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Second Story: Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Mayhew (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Greg Land & Frank D'armata (cover artists), Irene Y Lee (production), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Justice is having a night out at a bar with Nova and Speedball. They haven't seen each other in a while and are catching up on old times and recent events. In the same bar, Firestar is with her friends Hellcat and Photon, when suddenly Speedball sees them. He goes over to Firestar and their reunion is a pleasant one. He drags her over to Nova and Justice, and while she and Nova are pleased to see each other, Justice just ignores her. Firestar excuses herself and returns to her friends, leaving Nova and Speedball to talk about Justice and Firestar, in front of Justice, while Hellcat and Photon ask Firestar what happened. Firestar and Justice are both fed up, and close their eyes – but when they open them, everyone has vanished. They awkwardly speak to each other, wondering how everyone in a bar disappears. They change into their costumes, and fly into the air, where they do not see a single person in the city. They wonder what could be happening, when suddenly, they are attacked by versions of themselves wearing their Avengers-era costumes!
'Here's to old friends, old friends!' Robbie Baldwin a.k.a. Speedball exclaims as he, Richard “Nova” Rider and Vance “Justice” Astrovik clink their alcohol shot-glasses together. After knocking back the drink, Rich declares that he refuses to call himself old – but admits there is no denying that he feels ancient. 'For what it's worth, Rich? You look it, too' Robbie jokes. Rich glares at Robbie and tells him that he is swell, as the three old friends sit at a bar, glasses of beer in front of them.
Vance picks his beer up and tells his friends that it is weird though, as so much has happened to them all, but in a way it is just like yesterday that they were New Warriors. 'Uhh, speak for yourself, Vance' Robbie mutters to his fellow Avengers Academy instructor, while Rich, a member of the Secret Avengers and the Nova Corps, tells Vance 'Try fighting in an intergalactic war or twenty and then say -' 'HOLEE CRAP!' Robbie shouts as he looks across the bar.
'You know, we ought to be going. I heard Galactus is about to drop a deuce on New York!' Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Photon states. Angelica “Firestar” Jones runsher finger around the edge of her martini glass as she stares off into the crowds of the bar. 'I said Galactus! New York! Deuce!' Monica exclaims. Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat leans over to Monica and tells her friend that she owes her ten bucks. 'No way to snap her out of a funk 'til you say Angie -' and just then, Angelica looks over to her gal pals, 'Huh? What'd I miss?' she asks her fellow former Avengers. 'See?' Patsy tells Monica, who informs Angelica that Patsy is buying the next round.
'Sorry guys, I just got lost in thought about -' Angelica begins when suddenly Robbie greets her as he walks over to Angelica, who grins and stands up. 'Robbie!' she exclaims at seeing her former New Warrior teammate. 'Hi!' Robbie tells her. Robbie tells Patsy and Monica that he is kidnapping Angelica and they will never see her again. 'Thank you for your cooperation!' he jokes.
Robbie returns to Rich and Vance, 'Lookie here!' he tells them as he pushes Angelica towards them. 'Oh, my – you are the last person I expected to see here tonight!' Rich tells Angelica. 'Get over here, woman!' he exclaims as he embraces her. 'Rich' Angelica smiles, while Rich asks her how she is. 'Seriously, how are you? I heard about your cancer -' Rich begins. Angelica assures him that she is fine, before quietly pointing out that she has another face to greet.
She turns to Vance. 'Hi' she greets him. 'Glad to hear you're okay' Vance tells Angelica, who thanks him. 'So... she begins, but Vance turns away from her, and Rich and Robbie stand around awkwardly. Firestar then tells the boys that she knows this is rude, but she has to get back to her friends. Robbie suggests that she bring them over. 'The more the merrier!' he declares. Angelica frowns and explains that it is a girls' night out. 'I don't think they, uh...' her voice trails off, before she turns and heads away, assuring the boys that they will catch up real soon. Rich and Robbie stare at Angelica, but Vance continues to sit at the bar drinking his beer.
'Whew, and here I thought that would be awkward...' Robbie declares, patting Vance on the back.
'Well?' Patsy asks as Angelica sits down. 'We had a little New Warriors reunion. It was nice' Angelica replies.
'- telling me you two still haven't gotten closure?' Rich asks Vance. 'Maybe it's 'cause he's got a girlfriend now that he scared her off by acting all weird -' Robbie suggests. Vance just winces.
'What did he have to say? Ask for the ring back?' Monica declares. 'Be easy on her. As much as she brings him up, you know it's still a sore -' Patsy points out, while Angelica looks anguished.
Robbie points out that at the very least, Vance could have told Angelica that she looks nice. At this remark, Vance closes his eyes, while Monica remarks that if Angelica doesn't talk about it, she will never get over him.
'Guys -' Angelica begins, closing her eyes. 'Guys?' she calls out again, opening her eyes, she finds Patsy and Monica have gone – along with everyone else in the bar – except for Vance. 'Where -?' Angelica wonders, as she and Vance look at each other.
'Okay... this is...' Vance begins. 'A little bit odd?' Angelica suggests. 'Yeah. A little bit' Vance agrees. He looks at his mobile phone and reports that his cell is not getting a signal. Angelica checks hers and announces that her phone is the same. 'How does everyone in a bar but us disappear?' Angelica wonders. 'How would I know? Like I did this' Vance snaps. 'Wow. Right for the defensive. Why am I not surprised?' Angelica tells him. 'Oh, for – you're joking. You're joking, right? Angelica, do you not see what's going on around here' Vance asks.
The two heroes walk out of the bar, 'As a matter of fact... yeah. I do' Angelica replies as they discover the streets outside void of life, too. In their costumes, Firestar and Justice speed through the air above the city. 'Back to the original costume, huh?' Justice remarks. 'Yeah, why?' Firestar replies. 'Just... making conversation. Kinda stupid, I know, considering' Justice mutters.
As they stare down at the city below, Justice points out that he doesn't see a single person, and asks Firestar if she does. 'No. Nothing' Firestar responds, telling Vance that she doesn't get it – 'Why us? Is it some kind of revenge thing, or...?' she wonders.
Justice tells her that he keeps wondering the same - someone from their time together in the New Warriors of the Avengers – but that this sure seems like a whole lot of trouble to go through. 'And I don't think we have enemies powerful enough to -' he begins, before noticing Firestar is concentrating on something. 'What is it?' he asks her. 'Do you hear that? So weird. It sounds like my own -' she begins, before being struck by a surge of microwave energy. Firestar screams, before falling into Vance's arms. 'Here they are. Just like he said they'd be. So... are we ready to kick our own butts or what, hon?' Firestar – wearing her Avengers' era costume – asks Justice, who is also wearing his costume from his time with the Avengers. 'Ready as we'll ever be, Angel' the other Justice replies, while Justice looks up at the new arrivals, holding the motionless Firestar in his arms....
Firestar & Justice
Hellcat, Nova, Photon, Speedball
The other stories in this issue are:
First Story: Steve Rogers in “Post-Morten”
Third Story: Edwin Jarvis in “The Journal of Edwin Jarvis”
Fourth Story: D-Man in “Pie of the Tiger”
Firestar dealt with her cancer in Marvel Divas #1-4 and the Firestar one-shot.
Firestar proposed to Justice in New Warriors (1st series) #75. She broke off the engagement in I Heart Marvel: Masked Intentions.
This story takes place between the Young Allies mini-series and the Onslaught Unleashed mini series.