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Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers), Pepe Larraz (artist), David Curiel (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Mark Brooks (cover artist), Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Marcio Menyz; In0Hyuk Lee (variant cover artists), 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
Edwin Jarvis returns to Avengers Mansion, or, rather, what's left of it. Nadia van Dyne is happy to see him, while Jarvis contemplates what's next for the Avengers, and for him. Citizen V steps down from a leadership role, as Rogue sifts through the rubble, and Jan van Dyne tells her that the mansion can be rebuilt. Human Torch reveals he had set up Avengers Mansion Inc to cover repair bills. Captain America, Wonder Man, Falcon, Thor, Hercules and Citizen V meet with Voyager, who is holding the Challenger in stasis after he was defeated. She declines Avengers membership, vowing to earn her membership another way, she departs, promising to find a way to redeem the Challenger. The surviving members of the Black Order are on a faraway planet, where they are met by the Grandmaster, who offers them a new opportunity. Inside Knowhere, the Lethal Legion are relaxing. Frene the Other prepares to depart, but the team decides that they have nothing better to do, and stay together. Lightning and Red Wolf have returned to Texas, where they take down some AIM operatives, and at Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Toni Ho is working on repairing the Vision, and decides upon a new name for her organization – RESCUE, but she doesn't know what it stands for yet. She is on the phone to Citizen V, who points out that he may not have much time left since removing the headband that kept his powers in check, so he leaves Avengers Mansion, and now calls himself Citizen X. In Central Park, the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Voodoo meet with Synapse, informing her that they are going on a mission to find Quicksilver. Synapse offers to join them and they accept her company. Back at Avengers Mansion, Hercules congratulates Wonder Man for holding off the Hulk during the recent combat, and they leave with Thor to celebrate. In a diner, Hawkeye meets with Bruce Banner, who is looking terrible. Hawkeye reminds Bruce about the vision he had where the Hulk's footprints were in the bodies of everyone he loved. Bruce gets up to leave, but Hawkeye tells him to remember that he is not a bad person. At Avengers Mansion again, Nadia gives Jarvis an artificial intelligence called JARVIS which can be his own butler – but when the AI doesn't know who drinks the chamomile tea, Jarvis vows that he will not be replaced. Nadia then takes him to a new statue, depicting all of the Avengers who were active during the recent trouble. In the farthest reaches of space, Voyager floats alongside the Challenger, and the watch the lives of the Avengers, while the Challenger vows that he will escape and seek revenge.
'Almost to Avengers Mansion. They warned me to be prepared' Edwin Jarvis thinks to himself as he sits in a wheelchair, pushed by Jan van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp, towards the Avengers Mansion. 'Good to see you up and about again, old friend' Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast remarks. '“About” at least' Jarvis mutters in response. Jan tells Jarvis that she knows he doesn't like the chair, but that it is only for a day or two, just until they know everythign is going to be all right. Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man is with them, when several civilians rush over. 'Picture!' one of them exclaims. 'Selfie!' another calls out. 'Do you mind' one of them asks. 'Wonder Man!' someone shouts. 'Can I please', 'Just take a second!' 'Quick picture!' the civilians ask, but Wonder Man tells them maybe later, and asks to be let through. The large gates to Avengers Mansion swing open, '“All right” they say. Define “all right”' Jarvis thinks to himself as he looks up at Avengers Mansion, which lies in ruin. Several Avengers are among the ruins, clearing rubble, or locating items – Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball, Rogue, Hercules, Doreen Green a.k.a. Squirrel Girl and Roberto DaCosta a.k.a. Citizen V.
'JARVIS!' Nadia Van Dyne shouts as she runs from the ruins, towards Jarvis and throws her arms around him. Jarvis reminds himself that it is not the first time the beloved mansion has been destroyed – but this time, something feels different – something worrisome. 'You're out of the hospital! Yay!' Nadia exclaims, before asking Jarvis if he wants to go for pancakes. Rogue lifts a slab of rock overhead and tells Roberto to take it easy, reminding him that he practically shoved Earth back into orbit by hand. Roberto sits down and informs Rogue that he plans on it – long-term, and reveals that he is stepping down from leadership. 'What? What's that about? You did good, man' Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon remarks as he approaches Rogue and Roberto. Roberto tells Sam that he knows, but he is not 100% satisfied with how he led his team. Falcon points out that that comes with the job – it's when you start getting smug that your team gets smacked around. Rogue smiles and suggests to Roberto that he take the win and relax – for a day. 'I'll try' Roberto smiles. Jarvis hugs Nadia back and recognizes a laugh – it comes when victory is won and the adrenaline begins to wear off. He wonders why he doesn't share in their joy.
