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Dan Slott (plot), Chrstos N. Gage (script), Sean Chen (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), John Rauch (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Hank Pym arrives in Overspace, where he meets Eternity. They discuss various matters, before Eternity reveals that Hank Pym is Earth’s Scientist Supreme. Ronin returns to the Infinite Avengers Mansion along with Ms Marvel, Spider-Woman and Bucky, to find Wiccan healing his teammates in the Young Avengers. Jarvis has a brief reunion with Ronin and Ms Marvel. Stature and the new Vision arrive at the Avengers Resistance Headquarters and find help in the form of Tigra, Justice, Rage and Gauntlet, while Hercules and Amadeus pay a visit to Norman Osborn, who is not so welcoming. With as many allies as they can muster, Hank’s Avengers prepare for the coming battle, while Quicksilver, Ban-Luck, Radioactive Man and Scientific Beast are struggling to hold their own against the mass of Alpha Primitives, including USAgent, Lady of Ten Suns and Collective Man. The Unspoken manages to raise the slave engine from its long-time resting place. Ronin, Ms Marvel and the others arrive in China just in time, but the Xerogen gas continues to spread, and Justice and Spider-Woman are its first victims, transforming into Alpha Primitives. Hercules and Amadeus make it onto the slave engine to see what they can do from there, while the remaining heroes battle the Unspoken and the Alpha Primitives. Hank Pym returns from Overspace with newfound confidence, ready to join the battle against the Unspoken.
Dr Hank Pym a.k.a. the new Wasp grows bigger - and bigger - remarking to himself that the initiation is at plus fifty, and he is leaving the Macroverse that Reed Richards described and passing through other realms at an exponentially faster rate. He reminds himself that his goal is to reach the hypothetical plane he and Richards call Overspace, a point from above and apart from all other realities. Hank adds that his recent discovery of a similar dimension gives credence to its existence. Suddenly, the blue and purple lights give way to a blinding white light, and a gape-jawed Hank realizes that he has arrived. ‘I’m there. I mean here. Or would that be everywhere. Or nowhere?’
Hank exclaims that the vastness of it all is almost too hard to grasp. ‘Could any human mind even hope to -’ he begins, when suddenly, a voice booms ‘Henry Pym! It’s long past time we talked!’ The gigantic sized Hank Pym turns and sees, floating near him, none other than…Eternity!
Meanwhile, inside one of Hank’s labs in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, ‘HENRY!’ exclaims the robotic Jocasta urgently. Edwin Jarvis rushes towards Jocasta, ‘What is it?’ he asks. Jocasta exclaims that the filament anchoring her to Hank has gone slack. Jarvis asks if something cut it, to which Jocasta tells him that should not be possible, as it is subatomic, but either way, she has lost him. ‘I was his tether and I’ve lost him!’ Jocasta declares, before tapping into a computer, exclaiming that Reed Richards will tell them what to do. Jarvis makes his way to a door while reminding Jocasta that Hank said the chronal distortion from the dimensional wave inducer makes further communication possible. Jarvis tells Jocasta not to fret and that help is never far off.
‘Let’s see if any of the others are - here…’ Jarvis exclaims as he opens the door, going wide-eyed as he sees the grouping of Avengers before him: Wiccan, Speed, Hulkling, Patriot and the female Hawkeye of the Young Avengers, as well as Ronin (the original Hawkeye), the original Spider-Woman, the real Ms Marvel and the new Captain America (Bucky). ‘Oh, my!’ Jarvis gasps, while Wiccan casts a spell on his injured friends Hawkeye and Speed: ‘I want to heal them I want to heal them I want to heal them’ he chants. Ronin announces that he got everyone he could from his team. ‘The rest must be -’ he begins, before seeing Jarvis, and rushing over to the Avengers’ long-time housekeeper and giving him a hug. ‘You old son of a -’ the original Hawkeye exclaims, smiling, while Jarvis tells him that it is good to see him. ‘But if you could slacken your grip just a hair…’ Jarvis asks.
