr Horton adds, his appearance suddenly changing into that of the android Avenger known as the Vision. Kamala goes wide-eyed, and drags the chalk down the chalkboard, creating a horrible screeching noise. 'Stop! I'll talk!' one of the students calls out, while another screams, the screeching. The bell rings and “Mr Horton” tells the class that they are dismissed, while asking Ms Khan if she would be so kind to meet him on the roof.
Shortly, Kamala paces around the rooftop, quietly telling herself to relax, as the Vision isn't evil anymore. She is startled when the Vision phases up through the roof. 'Vision! What – why did you -?' Kamala begins. The Vision asks Kamala to forgive the classroom deception, but he wished to speak with her, and this was the logical place to locate her at this time of day. The Vision removes something from Kamala's backpack, explaining that he has acted with caution, and reminds Kamala that he possesses the ability to project holographic illusions, so their privacy is ensured. The Vision knows that Kamala distrusts her for him having acted against her while under Kang's control. 'Ummm...' Kamala begins, to which the Vision notes that as the length of his tenure as an Avenger far eclipses hers, she is reticent to voice her misgivings. The vision places some sort of optic device on Kamala's head, 'I...' Kamala begins, to which the Vision tells her that, understandably, he must be the one to begin the healing, and to that end, he has constructed this gift for her.
'What is it?' Kamala asks, the optic device covering her eyes, she sees an image of the Vision fighting alongside Captain America, the Scarlet Witch and Thor against Thanos. The Vision explains to Kamala that it is a way of making up for her unjust expulsion, and that interpolating from existing camera footage and data from as far back as the team's inception, this headset allows her to experience, firsthand, all of the Avengers' history. The scene playing out before Kamala changes to that of the original Avengers confronting Loki as the Vision tells her that immersed in virtual reality, it will be as if she were a participant in every recorded adventure, that it will feel, in a way, as if she was a charter member of the Avengers. Kamala removes the headset, tears falling down her face, the Vision tells her that he hopes this will bring her some enjoyment. 'Are you all right?' the Vision asks, noticing Kamala's tears. Kamala rushes forward and throws her arms around the Vision, who doesn't react at first, but then looks down at her, and puts a hand on Kamala's head. 'Oh, good. You found her. Follow us' Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man calls out as he and Jane Foster, now as Thor, fly above the school. 'We have a situation' Iron Man reports.
'I want my life back!' a man wearing a purple and blue costume, his face covered in bandages, calls out as he stands at the edge of an alleyway, holding a car up above his body, he looms over Miles Morales, the young Spider-Man. 'Clear the area, people not named Spider-Man!' Iron Man calls out to the civilians who have gathered on the street near the alleyway, watching the battle. 'Always my luck' Miles mutters, while Iron Man blasts the car with a repulser beam, and upon seeing the man in the purple and blue calls out 'This is a deep cut! I haven't seen him in forever!' As Iron Man moves in closer, the assailant slams a fist into him, knocking him back, while shouting 'WHAT YEAR IS THIS?' 'Funny, you make me want to ask the same thing' Iron Man replies, before Thor goes over to Iron Man, remarking that he underestimated his strength. 'No, it was a lucky shot' Iron Man replies as the Vision arrives, carrying Ms Marvel with him. Iron Man reports that this guy calls himself the Night Phantom, and warns the others that they have to be very careful with his bandages.
Thor hurls her hammer at Night Phantom, who stumbles backwards, to where Kamala has extended an arm to create a trip wire – and Night Phantom falls over. 'Why? Is he wounded?' Kamala asks. 'No, he's -' Iron Man begins, before the Vision flies in and blasts Night Phantom with an energy beam. 'I said careful!' Iron Man exclaims, while the Night Phantom asks how long he was captive in Pleasant Hill? 'I DEMAND ANSWERS!' he shouts, energy glowing around him He's radioactive!' Iron Man calls out, to which Thor announces that she has endured worse, and strikes the Night Phantom with a surge of lightning. With Night Phantom defeated, Iron Man wraps him in some concrete and remarks that as tough as Gauze-Head here is, they really didn't need five Avengers for that. Miles asks Night Phantom was going on about - “Captive” and “Pleasant Hill”. 'You don't have the clearance for an answer, Spider-Man' a voice calls out.
