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Anthony Oliveira (writer), Jan Bazalduan (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer & production), Luciana Vecchio (cover artist), David Lopez (variant cover artists), Kat Gregordwicz (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)
On Skrullos, Wiccan and several allies fight back against Dormammu's horde of Mindless Ones, although they are only just holding ground – fortunately, help arrives in the form of Commander Brand and several mutants from SWORD – Frenzy, Armor, Shen Xorn, Thumbelina and Ruckus. Trouble continues when Brand reveals that a sword, the King Blade, has been shattered. At the same time, in the ruins of Hala, Hulkling fights alongside three of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Hercules, Marvel Boy and Phyla-Vell, along with Avalanche, on loan from SWORD. They are also fighting Mindless Ones, and during the chaos, Hulkling and the Guardians of the fall down a chasm when Avalanche releases a shockwave. Wiccan and his allies arrive at a sacred temple, and Wiccan attempts to cast a spell, but discovers something is wrong with his magic. Hulkling and the Guardians explore the chamber they find themselves in, and realize that it is the chamber where the Supreme Intelligence used to manifest. Hulkling tries to connect with Phyla-Vell, but she isn't overly keen to talk to him. Suddenly, the Supreme Intelligence appears, somewhat changed, and warns that the Dark Dimension incursion is going to result in 165 million deaths, which will cause a thermonucelar cascade. Back on Skrullos, Dormammu appears before Wiccan and challenges him, claiming the universe is not big enough for the both of them. On Hala, Hulkling is about to give up hope, when Marvel Boy encourages Phyla-Vell to talk to him. Wiccan stands up to Dormammu and is able to reforge the destroyed sword. Phyla-Vell reluctantly talks to Hulkling, and gives him some words of encouragement. Hulkling suddenly has an idea, and explains to Phyla what happened to this world's version of their father's Nega-Bands – which had been turned into his and Wiccan's wedding bands. Hulkling and Wiccan defy their foes, and with the power of the Nega-Bands, they switch places. Hulkling then takes the sword and uses it against Dormammu, while Wiccan's magic is able to repel the invading horde. They fight on, to save the universe, while recalling their memories of meeting each other and falling in love.
(Some years ago)Third period science class, at a high school on Earth, in the Sol System. 'Okay, let's see who was paying attention... quantum entanglement – who can explain it to us?' the teacher standing at the head of the class asks. 'Teddy Altman? Any guesses?' the teacher asks a blond teenager wearing jeans and a sports jersey. 'Uh...is that when you travel back inn time? To...um. Set right what once went wrong?' Another teenager can be seen sitting at a table near Teddy, but he hangs his head, which is covered by the hood of his sweater. 'That's TV's Quantum Leap, Mr Altman -' the teacher begins. 'Whoops!' Teddy exclaims, rubbing the back of his head. 'Which...you are too young to remember' the teacher then remarks. Teddy explains that his mother has a super-weird crush on Scott Bakula. 'Is there anyone out there who can save Mr Altman?... Mr Kaplan?' the teacher calls out, addressing the boy in the red hooded sweater.
'Billy? Are you with us?' the teacher asks, while Billy Kaplan continues to stare down at the table, where someone has scratched “Kaplan is a homo” into the surface of the table. 'He's daydreaming about men in tights again!' one of the other boys in the class calls out. 'Oh, web me up, Spider-Man!' another boy jokes. The teacher addresses them as Mr Norris and Mr Kesler, and tells them that is enough, before turning back to Billy: 'Well?' she asks him. Billy slowly looks up, and explains 'It's when...two particles, once they're linked, are linked forever. Position, momentum, spin. Even across space and time. Across galaxies. Einstein called it “Spooky action at a distance”' as he removes his hood, and glances towards Teddy Altman, while one of the bullies calls out 'Only kind you'll ever get, Kaplan, you absolute -' to which the teacher shouts 'Mr Kesler!' interrupting him.
