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Mark Waid (writer), Adam Kubert (artist), Sonia Oback, Edgar Delgado & Israel Silva (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Alex Ross (cover artist), Greg Land & Chris Sotomayor (variant cover 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
The Avengers look up at the mysterious girl who tells them that they need to go back to sleep – but suddenly, the Avengers vanish in three groups – Human Torch, Spider-Man, Ms Marvel and Synapse are one group, Rogue, Voodoo, Vision and Nova are another, and the third group is comprised of Iron Man, Cable, Thor and Deadpool. Quicksilver is responsible for their rescue, dropping each group in a different part of Pleasant Hill, he thinks it is best they don't remain as a group, as one large target, as they don't know who is after them. Those Avengers with natural powers have keptb their powers. The Vision reports that he detected a Cosmic Cube like energy from the girl, and Synapse uses her powers to link the Avengers' minds so they can stay in contact with each other. Several villains are watching the groups from the shadows, and Armadillo tells Gypsy Moth to spread the word that the Avengers are here. Cable, Iron Man, Deadpool and Thor are soon met by the two Maria Hills that the Avengers were interacting with earlier – the Maria Hills rush towards them, and tear their faces off, revealing their true selves – Bloodlust and Mindblast. They inform the Avengers that the real Maria Hill has corrupted a girl called Kobik who can rewrite reality, and created this town as a home for super criminals. Kobik appears and transports Mindlbast and Bloodlust away. She splits herself into three so that she can keep an eye on all three groups of Avengers. The villains are out in full force now, as Living Laser takes Human Torch and Synapse out, while the Vision is attacked by Plantman. Kobik becomes upset, this isn't what she wanted to happen, as she watches the Avengers fall one by one. Miles Morales and Kamala Khan want to talk to Kobik, to get her to use her powers to restore the powers of the Avengers whose powers are still absent, but they are taken out before they can reach her – meaning it's up to Deadpool. He speaks to Kobik and forms a bond with her, letting her reach inside his head, he shows her how he was used against his will as well. Kobik announce that she doesn't want to be scared anymore and uses her powers to restore the Avengers. The defeated Avengers are renewed and engage the villains in battle, before Kobik mysteriously vanishes, and the Avengers get a call from Steve Rogers – he is with Sam Wilson and the Winter Soldier – and it is time for the Avengers to assemble!
Fifteen minutes from now:Pleasant Hill, Connecticut, where the bodies of several Avengers lay strewn amongst rubble. Villains, most low-level and petty criminals, are on a rampage through the center of Pleasant Hill. Buildings have been set ablaze and some are in rubble. Scorcher fires a blast though the air, while Squid's tentacles whip about. Man-Ape roars, while Absorbing Man towers above the town, swinging his weapon around, and Tiger Shark carries the motionless Vision across the road. Rogue has been strung over a lamppost, while other Avengers of the Unity and “All-New' teams lay motionless. Other villains stand on rooftops and look down at the chaos, while some fly down towards the scene.
Now:Johnny Storm a.k.a. Human Torch,, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms Marvel, Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse, Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable, Jane Foster a.k.a. Thor, Rogue, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool, Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo, Sam Alexander a.k.a. Nova and the Vision look up as they stand in the center of Pleasantville, a young woman hovering over them. 'Go. To. Sleeeeeeep' she exclaims, as the Avengers begin to vanish – first the Torch, Miles, Kamala and Synapse. Then Voodoo, young Nova, the Vision and Rogue, followed by Stark, Cable, Jane Foster and Deadpool, a look of shock on everyone's face before they disappear. 'What? Where did they all go?' the young woman wonders.
'Who is that girl? Wait. Where are we -' Kamala remarks as she looks at Miles, Johnny and Synapse as they find themselves on the front porch of a house. '-now?' Stark asks as he lands in a pile of muck near some farm animals, while Cable, Jane Foster and Rogue look over at him. A blur passes both groups, finally stopping outside the Pleasant Hill Hair Salon, dropping off Deadpool, Vision, Voodoo and Sam. 'I got us away from her as quickly as possible' Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver announces, explaining that until they know what is going on – or who has changed them, he thought it best that they not amass as one large target, as they don't know who else may be after them. Indeed, as lurking around a corner is Diamondhead and the Answer. Voodoo turns to the Vision and reminds him that he was saying something a moment ago about detecting a certain energy. The Vision, in his human Pleasant Hill guise, remarks that the energy was strikingly ismilar to that of a cosmic cube, an artefact of reality-bending power. He adds that, traditionally, it does not take the form of a small child. 'Did you just make a joke? Am I sure I'm awake?' Sam asks, while Quicksilver speeds away from the group.
