Mighty Avengers (1st series) #31

Issue Date: 
January 2010
Story Title: 
The Unspoken, part 5

Dan Slott (plot), Dan Slott & Chrstos N. Gage (script), Sean Chen (penciler), Mark Morales & Yeung (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)

Brief Description: 

The battle against the Unspoken continues to rage, with more Avengers falling to the Xerogen gas and becoming Alpha Primitives. The Unspoken reveals just how bitter he is, before Hank Pym arrives on scene to help the remaining Avengers. On board the slave engine, Hercules and Amadeus set about stopping the spread of the Xerogen gas, when Amadeus finds the device transforming the Xerogen crystals into gas. Hank battles the Unspoken in hand-to-hand combat, while Amadeus realizes that the device transforming the Xerogen crystals into gas is a chronal ray, which he then, with the help of Quicksilver, USAgent and Hercules, uses on the Unspoken to speed up his aging process. A withered old man now, the Unspoken is powerless. Everyone is transformed back to normal, and Hank destroys the chronal ray. Ban-Luck asks USAgent out on a date. Quicksilver returns the remaining Xerogen crystals to the Inhumans and explains to them that it was a Skrull impersonating him that stole the Terrigen crystals. Medusa accepts this and restores Quicksilver’s citizenship. Crystal allows her ex-husband to see their daughter, Luna, who tells her father that she knows he is lying, but will not reveal the lie to others.

Full Summary: 

The People’s Republic of China. Civilians flee in terror as the slave engine rises above them, spilling Xerogen gas out into the air with the intention of transforming everyone it touches into a mindless Alpha Primitive. The powerful Unspoken, the mastermind behind this deadly scheme, exclaims that his greatest crime was to take pity on the humans. ‘I hid the slave engine from my people as a kindness to you. An act of mercy. But if my years in exile have taught me anything, it is how undeserving all of you are’ the powerful Inhuman declares. ‘Trust me. Transforming you into Alpha Primitives - into servants for my fellow Inhumans…will be an improvement. Finally there will be a purpose to your ignoble existence!’ he declares as he knocks Quicksilver and Rage back, while Tigra, Wiccan and the new Vision continue to mount an assault on him.Tigra bounds towards the Unspoken and tells him that he is insane. ‘Stop this at once! Change them and our teammates back or -’ she begins, but the Unspoken interrupts: ‘Back? Don’t you understand? It is irreversible! You have already lost!’

Nearby, Ronin (the original Hawkeye), Ms Marvel, Hulkling, the new Captain America (Bucky), Stature and Patriot are dealing with several Alpha Primitives, and the transformed USAgent, Spider-Woman and Lady of Ten Suns. ‘If what he said is true…then USAgent, Spider-Woman, the others…?’ remarks Stature, her voice trailing off, but Ronin, firing an arrow at an Alpha Primitive, tells her that they will worry about that later. ‘Just keep at ‘em’ he tells Stature, while Bucky suggests that everyone keep near the Unspoken. ‘He’s not about to turn that gas on himself’ Bucky points out.

‘Fool!’ the Unspoken exclaims as the Xerogen gas engulfs him. ‘Only the human genome is affected by Xerogenesis. I am immune to its touch!’. He tells the heroes that for all of them it is only a matter of time. ‘Submit. Breathe deep. Accept your fate’ he suggests. Suddenly, some of the gas nears Quicksilver, Tigra, Wiccan, Rage and the new Vision. Quicksilver flees with Rage, while the other three are engulfed by the gas. The new Vision emerges unharmed however, and exclaims that they are not all human. ‘And as long as one Avenger’s standing, we’ll fight you -’ he declares, before the transformed Tigra and Wiccan attack him.

‘Wrong. You’ll fight each other’ the Unspoken declares, boasting that never again will humans raise a hand against any Inhuman. Quicksilver and Rage come to a stop, and Rage exclaims to Quicksilver that he is supposed to be the fastest man on Earth. ‘You couldn’t a saved Tigra and Wiccan too?’ he asks. ‘Perhaps if you didn’t weigh as much as a bull elephant, Rage’ Quicksilver replies, while the Unspoken remarks that in his seclusion, it took time for the news to reach him - word of the Silent War between the Inhumans and Earth. ‘It was because I feared for your kind that I removed the slave engine and Xerogen crystals from Attilan! I spent decades in exile for you!’ he declares.