Rogue picks up the head of the Hulk from the Avengers statue and tells Janet that they sure know how to make a mess. Jan looks around at the ruins and tells Rogue that she has seen this property wrecked more times than she can count – the mansion will get fixed and they will bounce back – the people they saved are always worth it. Johnny Storm a.k.a. Human Torch is nearby and sighs to the Beast, reminding him that they just rebuilt this place a few weeks ago, and now it is rubble, all over again. Johnny smiles and points out that it is a good thing he set up Avengers Mansion Inc to cover these kinds of write-downs. Hank smiles and tells Johnny that was forward-thinking on his part. Hank then asks Johnny to forgive his close-minded assumptions, but he never pegged him as a business mogul. Johnny assures Hank that he isn't, he just hired great accountants to set things up after Reed's billion dollar patents came tumbling to his next of kin. The Beast remarks that there is no reason why they have to build the mansion exactly the same way this time, and adds that he would be happy to suggest some improvements to the classic design. 'Oh, yeah? Like what?' Johnny asks. Hank motions to an area of the mansion where the patio used to be, suggesting a five-star jacuzzi. 'Hank McCoy I like the way you think!' Johnny replies. Rogue smiles and remarks to Jan that it didn't take long for things to get back to normal. 'It never does...' Jan adds.
Inside one of the remaining rooms standing in Avengers Mansion, Wonder Man, Citizen V and Falcon have joined Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America, Hercules and Jane Foster a.k.a. Thor who are meeting with Voyager. The remains of the Challenger a.k.a. The Grandmaster Prime float behind Voyager, who stands before the Avengers, hanging her head. Voyager tells the Avengers that there is no proper way to say farewell after everything she put them through. Captain America reminds Voyager that the Grandmaster started this, not her. 'But I carried on deceptions in his name' Voyager reminds the Avengers, to which Captain America tells her that when the time came, she answered the call – and that speaks to the true quality of her character. Voyager points out that, like her father, she is an Elder of the Universe, and that she will do what she can to make things right. Voyager turns to the Challenger and tells the Avengers that he was once a noble traveler, but her father's relentless need for dominance drove him to madness. Voyager crouches down beside the Challenger and remarks that she might be able to find a way to rekindle the kindness he once had.
Roberto tells the others that when push came to shove, Voyager did the right thing and he would be proud to call her one of them. 'If the Avengers can accept guys like me and Hawkeye after we broke the law, I don't see why not' Wonder Man agrees. But Voyager declares 'No' and tells the Avengers that perhaps someday she will earn her place among them, but not yet – not like this. Voyager promises the Avengers that if her father dares play games with Earth again, she will return and see justice done for the damage he has caused. Thor puts a hand on Voyager's shoulder and tells her that if that day comes, she shall not do so alone. 'Aye! To stand beside the Avengers is to know your cause is just!' Hercules adds, declaring that together they can face any threat. Voyager thanks the Avengers for inspiring her to be more than she was before. 'Through you, I see a better future... and it gives me hope' Voyager announces as she teleports away with the Challenger. 'That takes care of the Challenger...' Falcon remarks, while Cap asks if there has been any sign of the Black Order or the Lethal Legion. Roberto reports that there hasn't been, but adds that Toni Ho is working with Captain Marvel and the Alpha Flight crew to get satellites back online, scanning for any sign of them, but they have come up empty – so wherever they are now, it is not here on Earth.
In space, specifically, Angargal, the eighth planet of the E-Wing cluster. In the Wai Desert, five figures trudge across the barren wasteland, a large citadel stands nearby. 'My love, where shall we go?' Proxima Midnight asks as she walks alongside Corvus Glaive, who tells her to go forward – ever forward. Ebony Maw remarks that it seems these humans are truly blessed in a way he cannot yet comprehend – time and time again they have defied the cosmic order. Black Swan tells Ebony Maw that he hasn't interacted with them as she has, and declares that their fleeting life spans make martyrs or madmen of them all. Black Dwarf walks alongside Black Swan, but says nothing. Suddenly, the cosmic beings come to a stop, as the Grandmaster appears before them. The Grandmaster tells the Corvus Glaive that he believes congratulations are in order, as he and his team fought valiantly, and that if Earth wasn't the battleground, he suspects they may have emerged triumphant. 'But it was and so we all lost! Are you here to gloat?' Corvus Glaive asks. The Grandmaster grins and announces that he is here to offer the Cull Obsidian a new opportunity – one quite suited to their destructive needs.