Jarvis turns to Ms Marvel as he calls her Madame Carol and gives her a hug, he adds that it has been far too long. ‘Jarvis, I’ve told you before, every time you call me “Madame” I feel like I’m running a bordello!’ Ms Marvel exclaims. Suddenly, Jocasta enters the room, asking Jarvis what is going on. ‘Haven’t you told them there’s an emergency?’ she exclaims, to which Jarvis replies that he was just about to. ‘We heard about the situation in China’ Ronin announces, to which Jocasta replies ‘China? I meant losing contact with Hank. What’s -?’, Ronin interrupts, explaining to Jocasta that some kind of Earth-shaking menace is going to start World War III. ‘We’re pulling in everyone we can’.
Jarvis reminds Jocasta that Hank left explicit instructions regarding his wishes in a situation like this, to which Jocasta replies that she knows and will see what she can do from here. Jarvis suggests to Jocasta that outside the lab’s shielding she should be able to contact Reed Richards, though he realizes it will be difficult going back and forth, to which Wiccan tells Jocasta that Speed and Hawkeye can help her, explaining that he cast a healing spell on them, but they won’t be fit for battle for hours. ‘Hey, I’m good to go…as soon as I vomit…’ Speed mumbles, clutching his head, while the female Hawkeye tells Jocasta that they will do whatever she needs. ‘Especially concussion-boy over here, or I’ll shove a boxing glove arrow where the sun don’t shine’ she adds, touching Speed on the shoulder. Jocasta thanks Hawkeye, telling her that will be wonderful and that they will start right away. ‘But the rest of you…surely we can muster more than this. Where are the others - Stature, the Vision, Hercules…?’ Jocasta adds. ‘Same place I was. Getting help’ Ronin announces.
Meanwhile, at Avengers Resistance Headquarters, Stature and the new Vision have arrived, where they are met by Justice, Tigra, Rage and Gauntlet. Justice tells Stature that she can count on them, or rather what there are of them. Gauntlet declares that they are a pretty rag-tag team, and that most of their forces are in the field. ‘I hate to say it, but if things are really that bad…should we alert Osborn’s forces?’ Tigra asks. The new Vision replies that the threat in China is far outside Osborn’s jurisdiction, but that they agree, and are approaching Osborn with the utmost care and discretion.
‘We have a doorway to Osborn’s HQ? Herc, this is a terrible idea’ gasps Amadeus Cho, Hercules’ side-kick as the two of them enter the Headquarters of Osborn’s Avengers, reminding him that a few months ago, Osborn’s team tried to kill them. ‘True enough’ Hercules replies, commenting that it is a company of rogues, madmen and murderers, but that they are still warriors. ‘When the siren song of battle rings out, what can they do but answer?’ ‘Uh…try to kill us (It’s not like you’re even listening…)?’ Amadeus mumbles as he follows Hercules.
Elsewhere within the HQ of Osborn’s Avengers, Norman Osborn himself, clad in his Iron Patriot armor, looks at a snapshot of USAgent battling the Collective Man and exclaims ‘Beautiful!’ and declares that he wants their talking heads hyping this on ever news channel, blog and Sunday morning chat show. With Sentry and the fake Ms Marvel - Moonstone - at his side, Osborn declares that this proves Pym’s team is a disgrace. ‘A bunch of loose cannons embarrassing America on the world stage. Never mind using the Avengers name. They’re not fit to breathe the same air as…us…’ Osborn trails off as Hercules and Amadeus appear before him.
‘Norman Osborn! Gird your loins for battle! An evil of great power threatens all mankind. We must put aside our differences and stand together against its might! What say you?’ Hercules booms. Osborn, Sentry and Moonstone look at Hercules with wide eyes. ‘You have got to be kidding’ Osborn exclaims. ‘Just thought we’d ask. ‘Kaythanksbye!’ Amadeus exclaims nervously as he pushes Hercules back through the door which they came. ‘I want that door thrown into the sun’ Osborn angrily tells Sentry.