‘For how do you repay me for removing my people’s defense against you? By making war against them! That is when I knew you do not deserve my compassion. Only my wrath’. Quicksilver looks horrified and thinks to himself that the Silent War was his doing. ‘If I hadn’t stolen the Terrigen crystals, it never would have happened!’ Quicksilver realizes, knowing that this is all on his head. ‘What can I do? What can any of us do?’ he wonders.

Meanwhile, in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, Hank Pym tells Jarvis and Jocasta to take Speed and Hawkeye (the female one) to the infirmary to see to their injuries. ‘I’m off to China’ he announces. ‘Of course’ Jarvis replies, while Jocasta informs Hank that she has been trying to reach Reed Richards. ‘If he should call back…?’ she asks. Hank opens one of the myriad doorways inside the Infinite Avengers Mansion and armed with weapons, he replies ‘Tell him the Doctor’s out…making a house call!’ Hank exclaims as he arrives in the People’s Republic of China, blasting away at the Alpha Primitives.

Ronin sees his long-time teammate and tells the Unspoken that he is in trouble now. ‘We’ve got a founding Avenger on deck!’ he declares, while Hank continues to take down the mindless Alpha Primitives. The mindless USAgent lunges at Ronin, while Hank blasts away at another Alpha Primitive and Ronin asks him what the plan is. ‘How do we stop this guy?’ he asks. Hank and Ronin move so they are back-to-back and Hank replies that he hasn’t a clue. ‘I just got here. But give me a sec and I’ll come up with something’ he exclaims. ‘God, I love you’ the original Hawkeye tells his old friend.

Up above, on the slave engine, Amadeus Cho, wearing the Ant-Man helmet, receives a communication from Hank. ‘I’m rocking the Ant-Man helmet again. Y’know, I always thought you looked dorky in it, but one me it works’ Cho remarks. Hank ignores the jibe and tells Amadeus that he needs a sit-rep. Amadeus dodges the goings-ons aboard the slave engine as he replies that he and Hercules hitched a ride on the “imperial destroyer thingy” and are trying to hack the autopilot. ‘Have at thee, foul automation!’ Hercules booms as he battles the robotic construct autopilot. Hank asks Amadeus if he can locate the delivery system for the gas, pointing out that they cannot afford to have any more of their own turned against them.

‘Sit tight. I’ll see if I can find it’ Amadeus replies as he begins to explore the slave engine. Hank tells him to be careful, pointing out that the ship is bound to be heavily guarded. ‘And unless you took weapons along with the helmet, all you’re armed with is your intellect’ Hank points out. Amadeus is approached by three robots, and he responds to Hank by saying: ‘What’re you? Some kind of self-hating nerd? For guys like us…intellect is all we need!’. Amadeus pulls from his pocket a coin, and throws it at the first robot - it goes through the robot’s head, then hit’s the second in the neck, and the third in the head. Amadeus exclaims that, considering everything here was made when people were wiping their butts with rocks, he seriously doubts he will find any thing he cannot handle. But as Amadeus enters another part of the slave engine he goes wide-eyed as he comes across countless Xerogen crystals being pumped into a contraption which melts them down into gas. ‘Then again, an instruction manual would be nice’ Amadeus mumbles.

Back down below, Hank has increased his size as tells Amadeus not to worry about it, explaining that, in a larger sense, the slave engine is the delivery system itself. ‘So the solution’s simple…knock it out of the sky!’ he exclaims as he pulls from his tool belt an APP #25 laser sword. The Unspoken uses some energy around his hand as a sword admitting that he grudgingly admired Pym’s defiance. ‘No longer. Now I just want you crushed!’ he declares, remarking that he embodies the genetic changes, the endless array of abilities that define his people. ‘Whatever power I choose is mine. Any feat you are capable of, I can match - and surpass!’ he booms as he and Pym clash.

Closer to the ground, Stature has increased her mass too, and kicks several of the Alpha Primitives over at once. Scientific Beast readies some energy, while the transformed Justice lunges at Gauntlet, who is currently using his massive weapon to smash through several Alpha Primitives, exclaiming ‘This? This right here? This is some messed up @#$%!’. ‘Agreed!’ Radioactive Man declares as he blasts his way through the Alpha Primitives.

