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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Dean White (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson and Dean White (cover), Lauren Stankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
On Wolverine’s hunch, the Avengers locate Noh-Varr and find him taking down the Titanium Man with impressive ease. Iron Man tells him that he is needed. He has skills that the Avengers require. Noh-Varr graciously offers his services. They head back to the tower where he and Iron Man begin building a time machine, ably assisted by Thor. As they create the machine, the others watch and chat. Soon, the machine is ready and Noh-Varr uses it to create images of possible futures. After flicking through a few images they see five youngsters who are dressed in a familiar fashion. They see them murder Immortus. They then conjecture about this future and wonder how it managed to get so broken. Was it Kang? Was it their kids? Before they can reach any conclusions they are shocked when Wonder Man appears and attacks them. He screams at them, telling them he warned Steve Rogers not to put the Avengers back together. He disappears as quickly as he appeared, leaving the Avengers to wonder what’s wrong with him. Unfortunately, the time machine in ruins. Noh-Varr informs Tony Stark that he can build another, but before they can go anywhere, Apocalypse and his four horsemen inexplicably appear out of the time stream.
Atlanta Naval Air Station, Marietta, Georgia:The Avengers watch as Noh-Varr, otherwise known as Marvel Boy, does battle with the Titanium Man. He is using his physical skills as well as his armor’s weaponry to fight the guy. They discuss how he is from the Kree race and has all the alien tech and know-how they need. It’s how he got to Earth in the first place. He was one of Osborn’s men but he had the decency to get himself away from all that. Titanium Man is one of Iron Man’s bad guys so they know that this take down is particularly impressive.
Once he’s finished, Iron Man tells him that they need his alien brain. Spidey adds that it’s because the world is coming to an end… or something. Noh-Varr’s mask slides away from his face and he asks what he can do. “You’re Marvel Boy??” asks Iron Man. Noh-Varr replies that he doesn’t want to be called that anymore. Tony asks if he’s on the good guys’ side now? No more alien terrorist tantrums and threatening to take over the world? No more joining Osborn’s team of homicidal maniacs? “No,” he replies. “I told ya,” says Wolverine. Tony tells him he wants to hear it from Noh-Varr himself.
Noh-Varr admits that adjusting to life on Earth took some getting used to. He knows his place now. At least, he knows what he should be, and he’s trying to get there. He knows why he is here. Iron Man asks what that reason is. He replies that he is there to protect the world. He is The Protector. “Good for you,” replies Tony as his armor does a full scan on Noh-Varr’s own uniform. He then informs Noh-Varr that they need someone who knows about time-space dimensional travel equations. Noh-Varr says that’s all he knows. Tony adds that they need him to build them a machine, send them to the future and help stop the world from coming to an end. Noh-Varr is a little confused and asks if this is sarcasm. He’s still trying to get his head around that. Thor assures him it’s not. He then tells Tony he’s going to need a lot of things. Tony puts his arm around his shoulder and says that’ll be no problem. He has a lot of things.
Avengers Tower, New York City:Captain America is walking with Maria Hill. He asks if she thinks this Kang thing is a trap. Maria replies that she knows it’s a trap. Does he know how she knows? Cap replies that she’s a woman who has seen things. A woman who knows how the world turns. “That is exactly what I am,” she replies. She explains that a big Avengers bad guy turns up from nowhere on their first day as Avengers and tells them just enough to get them to go wherever the hell he wants them to go. Cap points out that he turns up from the future… then why doesn’t he just kill them in their sleep if he wants them dead so badly? Why go to the trouble to create an elaborate story like this?
Maria holds up a tablet and asks if he’s seen the intel on him. Cap admits that he hasn’t. Maria explains that he’s out of his mind. He thinks he’s the pharaoh of the world. Cap tells her that Stark isn’t a dumb guy, so he’s not going to jump into it. There will be a plan. He loves to make a plan. Maria asks if that’s what this is.
Meanwhile Tony and Noh-Varr are in the lab working on some incredibly hi-tech machinery. Thor assists by holding up heavy things that need holding up. The others watch with interest whilst munching on pizza. Tony’s enjoying himself. He loves getting his hands dirty building the future. Smiling, he turns to Noh-Varr and informs him that he’s working for him now. He’s getting his own Stark Industries state of the art warehouse laboratory and a staff, and he’s going to unleash his alien mind on the world. “No,” replies Noh-Varr. Tony is surprised and says he doesn’t say no to him. Noh-Varr explains that he’s not allowed to do that. “You can’t get a job?” asks Tony. Noh-Varr replies that he can’t bring the technology of the Kree Empire into the pedestrian economy of this working world. “Sure you can,” grins Tony. Noh-Varr insists that they can’t have technology they haven’t earned. They would destroy themselves in a year’s time. “I’ll buy you a pony,” jokes Stark.
With a burst of pink/red energy, Noh-Varr exclaims that the machine is ready. Watching, Spidey asks if he can be the one who says, “Whoa!” The energy dissipates and forms images of a variety of people. Maria asks what they’re looking at. Noh-Varr replies that they asked for a functional space-time continuum, viewer. This is it. They see a Sentinel, Iron Man, Magneto, Wolverine and Cable, Dr. Doom, the Juggernaut and Stryfe amongst others. Thor asks what these images are. Noh-Varr informs them that they are the futures. They are looking into all the ways their world will and might go. Clint asks which one is theirs. He is told that it could be any and all of them.
Clint doesn’t think they should really be seeing this but Wolverine asks what difference it could make. Would he live his life any different? Clint says they just shouldn’t know this much about the future. Tony finds it amazing. They see someone who resembles Spider-Man and he wonders if that’s himself in the future. Spider-Woman spots a young girl and wonders if that is her kid. The images change and five youngsters appear on screen. Tony reckons it’s what they’ve been looking for. One holds a shield, a young woman has the same appearance as Thor, one has wings, one has a bow and arrow and the other looks like a young T’Challa.
