Jump to navigation
Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers), Paco Medina (artist), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Yasmine Putri (cover artist), Matteo Scalera & Morena Dinisio (variant cover artists), Carlos Lao (graphic designer), Shannon Andrews (assistant editor), Alanna Smith (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Nyx family designs by Joshua James Shaw
For Conan Properties International: Fred Malmberg (president), Jay Zetterberg (executive vice president), Steve Booth (chief operation officer)
Avengers created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
In New York, the Blue Marvel has rallied new team together, the Avengers World, consisting of America Chavez, Lightning, Nadia Pym, Toni Ho, Pod-2, Gomi and Bill the Lobster, as they prepare to deal with the chaos that has erupted since the universe went dark. On Euphoria, the strange planet manifests before the heroes battling Nyx as a tall tree-like woman. She explains that her existence is to make people happy. Nyx tries to convince Euphoria that she can be made happy by being given the final shard of her soul which is currently on the planet. Euphoria then turns to each of the heroes, asking them their desires. Hercules explains that he just wants to help people, Hawkeye wants one good arrow, Spectrum to be the “light”, while Wanda wants vengeance against Nyx, who decides that she also wants vengeance. Rocket tells Euphoria that he just wants to do one thing right, before finding the vial of Pym Particles he stole from Hawkeye in his pocket. Surprisingly, the Vision tells Euphoria that he is dying and therefore has everything he needs. When Euphoria asks Conan what he wants, he declares that he wants for the Vision to fight back. The somber Hulk asks Euphoria to end his world, shocking Euphoria, who tells him that she will not. Nyx has had enough of all the talk, and demands the shard, warning Euphoria that she will destroy this planet to get it. Euphoria will not abide harm befalling the citizens of this planet – and an instant later, Hawkeye gets that one good arrow, which he fires into Nyx's eye. The Scarlet Witch manipulates light around the heroes and vests it within Spectrum, increasing her powers. She merges with the Vision and they attack Nyx. To Hawkeye's shock, Rocket then takes the Pym Particles and becomes a giant, as he stands on Nyx. The heroes are relentless in their attack against the Queen of the Night, while Euphoria watches, unsure as to how to serve their needs. She then turns to Nyx and tells her to take the shard, if she desires it so much. Nyx shoves her hand into Euphoria and retrieves the final piece of her long-missing soul. She releases the soul, and bathes in the energy it gives her. Nyx's godhood returned, she finally sees the center – the birthplace of all that was, all that is, and all that yet will be. She then enters a strange house, while Voyager reaches out to Euphoria and points out that she never heard her wish. Euphoria asks Voyager what her heart's desire is, to which Voyager tells her it is to be an Avenger. Euphoria points out that only one person can make that happen. Voyager understands, and gathers her strength, as she cries 'Avengers Assemble' and teleports the heroes to what appears to be Long Island, where they find the house that Nyx went into. There are civilians nearby, but they are unable to see the Avengers, who rush to the house as Nyx enters it. But as they get closer, Conan, Rocket and the Hulk disappear. Hercules reaches the door to the house and holds it open, cracks of light beaming through, as Spectrum leaves the Vision's body as the android Avenger dives into the house, Hercules falls backwards and the door closes.
New York – a very dark New York, where several heroes have gathered on an abandoned street. Adam Brashear the Blue Marvel calls out to America Chavez and Miguel Santos a.k.a. Lightning and tells them that they are with him. He adds that this blackout is creating a global panic, but that between them they can be everywhere at once. Blue Marvel tells Dr Toni Ho, who holds a large gun, and Nadia van Dyne the Wasp, who hovers nearby, that their job is to get the power back on – any way they can. Blue Marvel then tells Pod-2, Gomi Bill the Lobster that Earth's trigger fingers are getting itchy, and their assignment is to prevent World War III! Toni Ho asks Nadia if she is ready for the first GIRL/RESCUE join mission. 'I am if you are!' Nadia replies, while Pod-2 remarks 'Everything is cool'. The Blue Marvel then asks T'Challa the Black Panther, who appears via a holo-link, whether his Avengers squad can handle the vampire problem. 'If you can handle your end, Blue Marvel -' T'Challa replies, to which the Blue Marvel declares that he is commanding a worldwide force of international heroes – that will have to be enough. 'Avengers World – assemble!' Blue Marvel exclaims.
