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Dan Slott (plot), Chrstos N. Gage (script), Khoi Pham (penciler), Crimelab’s Allen Martinez (inker), John Rauch (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Jeannie Schaeffer & Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Years, ago, the exiled Unspoken attempted to return to Attilan with Xerogen Crystals, but before he could, the Inhumans moved to the Moon, stranding the Unspoken in China. Now, the Unspoken is still on a rampage, while USAgent, Quicksilver and Ban-Luck discover that some of the People’s Defense Force survived his attack. The survivors - Collective Man, Radioactive Man, Lady of Ten Suns, Scientific Beast - attack the Avengers, until Ban-Luck can calm everyone down. At the Infinite Avengers Mansion, Stature discovers “the Scarlet Witch” ignoring a distress call from Quicksilver, and “the Scarlet Witch” casts a spell on Stature so that she cannot say anything bad about the Scarlet Witch in front of the other Avengers. Hank Pym gives his team “keys” to the Infinite Avengers Mansion, while Stature takes leave to visit her mother and her other teammates in the Young Avengers, taking the new Vision with her. At the Original Avengers Mansion, the Young Avengers have returned to meet with Stature and the Vision, unaware that they are being followed by agents of HAMMER - who are themselves taken down by someone else lurking around the ruined mansion. Stature takes her Young Avengers teammates into the Infinite Avengers Mansion, and reveals to them that the Scarlet Witch is back. Emotions run high for Speed and Wiccan, and Wiccan manages to summon her to them - unaware of course that “the Scarlet Witch” is actually Loki. Loki is furious at being summoned by Wiccan, and disguised as the Scarlet Witch, she attacks the Young Avengers, only for the mysterious figure following the Young Avengers to reveal himself - it’s Ronin a.k.a. the original Hawkeye, one of the real Scarlet Witch’s closest friends….
(Flashback, a few years ago)Tibet Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. Two young boys are exploring a cave. ‘Rinzen, we’re going to get in trouble! Father said never to go near the hermit’s cave!’ one of the boys calls out to his friend. Rinzen replies that he knows, ‘The crazy old hermit and his army of monsters, no one who goes in ever comes out. Stop being such a child’ he tells his friend, exclaiming that those are the stories they tell to scare people away from all the good stuff - all the hidden treasures. ‘What kind of treasures?’ the other boy asks, to which Rinzen replies that there is gold, silver and copper that they have found in other parts of the mountains. ‘I bet it’s the Chinese telling those lies to keep people away. All we have to do is sneak in and grab some and we’d be set for life!’ Rinzen exclaims.
‘Where are you going?’ the other boy asks, motioning to some carving on the cave wall, he exclaims that says “danger”, and reminds Rinzen that Chinese soldiers have guns. ‘Fine. But don’t expect me to share with you’ Rinzen replies. ‘I’ll be richer than - what’s his name - Toby Stark! I’ll have fast Italian cars and an American supermodel for a wife. You’ll see!’ Rinzen boasts as he walks further into the cave, with his friend asking him to come back. ‘Look! It’s all lit up in there! I was right! I was…oh…’ Rinzen goes quiet as he lays eyes upon a large cavern, where a cloaked being stands in the middle of some bright yellow rock-like formations, and beings clad in red and yellow hack away at the terrain with picks.
The being is known as the Unspoken, and he tells his workers - the Alpha Primitives - that after all these years they are almost home. ‘They’ll take us back. Of course they will. I’ll admit it. I was wrong. I had no right to take the Slave Engine and its Xerogen Crystals from our people. But haven’t I made up for it? Growing them…cultivating them all these years. Now there are more than we ever had to begin with!’ the Unspoken exclaims. He declares ‘That’s why they’ll accept us again. Whatever my past crimes, I’ll still be the one who returned the Xerogen Mists to Attilan. I -’, the Unspoken is interrupted by a cough - it’s Rinzen. ‘Eh?’ the Unspoken exclaims, before seeing Rinzen, and shouting ‘You! Get out of here! Didn’t you see the warnings?’
‘I - I -’ Rinzen begins to reply, but coughs due to the mists, and he suddenly screams as he is engulfed by the mists. ‘Poor creature. You’re just as impetuous as I was. And, like me, your rash decisions have cost you everything. I’m sorry. There is no going back. Not for you. There is no undoing the -’ the Unspoken remarks, while Rinzen’s body lies at his feet. There is suddenly a loud rumbling, and the Xerogen Crystals begin to shatter. The Unspoken tells the Alpha Primitives to calm themselves, as this place is secure about any tremors. Suddenly though, the Unspoken realizes that he has heard that sound before - on the day he was banished from Attilan. ‘Black Bolt has spoken!’