An instant later, Quicksilver runs past the porch where Johnny, Kamala, Miles and Synapse have been dropped off. He calls out to Synapse and asks her to use her telepathy to relay their conversations across all groups. 'Done' Synapse responds, before Quicksilver informs everyone via the telepathic connection that the Vision thinks there is a Cosmuc Cube in play somehow. Pietro comes to a stop at the farm and reports that their appearances have been altered, but that their memories are restored, and those of them with natural abilities still retain them 'That's no small advantage' Stark points out. In the nearby barn, Armadillo and Gypsy Moth are watching from the shadows. 'Avengers? Unity Squad? Looks like both. Spread the word' Armadillo tells Gypsy Moth.
Back on the porch, Johnny points out that their powers haven't kept them from being puppets so far, and tells the others that the last thing he remembers is that they were all summoned to sleepytown here by Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson – he thinks that was legit.
'But the two Maria Hills who escorted us here? Certainly not' Cable remarks over the telepathic connection. 'Here they come' Cable announces, warning everyone to stand ready as the two Maria Hills rush towards them. 'No! You don't understand!' one of them calls out, waving her hands about. 'You have to help us! We're prisoners just like you! Don't let her near us!' the other Maria Hill shouts urgently. 'Who? The girl?' Jane enquires. 'We're not who you think we are! No one is in Pleasant Hill! The real Maria Hill – she's corrupted a little girl named Kobik who can rewrite reality!' one of the Marias calls out. 'Together, they created this town as a home for mindwiped super criminals like us!' the second Maria remarks as they both tear away at their faces, revealing their true appearances underneath. 'You know us! She's Mindblast. I'm Bloodlust. We fought Spider-Man and Captain America' she reminds the Avengers, informing them that Kobik remade them and told them to keep the Avengers away from Pleasant Hill.
Suddenly, Mindblast and Bloodlust begin to fade away as Kobik appears above them, 'Sssh. You two are bad. Back to your rooms' she utters. Cable, Rogue, Stark and Jane foster look up at Kobik who hovers above them. 'This isn't what's supposed to happen' Kobik mutters, suddenly splitting into three. 'Supposed to happen' the two other Kobiks echo. The split Kobiks disappear, as the mysterious girl remarks that everyone is supposed to forget the ugly world outside, and be peaceful here, but that something is wrong. 'The bad people – they're starting to wake up' Kobik informs the Avengers.
As if on cue, Living Laser appears on the porch and fires a blast of energy – straight through Johnny and Synapse, while one of the split Kobiks watches from nearby. Back on the street, 'Nova, find cover!' the Vision calls out as he is attacked by Plantman, while the third Kobik hovers in the air, watching. At the farm, Cable tries to contact Synapse, informing her that they have lost the mindlink, but gets no response. 'Are you there? Synapse?' Cable asks as Man-Ape, Armadillo and Flying Tiger burst from the barn and rush towards the Avenger. Back on the porch, 'Why didn't your spider-sense warn us we were under attack?' Kamala asks as she and Miles leap from Living Laser's attack. 'Are you kidding? It's been buzzing nonstop since we came to!' Miles utters, while Johnny and Synapse lay motionless nearby. 'Oh, no... no...' Kobik begins to cry, watching as Man-Ape slams Cable into a haybale, and Coldheart shoves one of her blades through young Nova's stomach.
Back at the farm, the Avengers fight back: 'You okay without your hammer?' Rogue asks Jane Foster as she punches Man-Ape. 'I am uncomfortable – and thanks to Kobik's magic hand, unchanged – but I still strike like a thunder god!' Jane calls back as she knocks back Flying Tiger.
Suddenly, Nuklo drops from above, slamming into the ground, he sends Rogue and Jane careening backwards. On the main street, Armadillo has made his way to that group of Avengers, and Quicksilver darts around him, punching him over and over. Quicksilver tells Deadpool that he will handle this one and that he needs to go gather the other Avengers. 'And miss out on a fight with a giant armadillo? Are you kidding me?' Deadpool replies. 'GO!' Quicksilver shouts. Nearby, Voodoo is confronted by Megaton, while Living Laser finds the Vision and slams a fist into him, shattering some of his android form.