The teacher tells Billy that his explanation is wonderful, and tells Teddy that he should thank Billy for the daring rescue. Teddy looks over at Billy and smiles, and Billy almost smiles back, as the teacher gives instructions to the class about what page in their books to turn to.
(Present day)On Skrullos, in the Drox System, at the brach cliffs on Tyn'Tah Jel, which is under siege from the dark dimension. 'Everyone together! If Dormammu's horde takes the planet, the galaxy goes with it! Help is -' Billy Kaplan-Altman a.k.a. Wiccan calls out as he blasts several of Dormammus Mindless Ones as they arrive on Tyn'Tah Jel. 'Arriving in droves!' one of Wiccan's allies calls out, looking up to see several new allies arriving through another portal, headed by Commander Abigail Brand, who fires a weapon at one of the Mindless Ones. 'William Kaplan-Altman – the Avenger Wiccan and consort of Emperor Dorrek-Vell of the Kree/Skrull Alliance... the Sol System formally pledges you its SWORD!' Brand proclaims, assisted by several mutants from the SWORD space station – Frenzy, Ruckus, Thumbelina, Armor and Shen Xorn.
'Wow, um. I don't super-duper know who all these people are...but thanks, Commander Brand – to stop Dormammu, we'll take every weapon we can get!' Wiccan calls back. 'About that...I'm afraid there's been an incident' Brand reports as she lands on the cliffside and places a broken sword on the ground. Wiccan sighs, 'That's my little rough-houser...' he remarks, referring to his husband. A Kree woman fighting nearby goes wide-eyed: 'The King-Blade Ekz'el-Zorr...shattered? Then Emperor Hulking is...?' her voice trails off. Wiccan address her as Mur-G'nn as he puts a hand on the broken blade and tells her that if anything had happened to Teddy, he would know. 'But we have to fix this' Wiccan declares. Brand points out that they first have to keep this planet standing, and asks Frenzy what their sit-rep is. Frenzy stands on another ridge and looks down at the situation. She reports that none of this assault makes sense strategically. 'Ancient towns, minor temples, even these planets...' her voice trails off.
Wiccan, Brand, Frenzy, Mur-G'nn and a Skrull named Paibok, who is a Galactic Ambassador, gather together, and Wiccan explains that this is a spiritual incursion, as Dormammu is targeting symbols – he wants to conquer the spirit. 'Then...I know where he will strike the hardest' Paibok remarks, telling his allies that it will be Ny'Ni-Ahn, where the first spring flows. 'Nowhere is more sacred' he utters. 'Then that's where we'll go... and let's hope Teddy is doing better than we are'.
At that moment, on Throneworld II, in the ruins of Hala, within the Pama System, also under seige from the Dark Dimension. Teddy Altman-Kaplan a.k.a. Emperor Hulking is assisted by the mutant Avalanche, and several members of the Guardian of the Galaxy – Hercules, Noh-Varr a.k.a. Marvel Boy and Phyla-Vell. 'Is it just me, or are we losing?' Hulking asks as he punches one of the Mindless Ones, knocking them backwards. Phyla-Vell cuts through her opponents with a blade made of cosmic energy and, addressing Hulking by his Skull name, Dorrek, tells him that they are losing. 'Phyla, you can call me Teddy -' Hulking remarks. 'Even with the aid of SWORD's mutants, as long as Dormammu'sorbital carriers are in place...the Mindless Ones will overrun the planet, and Hala will fall. As it has fallen before' Phyla-Vell declares.
