Avengers (3rd series) #1

Issue Date: 
February 1998
Story Title: 
Once an Avenger... - part 1

Kurt Busiek (Plot), George Perez (Art), Al Vey (Inks), Tom Smith (Colors), Richard Starkings and COMICRAFT’s RF (Letters), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Around the world, anyone who was ever an Avenger is mysteriously attacked by different Asgardian beings, as well as other mythological creatures. Captain America, Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp meet at Avengers Mansion to discuss the reformation of the team, as well as the attacks. The missing Thor returns and warns the Avengers that Asgard is destroyed and the Twilight Sword, which can remake reality, is missing. A call goes out to everyone who has ever been an Avenger, among them the Beast, Binary and Quicksilver. After Thor explains that the Norn Stones are needed to use the Twilight Sword, the 39 Avengers embark to five points on Earth to get the stones. However, the stones magically vanish and appear at Captain America’s team, who has located the Twilight Sword. The Avengers are attacked by Mordred the Evil and his army of Rock Trolls. The Scarlet Witch is kidnapped. Quicksilver defeats Mordred and the Avengers discover that his aunt, Morgan Le Fay, is responsible for all the madness. Morgan tells the Avengers that she needed the Scarlet Witch’s reality altering powers in order to wield the Twilight Sword. Morgan raises the giant sword and cleaves reality to remake it into her own design.

Full Summary: 

Snow falls over Manhattan. A couple walks into the Café Transia, a Slavic restaurant in one of Manhattan’s eastern European communities. The former Avenger, Quicksilver, sits to dinner with his daughter, Luna, and his formerly deceased wife and sister, Crystal and the Scarlet Witch. Angry, Quicksilver vents over how the clerk who was supposed to be helping them made them wait ages in the wrong line.

Crystal tells Pietro to quiet down, because of Luna. Wands smiles and tells her brother that it wasn’t that serious. She jokes and points out that with his entire complaining one would think he isn’t happy to see his wife and sister return from seeming death. Crystal smiles and reminds her husband that there is a lot of legal red tape to go through, because of their return. She asks him if they can have peace over dinner. Pietro smiles back and obliges.

Suddenly, Luna drops her cup and shrieks. Wanda asks what is wrong when the window in front of them shatters. Five flying trolls, all carrying different weapons, fly in and introduce themselves as the Flying Trolls of Thryhem. The creatures tell the heroes that they will be their death.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bonita Juarez walks out of a church and says hi to her friend, Carlos, who asks her what brings her to their tiny parish. Bonita tells him that she has brought some blankets and old clothes for Father Diego to give out. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake, as trolls erupt out of the ground and grab Bonita. Bonita looks down at the open mouths of the trolls and notices that none of them makes a sound. Flames erupt around her body as she tells them that they will find capturing Firebird much harder than they expected.

In Wakanda, the guests of a wedding celebration look confused as they hear a weird sound. N’dele asks his king what the noise is, but T’challa, the Black Panther, does not know except that it sounds like giant leather wings coming closer. Suddenly, the straw roof to the building is blown off and everyone looks up to see a giant bird-like dragon. The Panther leaps atop the dragon and tells the beast that it is not welcome, because the Black Panther says so.

Along the waterfront of New York’s East River, Hawkeye leaps back as he is attacked by Mutaurus. Hawkeye shoots several arrows at the beast and tells him that he has thing about not getting killed by anyone with a “colossally stupid name!”

In Central Park, Magdalene and Swordsman fight against flesh eating plants. On the outskirts of Cincinnati, Hercules orders civilians back as he charges at a fire-breathing dragon. At the southern campus of U.C.L.A, the Living Lightning finds himself surrounded by an army of murderous gnomes.

In Las Vegas, Gullin, the Boar-God is about to heave a pillar at Moondragon, but the woman fights back with her telepathy. In Denver, Colorado, fairies called the Vanna catch Spider-Woman in a whirlwind and tell her that all she can do is die. Off the Hebrides, Prince Namor escapes to the surface and punches a giant purple beast with a stone ax.

In San Francisco, the She-Hulk wrestles with several Demon Riders and wonders if a girl can visit an old law school friend without getting into a fight. In Queens, Darkhawk is surrounded by trolls, who can only utter his name. In the Bronx, Justice and Firestar of the New Warriors aid their friend Rage as dwarves pile on to him

The battles continue as former Avengers around the world are attacked without warning. They fight bravely although their foes are numerous. The Avengers begin to tire and are overwhelmed. When the magical creatures go for the kill, though, a flash of blinding light appears and just like that the attackers are all gone. In New York, Quicksilver tells his family that he does not know what just happened, but he would very much like to know.