Spidey finds them cute. Clint wonders why they can’t hear them. Bucky wonders if this is a trick and Maria admits that she’s not buying it. Where’s the volume? Tony replies that it doesn’t have any. Maria thinks that sucks. You’d think they’d have volume in the future. Thor then spots Kang, or Immortus, kneeling down and in pain. Cap reckons he looks upset. Spidey reckons it looks like he’s paying too much for his car insurance. They see him stand, only to be electrocuted by the youngsters. The images change once more and Captain America asks Noh-Varr what’s happening. The image becomes bright and splits up into fractured pictures.
Noh-Varr realizes that there’s something wrong. Maria asks him to shut it down but he assures her that it isn’t the device that’s the problem. The face of a big green guy with a silver mustache appears briefly before the image closes down completely. Noh-Varr seems confused and states that the time stream is wrong. “It’s wrong?” asks Captain America. “It’s broken,” sighs Tony Stark.
Tony asks Noh-Varr if he can take them there. If his device isn’t broken, which Noh-Varr states it isn’t, then they just saw proof that the timestream is broken. Kang broke it. Spidey asks why he would do that. Stark replies that they must assume he didn’t do it on purpose. Cap asks why they would have to assume that. Tony explains that a man like Kang who fancies himself as the Lord of Time needs a kingdom. Clint wonders what happened. Did he keep picking at it until he broke it? Stark asks once again if Noh-Varr can get them there. Fortunately, he replies that he can. Stark wonders what Kang’s endgame is. Maria asks him if he’s guessing or is this the thing. Maybe his thingadoo is broken. Stark believes it’s not, but Maria only has his word on that.
Jessica says that Tony said time is a thing. And if he broke it? Spidey rubs his head and says that if Kang broke it, why wouldn’t he just tell them that? Why tell them about their kids and the end of the universe and then have them see what they saw? Clint wonder if perhaps their kids broke it. They killed Kang and they broke it. Thor suggests that maybe he is being deceitful. He could be setting a trap. They don’t have the capacity to see all the pieces. He is playing with their emotions. Tony says that whoever broke it, it’s broken and they’re in a lot of trouble. Time is not a linear thing. If it’s broken… “It’s broken everywhere,” Cap interjects. Thor turns to Noh-Varr and asks him to get to work.
A massive explosion then rocks the room and Avengers are hurled to the ground. “You!!” barks Thor. “What did you just do?” asks Tony Stark. Wonder Man steps inside, energy fizzing all around him. He grimaces as he says that he told Steve Rogers that if he put the Avengers back together it would be a mistake. He told him fair! He warned him. He is not going to make that mistake repeat itself. Stark asks him what he’s talking about. Thor says he needs to calm himself down and tell them what’s bothering him. Simon doesn’t reply, he simply responds by slamming Thor in the stomach with his right first. Stark armors up and gives the order for the Avengers to assemble. Spidey quips that they were assembled until he knocked them over.
Wolverine steps forward and says he has this, but Clint warns him not to do anything. Simon smashes him as he approaches so Noh-Varr blasts him in the face which defenestrates Simon and sends him flying to the building opposite. Iron Man orders everyone behind him as Wonder Man comes back for more. “I warned him!!” he cries as he smashes into them. “I told you.” As he is about to hit, his energy disperses and the Avengers stand there shocked. “He’s gone,” states Iron Man. His armor has done a thorough environmental scan. Cap wonders how he did that. Iron Man explains that Simon is made of ionic energy. He’s one of the most powerful Avengers of all time. “He was an Avenger?” asks Cap. “One of the best,” replies Hawkeye.
Thor states that he needs their help. Tony assures him they’ll help him, but Jessica doesn’t think it appears like he was looking for their help. Tony says he doesn’t want to go through this. Not again. First Wanda, then Bob. He can’t watch another Avenger fall from grace. He can’t watch another crack under the pressure. He asks Maria Hill to get hold of Steve Rogers and find out exactly what went on between the two of them. She replies that she’s already on it. She asks what they’re going to do about the time-space wigamadoo. Stark asks Noh-Varr if he can build another, quickly. He replies yes, but asks if this maniac will come and ruin it again.
Iron Man pauses as his armor gets some weird readings. “As a bright light appears before them he gives the command to evacuate the building. “Too late,” replies Clint as Apocalypse appears with his four horsemen. The ancient one asks his horsemen what nightmare they have found themselves in now!
Captain America (Bucky), Hawkeye, Iron Man, Protector (Noh-Varr), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Maria HillJarvisWonder ManTitanium Man
Apocalypse and his four horsemen, Death (Wolverine), Famine (Wanda Maximoff), Pestilence (Peter Parker), War (Red Hulk)
future images:Azari (son of the Black Panther and Storm), Francis Barton (son of Clint Barton), Henry Pym Jr. (son of Giant Man and the Wasp), James Rogers (son of Steve Rogers and the Black Widow), Torrun (Daughter of Thor and Sif)Heroes including Bluestreak, Cable, Charlie 27, Death’s Head, Doom 2029, Firelord, Freebooter, Immortus, Iron Man 2020, J2, Killraven, Machine Man 2020, Maestro, Major Victory, Magneto, Martinex, Nikki, Sabreclaw, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man 2099, Spirit of Vengeance, Sentinel, Starhawk, Starlord, Stryfe, Wolverine, Yondu
The title should be “Next Avengers - part 2”.Iron refers to Wanda who is the Scarlet Witch and Bob who is the Sentry.