Nearby, the other boy calls out to Rinzen, exclaiming that it is an earthquake and telling him that he will get trapped. ‘Rinzen, please! I’m scared!’ he calls out. The Unspoken approaches the boy and tells him that he should be scared. The boy screams and begins to run, while the Unspoken tells him to flee, lest he share the fate of his friend and the other humans stupid enough to come here. ‘Their fate is sealed. But my exile is over. I will go before Black Bolt. I will walk the glistening halls of Attilan once more’ the Unspoken exclaims.
But, as he reaches an exit to the cavern, he looks up towards Attilan - only to see that the massive city of Attilan has been cut from the mountain and is floating in the air - it moves further and further away from Earth - towards the Moon! ‘Attilan…I was so close…and I have none to blame but myself. I let my people unprotected - without the Slave Engine. Now Black Bolt has deemed the humans too great a threat’. The Unspoken remarks that Black Bolt is using Agon’s contingency by taking the shining city away towards the moon where no one can ever reach them. The Alpha Primitives gather around the Unspoken as he whispers ‘I am too late’. Hanging his head, he declares that, now and forever, he is alone.
(Present)‘I can feel you there. Mocking. Staring. Stop following me!’ the Unspoken booms, casting energy into the air as he strides forward, he exclaims that he knows what must be done. ‘The Slave Engine…only that Kree monstrosity will appease you. So be it!’ he declares, exclaiming that the humans, their champions and this land have delayed him enough. ‘Let it make itself useful. Come, my friends! Salvation awaits!’ the Unspoken exclaims as he and the Alpha Primitives stand on a rise.
Nearby, Ban-Luck, Agent of GRAMPA turns to Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff and Johnny “USAgent” Walker, telling the Avengers that the Unspoken has gone. She asks USAgent to grab a first-aid kit, exclaiming that some of the Chinese heroes might still be alive. ‘Copy that’ Walker replies as he and Ban-Luck race towards the myriad of fallen Chinese heroes - the People’s Defense Force. Ban-Luck remarks that Quicksilver is so still, to which the handsome USAgent remarks that Quicksilver used to live with the Inhumans, and for him the “Unspoken” is like finding out the boogeyman is real. ‘But if know Maximoff - he’ll catch up’ Walker adds, and indeed, the mutant speedster appears beside them as they check the fallen People’s Defense Force.
Kneeling beside the Collective Man, Ban-Luck exclaims that it is Tao-Yu and they have to revive him. ‘What makes him so special?’ Walker asks. ‘The Collective Man? He can summon the strength of every person in China!’ Ban-Luck replies. But Quicksilver exclaims that it won’t be enough, and announces he is calling Pym.
At the Infinite Avengers Mansion, Quicksilver’s emergency call reaches one of the communications rooms. ‘Repeat, we have a priority one crisis in Tibet! Bring anyone you can! Acknowledge! Pym! Hercules! Is anyone there?’ Quicksilver calls asks, before there is another blinding light. ‘Oh, now what?’ he mutters, to which USAgent tells him to hurry. ‘They were playing possum! They were - ahh!’ Walker is cut off, and the transmission ends, ‘Alas, my poor, dear “brother” remarks the Scarlet Witch - or at least Loki, posing as the Scarlet Witch, as she sits in the communications room. ‘But it appears no one heard your cry for help. And now, no one shall. And should you die in battle, that’s one less problem for me to -’ suddenly, there is a loud gasp, and Loki realizes that she is being watched.
‘Hm. If it isn’t’ the little girl. Or would that be the giant pain?’ Loki remarks, while Cassie “Stature” Lang peers into the room, shouting ‘You - you - I knew it! You’re evil! You’re still totally evil!’ Suddenly, Jocasta appears before Stature, informing her that she is missing the breakfast meeting. ‘Jocasta! It’s the Scarlet Witch - she -’ Stature begins, distracted when she sees “the Scarlet Witch” standing on a balcony, casting her powers. Cassie finds herself with a large magical clamp placed over her mouth preventing her from talking. ‘I’m sorry, Cassie, I didn’t quite catch that’ Jocasta replies. Cassie shrinks down to her regular size, thinking to herself that Jocasta doesn’t see it. ‘But if I can’t say anything, someone’s got to realize -’ Cassie thinks to herself, while Jocasta asks if it can wait for the meeting, as they are late already.
