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Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman (story), Brian Michael Bendis (scripter), Adam Kubert (penciler), John Dell (inker), Laura Martin & Larry Molinar (colorists), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor (cover artists), Jerome Opena & Justin Ponsor (variant cover artists), John Denning & Jake Thomas (assistant editors), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Nick Lowe (consulting editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive editor)
With an army of Atlantean warriors, the enraged Sub-Mariner attacks Wakanda, levelling buildings and flooding the city. The Avengers are with Lei Kung the Thunderer and Iron Man accompanies him back through the portal to K’un Lun, where Wolverine and Hope have already retreated to. When Iron Man and Lei Kung arrive, the portal closes. Captain America, Iron Fist and the Black Panther race into action against the Sub-Mariner, who tells them that they brought this all on themselves. More Avengers arrive, but the Sub-Mariner knocks them all back with a single surge of cosmic energy. The Avengers are relentless though, and continue their attack on the Sub-Mariner, the Scarlet Witch enters the battle, and although she is taken down, her power combined with the attacks from the rest of the Avengers is enough to defeat the Sub-Mariner. On Utopia, Magneto brings the Sub-Mariner’s actions to the attention of the rest of the Phoenix Five, and they travel to Wakanda, where the Phoenix Force leaves the Sub-Mariner, and splits itself across Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik. While this happens, the Avengers, except for the Black Panther, use this chance to escape to K’un Lun. The Phoenix Five wonder where they have gone, before Charles Xavier telepathically contacts Cyclops and expresses how disappointed he is in his actions. They argue for some time, with Xavier threatening to stop Cyclops unless he ends this madness. In K’un Lun, the remaining Avengers look to Captain America for their next move, but he has no answer for them.
The destruction of Wakanda by King Namor of Atlantis. The powerful ruler releases bursts of cosmic energy from his trident, while a powerful tidal wave surges through the city, destroying buildings.
At that moment, Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Panther and Iron Fist are gathered, along with Lei Lung the Thunderer. ’Listen to us!’ Iron Fist exclaims, while Iron Man urges the Thunderer to shut the portal to K’un Lun. ’Close it! Shut it down now!’ he adds as the portal swirls before them. ‘Man of Iron, do you have any idea what I had to go through to bring this portal into existence?’ Lei Kung replies. Holding some equipment, Iron Man replies that what he knows about energy disbursement and fluctuations would make his head spin. ‘But if Namor and his fish army get through, then Lei Kung can kiss goodbye to his magical city of kung fu and Hope Summers.
‘GO!’ Iron Man shouts, as he grabs Lei Kung and flies into the portal, wishing Captain America luck. ‘Remember what I told you. Remember our secret weapon. Use it now’ he declares. ‘WAIT!’ Iron Fist shouts, but the portal closes. ‘I can’t believe they left without me’ The Black Panther assures Iron Fist that there will be plenty for him to do here, while Cap frowns, ‘Damn you, Namor!’.
Outside, civilians are overwhelmed by the water, and they thrash about, while Atlantean warriors ride huge sea beats through the city. Wakandan soldiers follow Cap and the Black Panther through the city. ‘I’m going to kill him for this’ the Black Panther exclaims. ‘I have a history with Namor. I’ll get him to stop’ Cap replies. ‘Tell me you’re not thinking of talking him down’ the Black Panther replies. ‘Don’t you see what he has done here, Panther? Scott Summers has revealed himself. This is an act of war on innocent people. This proves us right!’ Cap tells him. The Black Panther turns and looks at Captain America, and replies that he doesn’t give a damn about Scott Summers. ‘Get the Avengers here, Captain! All of them!’ the Black Panther tells him. Suddenly, a massive wave of water falls over them, while Namor flies through the air above. Cap looks up at him, before booming: ‘AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!’
Meantime, in K’un Lun, ‘Wow’ Hope exclaims. ‘Yup’ Wolverine agrees as they stand on a snow-covered mountain top and look up at the temples before them. ‘K’un Lun. The city where kung fu was born’ Wolverine remarks, when suddenly, they duck to the ground as Iron Man and the Thunderer appear through the portal. ‘What the hell happened, Stark?’ Wolverine asks Iron Man. ‘Namor happened’ Iron Man replies. Wolverine offers to go back, but Lei Kung announces that the portal is closed. ‘But -’ Wolverine begins, while Iron Man tells him that they have work to do here, and asks Hope if she is ready. ‘Sure. Ready for what exactly?’ Hope replies, nervously.