Meanwhile, on Euphoria, where a rag-tag group of Avengers find themselves. Hercules thinks that when the time came, he always thought he would be the hero. Instead, he finds himself in darkness, shaken and grieving, readying for final battle. And then he hears a voice: 'Enough' the voice utters, as Hercules decides that it is a kind voice. Hercules, Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch, the android known as the Vision, Rocket Raccoon, Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye, Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum, the warrior called Conan and the gravely weak Voyager watch as a green tree-like alien appears before them. 'Who -' Hercules calls out, while Nyx, the Queen of the Night watches, too. The mysterious new arrival glows as she introduces herself as Euphoria, and explains that she is this planet. Euphoria reveals that for countless millennia she has existed only to make her denizens happy, to fulfil their desires.
'Then you possess the final shard of my power -' Nyx utters. Euphoria looks down at Nyx and remarks that they all desire that, and their warring threatens to disrupt her paradise. 'So I wonder...can a decision be made? Who needs it most?' Euphoria asks. 'I do!' Nyx snaps. 'My lady – for the good of the universe, we must have the -' Hercules begins, but Euphoria states that she cannot speak of universes, for she is only a planet. She looks at Hercules and asks him what is it that he wants. Hercules looks up at Euphoria and explains that they must have the shard to defeat endless night. 'Not the goal of some mission. The ache of your heart. The truth. What do you want?' Euphoria asks. Hercules pauses, and looks to the ground as he admits that recently, he tried to mend his ways, mend his reputation – that he wanted to be seen as a legendary hero again, so he stopped drinking, and that was hard – but to stop boasting, well, that became too hard – he wanted to be seen as the legend, the legend people wanted.
Hercules continues, explaining that he swung between playing the serious man, aching to prove something, and playing the jester, everyone's funny friend – but he can't be those people anymore, he can't. 'I want to be...who I want to be. And the man I want to be...he does not boast. Or have things to prove. He only helps. That's all I want. All that matters. Just to have helped someone' Hercules admits, softly smiling as he closes his eyes. 'I see. And what do you want, archer?' Euphoria asks as she turns to Hawkeye, replies that he wants to hear music the way he used to, before his hearing was damaged, and that he wants to be 20 again – that he wants a shot, one perfect shot, one good arrow. Euphoria then turns to Spectrum: 'And what do you want, immortal?' she asks. Spectrum glows with energy, telling Euphoria that they need light, that they can't live without it, and she can't lead without it. 'I... I want to be that light. But not forever. I know that now' Monica admits, narrowing her eyes and switching to her human form.
'And you, spellcaster?' Euphoria asks Wanda. Wanda declares that she can see again, but that in this dark, she might as well be blind. 'I need to see – to see her face. When I take a witch's vengeance for all she's done!' Wanda exclaims. 'And you, whom she hates so? I can feel your sadness' Euphoria remarks, turning to Nyx, who admits that she wants the same, and while once she would have asked for acceptance, respect, a home – now she just wants vengeance. 'And you? You whose sadness dwarfs all here?' Euphoria asks Rocket, who looks at a device and replies 'What's there to want? Time's up. I just want one thing – one thing I ever did to – to turn out right'. He then holds up a vial, forgetting that he stole it. Euphoria looks at the Vision, and asks him if he has wants or desires. The Vision stares back with his face battered and announces that he is dying, like his wife died, and his son – it feels quite human, he has all he needs.
Euphoria narrows her eyes as she looks at Conan the Barbarian. 'What do you -' she begins, but Conan interrupts: 'Wait. What did he say? He's human because he's dying?' Conan asks. The Vision tells him that androids can be rebuilt, but to be mortal is to be truly human. Conan frowns and tells the Vision that he is a fool. 'You think dying makes you human? Being human makes you die' Conan declares, pointing out that their bodies break, disease claims them, despair poisons them. 'You think that has meaning? That we want it?' he asks, before slamming a fist into the palm of his hand, 'We fight it! Like rats fight the trap!' he declares, adding that they scream and beg and curse – and Crom does not care. 'And neither do I! But what I want – steel devil – is for you to fight back!' Conan tells the Vision, pointing at him.