Chapter One: And There Came a Day…
Outside Avengers Mansion, thunder booms and lighting crashes. Megan McLaren, a reporter, stands outside giving her latest report. She tells her audience that history may be being made as she speaks. The mansion had been empty since the team disbanded in the wake of Onslaught, in which most of the Avengers seemingly died. Recently, in the wake of the heroes’ return, the mansion has been given to the Maria Stark Foundation by S.H.I.E.L.D., which had been using it as a New York base. After attacks on former Avengers, it seems that the rebirth of the team may be occurring. According to sources, Iron Man, Giant-Man, the Wasp and Captain America are already in the mansion. Of the earliest members that only leaves the Hulk and Thor missing. Thor is the only hero who has not returned and is feared dead.

Inside the mansion, Edwin Jarvis prepares a teakettle and cups. He wheels it down the halls of the old townhouse as winds batter the walls. As Jarvis turns into a room he hears Wasp mention that the reunion is long overdue since they have been back for a while. Jarvis pours out the coffee Iron Man agrees, but says that he has been busy reestablishing his identity. Captain America mentions that he has been overseas.

Jarvis gives Wasp her tea and she tells the others that she and Hank have been in Cap D’Antibes catching up on the time they spent apart. Jarvis gives Cap his tea and then with two hands raises a large cup to Giant-Man. Jarvis comes to Iron Man, but he waves the tea away, saying that it is too hot to drink from a straw. Iron Man looks out the window and comments on how strong the storm is. He then turns the conversation back to the attacks on Avengers.

Giant-Man explains that the attacks have occurred all over the world, but only Avengers were attacked. The creatures vanished at the same time. Iron Man turns and mentions that he has been pretty friendly with Thor over the years and from his reports all the attackers seem to be Asgardian. That means something big is going to happen and they are grossly unprepared. He then wonders how Black Widow could have disbanded the team while they were missing. Sensing the strong emotion for Iron Man, Cap tells him that they will have to find out another time.

Cap gets up and tells his old friend that right now they need to figure out how the mythological creatures came to Earth. He suspects Loki may be behind this. Cap abruptly stops talking, then asks the others if they hear what he hears. Wasp cannot hear anything, but Cap tells them all to listen to the wind. Hank says he can hear it and realizes that it is growing stronger than the intensity of the storm. Suddenly, the windows break open as a voice tells the Avengers that he bears answers.

A disheveled Thor, who now has a beard, tells his comrades, though, that the answers may bring the end of Earth and life as they know it. The Avengers stare in shock until finally Iron Man asks Thor what happened to him. Thor tells them he has traveled far. He begins to collapse, but Iron Man and Captain America catch him. Wasp calls Jarvis on the intercom and explains that Thor is back and looks starved.

Thor thanks the Wasp, but tells her that food is the least of his concerns. Iron Man asks him what he means. Thor stands up and tells everyone to back off, because he is no old crone that needs help to be supported. The world is in great danger and the mighty Thor shall prove to be equal to the challenge.

Concerned, Cap tells Thor that this is the second time he has mentioned that the Earth is in danger and wonders what they can do to help. Thor agrees that he did come for help, but they are just mortals and the danger is great. Cap picks up Thor’s helmet from the ground and tells the thunder god to let them worry about the danger. Thor apologizes and says that he had forgotten how courageous Captain America could be. He turns to Iron Man and asks if they others will help too.

Without hesitation, Iron Man puts out his hand and reminds Thor that they are the Avengers. Cap puts his hand on top and tells Thor that they will face whatever is coming together. Giant-Man and Thor agree and put their hands in also. The Wasp shrinks down and puts her tiny hand on top of the pile.

Jarvis comes in with a flagon of mead and some mutton for Thor. He senses that something is different and asks what is wrong. Wearily, Thor tells Jarvis that a threat too great for any of them, even the five of them combined, to fight. Once more they must spread the word to every corner of Earth. Let the “Avengers Assemble!”

