Jump to navigation
Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers), Paco Medina (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Mark Brooks (cover artist), Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado (variant cover artist), Carlos Lao (graphic designer), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Tom Breevort (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Avengers created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Lightning arrives back at Auxiliary Avengers HQ to find that Enigma is now free from the stasis hold placed on some Avengers. When he asks for Voyager to return to Antarctica to retrieve Rogue's team, he is told that she left some time ago, presumably to return to the field to assist the others. The Beast and Nadia van Dyne are at the hospital where the fifth pyramoid has appeared, while Jarvis' vitals are fading fast. The Beast tries to help some of the patients against the spirits that the pyramoid has summoned, before Nadia shrinks him down so that he can deliver the antidote into Jarvis' mind. Nadia then flies towards the pyramoid – but she can't touch it, for some reason it blocks her. She finds she cannot use Pym Particles against it to shrink the pyramoid, either, so she sets about rescuing the staff and patients from the hospital, while the Beast reaches Jarvis' mind, and sees various events in Avengers' history flash past. The Beast realizes that Jarvis has always been with the Avengers, that he is the team's heart and soul. He finds the pathogen that has been making Jarvis unwell. Nadia joins the Beast inside Jarvis' mind and helps defeat the pathogen. They leave Jarvis' mind and Jarvis immediately recovers. They wonder how to deal with the pyramoid when Voyager appears and plans to teleport it away. They are relieved to see her, until Jarvis tells them that whoever she is, she is not an Avenger – and never was! The Beast does not remember seeing Voyager in Jarvis' mind, and Voyager smirks before vanishing with the pyramoid!
Avengers Auxiliary HQ, where a streak of energy blasts into the secret headquarters, 'Jehoshaphat -' gasps General Robert L Maverick a.k.a. Red Hulk, but the energy takes human form – Miguel Santos a.k.a. Lightning, who tells the General to get his finger off the trigger. Lightning arrives in the makeshift lab of Dr Toni Ho a.k.a. Iron Patriot, and finds her there, along with Aikku Johanson a.k.a. Enigma, who exclaims 'Miguel Santos the Living Lightning? I follow you on Facebook!' Miguel informs her that he just goes by “Lightning” now, before realizing that she was supposed to be in stasis. Enigma reports that she was, but then she snapped out of it. Red Hulk reports that word on the wire is they just lost Red Hulk, but that isn't confirmed, possibly because Hawkeye is in denial. Red Hulk asks Lightning if he brought any good news, because they could use some. Miguel reports that Rogue's team is alive – that's all he has. He then asks if Voyager is around, because the others need transport from the Antarctic.
Toni informs Miguel that Voyager just left, she said she had to go back in the field. 'We thought she had gone to you...' Enigma adds. 'Weird' Toni thinks, before announcing that she will send a quinjet for Rogue's team, as the sooner they are mobile, the sooner they can help with the next trouble. She puts an image of a hospital up on screen, 'Dios...' Miguel gasps, before asking Toni what he is looking at. Toni reports that the fifth doohickey has landed – at the hospital where Jarvis is.
'And things just got worse' Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast thinks to himself within the hospital where he and Nadia van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp look out into a corridor, where spirits have started harassing the hospital staff and patients. Hank tells himself that there is no time to hesitate, and asks himself whether he deals with the deadly alien artifact that has just materialized in the hospital corridor, or whether he helps the Wasp fight the alien pathogen inside Jarvis' brain. 'Oh, no...' the Wasp utters as she looks at the chaos in the corridor, before returning to Jarvis, and checking his vitals, she reports that he is fading again.
The Beast tells himself that the needs of the many vs the needs of the few – it's not even a decision. He instructs Nadia to fill an injector with the antidote as quickly as she can and get ready to shrink down, while he will be right back. The Beast races towards a man who is being harassed by a spirit and tells him not to panic, as it is merely a ghost of some poor soul who died in this place. 'Albeit one with a grip! Let go of him!' the Beast shouts at the spirit as he tries to pull the man free from her – but it's no good, as the spirit flies away with the man. The Beast decides that it is time for plan “B” - to eliminate the threat the only way they know how to. The Beast sees more spirits fly towards others in the hospital, and tells himself that if you make physical contact with a pyramoid, then it disintegrates – but so do you.
