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Second Story: Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Mayhew (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Daniel Acuna (cover artist), Dan Remollino (production), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
As other present-day Avengers battle their past selves, Justice learns from his past self that Loki has the Sorrowsword in his possession, and plans to reunite the sword with the body of its owner, to gain greater power. As they race forward on their mission, the past Justice wants to know more about what has happened to the relationship of the present day Justice and Firestar. The past and present Firestars are also on a mission, and the present Firestar evades similar questions from her past self. They arrive at a facility where Loki is about to reunite the Sorrowsword and the skeleton of its Viking owner. Both Justices attack Loki, leaving the Firestars to deal to the sword. But Loki takes it back and starts to cast a spell to send the past heroes back where they came from. Both past and present Justice and Firestar work together to remove the sword from Loki's possession, and it is seemingly destroyed. Firestar opens her eyes to find only she and Justice in the present day. In the past, the Avengers congratulate Firestar and Justice for stopping Loki, and the young heroes discuss how their future selves were able to assist them. Justice then suggests that the go shopping for a wedding ring, hoping to stop their future selves from splitting up. But in the present day, Justice and Firestar say their goodbyes, although Justice wants to spend more time together, but Firestar tells him she has her classes in the morning, and leaves without looking back, while Justice seems sad.
'It's called Sverosorg. The Sorrowsword. It once belonged to a Viking prince, and to an Asgardian prince before that. According to Thor, it's beaucoup powerful. It's probably what gave Loki the ability to sidestep the Time Stream like this. But that's nothing compared with the power he'll command if he reunited the sword with the body of its original owner. Basically, he'll be able to plunge humanity into a state of debilitating depression. He'll turn us into his subjects' the past Justice remarks to the present as both Vance Astroviks fly alongside each other through a deserted New York City. 'Oh, well, hey, that doesn't sound so bad' the present Justice comments, to which the past asks him if the future is really that awful. 'Heh... I'm thinking the less you know the better, young me'.
At the same moment, Iron Man faces off against his past self, dodging a blast of energy, he declares 'The former me would know better than to try that!' while nearby Captain America blocks a lunge from his past self, who shouts 'Bucky? Even coming from Loki that's insane!' while high in the air, Thor clashes with his past self, who shouts 'Odin dead? NEVER!'
Nearby, Firestar past and present soar alongside a tall building, with the past telling the present that she needs to know: 'Is all this true? Do Vance and I really break up and become all bitter and resentful about it?' The present Angelica Jones asks her past self if they can focus on the problem at hand, pointing out that they have to fight the God of Lies. 'And that's a bit out of our league – even at double strength' she adds. 'Well that's why I thought we should split into teams' the past Angelica points out.
'Come on. I wanted to split us into teams for a reason. If you're really me, then you know how badly I need to know this stuff!' the past Vance declares. 'Does it even matter?' the present asks, adding that he didn't remember one thing about this whole Loki business until seeing the two past versions of he and Firestar, and then the old feelings started. 'Well, you know' Vance mutters. 'So you do still have feelings for Angel. We do' the past remarks.
The present Firestar tells her past self that she has a bad feeling, asking why they have figured this out but the rest of the Avengers are still fighting. 'I wish we had time to fix that. Oh, and way to change the subject, by the way' the past mutters. 'Like you said. There isn't much time...' the present points out.
Elsewhere, holding the Sorrowsword, Loki stands over a coffin in some sort of temple, 'Ah, sweet prince. Remember me? I've brought you a little something...' Loki calls out. Suddenly, he notices something and glances sideways, 'Eh?' he calls out, before casting the sword forth, it releases energies that strike the past and present Justices back, knocking the heroes to the ground. 'Fools!' Loki shouts at them. He walks towards them and remarks 'Leave it to the young and impetuous to break from the rules. And myself, I do concede, but that is neither here not there...'. Loki notices a curious smell. He turns back to the coffin, and roars 'NO!' as he sees the past and present Firestars using their microwave energies to destroy the skeleton. 'Yeah, sorry about that, Loki' the present Angelica remarks. 'I'm sure he'd wanted a Viking funeral in the first place, right?' the past asks.
