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Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Artie Simek (letters)
On Olympus, Hercules confronts an old foe… Typhon! The two quickly lock into battle with each, but Typhon eventually cheats and creates a huge monster to help him out. Of course, the monster isn’t much of a match for Hercules and he quickly beats it. He follows Typhon to his father’s throne room. There, Typhon attacks Hercules with a mystical hammer, which teleports the mighty Avenger to another world, one from which Hercules fears he may never escape from it. Back in Olympus, Typhon sits in his newly claimed throne, and prepares to conquer Earth next. Meanwhile on Earth itself, the Avengers await news of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and Magneto’s next move. Tension leads to arguments, which is just as quickly diffused. In attempt to change the subject, Hank shows Janet his new plans to recreate his former Ant-Man helmet now improved. Ant-Man is soon to return. Meanwhile, Magneto transports himself, Toad, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to his new base, on an island which he created himself two years ago. He gives them all a tour, and seems to slowly convince Pietro to rejoin his side. However, Wanda still refuses, so Magneto makes a new scheme. He pretends that he simply wishes to use the island as a refugee for mutants, and wants to prove himself by bringing up the subject at the United Nations. The Brotherhood travels to the UN building, where the guards first attack them, but Pietro and Wanda use their Avengers authority to pass through them. Once Magneto begins his speech, which gets broadcasted on TV, the Avengers hear about it and immediately travel to the UN building. Arriving just after the delegates have rejected Magneto’s demands, the Avengers attack Magneto and Toad, and are even helped by security guards. However, Magneto sees how the guards aim their guns at him and magnetically takes control over their weapons. He has one of the guards shoot at Wanda and a grazes her temple. Pietro becomes furious and agrees to leave with Magneto. He even attacks the Avengers in his anger. As the now-reformed Brotherhood departs in their ship, Wanda wakes up, but the bullet seems to have affected her memory somehow. Left behind, the devastated Avengers return back home, where Hawkeye fears that with now both Captain America and Hercules gone, their team may be done for... forever!
Olympus…Hercules sits in a white throne of Zeus, from which he can oversee everything in his empty home of Olympus. He still hasn’t found any sign of life, and hopes he can solve the mystery of what happened there. He walks downstairs, and his mind dwells on the ancient temple of the Promethean flame. It’s the one edifice in all of Olympus which lies in smoldering ruins. He thinks it’s there where the answer lies, and there he’ll go again to find it.
Suddenly, as Hercules approaches the temple, an Earth-shaking explosion takes place and wonders who caused it. When the smoke clears, Hercules recognizes an old, armored enemy... TYPHON! However, Hercules remembers that Zeus had exiled Typhon from Olympus for all time many eons ago. Typhon admits that, but now he has returned and is determined to make Zeus pay for exactly that. Only he and Hercules remain to stride through the gleaming halls of Olympus and, soon, Typhon is certain, only he shall be left!
Hercules realizes that it was Typhon who defeated the gods – he whom the mortals believe to have the heads of a hundred loathsome dragons! Typhon refuses to let his name be used in the same sentence in which “mortals.” He warns Hercules to never do that again, or he’ll finish him off sooner than intended. However, first Typhon wants Hercules to know the tail of his victory over the gods:
(flashback)Typhon reveals that, for countless millennia, he has desired to wreak his fearsome vengeance upon Zeus. Zeus confronted Typhon and told him he was the last of those treacherous titans who would oppose his eternal rule. And since Zeus bested Typhon in battle, he deemed him in his command. Thus, he banished Typhon from Olympus... forever! Typhon mocked to Zeus that he should have destroyed him instead and swore that one day he would return, to make himself eternal sovereign of Olympus! And, only days ago, Typhon kept his bitter vow.
In the dead of night, he stealthy entered Olympus and stood before the Temple of the Promethean Flame. He remembered it was written that, if this perpetually-burning fire should perish, even the gods wouldn’t survive. Since Typhon isn’t truly a god, but one of the ancient titans, who were old when the Earth was young. As a result, Typhon slashed the temple and the fire apart with his mighty battle-axe.