Miles and Kamala run as more energy beams are fired their way. 'Over there! There she is! She's just as scared as I -' Miles begins, quickly stopping and correcting himself: 'I mean as you are!' Miles remarks, before asking of Kobik has the magic of a god. 'She's still a kid! Maybe we can talk her down!' Kamala suggests. 'Don't say the wrong thing!' Miles mutters. 'I've got this' Kamala replies. Miles tells her to be careful, to which Kamala suggest that he just be grateful that it is them doing the talking, before the two of them are knocked aside by a blast of energy. 'Uh-oh' Deadpool utters as he looks at their fallen bodies. Nearby, Bushwacker has taken out Tony Stark, while the Vision is keeled over, clutching his injuries.
'So... you caught up on Walking Dead? Awesome, amirite? Deadpool asks Kobik as he kneels beside her. He tells the frightened, crying girl to relax, to forget aboutt this, to think about undead zombies instead. 'What?' he asks, looking over to where three villains are looming over one of the Avengers. Wide-eyed, Kobik utters that it isn't safe here anymore, that she just wants to be safe. 'You want to be safe? A few minutes ago, I got punched by a giant monkey' Deadpool remarks. 'Heh. I like the Monkey Man Kobik replies, while Man-Ape slams his fist into Rogue. Another villain attacks Quicksilver, while Deadpool tells Kobik that someone is making her do this, and that he knows what that is like. 'Wanna see?' Deadpool asks. 'Wait...horrible idea...not him!' Mile protests, trying to reach out from where he has been punched into the ground. 'Go ahead, or, I guess, Go! A head!' Deadpool jokes as Kobik phases her hand into Deadpool's head. 'Reach in. Take a look inside' Deadpool tells her. 'Noooo!' Miles exclaims.
As Voodoo falls to one of the villains, Miles announces that Kobik is in the head of a crazy man, so they are all going to die. 'Whoa' Kobik utters.
'That's up to her' Deadpool points out. 'You were a plaything' Kobik remarks sympathetically. 'Not literally, buyt yeah. Some bad people gave me powers, then made me a tool' Deadpool explains. 'Phrasing!' Miles calls out to Deadpool. 'She knows what I mean' Deadpool mutters, adding that she has the same problem. 'I don't want to be scared anymore' Kobik responds, while Miles watches. Deadpool tells Kobik to take control, that it is easy, that for her it is a cakewalk. 'You didn't mean to, but you turned my friends into your toys. And you know that's wrong' Deadpool reminds Kobik, as he holds her hands as she releases energy which washes over the Avengers – Jane is transformed back into Thor, while Stark's armor appears. Rogue's costume returns and Cable smirks. The Vision is retored to his true android form, while Johnny is engulfed in flames. Kamala stands up as her costume appears, and Nova takes to the air. Doctor Voodoo's staff returns and Synapse leaps into action, while Miles finds himself back in his Spider-Man costume. The Avengers then engage the villains in battle again, before Kobik suddenly fades away. 'Oh, no! Where's she going?' Kamala asks. 'Dunno. Maybe she got some sort of call' Deadpool supposes. 'Well, so are we' Kamala points out as her phone rings. She adds that it is the call they have been waiting for:
As elsewhere, Steve Rogers stands with Sam Wilson Captain America and Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier and shouts 'Avengers – ASSEMBLE!'
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, Commander Steve Rogers, Rogue, Synapse II (all Avengers Unity Squad)Winter Soldier
Absorbing Man, Answer I, Armadillo, Blood Brothers, Bloodlust, Bushwacker, Chemistro III, Coldheart, Condor I, Controller, Diamondhead, Dragonfly I, Flying Tiger, Griffin I, Gypsy Moth, Human Fly II, Living Laser I, Man-Ape, Megaton the Nuclear Man, Mindblast, Nuklo, Plantman I, Scorcher, Squid I, Tiger Shark I, Trapster I, Wizard (all residents of Pleasant Hill)
This issue is part of the “Standoff Assault on Pleasant Hill” event and follows Uncanny Avengers (3rd series) #8.
This story concludes in Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega #1.