Elsewhere in space – Knowhere – the sprawling metropolis within the decapitated head of a Celestial, floating on the edge of reality, at Ala's Bar, the Lethal Legion – Captain Glory, Drall, Frene the Other, Molyn, Mentacle and the Blood Brothers – sit around relaxing. Frene gets up and Mentacle asks if she is leaving. Frene confirms that she is, as their time together has reached its end. Captain Glory asks Frene if she has somewhere else to be, to which Frene tells him that she doesn't understand what he means. 'Look around you' Captain Glory tells her, while Drall drinks some mead and declares that it is weaker than the fragile genitals of the Stegralli army. Captain Glory reminds Frene that they were all about to die when the Grandmaster saved them and offered them the chance to fight for him. 'The “Lethal Legion” Already dead without his cosmic intervention'. Captain Glory smiles and tells the others that they cheated death, but if he returns to the Kree Armada, they will brand him a deserter and he will be executed. He suspects that he is not the only one without a home to return to. Molyn remarks that whatever commitments they had before this, they are free now, and suggests that they should combine their might and see what happens. Mentacle agrees, while Drall adds that she doesn't care – so long as blood and battle fills the air. 'Hmm... perhaps' Frene tells the others.
In Texas, inside your standard warehouse-turned-lair, Miguel Santos a.k.a. Lightning and Red Wolf have just apprehended some AIM operatives. 'Okay, this is a little awkward. We were just working with you guys...' Lightning tells them. 'With the traitors, you mean! The true AIM fights for Monica Rappaccini!' one of the operatives replies. 'Or Andrew Forson. We're not picky' another adds. 'I mean, I'd be okay with MODOK' the first remarks. 'Ugh, whatever. Book 'em, Detective Dan' Lightning declares. The detective leads the operatives past two large weapon-like machines, 'We are furious (Yellow)!' one of the operatives exclaims. 'Please stop saying that' the detective mutters. Lightning thanks Red Wolf, and points out that the AIM were ready for he and Dan. 'But you got the drop on 'em'. Red Wolf tells Lightning that he is glad to help, adding that he is glad to have made the decision to return to Texas with him, as there is a lot of good he can do here. Red Wolf remarks that they made a good team. 'The best team. We're Avengers' Lightning replies, adding that they might not be remembered, but they are never letting them forget. Miguel looks at the AIM operatives in the back of the police car, and asks 'Now, who wants to tell Toni about the Advanced Idiot Mechanics in there?'
Avengers Auxiliary HQ – now with decent tools – where in a lab, Dr Toni Ho a.k.a. Iron Patriot is working on repairing the Vision, while several drone-like robots are going about their business in the lab, Toni is speaking with Roberto over communicator: 'And as Supreme Leader, I say we let the babies have their bottle' Toni declares. '...wait, what?' Roberto can be heard asking. 'What what? AIM isn't the people, it's not the work – it's three letters. I can spare three letters' Toni tells Roberto, adding that this way, the pissed-off US government that is looking to make trouble for AIM goes after Forson, or whoever. 'Oh, I get it. It's a scheme' Roberto realizes. Toni continues to tinker away with the Vision's body, and remarks that she learned from the best, and that she has been talking to some very cool people about what comes next. 'Trust me, Roberto' Toni tells him, adding that she has thought of a new name – the RESCUE Organization. She thinks her dad would have liked that. 'But enough about me. What's this I hear about you breaking up the band, Citizen V?' Toni asks.
Roberto is walking towards the Avengers Mansion gate and is speaking to Toni on his cellphone. 'News travels fast' he mutters, explaining that he told Sam and Rogue a version of the truth – after the world engine and turning off the headband – he doesn't know how many years that took off his life, he doesn't know how long he has now – and he is just not satisfied. Roberto admits that the Avengers do good work, the lesson they teach is a good lesson. “Fight together against what can't be fought alone, for those who can't fight at all” Roberto quotes, he tells Toni that works and still has meaning. 'But when I was growing up... I was taught other lessons. About how you fight'. Roberto puts his suit jacket on, then his sunglasses, 'In a world that hates and fears you, just for being who you are'. He tells Toni to keep the money, she will need it more than him, as he is going back to his roots. He walks down an alleyway, and announces that he is calling himself Citizen X. 'Be seeing you' Roberto adds.