Yet, even Typhon’s age-old senses were shocked by what instantly transpired. The immortal gods started fading away, not understanding what was happening to them. One of the gods thought that someone was disturbing the Temple, which meant they were doomed for time without end! The next moment, all of the gods were gone. Even Zeus himself was gone. And only he, Typhon, remained.
(present)Taking all of this in, Hercules collapses and goes to sit on the stairs, wondering what he might accomplish what his father couldn’t. But still, he promises himself, he’ll face this foe like his father would!
Meanwhile, at Avengers mansion... Seeing Hawkeye just sitting on a chair and brooding, Goliath reminds him that they should be working together to free Wanda and Pietro – and they’ve got double work now that Captain America has left the team. That’s exactly what Hawkeye was thinking about, he replies. He doesn’t think there’s much of an Avengers left now that Cap is gone – just three worn-out has-beens running around in nutty costumes. Hank disagrees with Hawkeye, as this is their chance to show the world what they are made of.
Suddenly, Hank spies Janet in the lab, but without wearing her Wasp costume. When he asks her what she’s doing, as they need to be immediately battle-ready when they find Magneto’s whereabouts, Janet angrily replies that she can be ready in 30 seconds if need be – but somebody has to pick up some food before the big, bad Avengers all starve to death. When Hank seems incredulous that she has been out shopping, Janet angrily storms out. She reminds him that it’s Jarvis’ night off, and Hawkeye and she are hungry! If he wants to fight Magneto on peanut butter sandwiches, he can go right ahead!
Hank runs after Janet, apologizing for his behavior, as the strain of the last few hours have gotten to him. Janet accepts, saying that it got to her too, or she wouldn’t have stomped off like that. Amends made, Hank asks Janet to follow him, as he had been meaning to show her something. A few moments later, they arrive at a diagram-laden desk and Hank shows Janet some sketches. He has finally finished all the adjustments on his new cybernetic helmet, which includes goggles with greatly enhanced peripherl vision, improved message-transmitting antennae and a cybernetic nerve center that translates signals from ants instantaneously. Eying the diagram, Janet notes aloud that it looks like Ant-Man is there to stay. Hank agrees, though he jokingly wishes that Magneto would just go on a picnic…
Though he jokes, Hank thinks how he’s keeping their conversation light – because he doesn’t want the others to suspect yet that his career as Goliath may well be over… for good!
Elsewhere, over the turbulent Atlantic... A swooping vehicle of unique design noiselessly circles a small rockbound island. It’s pilot and creator, Magneto, proudly introduces Pietro and Wanda to the future HQ of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He raised the island from the very ocean depths himself, so that it might serve as his impregnable fortress! Magneto admits that he made the fatal mistake of attacking the X-Men before he had gathered his Brotherhood. But that won’t happen again. They shall strike together, and none may stand against them!
Toad tells Magneto they don’t need Pietro and Wanda, believing that the two of them will be enough. Pietro tells Toad to save his breath, promising that neither he nor Wanda shall rejoin the team. Undeterred, Magneto tells Pietro that they shall see. We shall see…!
Magneto lands the ship on the island and orders everyone to rush inside his castle, as in a few seconds that portion of the island shall sink beneath the tossing waves. Toad, however, states that he would be happy to see Pietro and Wanda drown. Pietro whispers to Wanda, telling his sister she doesn’t need to speak, as he can feel what her questions are, as though they were living things. He knows despair fills her heart; that he doesn’t lash out against Magneto. He explains they must learn all they can about Magneto’s newest scheme, so that they may warn the X-Men and the Avengers about it.