The Avengers look over to see a short-haired woman in a SHIELD uniform standing in the alleyqay. She introduces herself to those who are unfamiliar with her as Maria Hill, the Director of SHIELD, and informs the Avengers that their presence here is no longer required. Iron Man turns to Maria and tells her that if she is here to take possession, he hopes she is wearing lead underwear. 'I don't have to tell you anything, Stark. This is SHIELD business, and I have a cleanup crew on its way. Take your team home' she declares, motioning for Iron Man to leave, she tells Stark that that is not a request. At that moment, Iron Man receives a communication from Captain America, informing him that he needs backup. 'Quiet, Hill' Iron Man remarks, before asking Captain America if he is there.
Above the city, Captain America flies onwards and informs Iron Man that he isn't sure what he is flying into, but he bets it isn't friendly. 'Tell us where to be' Iron Man replies, to which Captain America reports that it is a clandestine SHIELD operation. 'Redundant phrasing, I know' Sam adds, informing the Avengers that it is in Connecticut. He reports that if they check the satellite maps, it is a blurry smudge smacks in the state center with no name, but SHIELD calls it Pleasant Hill. Iron Man copies that and tells Sam to keep his signal open, that they are right behind him. Iron Man turns to the Avengers and Maria and tells them that it seems they all have business in Pleasant Hill once they get the Phantom into custody. 'Who's driving, Hill? You or us?' Stark asks. 'Damn it' Maria scowls.
Inside a jet, Maria pilots as she informs the Avengers that Pleasant Hill was a top-secret installation – past tense. 'Pleasant Hill is a prison for super-villains, it's also a public service' Maria remarks. She reveals that it was an experiment in incarceration and rehabilitation that those confined have been mind-wiped, depowered and given new identities as productive members of a contained, small-town society. 'That is a truly creepy secret. Who else knows about this?' Sam Alexander the young Nova asks as he stands in the jet along with Thor, Vision, Kamala, Miles and Iron Man. 'Well, I count at least seven more...' Miles remarks as he looks at the window, down to where several figures have gathered on the side of a hillside. 'Because unless my super-team flash cards are outdated, I think that's the Unity Squad waiting for us, and... hey, wait a minute...who's that with them?' Miles asks, as down below, another Maria Hill looks up at the approaching jet.
'Hey, it's the All-New, All Cradle-Robbing Avengers! But – who's flying?' Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool asks. With him are Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo, Johnny Storm the Human Torch, Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver, Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse, Rogue and Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable, who asks 'Is that another Maria Hill?' The Maria Hill with the Unity Squad looks up at the jet, 'What's she doing?' she asks, while inside the jet, Thor remarks that she smells a foul stench in the air. 'By what madness are there two of you?' Thor demands. 'Huh. That sure as hell wasn't the plan. Oh, well...' Maria replies. '... change of strategy' she decides as she begins opening fire at the Unity Squad. 'NO!' Iron Man shouts, while on the hillside, 'Get down! Someone calls out as the heroes duck for cover. 'Of course. Well played' Maria utters, while Cable declares 'That can't be them!' before instructing Synapse and Voodoo to find cover, and telling rogue to meet them head on.