Shortly, back at the Infinite Avengers Mansion. A proud Edwin Jarvis carries a tray of assorted beverages down a hallway. ‘…so Osborn’s a no-show. You ask me, we’re better off. The guy’s nuttier than squirrel crap’ Amadeus remarks, while Hercules notices Jarvis’ smile and asks him if he is well. Jarvis replies that he is fine. ‘I just…it’s been too long’ he exclaims as they enter the foyer where Ms Marvel, Hawkeye/Ronin, Tigra, Spider-Woman, Bucky, Justice, Rage, Gauntlet, Patriot, Stature, the new Vision, Wiccan and Hulkling have gathered. ‘Aye, it has‘ Hercules replies. ‘Even for a God it feels like…’
‘…Eternity’. Hank floats before the cosmic entity. ‘I’ve heard about you from Dr Strange. You’re the living embodiment of…we…the everything’ Hank declares. ‘Almost everything’ Eternity replies, before telling Pym that he looks puzzled. ‘Um…how do I put this? I thought…’ Hank begins. ‘Yes?’ Eternity asks. ‘I thought you’d be taller’ Hank tells him. The cosmic being responds by saying ‘You’re Hank Pym. More than any aspect of myself, you’re unimpressed by scale. You’ve found other ways to measure yourself, haven’t you?’ Eternity adds. ‘Aspect of…?’ Hank begins.
‘You are outside Time and Space. While you are here, we are separate. In these moments, to you, I am the rest of the universe’ Eternity replies, slowly clenching a fist. ‘Wow. This is big. There’s so much I should ask you…so much I should…’ Hank begins, before Eternity punches him in the face - hard. Hank falls backwards, ‘What the *&#% did you do that for?’ Hank asks, before Eternity kicks him while he is down. ‘I can’t stop this, Hank. Only you can’ Eternity declares. ‘WHAT?’ Hank calls out. ‘If this is how you think the rest of the universe treats you…then that is how you will be treated’ Eternity tells him.
‘I’m not your enemy. It’s time you learned that. In fact…I owe you’ Eternity tells Hank, extending a hand to help him up. ‘What?’ Hank asks. Eternity reveals that he was dying - being devoured by cancer, but that Hank saved him. ‘You assembled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’. ‘They weren’t. We weren’t. They were just the…the best you’d let me have’ Hank responds. Eternity places both hands on Hank’s head and tells him that Avengers have formed for many reasons. ‘To capture a monster. To thwart a sorceress. To stop a prison breakout’. He reminds Hank how he saved reality from chaos. ‘That’s not enough for you?’
‘But why me? Who not Stark? Or Richards? Or Stephen Strange for that matter? When it comes to…you, that’s his department, right?’ Hank asks. Eternity replies that Dr Strange has his own concerns, which is why he needed him. ‘My other champion’ he calls Hank, who responds with a ‘Huh?’. Eternity asks Pym if he doesn’t understand. ‘You are the other side of that coin. You are Earth’s Scientist Supreme!’ Eternity announces to a shocked Hank.
Meanwhile, in Tibet Autonomous Region, the People’s Republic of China, Quicksilver, Ban-Luck, Radioactive Man and Scientific Beast are all that stand before a mass of beings transformed by the Xerogen gas into mindless Alpha Primitives - including USAgent, Collective Man, Lady of Ten Suns and a large army. Radioactive Man tells Scientific Beast to shoot to wound only. ‘Our countrymen cannot control their actions!’ he exclaims as he and Scientific Beast fire their energies at the mass of Alpha Primitives. Quicksilver creates funnels of wind at high speed, telling Radioactive Man to focus and concentrate on neutralizing the Xerogen gas. ‘Or we’ll all end up drooling cavemen just like them!’ Quicksilver adds.
‘The whole world will if we can’t get past these…what did you call them, Quicksilver?’ Ban-Luck exclaims. ‘Alpha Primitives’ Quicksilver replies, adding that they are the slave caste that performs manual labour for the Inhumans. Ban-Luck exclaims that right now they are a distraction and announces that the Unspoken has almost done ‘fiddling with the doohickey’ as she puts it. Quicksilver replies that the designs to that “doohickey” were given to the Inhumans eons ago by the alien Kree as the ultimate means of controlling humanity. ‘And we’re already too late!’ Quicksilver adds, announcing that the slave engine has risen.