'They distracted me! Of all the simple-minded, obvious tricks -!' Loki declares, raising his sword to the girls, with the past telling him that he fell for it. Loki fires energies from the sword towards both Firestars, as he tells them that it is most amusing, they may have stolen final victory from his grasp, but he yet controls Sverosorg. 'Therefore, I declare this childish uprising...at its end!' Loki exclaims as he slams the sword into the ground, energy bursts upwards, whirling around the past and present Firestar and Justice. 'Back! Return whence you came!' Loki shouts at them. 'Hang on, Vance! We can't let him send us back!' the past Firestar calls out. 'I'm trying' Vance responds. The present Justice grabs Firestar, who tells him that she remembers – she remembers what they did to end all this. Justice tells her that he does too, but that he thinks they had help. 'Ready?' he asks.
Down below, Loki shakes his fist at the young heroes, 'Oh, such a valiant effort, girls. But I'm afraid your aim could use a bit more...' he begins as both Firestars fire their microwave energies towards Loki – and directly past him, striking the Sorrowsword. 'No! What are you doing?' Loki shouts at them. 'There! The floor's molten! Now, Vance! Bury it!' the past Firestar shouts. 'Bury it deep!' the present exclaims, both Firestars encouraging their respective Justice on. Telekinetic energy pushes the sword down into the ground, deeper and deeper. 'No!' Loki shouts. 'NOOOOOOOOO' he roars, throwing his arms into the air, the present Firestar closes her eyes – then re-opens them, to find herself and Justice standing before two surprised security guards.
'Excellent work, you two' Captain America remarks as he stands next to Justice and Firestar. 'Indeed, our young lovers have won this day' Thor points out. Firestar leads Justice down some steps away from Cap, Thor, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Warbird and the Vision, as Vance tells Angel that there was something he said – or something the other Vance said – and it got him thinking. He tells Angelica that he thinks why their older versions were able to remember what happened to them now is because – 'Because they saw us together. They saw us together and it... brought back memories' Angelica smiles. 'Feelings, he said' Justice replies.
Angelica checks her mobile phone and tells Vance that she has a million text messages. 'Same. Robbie thinks we hooked up. Typical' Vance replies. They exit the pub together, 'Look, Angel, the things I said back there... I was -' Vance begins, but Angelica interrupts him, 'I know. You were being honest with your emotions. We both were' Angelica tells him. They see some people up ahead of them, 'Yeah, but -' Vance begins. Angelica interrupts him and points out that it is okay, they did a crap job of breaking up, they left a lot on the table. 'Baggage' Vance remarks. Angelica agrees. Vance then asks Angelica if she wants to get a coffee and talk, but Angelica tells him that she really should get to bed, as she has classes in the morning. Vance frowns, 'Yeah, right. No, I've got a lot on my plate, too. Probably for the best, huh' Vance remarks.
Vance tells Firestar that part of him wonders, if it's for the best. 'If we end up, uh...' his voice trails off. 'What's for the best?' Angelica asks him. 'If what? What we were just talking about?' Vance tells her. 'No clue' Angelica remarks. They take flight, and Vance tells Angelica that he has been promising this forever and a day, and suggests that they went out for a little ring shopping. 'Vance! Don't tease! I can and will microwave you to death!' Angelica replies. Vance tells her that he is serious. They take hands and Vance tells Angelica that he loves her. 'Aww, I love you too, Vance. Now... and forever'.
Angelica leaves Vance and crosses a street without a backwards glance, while Vance hangs his head.
Firestar & Justice
Captain America, Iron Man, Thor
In the Past:
Captain America, Firestar, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Justice, Ms Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wonder Man (all Avengers)
The other stories in this issue are:
First Story: The Thing in “Everything will Change Soon (in Bed)”
Third Story: Spider-Woman & Ms Marvel in “Then and Now”
Fourth Story: Stature & Iron Man in “Growing Pains”