'Little help?' Hulkling asks as one of the Mindless Ones suddenly grabs him by his head. 'Watch out important space prince guy!' Avalanche exclaims, as he raises a fist, ready to unleash his siesmic powers. But Marvel Boy tells Avalanche to wait, as he will take out the bridge. Too late. 'Whoops' Avalanche mutters as his impressive power destroys the bridge that the group are battling the Mindless Ones on. Hulkling falls, but freed from the Mindless One's grasp. 'Can you wing it, Ted?' Marvel Boy asks as he falls, too. 'Kinda busy being stuck in this guy, Marvel Boy!' Hulkling calls back. Phyla-Vell tries to pulverize the masonry, while Hercules shouts 'Let gravity whimper at the heft of the Mighty Hercules!' as rubble falls around him, and several Mindless Ones, too. Avalanche remains standing on the ground above, watching as the others continue to fall. 'Oh, way to go, Avalanche...your first legit job, and you drop the King of all cosmos in a hole' he mutters to himself, rubbing his helmet. 'HEY, UH, IF ANYONE ASKS, MY NAME IS RICTOR!' Avalanche shouts down to the others, while wondering if perhaps he will get lucky, and no one will find them.
(Some years ago)'Oh, hey. There you are. I was looking for you' Teddy calls out as he finds Billy sitting in a storage room at the school, the sun beaming down on him through a large window. 'For...me?' the surprised Billy asks, as Teddy goes over and sits down next to him. 'Why?' Billy asks. 'I dunno. You're never in the cafeteria' Teddy remarks. 'Oh...yeah. I...I just mostly stay up in here and read' Billy explains. Teddy holds up a large wrapped sandwich and asks Billy if he would like some. 'My mom makes really big sandwhiches' Teddy adds, before introducing himself as he passes some of the food to Billy. 'I'm...Billy. Hi' Billy replies as he takes the sandwich. Billy then tells Teddy that he doesn't have to be nicce to him. 'Really. I know everyone... talks, and -' Billy begins, but Teddy ignores him, and interrupts him by exclaiming 'Whoa, what are you reading?!'
Teddy then lies down on his stomach starts flipping through the comic books, which Billy tells him are super hero comics, just goofy knockoffs. 'Omigosh, I totally have this one! So many clones!' Teddy exclaims. Billy smiles, 'Haha, yeah, I know. It's silly, but...sometimes I go to Avengers Mansion and just sit. It's just a ruin now...but it's nice to imagine...someone stopping bullies like Lokie and Ultron and Kesler and Norris' Billy remarks, referring to his classroom bullies. 'Aw, Norris isn't so bad. Not Ultron bad, at least' Teddy replies. 'If you say so' Billy frowns. 'I get it though. When I was little, me and Mom'd go to sci-fi cons and stuff...ah! So dorky! Sorry!' Teddy exclaims, sitting up. But Billy tells him that it is cute, before Teddy tells him that nowadays, the coach has them too busy – basketball practice and football. 'Well, if you ever wanna get comics after school...we could go' Billy suggests. 'And you should come to a game. Cheer me on, or watch me get really hurt. Fun either way' Teddy proposes. 'I – yeah, okay. Yeah, I'd like that. The first thing, anyway...' Billy replies. '... I don't want anything bad to happen to you'.
(Present day)Back on Skrullos, Wiccan is knee-deep in sacred water as he casts a spell beneath a large monument, waterfalls gushing behind it. 'C'mon....c'mon...mendwhatisbroken mendwhatisbroken. Why isn't this -? Ugh' Billy complains as his spell fails. Mur-G'nn the Kree stands nearby and examines her surroundings. 'So this is the Monastery Lake of Ny'Ni-Ahn. Sacred to Sl'Gur't, Lady of the Waters' she remarks, explaining that the holy fountains gave life to the Skrull and to which the Changing People all return. 'So they say' she adds. Wiccan asks her if she doesn't believe it. Mur-G'nn reminds Wiccan that the day she met him, her father died, eaten inside out by a monster. 'It wore his face then yours. After that, I stopped believing pretty fairy tales' she remarks. 'I never -' Wiccan begins to tell the Kree, but Mur-G'nn assures Wiccan that she knows it wasn't him. 'But power corrupts. It ruins beautiful things. I try not to forget it' she utters.