Back in Wakanda, Namor dives down towards Captain America, cosmic energy around him, he shouts ‘You brought this upon yourselves! You defy our power! You defy our kindness and leadership! Everything that was ours we gave to you and you repay us with betrayal! And for that -’ he begins, but Captain America throws his shield, and it strikes Namor in the neck. ‘shame on you, Namor’ Cap remarks as Namor falls into the water around Cap. ‘Avengers, how are you and where are you?’ Cap calls out, while Namor takes to the sky, and flies back down towards Captain America - but before Namor can reach Cap, Iron Fist attacks him.
‘Die, surface-dweller!’ an Atlantean warrior exclaims as he lunges towards Captain America, and fires some energy from his trident. ‘Not today’ Cap replies as he blocks the energy with his trusty shield. ‘You brought this on yourselves!’ a furious Namor exclaims, with Iron Fist lying in the water at his feet. ‘I was just thinking the same thing’ the Black Panther announces as he leaps towards Namor with a very large weapon - but before he can fire it, Namor engulfs the Black Panther in cosmic energy. Captain America smacks the warrior in the face with his shield, while the Black Panther tells Namor that he is going to see him dead for this. Namor grabs the Black Panther’s weapon, and replies ‘Not with a tool of a surface dweller, and now by your hand, King T’Challa!’ Namor responds.
‘You must know I would not stand for this. You must know I was going to come here and kill you. You must know your power is nothing compared to mine now’ Namor smiles as he destroys the Black Panther’s weapon. ‘I do know that. We were stalling’ the Black Panther reveals. The Sub-Mariner looks up, to see several Avengers leaping towards him - Thor, the Vision, Quicksilver, Falcon, the Beast, Valkyrie, Spider-Man, Dr Strange, Daredevil, Red Hulk and the Thing. But, the Sub-Mariner doesn’t move. He simply raises his fists, and the cosmic energy of the Phoenix surrounds him - he releases it, and knocks all eleven Avengers back through the ravaged city. ‘IMPERIUS REX!’ Namor screams.
But, the Avengers are relentless in their attack, and after regrouping, Red Hulk punches Namor hard in the face, drawing blood. The Thing draws more blood with another punch, while Thor slams his hammer into Namor’s face, knocking his head back. Dr Strange attacks him with a spell, while the Vision solidifies his form and drops his body down on Namor, forcing him to the ground. The Red Hulk returns, ‘You do not touch me’ the Sub-Mariner exclaims as Red Hulk prepares to pick him up. The Sub-Mariner touches the Red Hulk’s hand, and burns him with cosmic energy, causing Red Hulk to cry out in agony as Namor then breaks his arm. ‘You do not dishonor me!’ Namor booms as he throws Red Hulk into the air, and casts forth more cosmic energy, keeping the Avengers back from him.
‘I am Homo Superior! I am your king!’ Namor shouts as he punches the Thing with full force. Namor takes to the sky, the form of the cosmic Phoenix surrounding him, he declares ‘The power was given to us. We were chosen! I was chosen! Who are you to defy us?’, then he releases the energy, striking each of the Avengers - save for Thor, who hovers above Namor, his hammer charged with lightning as he prepares to attack the Sub-Mariner.
Meanwhile, on Utopia, the mutant capital of the world, Inside one of the many floating buildings, Magneto meets with the rest of the Phoenix Five - Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik. ‘You’re going to want to take a look at this’ Magneto calls out, bringing their attention to a scene on some monitors. ‘What is Namor doing?’ Cyclops asks. ‘It would appear…whatever he wants’ Magneto points out. ‘He’s his own mutant, Scott. Always has been’ Emma remarks. Cyclops asks Emma what she knows about this, and Emma simply replies that she knows Namor is going to do what Namor is going to do. ‘And if you thought otherwise you were really kidding yourself’ she adds, before telling Cyclops to look at the plus side - they now know where the Avengers are. ‘She’s go a point’ Magik adds. Cyclops frowns and looks at the monitors, while ordering the Siege Courageous to be opened. ‘We’re going to Wakanda. NOW!’ he announces.
At that moment, Thor brings his hammer down on Namor, hard - but despite the incredible power of the mighty Asgardian, Namor spins around to fight him. ‘You have the eyes of madness, King Namor! But, though I do pity you, I will put you down nonetheless’ Thor tells his former teammate, asking him to end this now. ‘Burn, Asgardian! BUUURN!’ he all Namor replies. Down below, the Avengers have gathered together, and Captain America calls out to the Scarlet Witch: ‘Now, Wanda! NOW!’, and the Scarlet Witch appears, she hovers mid-air, and Namor turns to her and fires some cosmic energy with one hand, while holding Thor by his cape with the other. Wanda concentrates hard and blocks the attack - but Namor is relentless and pours the power on. They both stand their ground, until suddenly, the Vision flies in and grabs Wanda, while Namor plummets to the ground below.