Finally, Euphoria turns to Dr Bruce Banner, who is turned away from the rest of the group, 'And you, last of all? The monster' she remarks, asking him to tell her his desire. Bruce whispers something that none can hear save for Euphoria, who goes wide-eyed, and raises a hand, shocked, she tells him that she will not – she will not end his world.
'Enough of this foolish game! You have your answers. Now give me the shard or I will destroy this planet and search the rubble to get it!' Nyx exclaims. Euphoria frowns and remarks that she wishes only happiness and fulfilment for all, and explains that she even allowed violence to take place upon Euphoria since so many of them desired such conflict, but that harming the denizens who live here would bring pain and loss she could not abide. 'We'll see if you remain defiant once i've stripped all light from you and slain every being who calls this pitiful sphere home!' Nyx declares, readying to strike Euphoria, who asks 'How best to please you and all of them at the same time?' when suddenly, there is a strange noise, and Nyx turns, only to find an arrow fired straight into her right eye. She screams, and Hawkeye smiles: 'One perfect shot, baby! Let's strike up the band and make some noise!'
Nyx pulls the arrow from her eye and tells the Avengers that their temerity has outlived its amusement. 'My darkness cannot be overcome!' Nyx scowls. Wanda casts a hex and informs Monica that she is pulling light from all probabilities around them and vesting it within her. Monica clenches her fists as the light flows into her, she starts to tell Wanda that it is too much, that she can't contain it. 'You are not alone, Monica. We will fight together...and stop this darkness!' the Vision calls out as Spectrum merges her form into the Vision's android body, and together, they surge forward and slam a fist into Nyx's face, knocking her to the ground. 'NEVER!' Nyx screams, while Voyager begins to open a portal. 'Vision dealt a blow worthy of Zeus himself...' Hercules utters, while Conan points out that the night wench reels, but that she is far from slain. With her portal open, Voyager tells the others that she is creating a path for them to push through Nyx’ darkness and attack, but that they must go now. 'Whelp, I guess it's time ta use this li'l beauty...' Rocket utters as he opens the vial and swallows its contents – as the shocked Hawkeye looks at him and shouts 'You stole my Pym Particles!'
'You little -' Hawkeye begins, as a shadow starts to fall over him. 'Who you calling “little”?' Rocket asks as he towers over Hawkeye. 'THIS ROCKET IS LARGE AND IN CHARGE!' Rocket shouts as he rushes forward, while Voyager and Wanda fly alongside him, and Hercules and Conan stand ready on the ground. 'Keep smashing! She's going down!' Rocket calls out as he stands on Nyx. 'Such violent motives...I do not know how best to serve their needs' Euphoria admits, while Hercules goes up behind Nyx and grabs her arms, restraining her. Euphoria looks down at Nyx and asks her if this is truly what she desires – defeat and destruction – final release after an eternity of struggle. Nyx remembers Zeus removing her soul from her body and telling her that the night is no longer hers. 'NO! Give my my life, my power! Give me the shard!' Nyx shouts. Narrowing her eyes, Euphoria tells Nyx that if she must have it, then it is hers, to take it from her. 'I SHALL!' Nyx screams as she lunges forward and thrusts her hand into Euphoria's chest, where she pulls the final shard from her, and cracks it open, releasing a darkness that sweeps over the Avengers, knocking Rocket, Hercules and Conan backwards as she smiles and glows with power.
'My godhood returned at last' Nyx smiles to herself, realizing that now, finally, she can see it clearly – the center, the core. The birthplace of all that was... all that is... and all that yet may be. She looks over to the old house that has been haunting her recently, and opens a portal to the house, deciding that here, from this seat of power, she shall remake the universe.