Ban-Luck, Agent of GRAMPA motions to the large cloud of Xerogen gas swiftly approaching them, and exclaims that it looks like their luck has run out. ‘No way we’re avoiding this!’ she declares. Ronin tells all the fliers to go and help Hank on the ship. ‘We’ll buy you time as long as we can!’ he exclaims, and while Ms Marvel, Hulkling and the new Vision take to the air, Ronin tells Stature to get bigger and stay above the gas. Clutching her head, Stature replies that she isn’t sure she can, as she has been giant-sized so long she is now exhausted. Reaching for an arrow, Ronin tells Stature to shrink down, as he has another idea.

Stature - now ant-sized climbs onto the arrow as Ronin tells her that he used to do this trick with her Dad all the time. ‘Okay, Mr Barton. Let’s do this. You’ll see. I’ll make my Dad proud’ Stature exclaims. Aiming the arrow upwards, Ronin tells Stature that she already does, before telling Bucky that he is going to need some assistance. Bucky understands, and throws his shield, while Ronin releases the arrow with Stature clutching onto it, seconds later. ‘Don’t worry. I come from a time…where we always open the door for a lady’ Bucky remarks as his shield slams into the side of the slave engine, cutting an entrance, which the arrow and Stature slide through.

Down on the ground, the Xerogen gas engulfs the remaining heroes - Ronin, Quicksilver, Ban-Luck, Rage, Radioactive Man, Bucky and Patriot. ‘At least we’ve got a chance now…even if it’s a small one. See what I did there? A “small” one. Hahaha’ Ronin exclaims, before coughing as the gas fills his lungs. Radioactive Man begins to neutralize the gas as best he can, and turns to Quicksilver, who is spinning around and around at super speed. Quicksilver announces that he is fine as he has his own method of keeping the gas at bay, before asking if anyone else made it. When the transformed Ronin, Ban-Luck, Rage, Bucky and Patriot move towards Radioactive Man and Quicksilver, the two remaining heroes move together, and Quicksilver declares that he can honestly say he never thought his last stand as an Avenger would come back-to-back with a founder of the Masters of Evil. ‘And I never envisioned mine alongside one of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants’ Radioactive Man replies. ‘Touché, Dr. Chen. Touché’ Quicksilver remarks.

Nearby, Hank cries out in pain as the Unspoken shoves his energy into Hank’s chest. ‘It hurts? Good. I could wound you a thousand times and it would scarcely approach the pain I’ve felt every day for decades’ the Unspoken declares. ‘Cast out by my people…wanting nothing more than to atone for my crime…striving endlessly for redemption no matter the cost…my every moment defined by the worst mistake I ever made!’ he exclaims, punching Hank in the face, Pym falls to the ground with a massive thud, ‘You cannot imagine what I have endured!’ The Unspoken booms.

Hank wipes his mouth. ‘You’d be surprised. And I’m surprised at how pathetic it sounds coming from someone else’ he declares, remarking that the Unspoken can do virtually anything, and yet has chosen to spend his time wallowing in past mistakes - not learning from them and moving on. ‘You’re incapable of looking toward the future. Which means that no matter what happens here today, he has already lost.

Amadeus overheard Hank’s speech via the communicator, and exclaims ‘”Looking towards the future…” why didn’t I see it. The answer’s right in front of me. Time!’ Amadeus looks at the Xerogen crystals and sees a chronal ray. ‘This thing’s growing these crystals by rapidly accelerating time around them!’ Amadeus declares, before contacting Hercules and asking the Olympian if he has got control of the ship yet. Hercules stands between two large mechanisms as he replies that this craft is like a woman. ‘One does not control so much as woo…charm…seduce. Fortunately, I am Hercules’. Hercules tells Amadeus that if he has the coordinates, simply speak them and he shall deliver them there.

Outside the slave engine, Hank and the Unspoken have resumed their battle, while Ms Marvel, the new Vision, Hulkling and Scientific Beast battle the transformed Spider-Woman, Justice and Lady of Ten Suns. Amadeus contacts the heroes, exclaiming that if anybody is still evolved past the Cro-Magnon stage, he needs backup inside the slave engine now. The new Vision lets Spider-Woman pass through his intangible form as he exclaims ‘Hulkling, I can respond, but -’ to which Hulkling tells him to go. ‘If there’s any chance to restore Billy and the others, we need to take it!’, Hulkling exclaims, referring to his boyfriend, Wiccan.