The Avengers gather around Namor, ‘What’s happening?’ Spider-Man enquires, while the Thing goes over and kicks Namor, knocking him several yards away from them. ‘And that’s just ‘cause you’re you!’ the Thing exclaims. ‘did we win?’ Spider-Man asks as Namor lies motionless before them. ‘Win?’ Cap replies looking around at the destruction, and the devastated team, as the Red Hulk holds his arm in place. ‘It took all of us just to knock him down. It took all we had! And look - look at my country! Look what he did to my people!’ the Black Panther exclaims. Small fires burn around some of the destroyed buildings, while Iron Fist points out that the other Phoenixes are going to come for them now. ‘We’re stuck. We’re sitting ducks’ he exclaims.
‘Um…’ Spider-Man calls out as he and Cap look up, and see Cyclops, Emma, Colossus and Magik arrive overhead. Cap looks worried, while Cyclops just frowns at him. ‘COME ON!’ Captain America shouts, while the Phoenix energy suddenly rises from the Sub-Mariner’s fallen body, and it adds itself into the remaining four hosts. They cry out in agony, while a massive KRAKOOM can be heard exploding around them. Cyclops, Emma, Colossus and Magik are tossed about as the cosmic energy swirls around them. Captain America calls out to the Avengers, and he actives a chip inside his sleeve. A portal appears before the Avengers, who rush towards it. ‘What is this?’ the Thing enquires. ‘Thanks to Tony Stark, this is us outsmarting them. Let’s move! Go! Go!’ Cap orders. ‘What’s happening?’ Spider-Man asks as they all enter the portal, while lying on the ground, Namor wearily utters ‘It went to them…’.
Cyclops, Emma, Colossus and Magik gather themselves, ‘Did you feel that?’ Cyclops asks them. ‘Did I feel that?’ Emma replies, while Magik announces that Namor has fallen, and his portion of the Phoenix Force has been bequeathed to them. ‘Is that what happens? Is that what happens when one of us falls?’ Colossus asks. Cyclops remains silent, and looks to the ground, where the Black Panther has remained instead of leaving with the others. ‘Guess we missed the party’ Emma mutters, while Colossus asks ‘Where did they go?’. Emma replies that she can’t “feel” them, while Magik points out that they couldn’t have gotten far.
Suddenly, a telepathic voice resonates around the Phoenixes - the voice of Professor Charles Xavier. ‘How dare you, Scott Summers?’ the Professor asks, before telling his prized pupil to stop this, that this is madness and is as far as he goes. ‘It’s not your call, Charles’ Cyclops replies. ‘All that I taught you, all that I tried to instill in you as an X-Man…this is a punishing disappointment!’ Charles declares. The others frown, while Cyclops tells the Professor to get out of his head. ‘You join us or you leave us be!’ Cyclops adds, telling the Professor that this is not his fight. ‘You forfeited your right to tell me what to do when -’ Scott begins, but Xavier interrupts: ‘Scott, I’m saying this to you as clearly as I can…stop this or I will stop you’. Sternly, Cyclops replies ‘Charles, if you could have, you would have’. Charles tells Scott that he loves him, and that he doesn’t want to do what he will make him do. ‘If you love me, you’ll side with me’ Cyclops replies. The astral projection of Charles appears overhead, and he narrows his eyes as he offers Cyclops one last chance: ‘Stop or I’ll fight you’. The Phoenixes hover over the destruction of Wakanda, and there is no response.
Meanwhile, ‘Close the portal’ the Vision states as he steps through it into K’un Lun, the Scarlet Witch in his arms. ‘That was quick’ Iron Man remarks, before Iron Fist welcomes the Avengers to his home away from home. ‘What’s the rent like?’ Spider-Man jokes. ‘So let’s do the math here…we take one down. And it took damn well near all of us to do it’ the Thing points out. Spider-Man declares that they finally got a lucky shot and all they did was make the other ones more powerful. ‘So even when we win we lose’ the Thing mutters. ‘And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how it feels to be me…every day of the week’ Spider-Man declares. The Black Widow turns to Captain America, as do the others. ‘Actually, uh, what’s the plan?’ the Black Widow enquires. Cap doesn’t respond. ‘Cap?’ Iron Fist calls out. Captain America closes his eyes and hangs his head. The Black Widow looks at him, concerned, and asks ‘Is there a plan…?’
Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Sub-Mariner (all Phoenix Five)
Magneto (member of the X-Men)
Beast, Wolverine (members of both the X-Men and the Avengers)
Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil, Dr Strange, Falcon, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Red Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thing, Thor, Valkyrie, Vision (all Avengers)
Wakandan citizensWakandan soldiersAtlantean warriors
New Avengers (2nd series) #25-27 tell more about what events in K’un Lun.