'...so tired... can't follow her...' Voyager utters, before looking over to Euphoria, and pointing out that she never heard her wish. 'Very well. Tell me, deep within...what is your true heart's desire?' Euphoria asks. 'To...to be an Avenger' Voyager admits. 'Child...only one can make that happen...and it's not me...' Euphoria replies, before she seemingly dies. Voyager falls silent, before realizing that Euphoria is right. Voyager slowly gets to her feet, and energy glows around her hand as she begins to summon another portal, before she reaches up and shouts 'Avengers...ASSEMBLE!' The heroes race through the portal, 'Go! Go! Go!' Rocket exclaims, while Wanda tells the others that Nyx can't be far ahead, wherever she ended up. 'You gotta be kidding me! With the entire universe to choose from, Nyx – the goddess Nyx – decided to take the fight to Long Island?' Hawkeye utters as the heroes examine their suburban surroundings, Hawkeye notices the registration plate on a car parked nearby, with the license plate SML-JKK. 'I'll do ya two better, Twangy. Why's there light coming outta that house when it's supposed t'be dark across all creation?' Rocket, who has returned to his true size, asks, pointing at the old house nearby.
Civilians down the street look around, 'Weird. You hear something?' a man asks a woman who holds a little girl. The woman tells him that they should get off the street, that she doesn't like it, it's too quiet. Rocket then asks why no one else can see the light – or see them. Wanda reports that she is sensing some sort of cloaking enchantment, not from Nyx, but from the house itself, as if it is actively resisting their very presence. 'LOOK! Nyx! She's making her way inside!' Wanda exclaims as she sees Nyx standing at the front doors of the house, light glowing from inside it. Conan declares that this is more foul sorcery, that he is not impressed, and nor will he be bowed. 'Nyx will pay this night for her evils! So vows Conan of Cimmeria -' Conan exclaims, when suddenly, he begins to fade away. 'Conan!' Wanda cries out, while Nyx smiles. Bruce Banner clutches his head, 'I can't be here – this – it's holy ground. I can't be here -' he utters, as he also vanishes.
The glow intensifies around Nyx, while Hercules leads Wanda, Hawkeye, Voyager, Rocket and the Vision forward, he knows they have no time to mourn their losses, and sees Wanda quickly weave a protective spell over those who remain, but it is only defensive, it can only shield them, not advance them. Hercules knows that they must follow Nyx, although the door to the house begins to close. It is as if the force of all creation were holding fast against them. Hercules and his friends soldier forth, but every step feels a thousand years long – and they are not eternal, none of them. Mortals fade. Rocket is the next to go, vanishing as the Avengers edge closer to the front door. Hercules reaches out and grabs the door handle, he knows that he will fade, too – but not today, not before one last labor.
'I have the door! If I can keep it from closing – keep even the smallest cracks of light – it is still open to us!' Hercules calls out as he struggles to keep the door open. Hercules shouts to the Vision, 'Do you hear me? The door is still open!' he exclaims. The Vision races past the Scarlet Witch, 'I hear you, old friend' the Vision responds, before he calls out to Monica, whose voice can be heard telling the Vision that she is giving him everything she has. Hercules reminds himself that he was born a combination of reality and myth, thus a legend, a man made of stories. But here and now, in the face of the end – the legend feels hollow. Hercules decides that he would rather be himself, and recalls that he has often wondered which of his many stories will endure – but he knows now that there is only one that matters. 'Just hurry!' Spectrum calls out as she emerges from the Vision's body, and the Vision plunges himself through the door, and into the light, while Hercules strains to keep the door open, thinking that when the time came, he gave his all – not to be the hero – the legend – but just to help. 'Godspeed, Vision. Fight well. For if you fail... then all the stories are done' Hercules thinks to himself, before he falls backwards, and the door to the light closes.
Hawkeye, Hercules, Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, Scarlet Witch, Spectrum, Vision, Voyager
America Chavez, Blue Marvel, Gomi & Bill the Lobster, Dr Toni Ho, Lightning, Pod-2, Wasp III (all Avengers World)
in Nyx’ memory:
This issue has the legacy numbering of Avengers (1st series) #716.
First appearance of the Avengers World team.
Lightning (previously Living Lightning) was last seen in Avengers (1st series) #690.
Pod-2, previously Pod and Enigma, was seemingly destroyed in Avengers (1st series) #687.
Gomi and Bill the Lobster are characters from the “Fallen Angels” series in the 1980s, and aside from a mention in the Civil War: Battle Damage Report, haven't been seen since Fallen Angels #8!
The “Vampire problem” that Blue Marvel refers to takes place in Avengers (8th series) #14-17.
The license plate SML-JKK is a reference to Stan “the Man” Lee and Jack “King” Kirby.