‘Coming’ Stature replies, realizing that she can speak, she glances back at “the Scarlet Witch”, supposing that she cannot say anything about what she saw or anything bad about the Scarlet Witch, no matter how hard she tries. ‘USAgent and Quicksilver, they could be dying out there. And there’s nothing I can do about it…’ Cassie thinks to herself.
Meanwhile, in Asgard, the chambers of Loki, Goddess of Mischief. ‘Infuriating little trollop. Doesn’t she realize I only tolerate her presence to pacify the Vision? Had I known she’d vex me so, I’d have left them both out’ Loki thinks to herself as she transforms back to her true form. ‘And Quicksilver, forcing himself among them uninvited…such hubris in a mortal is beyond reason’. Loki remarks. ‘The intense emotions they feel toward my disguise play havoc with this spell. I can tolerate it no longer’ she declares, deciding that it is time she found a more permanent solution to the young Miss Lang.
Back in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, inside Dining Room #386, Dr Hank Pym, a.k.a. the new Wasp, Hercules, the new Vision a.k.a. Jonas, Edwin Jarvis and Amadeus Cho are gathered around the dining table, with Jocasta standing nearby. The new Vision remarks that they came together to stop Chthon, and succeeded. ‘So I fail to understand…why are we still here?’ he asks. ‘Why, Vision? Because we’re the Mighty Avengers! Norman Osborne and his team of lunatics say they protect Earth. We do it!’ Hank replies. Hank adds that they do it well, pointing out that in just a week’s time they have defeated an Elder God of Chaos, Lava Men, Swarm, Titan - over a dozen extinction level threats. ‘In the space of one day, we were accepted as the real Avengers by most of Earth. We’re the premier superhuman team on the planet! We beat the Fantastic Four!’ Hank exclaims. ‘Except for Cho, who was bested by a little girl’ Hercules remarks. ‘Let it go’ Amadeus mutters.
Suddenly, Stature asks everyone to shut up and listen to her. ‘I mean…there’s something I need to ask’. Jonas turns to his girlfriend and asks ‘What’s the matter?’. Stature replies that she has been thinking really hard about how to phrase this. ‘And I think I finally -’ she begins, only for the Scarlet Witch to materialize in the room. Cassie screams, to which “the Scarlet Witch” remarks ‘Oh, did I startle you? How…unfortunate’. Hank turns to “Wanda” and asks her if she has another mission for them. ‘Is there some emergency?’
“Wanda” replies that it is less than an emergency and more a grave concern. ‘About Cassandra…having her among us. When you opposed the Fantastic Four, she revealed your plans to the enemy. Against any other opponent, that could have meant all your deaths’. Hank replies that is true, but he doubts Cassie would have done it against anyone else. ‘This was the Richards family, not Hydra’ Hank points out, adding that he is a believer in second chances, and tells Cassie that if she wants a place on the team it is hers, but Wanda has a point. ‘You obviously disagreed with what we did’ he points out, asking Cassie if she wants to stay with them.
‘I - I want…what I want is to...’ Cassie begins, while thinking to herself that this is so frustrating. ‘C’mon! Three words! Sound like: “till Tarlet Witch”!’, before announcing that she wants to go home, to check in with her mom and see her friends. ‘Just…think…about…things’ she tells him. Hank replies ‘Of course’ and tells Cassie that it has been a bit of a non-stop ride, and tells Cassie to take all the time she needs. ‘And take this…for when you’ve made your decision’ Hank tells Cassie as he places something in Cassie’s hand. ‘Thanks. Um…what is it?’ Cassie asks. Turning to the Vision, Hank places something in his hand too and explains that he is implanting subatomic keys in each of their palms. ‘They’ll allow you access to the Infinite Mansion’s dimensional doors’ Hank exclaims.
‘Couldn’t you just leave a key under a rock?’ Hercules asks as he receives the key. ‘A rock?’ Hank asks. ‘I’m Hercules. It could be a large rock’ the Olympian jokes. ‘Ahem. Be careful with these’ Hank remarks as he gives on to Amadeus and announces that he will be away for a bit, working on a side-project. ‘So no “Avengers Gone Wilde” parties, huh?’ Cho asks. ‘God, no. I haven’t had a chance to install the full security protocols yet’ Hank replies. ‘Really. Thanks for the heads-up, Uncle Hank’ Cassie remarks, before telling Jonas that they have got things to go. Hank tells Jarvis that if Quicksilver and USAgent get back, have them see Jocasta so she can get them their keys. “The Scarlet Witch” glances at Jarvis as he replies ‘Of course, Sir. Odd that we haven’t heard from them…but I suppose that means their mission’s been eventful’.