The Vision announces that he is phasing through the hull of the slave engine, before activating his homing beacon. ‘Anyone else receiving?’ he asks. ‘Come on, Jonas. Inattentive boyfriends are such a cliché’ Stature declares as she increases her mass. ‘Cassie. Out of all the others, It’s you’ the new Vision exclaims. ‘Go us!’ Stature declares as they make their way through a corridor, with Stature exclaiming that it seems like everything is clicking. ‘Y’know what’s clicking? The eight million robots and Alpha Primitives swarming here right now to stop me from messing with their meal ticket!’ Amadeus exclaims over the communicator. Entering the chamber, Stature swats the Alpha Primitives away with ease and tells Amadeus to relax. ‘Sci-fi cavemen, prehistoric robots…bring ‘em on! They’re no match for mighty Avengers teamwork!’ Stature declares. The Vision unleashes his laser beam while remarking that he thought Stature was learning toward returning to the Young Avengers. ‘Remind me to explain to you what a “buzz kill” is’ Stature replies.

Down below, Radioactive Man manages to hold back Ronin, Tigra, Rage and the Collective Man, but announces to Quicksilver that he is rapidly running out of tactics that will not cause lasting harm to their comrades. Quicksilver points out that they are too thickly massed to retreat, therefore it seems lethal force is inevitable from one side or the other - just as USAgent runs up behind him and punches him in the head. Amadeus radios Quicksilver, informing him that they have a shot, but that the Unspoken could still pee in their proverbial pool. ‘Can you give me a diversion in five point eight seconds?’ Amadeus asks.

‘Child’s play. Leave it to me, boy’ Quicksilver replies as USAgent throws him into the air. ‘Bold words from someone being pummeled to death’ But Quicksilver declares that he knows this man. ‘He may be a primitive fool now, but trust me…there’s an even more primitive one inside!’ Quicksilver exclaims as he shouts: ‘Walker! If I can’t get to that big man - and fast - the commies win!’. USAgent goes wide-eyed, before growling and dropping Quicksilver as he runs towards the Unspoken. ‘God bless that ugly American’ Quicksilver mumbles as he speeds behind USAgent, while remarking ‘As for your distraction, Cho…I favor the classics!’ and picks up a rock. ‘No slings required’ he exclaims as he throws the rock at the Unspoken - striking the behemoth in the eye.

‘Dr Pym! If I were you, I’d move your titanic tuchas…now!’ Amadeus exclaims. Hank looks around and exclaims ‘Well, I’ll be. It’s the Avengers! My Avengers!’. Inside the slave engine, Hercules uses his incredible strength to force the ship to turn, while Amadeus takes control of the chronal ray, and tells Stature and Vision to open the hatches and get out of the way. ‘There’s an old proverb I just made up. Revenge is a dish best served…old!’ Amadeus exclaims as the slave engine hovers over the distracted Unspoken, and the chronal ray is blasted at him. The Unspoken lets out a howling scream and as he returns to regular size, he wearily declares that he knows this pain. ‘The pain of year after year of sorrow! Decades of anger and despair! By Korath, end this, please…I want to go home. Take me back. Can’t - can’t even remember…my home…where is my home?’ he asks, looking at his withered hands.

A shocked Quicksilver asks Pym ‘What have we done? That was the Unspoken! A king! A god!’. But Hank replies ‘No. He was a creature of pity. Someone determined to live out a lifetime of regret. And today, we can count ourselves lucky he did so in the blink of an eye’.

Soon, the heroes have all returned to normal, and stand around the unmoving Unspoken while Pym assures Radioactive Man that the Unspoken is no longer a threat. ‘His powers have faded with age. And given the unique jurisdictional issues involved…I think it’s best to just return him to his cave, with his original Alpha Primitive attendants. They’ll care for him during what time he has left’. The Radioactive Man replies that the Unspoken belongs in prison, yet China has no wish to provoke the Inhumans, the way the Americans did. Radioactive Man tells Pym that in recognition of his aid and the use of the chronal beam to return the remaining People’s Defense Force to their rightful state, they will do as Pym suggests.

Radioactive Man adds that the Collective Man and Lady of Ten Suns remember nothing of their ordeal, while he and Scientific Beast do. ‘Can I surmise that the chronal ray -’ he begins, to which Pym interrupts, remarking ‘Exactly, Doctor. But reversing it, I regressed them to the way they were before they were transformed. Time travel without the travel, if you will’.

Ronin asks Pym if he can talk to him for a second, and motioning to the chronal ray, tells his friend that if the gizmo works the way he says it does, he could use it to give himself the clean slate he always wanted. Hank replies that it occurred to him he could wipe away his sins - but that would mean wiping everything he has learned from the experience. ‘I’ll pass, Clint. No more going backwards’ Hank declares as he destroys the chronal ray with a weapon.