Chapter Two: “Avengers Assemble!”
The archer, Hawkeye, shoots an arrow from a rooftop to the gates of Avengers Mansion. He slides down it and laughs. He knows that the Earth is in danger, but he cannot help it. He loves to pit muscle, sinew and skill against any and all threats. That is when he feels most alive. Hawkeye glides across Fifth Avenue and spots a taxi pulling up in front of Avengers Mansion. He realizes that if that is the same cab he saw around the corner, then he knows he is about to meet one of his best friends.

Hawkeye lands as the Scarlet Witch comes out of the taxi. With a grin, he says hello and asks, “how’s tricks?” Wanda is happy to see her old friend and asks him how he is. Clint replies that he is back from the dead and ready to party. He tells her that she is looking ravishing as always. Embarrassed, Wanda thanks him. Hawkeye tells her not to worry. He is not hitting on her. “I do learn, sometimes.”

Hawkeye is about to swipe his I.D. card to open the gate, but Quicksilver rushes past him and swipes his card in first. Hawkeye asks Pietro if he still likes to show off. Pietro, in his usual manner, tells Clint that he is tired of waiting for those “whose minds move at a crawl.” Pietro comments that Hawkeye’s manners haven’t improved since he was gone. Clint tells Pietro that he is jealous that he didn’t get to go too.

Before things can get worse between the two, Wanda asks Pietro where Crystal is. Pietro tells her that his wife had more legal matters to attend to that he could not bear to go to. She said she would meet them later. Upon hearing that Crystal was invited too, Hawkeye realizes that something big must be happening if first stringers like them are being called in.

Jarvis opens the door for the three and welcomes them in to join the others. Hawkeye begins to ask what others, but the words die out when he sees almost every Avenger that ever was assembled in the mansion. Everyone looks at the new arrivals. The Living Lightning gets excited to see them, but Firebird calms him down. Hercules sees them and jollily calls them over to where he is standing by Machine Man, Falcon and the Black Widow. Crystal, who somehow got there before her super fast husband, gets up from the coach and waves to him.

All around, the Avengers talk amongst themselves. The Black Panther tells Namor and Moondragon about how he defeated the bird-dragon that attacked him, but Namor seems more concerned about a stench. Spider-woman tells U.S.Agent that she left her daughter with a baby sitter so she hopes this won’t take long. Firestar and Justice are worried that they shouldn’t be there since they are not Avengers. Vision talks to Quasar about how the super-villain the Presence mysteriously disappeared when Quasar interrupts and tells him that Deathcry says hello from space.

Falcon asks the Black Widow what she thinks about the attacks while Machine Man looks at a picture of the original Human Torch. Black Widow tells the man that she better leave the leadership business to the others. Hercules tells Wanda that he is glad she came, because he felt like the earliest Avenger there. He offers her ale, but Wanda declines since they may be going on a mission.

Nearby, the Black Panther tries to stop Namor, but the Atlantean is bent on dealing with the stench. Moondragon asks Jarvis if the man responsible for the stench is really an Avenger. The four turn to face D-Man, who is eating a sub on a staircase. Jarvis explains that D-Man was made an Avenger by Captain America himself. Namor says that he could have been an X-Man, because they have never been choosy. Moondragon reminds him that standards sometimes fall.

Justice turns to Rage and says that he and Firestar should leave, since it was Avengers they called. Rage tells the two that they were attacked with him, so it should be alright. Darkhawk tells Firestar that it is no problem. He is barely an Avenger himself. If they can help, then it doesn’t matter if they are Avengers or not.

Beast sits on the fireplace and compliments Binary on her outfit. He asks her if she is still Ms. Marvel or if she is still going by the name of Binary. Binary tells him that it makes no difference. What she wants to know is why they are all standing around wasting time. They were called by Captain America and the others, so where are they?

In the control room, the five Avengers in question wait. Giant-Man informs Cap about the arrival of the Scarlet Witch and the others. Wasp tells him that this is probably all they are going to get. Iron stands in front of a large monitor with the pictures of all the Avengers who have not yet arrived. He agrees with Jan and points out that of all the members and honorary ones, most are either dead, in another time period, or just plain enigmas. He calls it a full house.

Cap agrees and says that he just wants to finish up. On the monitor in front of him are Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman and the Thing, who all at one point served as Avengers. Reed apologizes and says that they cannot make it. Their duties as the Fantastic Four come first and right now they are tied with their own problems.

Cap thanks them for letting him know when suddenly their communication is interrupted. An image of the Hulk appears. He tells the Avengers that he was attacked by trolls and now he hears about their little gathering. If they bother him again, he will come and bother them. The screen then turns off. The embarrassed Wasp concedes that maybe it was a bad idea to contact him. Iron Man tells her it was a generous idea on her part as usual, but tells the others that they should get the show on the road.