Back in Tibet, USAgent, Quicksilver and Ban-Luck find themselves up against four members of the People’s Defense Force - the Collective Man, Radioactive Man, Lady of Ten Suns and Scientific Beast. ‘What the Hell is wrong with you people? Typical communists. Try to help and they stab you in the back!’ Walker declares. ‘Help us? You invaded us…on the orders of your National Security Director, I’ll bet. I know that madman Osborn all too well!’ Radioactive Man, formerly of the Thunderbolts declares angrily. ‘You’re talking about a patriot, “comrade”. If it weren’t for him, you’d all be speaking Skrull right now!’ USAgent exclaims.
Cassie asks Walker if he knows his teammates feel this way, while the Collective Man asks Radioactive Man to move to one side. ‘I will show these imperialists China does not need them…when we are one billion strong!’. The Collective Man slams his fist into USAgent’s shield and dents it, as Walker is knocked backwards. Scientific Beast laughs and exclaims that their intel was correct. ‘His shield is a pale imitation of Captain America’s!’. ‘As he is of the man, Scientific Beast’, the Collective Man replies.
Scientific Beast begins recording the battle, exclaiming that the West has corrupted the airwaves with their pornography and Hollywood trash. ‘But finally they’ve given us something worth watching. Let us see what their “fair and balanced news” makes of this!’ Scientific Beast exclaims. Suddenly, Quicksilver attacks Scientific Beast, shouting that he can hit him with the strength of a billions blows - one at a time, and begins to do so. USAgent examines his bashed-up shield and remarks ‘Damn. That’s just wrong’, before tossing it to the ground.
‘You see what our people, united, can do? Meanwhile America crumbles, because there it is every man for himself!’ the Collective Man exclaims as he and USAgent approach each other. ‘You got it wrong, pal. In America…one man - the right man…can make all the difference!’ And with that, Walker dodges the Collective Man’s initial attack, before punching the Collective Man in the face. ‘Oh my God, I’m choking on testosterone!’ Ban-Luck exclaims, before getting everyone’s attention.
As everyone gathers around her, Ban-Luck asks them all if they are insane, pointing out that the guy who side-lined most of China’s superhuman army is on the loose, and yet they are fighting each other. ‘Whatever he’s up to, it’s not good. And with communications down, all we have is each other’ Ban-Luck exclaims. ‘What help are these losers? The Unspoken stomped ‘em like roaches’ Walker points out. ‘Sure. But this time, they’ll have two world-class Avengers on their side’ Ban-Luck points out. In his native tongue, Radioactive Man tells his remaining teammates: ‘My friends…I fear we are screwed’.
Meanwhile, at the Original Avengers Mansion, the members of the Young Avengers - Patriot, Wiccan, Speed, Hulkling and the female Hawkeye - walk through the ruins of the once grand home to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Hulkling remarks that he appreciates the historical significance and all, but wonders if they shouldn’t pick a new meeting place. Wiccan remarks that Hulkling has a point. ‘I mean, first we get turned to statues. Then Stature and the Vision ditch us to eat at the cool kids’ table’. Patriot declares that they didn’t ditch them, and remarks that Stature and the Vision called them here. ‘I’m guessing this is where they explain all the craziness’.
Wiccan replies that he hopes so, before pointing out that the team is still wanted for violating the Registration Act. ‘It’d be a nice change to meet someplace a little more secure. Like, oh, I don’t know, with a roof…’ Wiccan adds, unaware that the team is being followed by agents of HAMMER. ‘HAMMER team bravo to base. Intel was dead on. The “Young Avengers” just walked into the kill zone’ one of the agents reports. ‘Copy. An assault team’s en route. Maintain surveillance over’ comes the reply. However, the two HAMMER agents don’t notice someone drop down behind them in the shadows of the ruined mansion - and bash their heads together. ‘Bravo? This is the part where you say “copy”. Bravo?’ someone at command office calls out, but of course gets no response.
Moments later, the door to the ruined mansion opens, and Cassie greets her friends. ‘Hey, guys. Good to see you…Kate, are you okay?’ she asks the new Hawkeye. Kate replies that they are fine, before asking Cassie if she and the Vision are. ‘You’re the ones who’ve been acting strange’ she points out. ‘Yeah. You aren’t gonna pull another disappearing act on us, are you?’ Speed asks. ‘Not unless…you disappear with me, Speed’ Stature replies, before the Vision asks Cassie if she is sure this is such a good idea. ‘Dr Pym said -’ he begins, but Cassie tells him to relax, as she knows what he is doing. ‘Everything’s gonna be fine’ she declares as she closes the doors behind her, unaware that a shuriken is thrown to prevent the doors from locking, and the mysterious person who took down the HAMMER agents opens the doors.