'Prince Consort?' Commander Brand asks as she approaches Wiccan, before informing him that her operatives are in place. 'I need more time. I can make this work. I know it... I just need more power. This place resonates with energy... but there's something wrong with my magic' Wiccan declares, looking down into the water he stands in, he then wonders if it's not magic, because he can feel ripples, like something terrible has happened. 'I... can't imagine what that could be' Brand responds, before telling Wiccan that a reality-warper such as him, with hhis family's temper, she wouldn't want him upset when he finds out. 'What the heck does that mean?' Wiccan snaps. Mur-G'nn offers to hold off any enemies, and asks Wiccan to forge them some hope. Brand turns to leave the sacred area, telling Wiccan that he better work fast, because the Mindless Ones are here, and they are summoning something much worse.
Back in the ruins of Hala, 'Where are we?' Hulking asks as he runs along a walkway in what appears to be a sprawling underground chamber. Phyla-Vell runs alongside him, while Hercules and Marvel Boy follow. Hercules points out that the way back to the surface is blocked by debris. 'Remind me to pummel the mutant they call Rictor' he adds. Marvel Boy offers to get the lights, as the chamber is bathed in darkness. 'A boost, Hercules, God of Buffness?' Marvel Boy asks as he climbs onto Hercules' shoulders. Hulking glances at Phyla-Vell and points out that they never had a chance to talk. 'I know. I've been avoiding you' Phyla-Vell replies, without looking at Hulking. 'Oh' Hulkling utters. He rubs the back of his head and explains that he has never had a sister before. 'A half sister from a parallel reality, but... and ever since... Mom died, I've been...' his voice trails off, before he exclaims 'But hey, look at us, the kids of Captain Marvel! Together at -' but he is interrupted as Phyla-Vell informs him that she had a brother on her world – he went insane with power and had to be put down like a rabid dog. 'Oh, I'm sorry. I heard about him here too... Genis' Hulkling remarks. Phyla-Vell turns to him and informs him that the mad king's name was Dorek.
Marvel Boy sits on Hercules' shoulders as he tinkers with a control box, and a moment later, the chamber is filled with light. 'And we've got power back!' Marvel Boy reports. 'My clever, comely cockroach!' Hercules exclaims as he grabs Marvel Boy and lifts him down to the ground. The quartet examine their surroundings, and Hulkling wonders what the purpose of this place is. 'A temple...to something...unclean. I once watched it kill this world' Hercules responds as he turns a chair around and finds the remains of a body in the chair. Marvel Boy motions to the screen in the center of the room and explains that this was an interfacing chamber, one of probably thousands, for the Kree Supreme Intelligence – the digitized gestalt AI of the empire's most illustrious military leaders. 'Your predecessor, Teddy' Marvel Boy adds. 'An undead fascist hive-mind' Hulkling utters, looking at the skeleton in the chair. 'Well, it was undead. Then a bit ago, I came by and recycled it! Now it's just kind of dead dead!' Marvel Boy smiles.
Suddenly, 'We are dead but yet we dream...' a voice can be heard saying. '...in sleep of strangest aeons, we sing a new song, we await the Hala to come'. The heroes look up at the screen in the center of the room, and see the Supreme Intelligence. 'No, that – but I saw you incorporate into the Utopian Plex. I watched you be eaten!' Marvel Boy exclaims. 'Remnant personalities deffective, genocidality index: catastrophic. Fatal error. Unresolved' comes the Supreme Intelligence's confusing response. 'This is the perverted computer program that refashioned our father's Nega-Bands into a bomb? The butcher that slayed millions?' Phyla-Vell asks, shocked. 'We are husk discarded from seed. We blossom in the rotten dark. We claw with hungry thirsty roots' the Supreme Intelligence utters. 'Another insane Underworld deity. I have seen my fill. Our pressing concerns walk in daylight' Hercules tells everyone.