The Beast returns to the room where Jarvis is and finds Nadia loading a gun with the antidote. She reports that she has pinpointed the pathogen's location as best she could. 'It should be eliminated when you inject it with this' she tells the Beast. 'You mean when you inject -' the Beast begins, but Nadia tells him 'No' and uses her power to shrink the Beast down. 'Nadia, honey! What are you doing?' the Beast calls out. Nadia tells the Beast that she can only give him about fifteen minutes, so he has to be quick. She places him on Jarvis' chest and gives him the shrunken down antidote. 'You're too important. The team needs you' she adds. Nadia points out that there are two Wasps – her and Jan. 'And maybe we don't need both, or maybe...all that matters is the pyramoid and what it's doing. And an Avenger has to save innocent people no matter...no matter what' Nadia exclaims.
The Beast climbs into Jarvis' mouth and Nadia puts a hand on Jarvis' forehead, announcing that she can't choose Jarvis over them, as he taught her better than that. She kisses Jarvis, while beast finds himself floating through Jarvis' insides, 'Dammit, Nadia, no!' he thinks to himself, as Nadia is just a child, it should have been him, he has had his time, while she hasn't. Nadia wipes back some tears, then shrinks down to wasp form and flies out into the corridor, towards the pyramoid. 'Godspeed, little one. I've not known you for long, but it's obvious that of all the Avengers, there's never been one smarter. More full of hope' the Beast thinks to himself. 'There's never been one braver' he decides as Nadia nears the pyramoid. 'Goodbye' Nadia whispers as she reaches out to the pyramoid – when suddenly, something knocks her back. Nadia looks confused. 'That... wasn't in the rulebook. Why didn't it take me?' she wonders, while another ghost moves towards some staff nearby. Nadia tells herself she can figure it out later, and decides to try some Pym Particles on the pyramoid – but they don't work, it doesn't shrink down. 'Now what?' the wide-eyed Nadia wonders.
The Beast continues his journey through Jarvis' insides. He knows that the fastest route to the limbic system is the carotid express. Instinctively, he holds his breath, even though he is nearly as tiny as an oxygen molecule. The Beast knows that that microscopic size you sustain not on air or good, but rather through the Pym Particles that resized you. 'Best not to dwell on the how of it' he tells himself, and moving eighteen centimeters a second, he has to time his jump just right – which he does, landing in the folds of the hippocampus. The Beast thinks that the pathogen should be quite near, when suddenly, 'Holy Hannah!' he shouts as he gets a surprise.
Back in the hospital corridor, 'Duck!' the Wasp calls out to some civilians who are backed up against a wall thanks to a spirit. The Easp then uses her Pym Particles on them, and tells them not to panic or fight her on this. 'I realize shrinking feels odd – but I've got it all under control' she assures them as she flies out a window, then drops the civilians down on the street, and reverts them to their regular sizes. 'Maybe if I keep saying it, I'll start to believe it...' Nadia tells herself, while one of the civilians waves at her as she flies back into the hospital.
“Energy” crackles around the Beast as he realizes that he is trapped in the “valley of the synapses”, neurons swapping electrochemical signals with their neighbors – that's how the brain functions. If he wasn't in such a mad rush, he would have created some sort of “lightning rod”, but he dodges and ducks the “energy” and decides that it is a good thing he is the agile Avenger, which is a terrible name for his autobiography. The Beast hopes that if he meets the same fate as poor Nadia today, that he will be fondly remembered. 'Oh, my. I needn't worry' he realizes, as he “sees” Jarvis' memories – images of various Avengers' adventures playing out. The Beast sees Cap's Kooky Quartet up against some soldiers, and then Cap, Thor, Iron Man and the Vision battling the Skrull Emperor Dorrek VII. Another adventure, long ago, during the Beast's original stint with the Avenges, alongside Cap, Ms Marvel, Falcon, Wonder Man, Vision and Iron Man, battling Inferno.