Chapter Three: A Common Threat…
Captain America, Giant-Man, Iron Man, Wasp and Thor stand on stage as the thirty six heroes that responded to the call sit in seats. D-Man sits alone in the middle, because no one can stand the smell that is coming from him. Those nearest to him stare at him and some, such as Tigra, give him dirty looks.

Cap stands at the podium and thanks them all for coming. He tells them that it is good to see them again, but as usual danger has brought them all together. He has agreed to serve as chairperson until a roster and leader has been chosen. He also adds that rarely has he seen such a great assemblage of power in one place. Whatever the foe, they will triumph. The Avengers sit in silence, but the Beast turns to Namor. “I’ll say this for the man, Subby,” says Beast, “He knows how to give a speech!”

Cap continues and explains that Thor knows the most of the situation so unless there are any objections he will turn the podium over to him. Hawkeye turns to Wanda next to him and whispers to her that they should be up there with them. They weren’t too far behind Cap in joining the team and they both served as leaders. But do they remember that, asks the disgruntled Hawkeye. Wanda puts a finger to her lips and shushes him.

Before Cap can leave the podium, Spider-Man raises his hand. He gets up and tells the Avengers that he knows that this is important and everything, but he has many things going on in his life at the moment and since they have a lot of Avengers here, they probably do not need him. Swordsman gets up and tells Spider-Man that if he is too yellow then they do not need him. Cap tells Swordsman that Spider-Man has proved himself over many times and then tells the web-head that he can go and gives him good luck in whatever he is going through now. Spider-man leaves and also gives them good luck with their assignment.

Sandman extends his body to Swordsman and tells the man that if he wants to talk smack about Spider-Man when he isn’t around, he will be doing it through a face full of sand. Cap tells everyone to settle down, because this is getting them no where.

Thor takes to the podium and tells the Avengers that the last time some of them saw him he was fighting Dr. Doom, who was trying to kidnap Franklin Richards so he could take over the world that they had been displaced to for a year. If he were to be successful then those heroes who were trying to get home would have died. He was unable to bring Doom back to the ship, so instead he tossed Franklin back to Reed Richards and then took Doom through a portal, away from Franklin and the second Earth.

Thor does not know what happened next. Much time later, he awakened on Asgard with a beard. To his horror, the once proud Asgard was no more. The realm was destroyed, buildings were reduced to rubble, the great halls were looted, but worse yet there was no sign of life.

There was neither an Asgardian nor any sign of the attacker. The Rainbow Bridge, which linked Asgard to the other nine worlds, was shattered into pieces. Worse yet, Odin and the others were nowhere to be seen. He roamed the realm and did not stop to sleep or eat. He found no one, not even a giant, demon, or gnome. He passed Valhalla and the realm of Death and into the Sea of Eternal Night. There he discovered that the Twilight Sword, the strongest weapon known to the Asgardians, was gone.

Iron Man whispers to Cap that this stuff gives him the creeps. Cap is surprised and mentions that Iron Man has dealt with magic before. Iron Man says he can take magic, but he does not like it. It’s a science he does not understand, but mythology and gods, those are things that violate everything he believes in.

Thor continues and tells the others that something caught his eye in the Sea of Eternal Night. He descended to the floor of the sea and to his surprise there laid a fragment of the Rainbow Bridge. He did not know how it got there, but when he touched it he was transported to Earth, specifically Chicago. It was this and the attacks that made him realize what occurred, but not why. The Rainbow Bridge fell across the nine worlds and creatures from those worlds traveled to Earth. However, he who destroyed Asgard may have the Twilight Sword also.

The Black Knight apologizes for interrupting, but asks what the Twilight Sword is. Thor explains that the sword was forged by Sutur, the mightiest of fire demons in the heart of the Burning Galaxy. It was forged so it could destroy all of creation or remake it. After it was created, it was put into the Sea of Eternal Night and stayed there except for one previous incident. Cap asks what of the Asgardians. Thor hopes that they are alive, but the sword is of utmost importance.

Thor explains that whoever has the Twilight Sword also has the Norn Stones as well. He can sense their magic and something dark. That is why he sought them all out. He senses the stones in five parts of Earth. They must make five groups and find the stones. Justice gets up in the back and introduces himself. He apologizes for being there even though he isn’t an Avenger, but points out that it may be a trap. Everyone stares at him and Hawkeye smirks. Justice realizes that they already knew that and in a low voice asks if can die now.