The Supreme Intelligence states thaat the Dark Dimension incursion will result in the planetary condition becoming fatal. 'The blood-dimmed tide is loosed. Imperative Alpha One: secure the future of the Kree. Initiate planetary scour. Projected deaths: 165 million. Begin thermonucleonic cascade. A gaze blank and pitless as the sun' the Supreme Intelligence declares. 'Well, that's probably not great...' Hulkling utters, before the Supreme Intelligence begins the countdown.
(Some years ago)'Oh no! Am I late?' Billy asks as he arrives at the football game. 'Ref just blew the whistle. There's my special guy! Knock 'em flat, Teddy Bear!' Teddy's mother exclaims, shouting out to the field as Teddy leaps into the air and grabs the football, while the opposing team members chase after him. Teddy's mother turns to Billy and asks him if he is Theodore's new friend. 'Am I? I mean, yeah, I am. I'm Billy' Billy responds nervously, rubbing the back of his head. Teddy's mother introduces herself as Mary-Jo, and tells Billy that Teddy talks about him a lot. 'He does?' Billy asks. 'He does' Mary-Jo confirms. 'Oh' Billy utters. Mary-Jo looks at Billy, then falls silent, before telling Billy that she might have to go home earlier than expected – she thinks she left the microwave on or something. 'Think you can walk him home for me?' she asks. 'Oh. Yeah. I can do that' Billy replies, while waving at Teddy, who waves back from the field. Mary-Jo tells Billy that he has to promise that he will take care of Teddy, because he is important. 'I promise' Billy smiles. 'Good boy' Mary-Jo remarks, before putting her scarf around Billy's neck, remarking that it is freeing here. 'Team colors! And no more chilly Billy!' Mary-Jo jokes, adding that there is no rush to give the scarf back. 'You boys take your time'.
(Present day)'We're out of time, Kaplan! The gross dirt snowmen are done with their viscera arts and crafts, and you've got incoming!' Brand shouts as she fires a weapon at one of the Mindless Ones who move towards her. Frenzy and Ambassador Paibok fight alongside her, punching their opponents.
Wiccan continues to cast his spell as he stands knee-deep in the water, when suddenly, a fiery image manifests before him – Dormammu! 'Well, well, well. Demiurge. Fancy meeting you here, so many planes below. Folded into the dirty little geometries of time and space. And...is that a human body? How delightfully perverse. This is quite embarassing, you see...this universe just isn't big enough for the both of us' Dormammu utters.
(Some years ago)
'Well, look who it is... spooky-action Kaplan himself!' Greg Norris calls out as he and John Kesler walk out onto the football fied, where Billy is sitting. 'Peeking into the boys' locker room, you little perv?' John asks. 'No! I'm just...waiting for someone. My friend' Billy responds. 'Oh my god. He's a fan now!' Greg exclaims as he grabs the scarf from around Billy's neck. 'Must be some crush – he's got merch!' John remarks as he grabs Billy's arm. 'Give that back! It's not mine – ow!' Billy exclaims, when suddenly, 'Hey! Leave him alone!' Teddy shouts as he arrives and shoves Greg backwards. 'You? You're kidding!' Greg replies. 'You're dead, Atlm-' John begins, before Billy pushes him over. 'Get away from him!' Billy calls out. 'You're bodyguard won't b-' John begins, but Billy interrupts him, asking 'God, Kesler, didn't you just shower? How do you still smell like a ranch-flavored foot?' while Greg spits, and tells Teddy to watch it. 'I know your secret' he warns him. 'I'm not scared of you, Greg. I'm done with bullies like you' Teddy declares.