The Young Avengers gaze around the Infinite Avengers Mansion, and the new Vision explains that it exists in its own dimension, with its own physical laws. ‘It’s far bigger than any earthly structure could ever be’ he adds. ‘Holy…this place goes on for miles!’ Speed exclaims as he races around the Infinite Avengers Mansion. Stature mutters that it is pretty impressive, but that there is something else she wanted to talk to them all about it, only it is hard to find the words. ‘I think I know where this is going’ Patriot declares, telling Stature that they have seen her on TV, trotting around the world with Pym an the rest of the Mighty Avengers. ‘Wiccan’s right, isn’t he? This is the “I hope we can still be friends” speech. You and the Vision are trading up to the majors. Leaving us!’ Patriot exclaims.
‘No! That’s not it at all!’ Cassie exclaims, before revealing to her friends that there is a member of the team who has not been shown on the news. ‘The Scarlet Witch!’ she exclaims. ‘Scarlet…’ ‘…Witch?’ ‘As in the Scarlet Witch who might be Billy and Tommy’s mother?’ Patriot asks, glancing at Wiccan and Speed. ‘Does she look like us? Has she mentioned having kids?’ Speed asks urgently, racing around Cassie in circles. ‘One thing at a time. Where is she?’ Wiccan asks, calmly. Stature replies that the Scarlet Witch is around somewhere, ‘But you saw the size of this place. I’m picturing her in my mind…try working your magic’ she tells Wiccan. ‘I want to bring her here…’ Wiccan begins chanting over and over, while Cassie exclaims that they are finally going to get some answers. ‘And this time, I’ve got a team I can trust watching my back!’ she tells herself.
In Asgard, Loki senses something going on. ‘What? I did not call upon this form of trickery -’ she declares as she disguises herself as the Scarlet Witch, and teleports away…to the Infinite Avengers Mansion, where she drops down on the Young Avengers, shouting ‘Who dares? Who dares summon me against my will?’. Energies dart around “the Scarlet Witch” while Wiccan explains that he did, and apologizes. ‘I realize you don’t know me…but my name is Billy. And this is my brother, Tommy’ he exclaims, motioning to Speed. ‘We’re hoping those names might mean something to you’.
“The Scarlet Witch” ignores the question, and calling Wiccan a whelp tells him that he is not responsible for this, but she knows who is, and frowns at a grinning Stature. ‘And she has just sealed your fate!’ “the Scarlet Witch” screams as she casts energies towards the Young Avengers. ‘Why is she -?’ Speed asks, while Hulkling exclaims that she is crazy. ‘She has to be!’ he declares, while the Vision asks Cassie ‘What have you done?’. ‘What I had to’ Stature replies, increasing in size. ‘You seek answers? Very well! Your request is granted! For in death, all is revealed!’ “the Scarlet Witch” booms as the Young Avengers are all knocked backwards.
Racing through the Infinite Avengers Mansion, the mysterious stranger thinks to himself ‘That’s not how it works, Red. You owe us all explanations…and lady, Clint Barton is first in line!’ as the man called Ronin - better known as Hawkeye, one of the real Scarlet Witch’s dearest friends, draws his swords and lunges towards “the Scarlet Witch”….
Hercules, Jocasta, Quicksilver, USAgent, Wasp II (all Mighty Avengers)Edwin JarvisAmadeus Cho
Hawkeye III, Hulkling, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Vision III, Wiccan (all Young Avengers)
Ronin / Hawkeye (member of the New Avengers)
Ban-Luck (Agent of GRAMPA)
Loki (posing as the Scarlet Witch)
Collective Man, Lady of Ten Suns, Radioactive Man, Scientific Beast (all People’s Defense Force)
The UnspokenAlpha Primitives
In Flashback:The UnspokenAlpha PrimitivesRinzen and other boy
Hank Pym’s brief recount of events refer to events that took place in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #21-26.
The Young Avengers were turned to statues in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #21.
The Scarlet Witch has indeed had kids - kind of. In Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #12 she gave birth to twins - William and Thomas. However, in Avengers West Coast #52 they were revealed to be two parts of Mephisto’s soul.