Avengers (4th series) #4

Issue Date: 
October 2010
Story Title: 

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)

Brief Description: 

Iron Man’s team arrives in the future, courtesy of a time machine created by Noh-Varr. They see a world in chaos. In the present, Killraven arrives with a dire warning, but the warning comes too late for Devil Dinosaur who is blown up by a Martian Master. Thor heads out to engage them as Killraven explains that he’s been shifted through time and it’s all getting a little confusing. In the future, Wolverine advises Captain American not to be too hasty in shooting anyone and Iron Man agrees. As they discuss the merits of this decision, the team is taken down quickly by the young Avengers and taken to their master. They wake to find them in the hands of the Maestro. Luckily, he seems friendly, but after explaining that Kang is working for him, he introduces another Iron Man, an older version of Tony Stark. The older Tony apologizes for what he’s about to do, but he holds the Avengers in a repulsor beam and prepares to inject the younger Tony with something nasty-looking.

Full Summary: 

the future:
After using a time machine created by the Protector, Iron Man’s team arrive in the future. It’s completely dark and Captain America wonders where they are. Wolverine informs him that they’re in a cave in Central Park. Iron Man illuminates the place using a light on his chest plate and they discover that they really are in a cave. Cap tells him that’s some good nose. “It’s what I do,” replies Logan. Cap asks if this is where they are supposed to be. Iron Man replies that they’ll find out in a minute. Noh-Varr says they made it to their exact coordinates.

Iron Man warns everyone that they’re going to see things that are going to rattle them. They’re going to see a future that they have to assume is the worst version of the future they have coming to them. Plus, they have no idea how real it is or how damaged it is. He needs them to hold it together no matter what they see. They make their way to the cave entrance and are greeted with an astonishing sight. “You mean something like this?” asks Wolverine. Outside, the city is burning. Central Park is filled with heroes fighting Ultron’s forces. It’s carnage. The Silver Surfer flies overhead blasting at those below. Cyclops, the Vision, Volstagg, Dr. Doom and Photon are united in battle.

Killraven and Devil Dinosaur have arrived in the present and Killraven immediately recognizes Spider-Man. “If you value your lives, you will… You!!” Spidey says that he knows him. Spider-Woman replies that he’s a half-naked man with a sword riding a dinosaur. Of course he knows him. Killraven grabs Spidey and gives him a big friendly hug. He tells him it’s good to see him. He thought they would never do battle together again. Jessica asks who he is. He informs her that he is Jonathan Raven or Killraven. He warns them that if they value their lives they will do as he says. They need to run, and they need to do it now! Clint asks where he’s supposed to be from. Killraven asks if they’re listening to him. They need to take…

Before he finishes his sentence, Devil Dinosaur explodes. His flesh covers them. Killraven once again begs them to run. They look up and see several massive Martian Masters. “Oh, come on!!” cries Hawkeye. Thor doesn’t hesitate to head skywards to confront them. As he approaches he swings Mjolnir and summons a lightning bolt. He then unleashes it at the Martian, smashing through it’s main body and out the other side. He then moves swiftly on to the next one as the giant tripod crashes to the ground.

Maria tells them to get moving. Spidey wonders if they should help Thor but Hawkeye reckons he’s got this one. Maria calls for any New Yorkers still not running for the hills to get the hell off the streets. Spider-Man asks Killraven what his name is again. Perplexed, Killraven asks if he doesn’t remember him. Spidey replies that he does, but it’s been a while. “It was just a couple of weeks ago,” replies Killraven. Nearby, a frightened citizen asks what kind of mishagas they are up to now. Hawkeye asks everyone to stay calm but the guy tells him to stay calm. Jessica points out that people never stay calm when you asks them to. Clint asks what else he’s supposed to say. “Everybody mess your pants?”

Spider-Man tells Killraven that they met years ago. Killraven finds that strange. Spidey asks how he got here. Can he travel the timestream? Does he know who Kang is? As he answers, another Martian tripod falls. Maria asks Spidey who he is. Spidey says he’s from the future, right? Killraven explains that he is one of the freeman warriors trying to defend what’s left of the human population from the Martian attack that has decimated their planet and their culture. Maria is horrified and asks what year this happens. Clint admits that he’d like to know that, too. Killraven explains that yesterday, or what was yesterday for him, he was pulled out of the reality that he knows to be true and thrust into prehistoric times. “Hence the dinosaur,” replies Spidey. He then adds that afterwards he was thrust into somewhere around the civil war era and before he even realized, he ended up here. But, he’s not sure where that is, exactly.

Maria informs him that he’s in New York City. Killraven replies that he is from New York City. He says that he fears he is losing his mind. Clutching Spidey by what would be his lapels (if he had any), he adds that the human mind isn’t made to handle this kind of madness. Outside, something is happening and Spider-Woman and Hawkeye alert the others to it. Outside it’s like a scene from Gangs of New York. Men with makeshift hammers, axes and other weapons fight each other in the street. Jessica reckons it’s just officially got weird. “Even for us,” replies Clint.

Clint reckons they can’t stay inside. They need to go our and help. Jessica wonders who they should help do what. The frightened citizen says he’s going to sue someone. Clint reckons they should help everyone but him. Killraven hasn’t a clue what’s going on and Spidey asks him to get it together. They’ll get through this. His spider-sense suddenly begins to tingle as something crashes through their window. Hawkeye makes a decision. He tells them to hit anything that looks like it’s hitting something that it shouldn’t be hitting. Spider-Woman hopes that this circus is only a couple of blocks in diameter.