(Present day)In the chamber within the ruins of Hala, the Supreme Intelligence declares that the end of all flesh is come before him. He adds that Hala is dead – it has risen – and it will rise again. 'Have at thee, gibbering neo-scoundrel!' Hercules exclaims as he slams a fist into the panel where the Supreme Intelligence appears. 'Great. You cracked the monitor...of a computer as big as the world. Come help' Marvel Boy calls out to Hercules. The Supreme Intelligence's image has vanished from the panel, but his voice can still be heard, beginning a countdown, before prattling on about his plans. 'This is hopeless' Hulkling utters, resigned. Marvel Boy goes over tro Phyla and asks her to talk to Hulkling. 'Me? Why? I'm not his sis-' Phyla begins, to which Marvel Boy reminds her that she isn't the only refugee from an alternate reality. 'I've seen plenty of old faces do new things' Marvel Boy adds, before telling Phyla that Hulkling is an annoyingly good guy – a hero. 'Ubiquitous spandex to the contrary, there aren't many of them here' Marvel Boy adds, suggesting to Phyla again that she talk to him.
Back on Skrullos, 'I'm talking to the Dread Dormammu...my god...' Wiccan utters as he looks up at the diabolical being looming over him. 'Oh, it is nice to skip to worship so quickly. Usually there's a great deal of screaming first' Dormammu remarks. 'But if you're here, then...?' Wiccan's voice trails off. Dormammu leans down to nearly come face-to-face with Wiccan, and tells him that he is but an aspect of the great flatline flame. 'A demon. Come to tempt me' Wiccan replies. 'Tempt you? What could I offer to tempt the mighty Demiurge?' Dormammu responds, before announcing that he has walked the whirling worlds Wiccan wrought, the stars he set to spin. 'And do you know what I beheld there? Desperation!' Dormammu declares as he reaches down and grabs Wiccan. 'A lost soul, hiding among ruined fantasies' Dormammu adds.
The ruins of Avengers Mansion, where Billy sits on a seat, reading. 'Hey, tough guy. I thought I might find you here' a voice calls out. It's Teddy, who sits down next to Billy, and tells him that he was right about Norris, and that he heard Billy electrocuted Kesler in the hallway. Billy hangs his head as he tells Teddy that he tried to aboid Kesler, but he started picking on someone else. 'Now he won't' Billy suggests. Energy crackles Billy's hand, and he utters 'I'm a freak, Teddy. I'm sorry if I-' but Teddy interrupts Billy, asking him if he can show him something. Teddy's shirt begins to rip as it is stretched when Teddy suddenly increases in size and turns green. 'You're the Hulk! Like a small, little, baby mini-Hulk!' Billy gasps. 'Wow – okay – we'll... um, work on that, but yeah. So if you're a freak, we're freaks together' Teddy replies.
Their hands are placed next to each other on the seat, their fingers touching. 'Wait. But...which one is you? The real you?' Billy asks. 'What do you...?' Teddy replies. 'Like, are you green or are you...this?' Billy asks as Teddy reverts to his human form. Teddy tells Billy that it isn't like that, as he thinks he is both. 'It's all me. Is that okay? Is that...weird?' he asks. 'It's beautiful. You're beautiful' Billy utters as he puts his hand on Teddy's. 'Can...can I kiss you?' Billy asks. 'Yeah. Yeah. You can kiss me' Teddy tells him as they lean in towards each other and press their lips together.
(Present day)'You need to be loved. To be adored. It has made you weak. Vulnerable' Dormammu tells Wiccan as he holds him up in the air. 'What if I kill you here, Demiurge? Tread upon the fatal egg before the serpent hatches?' Dormammu asks. Wiccan looks up at Dormammu and tells him that ever since he was a kid, people have told him he was some horrible evil thing. 'You're no different. Just bigger and on fire' Wiccan remarks, before telling Dormammu that when he looks back at this, his mistake was giving up his reach advantage. 'What?' Dormammu exclaims as Wiccan moves his hands about, and declares 'Handy tip from Doctor Strange – Dormammu is dirty as sin, butb the flames of flatline...those are pure, ethically sourced magic fuel'. Energy pours from Wiccan's hands, and a sword appears on the ground. 'Renewed is the blade that was broken, you big dopey jack-o-lantern' Wiccan declares as Dormammu drops him. 'Filthy little mage! And what good is that to you? Where is the champion who can wield it?' Dormammu asks.