The Beast thinks that it is logical that he is in the memory center, as Jarvis has been there for everything Avengers – from the earliest days right to the present – their accomplishments, their failures, their spirit. The Beast dodges so more “energy” and tells himself that they have seen so many changes, lived so many adventures. He sees a memory of Jarvis holding a vacuum cleaner, before a more recent memory of a newer linup of the Avengers – Jane Foster as Thor, Miles Morales as Spider-Man, Sam Wilson as Captain America, Sam Alexander as Nova, Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel and Iron Man. The Beast knows that the Avengers members might not always get along, but one truth is never in contention – their faithful domestic engineer turned assistant is loyal to a fault – they have no one more beloved. The Beast tells himself that Jarvis is a good man – a friend – the heart and soul of the Avengers. 'And he will not die today' the Beast declares as he lands on the part of the brain where the alien pathogen has positioned itself.
The Beast was concerned the pathogen might be hard to find, but he would never have been able to miss it. Suddenly, the hideous creature turns to the Beast, grabs him in a tentacle, and pulls him to what appears to be its mouth. The Beast drops the antidote gun, and tells himself to outsmart the creature, outfight it. But as much as the Beast struggles, while a memory of a new Avengers lineup – Thor, Cap, Iron Man and Wolverine – moves past him, he cannot break free of the alien pathogen. 'I'm sorry, old friend' Hank thinks to himself. 'I've failed you' he admits, when, suddenly, 'Nadia!' the Beast calls out as Nadia appears nearby and fires the antidote at the alien pathogen, which writhes about and releases the Beast. The Wasp then grabs the Beast and flies him forward, informing him that the pyramoid didn't vanish, but she cleared the area except for Jarvis, who she was terrified of moving in such critical care. 'Then let' take care of that, right away!' the Beast suggests as they pass through Jarvis' ear canal.
Jarvis stirs, and the Beast thinks that it is incredible that Jarvis is already feeling the effects. 'By Jove, we've done it! He's going to be all right!' the Beast exclaims as he and Nadia return to their default sizes. Jarvis coughs, and utters that he can finally move, can speak. Nadia rushes over to him and tells him that he still needs time, but Jarvis sits up and reveals that he could hear them, the whole time – every word. He announces that something is terribly wrong. 'Someone...someone is...' Jarvis gasps, before the pyramoid starts to move. Suddenly, 'Don't worry, Hank...let me handle this!' Valerie Vector a.k.a. Voyager calls out as she appears in the hospital corridor. 'Oh, thank you, God I most definitely believe in at this moment! It's Voyager!' the Beast exclaims
'How did this team manage without her? She's awesome!' Nadia exclaims before telling Voyager to be careful. A horrified Jarvis then shouts 'No! That's what I've been trying to – listen to me – don't you see? You've all been tricked! Your deepest memories have been altered! There is no Valerie Vector! There is no Voyager!' Jarvis declares. 'You're right...inside your mind...Voyager was never there!' the Beast utters, remembering his trip through Jarvis' mind. 'I don't understand! It's so vivid...' Nadia utters. Voyager then smirks, and energy crackles around her. 'Whoever that woman is – she's not an Avenger! She never was!' Jarvis shouts, but suddenly, Voyager vanishes with the pyramoid. The Beast, Nadia and Jarvis stand in shock, as Nadia asks 'So then, who is she?' And as they look at the remaining swirling energy, the Beast points out that she is someone who just stole the final pyramoid – and might have damned them all!
Wasp III (member of the Avengers)
Beast (member of the Avengers Unity Division)
Enigma, Iron Patriot II, Red Hulk II (all US Avengers)
Hospital staff and patients
In Flashback images:
Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch (all Avengers)
Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)
Skrull Emperor Dorrek VII
Beast, Captain America, Falcon, Iron Man, Ms Marvel, Vision, Wonder Man (all Avengers)
Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)
Captain America VII, Iron Man, Ms Marvel V, Nova III, Spider-Man VII, Thor IV (all Avengers)
Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine (all Avengers)
This issue is narrated by the Beast.
Jarvis noticed Voyager in the statute of the founding Avengers in Marvel Legacy one-shot, and thought something was wrong with the statue.