Indeed, the sprawling slave engine rumbles and rises from where it was buried. Several Alpha Primitives fall from the side if they were too close to the edge, while the Unspoken stands tall, declaring that, long ago he looked upon this device as an unho9ly abomination, a stain on all that was good of his people. ‘But today this shall be the instrument of my absolution. As you watch down upon me, Attilan, know that I do this in your name. For you I remake humanity. For you I enslave a world!’. Down below, Ban-Luck has managed to grab hold of USAgent, and shakes him, ‘Walker? John? Are you in there?’ she calls out, but the only response the patriotic hero can give is ‘MWRAH!’ ‘Dear God…’ Ban-Luck exclaims.
The Unspoken tells the remaining heroes to cease their struggles, boasting that he has enough Xerogen to blanket the Earth a dozen times over. ‘Enough to transform every man, woman, and child into my Alpha Primitives!’ he declares, telling the humans to accept their fate and that their prayers fall on deaf Gods. ‘No words can save you now!’ he exclaims. ‘Really? Because we only need two’ Quicksilver tells him, smirking and pointing to where a door has appeared, and once opened - ‘AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!’ the original Hawkeye shouts, flanked by Ms Marvel, Hercules and the rest.
As the new arrivals take to battle, Quicksilver continues to create funnels of air to blow away the Xerogen. ‘Careful, you fools! If you breathe even a trace of gas, you’ll spend the rest of your misbegotten lives as primitives!’ Quicksilver declares. ‘Aww…that Eurotrash condescension takes me back. Call me a “Poltroon” willya? For old time sakes?’ the original Hawkeye tells his long-time teammate while firing an arrow. Up above, Ms Marvel deals with the transformed Lady of Ten Suns, while on the ground, the transformed USAgent grabs Bucky by his throat. ‘Walker, right? I heard about you. You’re the grunt that last filled in for Steve…’. Walker growls, to which Bucky remarks ‘Yeah. They weren’t exaggerating about you at all, were they?’
On the slave engine, the Unspoken exclaims that he has waited a lifetime to win back the favor of his people, and leaps from the slave engine down to the battlefield, ‘I WILL WAIT NO LONGER!’ the Unspoken booms, landing with massive force that shatters the ground and knocks back Avenger and Primitive alike. Quicksilver continues to blast back the Xerogen while Spider-Woman, Justice, Hulkling and the new Vision race towards the Unspoken. Spider-Woman asks Quicksilver what the Unspoken can do, to which Quicksilver replies ‘Anything!’. The Unspoken throws his hands into the air and shouts ‘AWAY WITH YOU’ as he knocks Spider-Woman, Justice, Hulkling and the new Vision backwards. ‘No! Look out or the Xerogen -’ Quicksilver calls out.
Too late though, as the four heroes are engulfed by the deadly gas. ‘Oh, no. This is why we can’t win. With every man we lose, the enemy gains!’ Quicksilver exclaims as the transformed Spider-Woman and Justice emerge from the Xerogen and approach him. Suddenly, the new Vision and Hulkling appear and grab Justice and Spider-Woman before they can attack Quicksilver. ‘What? The gas didn’t affect you?’ Quicksilver asks. The new Vision replies that he is an artificial life form and the Hulkling is a Kree/Skrull hybrid. ‘Perhaps that is why’. Hulkling looks at his teammate and tells him that they have got to have a chat about outing people.
Nearby, ‘Fell sorcery! You will restore our allies, villain, or the Lion of Olympus shall -’ Hercules booms, before Amadeus tells him to hold up, and points out that the Unspoken is an omega-level powerhouse, so they need to play this smart. ‘Baseball 101: Hit ‘em where they’re not. With the Unspoken down here, no one with an IQ bigger than my shoe is watching his ship’ Amadeus points out. Holding the Ant-Man helmet, Amadeus looks up and remarks that if there is a way to stop this, it is on board. ‘And a gas tailored to humans won’t affect an Olympian God’ Amadeus adds, before asking Hercules if he can get them up there.