On Hala, Hulkling hangs his head as he utters 'All those people above us. They trusted me...and I got them killed. You were right. I'm a murderer' he tells Phyla. Phyla sighs as she sits down next to Hulkling. She tells him that she has a wife, one who gets into all kinds of mischief – possessions, eldritch bargains. 'One time there was this leprechaun...it just kept rhyming. God' Phyla recalls, adding that her wife drives her crazy with how hot she is. 'I guess you and I both have a type' Phyla adds. She informs Hulkling that her Dorek didn't have anyone, but here, everywhere she looks, she finds someone who loves him, and someone he loves. 'That changes us, I think. Who we love changes us' she adds, looking over at Hercules and Marvel Boy. Phyla turns back to Hulkling and puts a hand on his shoulder, telling him that even if they die, she is glad she got to know him a little. 'My big little brother. Dad would have been so proud of you' she tells him. Hulkling suddenly smiles as he tells Phyla that he thinks he knows what to do.
(Some months ago)The imperial quarters aboard the Kree/Skrull Alliance Flagship. Teddy yawns as he wakes up, stretching his arms, while Billy lies huddled next to him, the blankets wrapped up around him as he utters 'Okay, lessee, Mister Gtarleton...the peplum feels right, and on top...mebbe a fascinator?' 'Oh gosh!' Teddy exclaims, before telling Billy to wake up, as today is the big day. 'Uh-oh. Bad luck for the bride to see the groom' Billy replies as he wakes, and turns to Teddy. 'There's no bride, handsome' Teddy points out. 'Oh my god, see? Already a disaster!' Billy replies. Teddy sits up on the edge of the bed, and Billy sits up, stretching his arms, when fireworks suddenly light up the space outside their quarters. 'Explosions?' Billy asks. 'Fireworks. For the new Ktee/Skrull calendar. Today marks the first day of the alliance' Teddy replies as he looks at the rings sitting on a table next to the bed. Billy goes over and wraps his arms around Teddy, pointing out that it is super easy to remember their anniversary.
'Listen, I...wanna tell you something...' Teddy begins, as he reminds Billy that once, the human Rick Jones stumbled on the lost Nega-Bands, gauntlets that could summon his father, the Kree warrior Captain Marvel, and they took turns saving countless lives across countless worlds – until his dad got sick and died, then the Kree Supreme Intelligence defiled his grave, stole the bands, and turned their memory into a nightmare. 'But that's not their only history' Teddy reveals. He explains that the original power bands of Rinn were symbols of union – of a profound bond of love. So, when their astronauts found the metled slag of the Nega-Bomb – the depleted ore of his father's bracelets, he asked Asgard to recast them for Asgardian, the hero of the Siege – and now, as he holds out two golden rings, he reveals that these are what is left of Captain Marvel's legacy. 'All I have of him' he utters.
More fireworks continue to light up the space outside, and Teddy tells Billy that he knows he has asked so much, taken him so far from home, among strangers and amid endless war. 'But I wanted to ask again...Billy Kaplan, will you marry me?' Teddy asks, dropping to his knees. Billy pauses, before informing Teddy that his people have a story, too – an ancient song, a promise that they make. “I am my beloved's...and my beloved is mine”. Billy utters as he and Teddy kiss, and Teddy places the ring on Billy's finger.
(Present day)The Supreme Intelligence's image returns to the monitor in the chamber on Hala. 'All collapsed! All dead! All alone forever!' he cries out. 'No, you're wrong!' Hulkling replies as he looks up at the deadly enemy.
'You have bound yourself to a world of weakness, Demiurge!' Dormammu tells Wiccan on Skrullos. 'Man, you gnarly demon types just never get it...' Wiccan starts to reply.
'...we're never alone. That's the deal. Forever' Hulkling declares, raising a fist into the air, his wedding band glows with energy.