In the jet, Vision and Kamala have pulled Maria away from the console, as Iron Man takes control and asks Maria if she has lost her mind. He tells his teammates to be ready to make peace when he lands this thing, when suddenly, 'Quicksilver?' Kamala calls out as Rogue breaks through the jet window, carrying Quicksilver with her. 'Stop sounding thrilled' Nova tells Kamala, while Quicksilver instructs Rogue to take the controls, quickly, as he speeds around the jet, punching all of the other Avengers. 'I say thee nay!' Thor calls out as she moves towards Rogue before she can take the controls. 'And I say you're all gonna die if somebody doesn't steer this aircr-' Rogue begins, before the jet crashes into the hillside. 'Oh, god, please let there be survivors...' Synapse utters as she and Doctor Voodoo look on. 'I see movement' Doctor Voodoo announces. 'I hope you all have insurance. Quinjet and dental' Iron Man declares as he emerges from the jet, dragging Quicksilver alongside him, while Miles, Sam and Kamala follow him, and Vision carries Maria Hill over his shoulders.
Miles Morales suggests that they cool heads and figure out what is going on with these crazy doppelgangers before they start throwing down. He tosses some webbing to the other Maria Hill, tripping her up. A moment later, Rogue falls to the hillside, slammed into it by Thor's hammer. 'Oh, hell no' the Human Torch shouts. 'You come after my people, I will quote from the book of Ben Grimm: It's clobberin' time!' the Human Torch exclaims as he takes to the air and starts throwing fire blasts at the other Avengers team, although Thor spins her hammer, diffusing the blast that nears her. Doctor Voodoo turns his attention to Iron Man, while young Nova flies towards Synapse. Kamala extends her arms, tangling them around Deadpool and telling him that this is a big misunderstanding. 'We didn't – is that snow?' she begins as snow begins to fall around them. 'Stretchy girl is stretchy!' Deadpool remarks.
Iron Man looks over at Thor and asks her if this is her doing, 'Not I!' Thor calls back, to which Iron Man points out that he thinks their problems just got bigger. 'Dueling Marias, sudden weather, and some sort of wall in the air! Something or someone is trying damn hard to keep us out of Pleasant Hill, people!' Iron Man calls out as young Nova tries to fly away from the group, but is knocked back by the invisible wall. 'You led us into a trap!' Cable calls out. 'We led you -?' Iron Man retorts, muttering that they will settle this later, but right now, everyone needs to concentrate their fire and hit that wall with everything they have got. The Avengers from both teams turn their attention to the wall, but as Nova notes, it doesn't even begin to crack. 'Then try harder while we can still see!' Cable calls out. The heroes battle on, using their combined resources against the wall around them as snow falls down and a fire from the crashed jet rages.
Suddenly, it appears that the Avengers are trapped inside some sort of dome – a snow globe – and a young girl is shaking it up and down – before she and the snow globe with the trapped Avengers vanish in a blinding light.
The light begins to clear, and at Pleasant Hill Auto Repair, a man with the name Tony on his overalls whistles as he looks inside the hood of a car. 'Hey, kid, hand me the 5/8ths. KID! Wake up!' Tony calls out, before a forlorn young man with the name Miles on his overalls apologizes to Mr Stark and hands him a wrench. Tony asks Miles if he is all right, as he looks like he is a million light years away. Miles assures Tony that he is fine, but that he just has a weird headache. 'I'm sure it's nothing' Tony tells Miles as he turns his attention back to the car engine.
On the outskirts of Pleasant Hill there is a large sign that reads “Welcome to Pleasant Hill. Population 1,507”. Suddenly, the sign changes, and reads “Welcome to Pleasant Hill. Population 1,520”....
Captain America VII, Iron Man, Ms Marvel IV, Nova III, Spider-Man VII, Thor IV, Vision (all Avengers)Cable, Deadpool, Doctor Voodoo, Human Torch II, Quicksilver, Rogue, Synapse II (all Avengers Unity Squad)
in illustrative image:Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)ThanosAnt-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp (all Avengers)Loki
This issue is part of the “Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill” event and takes place after Uncanny Avengers (3rd series) #7, and continues in Uncanny Avengers (3rd series) #8.
The Night Phantom was last seen in Iron Man (1st series) #107 – way back in 1978!
The identities of the two Maria Hills are revealed in All-New, All-Different Avengers #8.