In a few moments, Captain America divides them into five teams and they take off in five Quinjets, each destined for a different part of the Earth. From the roof of the mansion, Moon Knight watches them go. He heard the call, but came in his own fashion. He heard their conversation even though the security devices should have blocked him. He knows they have a worthy cause, but Moon Knight no longer works with groups. Where the Moon Knight goes, he goes alone.

Inside the mansion, the paralyzed Rick Jones watches a monitor showing the Quinjets streak off. Jones asks Jarvis how he does it everyday. How can he watch them leave day after day and still have faith that they’ll always come back. Jarvis tells Rick that he does not know if they’ll always come back. However, someone needs to take care of the small things, like feeding the Black Knights horse. As Jarvis feeds Aragorn, he tells Rick that he is honored that they let him to be the one to do it.

Elsewhere, a woman also watches the Avengers leave. She tells her nephew that the Avengers come and if they have woven their magic correctly then the one they will need will soon fall into their laps.

Chapter Four: …To Fight the Foes…
Aboard one Quinjet, the Scarlet Witch tells her companions that they are at Tintagel Head, off the coast of Cornwall. Since this is where Thor told them that this is where one of the Norn Stones was, she starts the landing program. Suddenly, she sees something and calls Cap to get his attention. The Living Legend all ready knows and tells everyone to put on their seatbelts as he swerves the craft to the side. Crystal and Quasar strap themselves in, but D-Man falls into Hercules and Quicksilver slams against the side of the ship.

The Quinjet weighs fifteen tons, but the force that hits the jet sends it flying like Styrofoam. Wanda is in awe over the whirlwind that has appeared out of nowhere. Cap reassures her that they will handle it. Hercules yells at D-Man and tells him to get off. D-Man apologizes and asks Hercules if he is okay. Hercules tells him to just get off. As the ship flips over, Quicksilver is thrown onto the roof.

Cap orders the three men to grab onto something if they cannot strap themselves in. He tells Crystal and Quasar to get out there and deal with the whirlwind. Quasar holds Crystal in a quantum-field and flies out the ship. While he stabilizes the ship, he tells Crystal to use her elemental powers to fight the winds.

On board, the Black Panther radios to Cap, but the transmission is shaky. Cap asks the Panther if they found anything. The Panther says that they found plenty, but according to Thor, the other four Norn Stones have vanished and materialized near Cap’s team!

Outside, Quasar gets hold of the ship, but can barely keep it, because the winds are so strong. Crystal tells him that she can do no good. She has set up a counter-force, but it is useless. On board, Quicksilver holds onto the console by his sister, who asks Cap if she can try something. Cap gives her permission and also tells Hercules that Wanda is going to need an anchor to keep her into the ship.

Quicksilver takes over the wheel for Wanda. Hercules holds Wanda by the door. Some people have described the Scarlet Witch’s powers as the ability to disrupt probability; however that is less than the truth. Her “hex powers” twist the laws of chance, but also disrupts time or causes sudden gusts of force. Over the years she has also added the knowledge of the arcane arts to her repertoire. Whatever Wanda does today, whether it is magic, science, probability, or passion, it works. Wanda’s hex goes deep inside the whirlwind and the Quinjet gets shaken one last time as the winds die out.

Back inside, Wanda is barely able to stand. Hercules congratulates her and asks her if she is well. Wanda tells her friend that she feels odd. She felt a personality in there, which she commanded. Crystal and Quasar come back in and congratulate Wanda. D-Man is still lying on the floor. Cap tells the team that they are not through yet.

The Avengers reach the coast and spot the Twilight Sword embedded into a hill, which once was part of a ruin. Hercules is shocked by the sheer size of the sword. Cap agrees and says that Thor never mentioned how big the Twilight Sword was. The Avengers fly around the sword. Though only the handle is visible as well as a part of the blade it is still several stories tall. Quasar offers to fly it back to New York with his powers.

Cap thanks him as they land, but says that it probably won’t be that simple. He tells the team to be cautious and specifically reminds Quasar and Quicksilver to stay with the group. Everyone gets off and D-Man asks Hercules if he hurt him. Angry, Hercules tells the dirty man to stay away. Even the stables of Augea did not smell so bad. Cap tells Hercules to be quiet. As the others proceed to the sword, Cap asks D-Man how things are in Zero Town. D-Man thanks him for asking and explains that there is enough water only for drinking, not washing. They will last through the winter, though.