Wiccan does the same, and his wedding band glows, too, as he thanks Dormammu for reminding him what he is fighting against, and what he is fighting for. 'Hey, wanna see a neat trick?' Wiccan asks.
Suddenly, on Hala, Hulkling is gone, and Wiccan stands in his husband's place. 'Herc, at the end, I just wanna say...you were really hot' Marvel Boy utters as he and Hercules embrace. 'Aye. Thee as well' Hercules replies. 'Hey, guys!' Wiccan calls out. 'Billy...?' Marvel Boy asks upon seeing his fellow Young Avener. 'Our father's bands...' Phyla utters.
'What is...?' Dormammu asks as he suddenly finds himself holding someone else instead of Wiccan. 'Hi! I'm Hulkling!' Hulkling smiles.
'We have a situation' Phyla tells Wiccan, who hovers in the air and begins casting magical energies towards the Supreme Intelligence. 'I know. Spooky action. Never mind. An extinction-level explosion' Wiccan replies.
'This is my sword. It disrupts magic!' Hulkling reveals as he raises his sword.
Magical energies extend from Hala into space, as Wiccan explains that this extinction-level explosion sounds to him like a lot of power that just needs a target.
'What are you made of again?' Hulkling smirks as he asks Dormammu. Hulkling then plunges the sword into Dormammu's chest, energy errupting around them both.
At the same time, on Hala, Wiccan directs his magical energy into space, and destroys the approaching army in spectacular display.
(Some months ago)'That was... wow' Teddy utters. 'Yeah. Also wow' Billy agrees, as they stop kissing. Suddenly, they turn to see someone drop down from above. 'Um, is it possible you left something else out?' Billy asks. 'Like how a metal boy showed up the other night and asked me to help save the world? Maybe' Hulkling replies. 'Maybe me too' Billy adds. 'Not a “metal boy” - IRON LAD – flung back from a distant future to set right the mistakes of the past!' the new arrival explains. 'Whoa. Like Scott Bakula' Billy utters. 'I think so' Teddy agrees, looking at Billy. 'Heck yeah...' Billy remarks, looking back at Teddy. '... let's go save the world'.
(Present day)The fight continues, as Wiccan and Hulkling, galaxies apart, fight together.
Wiccan & HulkingArmor, Avalanche, Frenzy, Ruckus, Thumbelina, Shen Xorn (all SWORD)Commander Abigail Brand
Hercules, Marvel Boy VII, Phyla-Vell (all Guardians of the Galaxy)
Galactic Ambassador PaibokMur-G'nn
Supreme IntelligenceDormammuMindless Ones
(in flashbacks)Billy Kaplan & Teddy Altman
Greg NorrisJohn Kesler
(in illustrative images)Rick JonesCaptain Mar-vellKree officer
This issue follows Cable (4th series) #12, in which the adult Cable was returned to the 616 timeline and ties into the “Last Annihilation” event.
“Quantum Leap” was a popular American TV series on the NBC network lasting five seasons from 1989-1993 and starred Scott Bakula.
This issue marks the first time Thumbelina and Ruckus have been seen in the Krakoan Age. Avalanche previously appeared in X-Force (6th series) #9.
Phyla-Vell is from Earth-18897, but crossed over to Earth-616 in Infinity Countdown #4.
Hulkling's mother, Mary-Jo Altman, was killed in Young Avengers (1st series) #9.
Hercules refers to watching the Supreme Intelligence kill Hala, as he was present during the classic “Operation: Galactic Storm” crossover, and partook in the Avengers Kill-Squad who set out to destroy the Supreme Intelligence once and for all.
Marve Boy refers to events that took place in Royals #5, where the Supreme Intelligence was incorporated into the Plex.
Bullies Greg Norris and John Kesler originally appeared in the Young Avengers Special #1.
This story concludes in Guardians of the Galaxy (6th series) #18.