Hank and Clint regroup with the others, where Ms Marvel is helping keep the injured Justice standing. Ban-Luck places a kiss on a smiling USAgent’s cheek, telling him that they have established he doesn’t mix business with pleasure. ‘But next time I’m off duty in the States, how about we hook up?’. Walker replies that he is not sure he knows what that means in America, to which Ban-Luck tells him to give her his number and he might find out.

The original Hawkeye informs Hank that there is something else he needs to hell him. ‘The Scarlet Witch you’ve been working with…it’s not Wanda’ Clint announces. Hank replies that he knows, and reveals that his goggles have a retinal scanner. ‘I’ve been waiting to confront her until the time’s right…but how did you find out?’ Hank asks. Clint glances sideways and replies that he would rather not talk about it. ‘And unless I want one of Mockingbird’s battle staves stuck where the sun don’t shine, I never will’. He suggests to Hank that they just go home and pretend he never said anything.

As the heroes leave the People’s Republic of China through the door which they came, Hank stops Bucky, and tells him that Steve would be proud to see him wearing his colors. ‘I’m sure you get that all the time…’ Hank adds, but Bucky replies ‘Never enough. Especially coming from the man who pulled him out of the drink and into this decade. Thanks, Pym’ Bucky declares, before Quicksilver motions to the door that Ms Marvel passes through and asks if the doors can take them anywhere. ‘Nearly anywhere, once we’re back at the Infinite Mansion. Why?’ Hank replies. ‘Because I think I know what to do with the remaining Xerogen crystals’ Quicksilver explains.

Later, Attilan, home of the Inhumans, now residing on planet Hala, in the heart of the Kree Empire. Quicksilver, USAgent, Pym, Hercules, Stature and the new Vision stand before the throne of Medusa, and holding the handful of Xerogen crystals, Quicksilver announces that the heinous crimes the Inhumans thought he committed where in fact the acts of a Skrull infiltrator disguised as him. ‘It was he who stole the Terrigen crystals from you…who provoked war with the Americans.’ Quicksilver announces that he accepts full blame for how his marriage to Medusa’ sister, Crystal, ended, but that the other things were not his doing. ‘And to prove me good intentions, Queen Medusa, I bring a gift’.

‘The Xerogen crystals are returned to Attilan at last!’ Quicksilver announces. Medusa, Crystal, Karnak and Gorgon smile, and Medusa thanks Quicksilver by restoring his citizenship. ‘It shall be as if the crimes committed in your name never happened. Just as this moment never happened. Because the Xerogen crystals do not exist. Am I understood?’ Medusa declares. ‘Of course, your majesty’ Quicksilver replies, while Crystal exclaims that this makes her so happy. ‘And I know someone who’ll be even happier’ she adds, before ordering a guard to bring their daughter out.

Luna Maximoff embraces her father, who tells her that he has missed her so much. ‘We have so much to catch up on…so much time to make up for…’ he remarks, but Luna quietly tells her father to stop it. ‘You know what my power is. I can see the truth’ she declares. Foreheads pressed together, their eyes lock as Luna declares that there was no Skrull. ‘You lied. You always lie’ Luna whispers, before telling her father that she will not tell anyone. ‘I love you…I can’t help that. But I can never respect you again’ she tells him. ‘No’ Quicksilver whispers. ‘And every time you look at me, you’ll see it’ Luna tells her father as she gets up and turns from him, leaving him shocked, Luna declares ‘You’ll always remember what you did…even if it stays…unspoken’.

Characters Involved: 

Hercules, Jocasta, Quicksilver, USAgent, Wasp II (all Mighty Avengers)
Edwin Jarvis
Amadeus 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)

Ban-Luck (Agent of GRAMPA)

Collective Man, Lady of Ten Suns, Radioactive Man, Scientific Beast (all People’s Defense Force)

Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa (all Royal Inhumans)
Luna Maximoff

The Unspoken
Alpha Primitives


Story Notes: 

The Silent War was a mini series detailing the war between the Inhumans and Earth when Quicksilver stole the Terrigen crystals.

The heroes discovered that the Scarlet Witch was not Wanda in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #29. The original Hawkeye learned this by kissing the phoney Scarlet Witch, though no one knows that she was being portrayed by Loki.

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