Suddenly, from above, a voice calls out to the Avengers. They all look up and Crystal expects to see Loki, but Hercules tells her no. On the ruins is a man clad in green armor with shoulder length black hair, a mustache and beard. The man tells the Avengers that he is sorry to disappoint them, but he is not Loki. He is Mordred, son of Arthur Pendragon, Mordred of the Northern Isle. He is best known as Mordred the Evil. He apologizes if the whirlwind was troublesome, but if they had not come in a suspicious nature they would have been welcomed with open arms since they Avengers have brought him what he wants.

Mordred snaps his fingers. The ground erupts beneath the Scarlet Witch. It forms into tentacles and catches the surprised Avenger, pulling her deep into the ground to the horror of her brother and colleagues. Cap demands that Mordred let Wanda go when suddenly the earth reforms again as trolls emerge. Hercules recognizes them as Rock Trolls that live within stone and form their bodies from the material. If they are smashed then the trolls re-form themselves and become more powerful. Quicksilver does not care and tells the others that the trolls will not stop him for reaching his sister.

The Avengers hesitate for a moment, but then enter the battle. Cap shatters a troll with his shield to clear a path for Quicksilver. Mordred asks the Avengers if this is not the time they should be begging for mercy. He tells them that only fools fight when there is no chance to win. D-Man chucks a troll and tells Mordred that they will try anyway. Quasar blasts another troll and tells Mordred that Avengers don’t beg. Mordred tells the Avengers that they are just as tiresome as Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Crystal and Hercules use their powers to destroy more trolls as Quicksilver runs up behind Mordred.

Mordred tells the Avengers that the Knights of the Round Table broke and so will they. Quicksilver tells the green-clad man that he talks too much as he punches him in the back of the head. Mordred falls and is scared, because the Rock Trolls are mindless and will turn on him unless he banishes them. Pietro runs to Mordred, which causes Cap to think that Pietro may kill the man. Quicksilver runs around Mordred and assures Cap that he won’t kill him, because then they will not find out where Wanda is. Instead, Quicksilver rips off the man’s armor and clothes. Pietro asks where his sister is, but Mordred tells him to ask “her” as he points up.

The Avengers turn around to see a giant woman with purple hair, clad in turquoise and golden armor, standing behind the Twilight Sword, which looks like nothing compared to her size. Quasar tells Cap that he recognizes her from the Avenger’s files. She is Morgan Le Fay, the Celtic sorceress who has been trying to take over the Earth for fourteen hundred years. Quasar also notices that Morgan is wearing the Norn Stones around her neck.

Morgan smiles and tells Quasar that he is quite perceptive. It is true; she is the author of their recent misfortune. Her nephew, Mordred, wanted to humble the Avengers, so she, being a loving aunt, allowed his request to be carried out. However, she never expected him to defeat the Avengers, nor did it matter. What matters is that they proved to be most cooperative.

Cap tells Morgan that she may have the upper hand, but the Avengers will beat her. Morgan smiles incredulously at Cap and, with her finger, she shows Cap an image of the second team of Avengers. She tells him that she knows they will fight, they always do. Even now the others battle her other minions. The Black Widow, though she hates to lead a team of Avengers again, leads them in the South Pacific against the Midgard Serpent.

In the Arctic, the Wasp leads her team against Frost Giants. They know they are not fighting the crucial battle, but they fight no less bravely and selflessly. Of course, continues Morgan, not all her minions are Asgardians led to Earth after she learned of Asgard’s destruction. In equatorial Africa, Iron Man leads his group against her old allies the Fomor, Celtic demons. Finally, in Central America, Thor and his team fight reanimated conquistadors. It is unfortunate that Thor could not face familiar foes or the Black Panther fight in Wakanda, but Avengers do not pick and choose battles. They fight for what is right.

Morgan tells Cap that she knows that she knows they could win against her and her minions, but unfortunately for them it is already too late. The sorceress confesses that she allowed Mordred to attack them so she could gain more time. Her heritage runs close enough to that of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, so she can wield the Norn Stones. She could not use the Twilight Sword until now, though. Purple energy shoots out of Morgan’s finger and into the ground. A stone table emerges surrounded by more Rock Trolls. The Scarlet Witch is held down on the table while Morgan harnesses the woman’s magical energy.