‘Aye. But you are a mere mortal. And a skinny one at that’ Hercules replies, to which Amadeus explains that the Ant-Man helmet has its own air supply. ‘Relax…it’ll be a cakewalk’ he exclaims as he puts the helmet on, before Hercules grabs him and they leap upwards. ‘As the Argonauts used to say to the ladies of Crete…welcome aboard!’. Hercules smashes through the side of the slave engine, startling several Alpha Primitives as he declares that the ship has been commandeered by the Mighty Hercules. ‘If any among you is foolish enough to challenge me, let him make himself known!’ Hercules exclaims, when suddenly, a large robot construction appears before him, and says something in an unknown language while waving various tentacles about. ‘Okay. “Cakewalk” may have been too strong a word’ Amadeus admits.
Overspace, where Hank tells Eternity that there is no way in Hell that he is “Earth’s Scientist Supreme”. ‘Not when Reed Richards is…’ Hank begins, before Eternity interrupts, admitting that Richards is smarter than Pym, but that Richards is the explorer. ‘For him, science is about pure discovery. More than any of my other aspects, he has the capacity to learn, comprehend, and apply all there is to know’. Eternity adds that as far as Hank’s other point of reference is concerned, Tony Stark is the engineer. ‘For him, science is a tool which he can use to shape his world and his destiny.
‘But you, Hank Pym…you are the mage’. Eternity begins to “swallow” Hank inside him as he remarks that for Pym, science is about making the impossible possible. ‘You are the one who takes science to the very point of magic - for no other reason than that you can’. Hank begins to fall through Eternity as the cosmic being tells him never to forget that he is his champion. ‘You are my Avenger. More than a founding Avenger of old, you are the founder of Avengers yet to come. A new age of heroes is upon us…more than any being, I put my trust in you. To you I entrust more than myself. To you I entrust the future. But for now, here is what you must to…’.
An unknown amount of time later, Hank Pym arrives back in his lab. ‘Thank Heaven!’ Jarvis gasps. ‘Henry, are you all right? The tether broke -’ Jocasta exclaims, but as Hank shrinks down to regular size, he tells Jocasta that he grew beyond the bounds of the tether’s physical existence. ‘But while I may have lost my tether…I never lost my anchor’ he exclaims, stroking Jocasta’s face, which causes Speed to stick a finger down his own throat pretending to be sick. Jarvis informs Hank that there is an emergency, to which Hank declares ‘In China, yes’. The female Hawkeye asks him how he knows this, to which Hank explains that you learn all kinds of interesting things when you’re not distracted by reality.
Hank opens a cabinet and grabs some weapons which he straps to himself, as Jocasta points out that he barely made it back and that they have no idea what strains his body has experienced. She asks him where he thinks he is going, to which Hank exclaims ‘To save everything’.
Hercules, Jocasta, Quicksilver, USAgent, Wasp II (all Mighty Avengers)Edwin JarvisAmadeus Cho
Hawkeye III, Hulkling, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Vision III, Wiccan (all Young Avengers)
Captain America VII / Bucky, Ms Marvel, Ronin II / Hawkeye, Spider-Woman (all New Avengers)
Gauntlet, Justice, Rage, Tigra (all Avengers Resistance)
Iron Patriot / Norman Osborn, Ms Marvel III / Moonstone, Sentry (all Dark Avengers)
Ban-Luck (Agent of GRAMPA)
Collective Man, Lady of Ten Suns, Radioactive Man, Scientific Beast (all People’s Defense Force)
The UnspokenAlpha Primitives
In Photograph:USAgentCollective Man
In Illustrative Image:Reed RichardsTony Stark
The interaction between Hawkeye/Ronin, Ms Marvel and Jarvis is nice considering of all those in the room at the time, Jarvis had the most to do with the two of them.
Hercules and Amadeus Cho went up against Osborn’s Avengers in Incredible Hercules #128.
Of all the Avengers gathered in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, Jarvis only really has connections with Hawkeye/Ronin, Ms Marvel, Tigra, Hercules and Justice, all who served as Avengers prior to the “Dissassembled” storyline. Rage was briefly a member before being removed from the roster.
Reality was saved from chaos in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #23.
John Walker, then known as Super-Patriot, became Captain America VI when he took over the role from Steve Rogers in Captain America (1st series) #333, lasting until Captain America (1st series) #350 when Rogers returned. Walker became USAgent in Captain America (1st series) #354.