Then, as the super-powered foursome passes through a suddenly-opening passageway, they find themselves on a gigantic synthetic conveyor belt. Wanda admits it looks incredible. All those huge apparatus inside it, the humming dynamos, they’re making up the very island itself. Magneto welcomes his teammates in his wondrous world. He explains that what they see before them is a vast, sprawling mechanical complex. It’s set in motion over two years ago by his own incomparable powers of magnetism. He mocks that the Homo sapiens can have their primitive atomic energy, with imperfect solar batteries. It is he who has unlocked the door to the most valuable energy source of all: the secret of magnetically-induced perpetual motion!
Magneto continues to guide the twins and has them sit down in a room together with him and Toad. Magneto tells them that now that they have both beheld his power, which dwarfs that of the human multitudes, he wants to know what they think: shall their Brotherhood live once more, and assume its rightful place on this planet? Piettro smiles, but Wanda begs her brother not to listen to Magneto. She is aware of Pietro’s bitterness towards the Homo sapiens, but she reminds him about the oath they took when becoming Avengers. Pietro states he can never forget that. Yet, neither can he forget the scorn with which the humans regard any who are different than themselves.
Magneto whispers to Toad that his reluctant guests have themselves given him the one key which may make them his less-than-equal allies! For, Magneto adds, it is scarcely fitting that he should be without super-powered menials to do his bidding. Toad quietly reminds his master that his guests are no longer the same Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch who once served him as faithfully as he still does. Toad wonders how Magneto hopes to win over the two back at his side. Magneto tells Toad to be quiet.
He corrects the twins that they misunderstand him – and that they believe he still wishes to dominate the Homo sapiens. No longer! Now, he merely wishes that this island may become a refuge, where mutants may come to peacefully pursue their own individual destinies. Quicksilver wants prove about that. Wanda doesn’t believe Magneto, but keeps her thoughts to herself. Magneto promises he’ll deliver the proof, but the two have to join him to the United Nations. Toad happily bounces around, thrilled that they’re going to let the world know that the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is back and there to stay!
And so, a short time later, Magneto’s ship flies over the East River... Toad, Magneto, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch arrive at the famous U.N building. Luckily for them, Magneto says, the body is now in session on some new crisis in the insane affairs of the humans. When Wanda says she still doesn’t understand what Magneto hopes to prove by bringing them there, Magneto promises Wanda shall see that soon enough. Then, he is certain they shall both rejoin their kind once more and forget all about the Homo sapiens.
Magneto and the others have no trouble getting inside the building, as Pietro and Wanda use their Avengers authority and claim responsibility for Magneto’s behavior. Magneto calms the humans, telling them that they can relax, as he has come in peace. TV reporters film Magneto’s appearance on camera, with one correspondent opining that the cold war between the humans and mutants may finally be over.
Back at Avengers Mansion, where.... The Avengers hear Magneto’s words on their television sets, and wonder what Pietro and Wanda are doing behind him. However they don’t believe Magneto’s motives that he comes in peace, and rush over to the U.N. building to check things out.
Over at the U.N. building... Guards protest against Magneto’s arrival, but he easily pushes them aside with his powers. He knows he can easily kill them, but wants to prove his earlier statement, even though it’s still false. The guards also realize that Magneto could have just killed them if he wanted to, and let him pass. Magneto crushes a door and walks into the main chamber of the General Assemby, interrupting a discussion. The astonished delegates can’t help but wonder why two Avengers are at Magneto’s side, and are stunned that he has returned.
Moving to the podium on the dais, Magneto calls for all to heed his words. Today, he proposes that the mutants of the world be given a separate nation of their own – with full veto rights in the UN Security Council! Then and only then, may there be peace between human and mutant.
As the delegates erupt in anger, Magneto rejoices, as the very wording he chose made their decision inevitable. They must refuse! And yet – that is only the first part of his plan.
Feigning rage at their refusal to listen to the voice of reason, Magneto magnetically hurls a microphone at he among them who first raised his voice. However, the microphone never makes its target, as it is destroyed by one a diamond-tipped arrow, belonging to Hawkeye. The Avengers have arrived!