Morgan asks Wanda if she did not wonder when her mutant powers spoke magic to magic with her winds. The Scarlet Witch’s power is steeped in Chthonic magic. Morgan tells all present that Wanda’s ability to warp reality, to bride the gap between her own Celtic magic and the workings of the Asgardians, is the last step. The Scarlet Witch is whom Morgan needed all along.

Quicksilver turns to Mordred and asks about the attacks. Mordred gets up and tells Pietro that the attacks were to cause the Avengers to regroup so they could bring the Scarlet Witch to them. Above them, Morgan takes hold of the Twilight Sword, which begins to emit fire and energy. As Morgan lifts the Twilight Sword the Scarlet Witch screams out in intense and utter pain. She starts to cry as she feels magic ripping through her, electrifying every fiber of her being.

Quicksilver rushes towards his sister to save her. Cap orders Quasar and Crystal to back him up, but it is too late. Morgan raises the sword into the sky and pierces it. The blue sky turns into orange clouds. She tells the Avengers that she now has the sword and with its power she has all that is.

The sword comes down and cleaves the sky, as well as all of reality. Quicksilver, Quasar and Crystal are engulfed in a white light and slowly fade away. Cap turns to Hercules and D-Man, which are the only things left visible. He watches as the two of them disappear into the light, too. As Captain America himself is erased in the light, he thinks to himself that Iron Man would hate this.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Binary, Black Knight, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Darkhawk, Demolition Man, Falcon, Firebird, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Hercules, Hulk, Iron Man, Living Lightning, Machine Man/X-51, Magdalene, Moon Knight, Moondragon, Photon, Quasar, Quicksilver, Rage, Rick Jones, Sandman, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Starfox, Swordsman, Stingray, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Thor, Tigra, U.S.Agent, Vision, and Wasp (all Avengers)

Edwin Jarvis
Firestar, Justice (both New Warriors)
Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic 4)
Luna (Crystal and Quicksilver’s daughter)

Megan McLaren (WJBP-TV Reporter)

Aragorn (Black Knight’s Horse)

Mordred the Evil
Morgan Le Fay
Demon Riders, Flying Trolls of Thryhem, the Fomor, Frost Giants, Gullin the Boar God, Midgard Serpent, Mutaurus, Rock Trolls, the Vanna, various other mythological creatures and Asgardians (all minions of Morgan Le Fay)

Thor’s Story:
Dr. Doom
Franklin Richards, Mr. Fantastic, Thor

Story Notes: 

To defeat the villain Onslaught, many of Earth’s heroes, including the Avengers, were forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety of their world. However, unbeknownst to them, the son of the Reed and Susan Richards, Franklin, used his developing mutant powers to create a pocket universe in which his family and the other heroes who sacrificed themselves were reborn into in Onslaught: Marvel Universe. There, the heroes had no memories of their past lives and thought the pocket universe to be their true world. They relived their lives as heroes, but things happened slightly different. Eventually, when both worlds were threatened by the Celestials, the heroes returned to their world and regained their memories. Along the way, Dr. Doom attempted to kidnap Franklin Richards so he could defeat the Celestials and take over the pocket world, but Thor threw himself and Doom into a portal in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.

Captain America’s overseas adventure took place in Japan in Captain America (3rd Series) #1, where he fought longtime X-villain Lady Deathstrike.

Captain America first joined the team in Avengers (1st Series) #4. Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver joined shortly later in Avengers (1st Series) #16. Both Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch later led the West Coast Avengers.

The Twilight Sword was once removed from the Sea of Eternal Night in Thor (1st Series) #425.

In Greek mythology, the Stables of Augea were owned by Augeas, who in some versions of the myth is a son of the god Helios and king of Elis in northwest Pelopónnisos. Augeas possessed an immense herd of cattle, including 12 white bulls sacred to Helios, kept in stalls that had not been cleaned for years. One of the 12 labors imposed on the Greek hero, Hercules, was cleaning the stables, unaided, in a single day. He did this by diverting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to run through them. Augeas had promised Hercules a tenth of his herd as payment but did not keep his word. Hercules then sent an army against him, slaying Augeas and his sons.

The Avengers first fought Morgan Le Fay in Avengers (1st Series) #240-241.

The Black Widow was leader of the Avengers when most of her team sacrificed themselves to stop Onslaught. Shortly after, in Avengers Annual ’99, she disbanded the team after failing to recruit a new team.