Central Park, where Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch and Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo meet with Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse on a bridge. 'I don't want to pry, Wanda, but if I can help with funeral arrangements for Pietro, I -' Emily begins, as Wanda interrupts her, explaiing that is why she and Jericho wanted to meet with hher – about Pietro. Doctor Voodoo points out that Emily was linked to Quicksilver's mind in those final moments, and asks her what she felt. 'It was...I know this is going to sound strange, but... it was pure joy' Emily explains. Wanda reports that she felt a similar wave of Euphoria from him as well before he vanished, and tells Emily that she believes Pietro is still alive. Doctor Voodoo explains that when Pietro moved beyond the limits of speed as they know it, it is quite possible he also moved beyond the bounds of their physical reality. He informs Synapse that he and Wanda are preparing to venture forth to dimensions beyond space and time to find Quicksilver. Wanda tells Emily that she knows she and Pietro were becoming close, so wanted to assure her that they will not give up until they have exhausted every possibility. Synapse tells Wanda and Doctor Voodoo that she is not on team magic or anything, but wants to help. 'Let me join you' she asks. 'We'd be honored' Wanda replies. 'Three souls against the farthest reaches of the unknown? Heh... why not?' Doctor Voodoo remarks.
Back at Avengers Mansion – or, rather, what's left of it – Wonder Man tells Cap and Falcon that it has been a blast, but it feels like the gang is splitting up again, so he should probably get going. Falcon asks him where he is going, to which Wonder Man admits that he isn't sure – somewhere different, he thinks he needs a change of pace. 'Simon Williams!' Herc calls out, slapping Simon on the back. 'While Thor and I held the world aloft, you fought the Hulk to a standstill!' Hercules exclaims, before putting his arm around Simon and announcing that they must celebrate their glorious victory. 'Have you ever feasted with the gods?' Hercules asks. 'I...I don't think so, no' Wonder Man replies. Falcon looks at Thor and asks her not to let Herc break Wonder Man. Thor tells him to fear not, and that she will protect Simon as she does all mortals in her charge. Thor calls out to Heimdall, while Hercules exclaims that they will eat and drink, fight and flourish. 'I thought you quit drinking?' Simon asks. 'Yes, and thus you shall drink my share as well!' Hercules tells Wonder Man, before the two of them and Thor vanish in a blur of rainbow lights. 'Geez...we didn't even get an invite' Falcon mutters. Captain America smiles and asks him if he would have accepted. 'Maybe...' Falcon replies.
Inside a diner, Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye sits in a booth, singing “Green door...what's that secret you're keeping...”, as he sips a coffee. 'Hey, Bruce. Take a seat' Clint calls out as Bruce Banner approaches him. Bruce looks down and thanks Clint for meeting with him, and not for coming in costume. Hawkeye explains that he is in costume, but that his old carnival duds are fun, only they feel like formal wear these days, so he save them for the gala performances. 'You never came back after the fight, Bruce...' Clint points out. Bruce tells Clint that it was for the best, and adds that he only came here to say how sorry he is – sorry for what he put Clint through – the trial, the guilt – and it didn't even work, that's the worst of it. 'I asked you...made you...made you shoot me...through the brain with an arrow...and it didn't. Even. Work' Bruce declares, looking up, his face is haggard and hollow.
Clint pauses, before informing Bruce that he saw a vision – saw, felt, tasted an actual vision of the future – Hulk standing over everyone he ever loved in the world – Jess, Bobbi, Natasha, Wanda, Kate – and his footprints were in them. 'So, y'know Glad to do it, bud' Clint adds casually, drinking his coffee. Bruce frowns, scrunches his face up, then announces that he should go. 'I'm very sorry' Bruce tells Clint, before getting up and leaving. 'Damn it' Clint mutters, before calling out to Bruce, asking him to wait. 'What I saw... too much has changed. Tony's armor, bad Steve. It couldn't happen now. So... we stopped it. You stopped it' Clint tells Bruce, adding that he has nothing to be sorry for, that deep down, he is not a bad person, and he should remember that. 'Try to remember that' Clint whispers as he hangs his head. But when he looks back up, Bruce has vanished. 'Bruce?' Clint calls out, but gets no response.