Hawkeye leads the attack and quickly kicks Magneto in his face, then slamming Toad against a wall. Though Hawkeye posses to metal for him to manipulate, Magneto sees that the guards are aiming their guns at him, which gives him an idea. He magnetically controls the guns of the humans, who are about to fire at Magneto. However, something unseen draws their aim, as one fires while the other guard’s goes off without his him pulling the trigger. Half a moment later, one of the bullets grazes Wanda’s temple, knocking her out.
Having just made his way through the delegates, Goliath asks haltingly as Pietro if Wanda is… Having caught his sister and is now laying her down, Pietro replies that she still lives. However, with his eyes filled with anger, he shouts that it was humans who did this to her… Humans!
Suddenly, Magneto shouts at Pietro, warning him that Goliath is planning to attack him. Hank tries to say that’s not true, but Pietro yells for no Homo sapien to approach him or his beloved sister – and hits Hank into his face! Hawkeye quickly fires a rope-arrow around Pietro, hoping that stops him, but instead Pietro uses his speed powers to run towards Hawkeye and hit him in the stomach.
A few moments later, the four mutants leave, with the grim Pietro cradling Wanda in his arms. Wasp appears in front of Pietro and tries to reason with him, but he refuses to listen. He is angry that he didn’t listen to Magneto before about his warnings concerning to humans and, because of that, Wanda may be dying. Before the Wasp can respond, Magneto magnetically transforms a fountain pen into a projectile, knocking her out.
A few minutes later, the foursome have returned to the ship, speeding back to the island. In the craft, Wanda wakes up, but the bullet seems to have affected her memory somehow as she doesn’t know where she is. Magneto promises Pietro he doesn’t have to worry, as he’ll do his best to help her. After all, he is now once again a valued friend of… Magneto!
Back at Avengers Mansion... Hawkeye, Wasp and Goliath each silently brood about what just happened. Wasp cannot understand why Quicksilver suddenly sided with Magneto, also hoping that Wanda recovers. Meanwhile, Hank worries about his discovery of the fantastic strain of size-changing has been on his very molecules. Though he can still become Ant-Man… he can no longer become a ten-foot giant. Is Goliath dead… forever? Hawkeye realizes that, after today’s defeat, the whole world knows that Captain America is no longer one of them. With him quitting and Hercules off somewhere – the Avengers may just be through!
And, on Olympus... Hercules is still in full battle with Typhon. He breaks a pillar apart and throws it into Typhon’s face. However, Typhon quickly recovers and fires an electrical blast at Hercules, which he dodges. However, though the titan missed, Herucles realizes what Typhon actually planned to do. Out of the smoke of the blast, a huge monster appears which attacks him!
The monster grabs Hercules tight in his immense hands, but Hercules manages to use his great strength to break free. He hen punches the monster several times until it’s down... and unconscious. Looking around, Hercules sees that Typhon has disappeared, but believes he probably headed to the shimmering palace of his father Zeus, thinking he has already won.
Inside the palace, Typhon watches through Zeus’ mystical mirror at the image of Earth. He is awed at how much it has changed since he last laid eyes on it. But it’s still a price worth taking, and she shall have it. Suddenly, Hercules breaks into the palace and a new battle begins. However, Typhon uses a mystical hammer and fires it at Hercules, causing him to... disappear!
Soon afterwards, Hercules finds himself transported into another world! It’s a world of shadowy mists and sinister shadows, and Hercules fears he may never escape from it.
Back on Olympus, Typhon goes to sit in Zeus’ former throne, and is ready to begin his conquest against the sphere called... Earth!
Goliath, Hawkeye, Hercules, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Wasp (all Avengers)
Magneto, Toad (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)
various people (all unnamed)
in Typhon’s flashback: ZeusTyphon
The story about the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants continues in X-Men (1st series) #43.