Close by, Thor finishes the last of the Martians off but then looks around at the rest of the city. Overhead, prehistoric pterosaurs, S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers, bi-planes and other strange craft fill the skies but what grabs his attention is Galactus who is towering over the skyscrapers preparing to suck the life from the planet.

the future:
Cap is preparing to shoot, but Wolverine grabs his wrist and asks what he thinks he’s doing. Cap reckons he can make the shot, but Wolverine asks who said they were making a shot. Cap tells him that if he can kill Kang now, maybe he can stop all this crazy before it gets out of hand. Logan asks what if he makes it worse. Iron Man asks them both to get back inside the cave. Logan is right. They don’t know what the score is so taking the shot is a 50-50 chance at best. And, no offense, but If Wolverine is the voice of reason against violence, he would take it very seriously.

Cap asks why, if they didn’t know the score, did they come here. Iron Man replies that they know that the score is an out-of-control break in the timestream. They know it happened here and they know that the score involves whoever these Avengers kids are. That is why they are here. But, what is going on down there, as far as they know, is actually in their favour. It might turn the tide against Kang and put him in a position where…

He is broken off by Bucky who states that the problem is Kang. They should eliminate the problem and strategize the clean up. That is why they are there. Iron Man asks what if they need Kang and his technology. Bucky replies that they don’t need it. They have alien boy’s technology. Noh-Varr replies that whatever they need him to do, he’ll do it. Wolverine asks them all to hold on. There’s a weird scent. “It smells like…” Before he can finish his sentence he is hit in the face with a round shield with the stars and stripes on it. Cap is then grabbed from above and the Protector is zapped with an energized sword. Something small flies into Iron Man’s eye hole and zaps him inside his armor, dropping him to the floor. Wolverine tries to get up but he is kicked in the face. “No time for your lip, furball,” says his assailant.

The five Avengers kids stand over their fallen opponents. Azari says that wasn’t hard at all. Henry Pym says he told him so. That tech was like 100 years old. Torrun doesn’t feel that this is right, but Francis Barton reminds her that they talked about this. These are desperate times and so they have different rules. Francis says they have to do what the Maestro says. He knows better than them. He is better.

sometime later:
Wolverine is the first to rouse himself thanks to his healing factor. He manages to lift his body from the ground and coughs as he looks up. He instinctively snikts his claws and prepares to fight, but standing over him, Maestro asks him to put the claws away and come over to him. He grabs Logan by the arms and lifts him off the ground. Smiling, he tells him it’s good to see him. “Banner?” asks Logan. Maestro replies that he had no idea who Stark was going to bring, but he would not have guessed him in a million years. “Bruce Banner?” asks Logan, again. The others wake up and Iron Man states that of the weird things they’ve seen this week, and there have been many… “Yeah,” replies cap. “I think that beats them all.” Noh-Varr asks where they are. Maestro replies that they are with friends and he is so glad to see them. He congratulates them on an outstanding job in finding a way to get there. He knew he could do it. ‘He’ wasn’t so sure, but he knew they could.

“You attacked us,” Noh-Varr points out. James Rogers explains that it was a military extraction. Francis adds that they were pulling them out of a war zone. “Quickly and quietly,” says Henry Pym Jr. Torrun asks if it hurt. They are really sorry. Azari asks them to show some respect. It’s him. It’s the guy! Maestro informs them that they have an awful lot of work still to do. Iron Man asks him to wait a second. He asked Kang to come get them? Maestro explains that they needed them and Kang is the one with the time machine. Luckily, Kang is very scared of him. Iron Man asks if he sent for him… for them. Maestro replies that he said they needed them and he got him them. “Who said?” asks Iron Man.

Maestro motions behind him and Tony turns to see someone standing there in old-fashioned grey Iron Man armor. “Hello, Tony,” he says, admitting that this is as weird as he thought it was gonna be. Tony asks who he is. The guy opens his face plate only to reveal another also Tony Stark, only older. He tells the younger Tony that he knows better than anyone that if he had to resort to this, he had no other choice. He asks Banner to hold him. Maestro grabs his arms and asks Tony to just hold on and do what the man says. The older Tony then uses his gauntlet repulsors on Wolverine, Captain America and Noh-Varr. James asks if needs any help. The older Tony pops out a particularly nasty looking invasive device from his gauntlet and says he has this under control. The replusor shield will hold until he’s done what he’s need to do. Maestro asks the younger Tony to stop squirming and then removes his helmet’s face plate. “He tries to get him off but Maestro is too strong. “Stop,” he cries. The older Tony approaches and says that he is truly sorry.

Tony screams.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America (Bucky), Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, Wolverine (all Avengers)

The Protector (Noh-Varr)
Maria Hill

Devil Dinosaur
Martian Masters

Girl and boy

in the future:
Maestro and his assistant
Older version of Iron Man

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)
Future versions of Crimson Dynamo, Cyclops, Dr. Doom, Giant Man, Hercules, Juggernaut, Magneto, Moondragon, Ms. Marvel, Photon, Quasar, Silver Surfer, Thing, Ultron and his army, Vision, Volstagg, Wonder Man

Story Notes: 

Spider-Man and Killraven teamed up in Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #45.

By civil war, Killraven presumably means the American Civil War which ran from 1861 to 1865.

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