The remains of the mansion again, where Rogue tells johnny that it looks like it is time for her to go, adding that she can pull in some x-pals to help with the rebuild. Johnny tells Rogue that he has a rocky orange buddy who knows a thing or two about lifting, and that he will happily lend a hand. Sitting in the wheelchair, Jarvis realizes that what is worrisome for him isn't where the Avengers fo from here – it's where he goes. 'Jarvis! I have a surprise for you!' Nadia calls out as she rushes over to Jarvis, holding up a small artificial intelligence that resembles Jarvis, who looks at it and tells her that it is a very good likeness. Nadia explains that it is more than that – she built him an AI helpmate to help around the mansion once it has been rebuilt. 'How may I serve you?' the AI asks. Nadia tells Jarvis that after it is installed, it will be his butler, and that she calls it JARVIS. Jarvis frowns and asks Nadia what it stands for, but she isn't sure yet. 'Watch!' she asks Jarvis, before enquiring with JARVIS where the chamomile tea is. 'It's wonderful, Nadia...and perhaps a sign' Jarvis laments.
'Perhaps it's time I surrendered to the modern age and passed the baton, my sweet child -' Jarvis begins, as the AI JARVIS informs Nadia that the chamomile tea is in Captain America's pantry. 'It certainly is not! The Captain prefers earl gray! Chamomile is for Dr McCoy!' Jarvis exclaims. The AI JARVIS replies 'McCoy (alias Beast) is not yet in my programming-ming-ming' to which Jarvis announces that he is not leaving. 'I should hope not, you silly man!' Nadia exclaims, before asking Jarvis if she can be honest, and admits to him that for a while there, she was really afraid that they wouldn't make it – that she thought the Avengers were finished. Jarvis smiles and tells Nadia that she will learn. As several workers elsewhere continue their craftmanship on a statue, Jarvis tells Nadia that this may be the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new age, like the founders statue of old being recast and rededicated, they take important parts of their legacy and use it to forge the future. Jarvis points out that the Avengers isn't a group of heroes, it is an idea – a promise to the people of this earth that they will always be protected by the strong of heart.
Jarvis points out that he has seen these proud men and women victorious time and again, but this – this has been their greatest triumph – their finest hour! The new statue I completed, and placed on the Avengers Mansion grounds, depicting those Avengers who fought during the Grandmaster's diabolical scheme: Enigma! Citizen V! Squirrel Girl! Quicksilver! Wasp! Beast! Wasp! Synapse! Hawkeye! Iron Patriot! Lightning! Red Wolf! Scarlet Witch! Hulk! Red Hulk! Thor! Hercules! Captain America! Vision! Doctor Voodoo! Human Torch! Wonder Man! Rogue! Cannonball! Falcon!
Elsewhere, at a place in space known as the Far Shore. The farthest point of life and death. Beyond, there is only mystery. Voyager sits on a floating globe, alongside the Challenger, who is shackled with strange devices, and floats before several screens, depicting the Avengers. 'Hrrhh. Such ridiculous memories. “The Avengers”. When I break these shackles... and I will break them...I'll kill you, Voyager. And then your father. Do you think your Avengers will save him?' the Challenger asks. Voyager tells him that there is no saving her father – he is lost. Voyager points out that there was someone else, back at the start of things – someone who didn't play just to win. 'I think the Avengers can save you' Voyager tells the Challenger. 'Just like they saved me. If you can only see it' Voyager frowns. The Challenger calls Voyager by her true name – Va Nee Gast – and tells her that she is a fool, and that one day, the shackles will break. 'But...until then...I want to see what happens next!' the Challenger declares as he continues to watch the screens.
Beast, Cannonball, Captain America, Citizen X, Doctor Voodoo, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hercules, Human Torch II, Iron Patriot II, Lightning, Red Wolf, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Squirrel Girl, Synapse, Thor IV, Vision, Voyager, Wasp, Wasp III, Wonder Man
Doctor Voodoo, Hawkeye, Synapse, Thor IV, Voyager, (all Avengers)
Black Dwarf, Black Swan, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight (all Black Order)
Blood Brothers, Captain Glory, Drall, Frene the Other, Mentacle, Molyn (all Lethal Legion)
This issue is narrated by Edwin Jarvis.
Wonder Man was torn apart by the Grandmaster Prime last issue, but his ionic form was held in stasis by Doctor Voodoo – he must have been put back together off-panel between issues.
Notably absent from this issue are Red Hulk II and Enigma, who appeared throughout the “No Surrender” storyline, but were both de-powered in Avengers (1st series) #685.
Quicksilver seemingly faded from existence in Avengers (1st series) #688. His story is told in the limited series No Surrender
Despite nearly reaching issue #700 of Avengers (1st series), the title is re-numbered yet again, abandoning the Legacy numbering with Avengers (8th series) #1.