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Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Steve McNiven (Penciler), Mark Morales and John Dell (Inker), Morry Hollowell and Laura Martin (Colorist), RS and COMICRAFT’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), David Finch, Danny Miki and Frank D’Armata (Cover), James Taveras (Production), Aubrey Sitterson and Molly Lazer (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)
As Paul Jenkins wonders how and why Sentry poured in ideas of his life to him so Jenkins could write a Sentry comic book, Emma Frost takes the mind of Lindy Reynolds into Robert’s head. Emma explains the situation to Lindy and tells her that Robert is hiding and that Emma needs a shared memory to get him to come out. Lindy is reluctant at first, but then agrees. Emma finds a memory of when Lindy and Robert fell in love and displays it, which succeeds in pulling Robert from his hiding. Emma and Robert talk and she explains that this is not his fault. He was young and naïve and did not train properly like many heroes. That is why when his arch-nemesis, the General, caught him, Mastermind was easily able to tamper with his mind. Mastermind made Sentry forget who he was and also subconsciously forced Robert to make everyone else forget about him with his powers. However, Robert was fighting in the deep parts of his mind, which is why he has been having these brief moments of clarity before forgetting again. The Void is a construct of his used to keep the Sentry at bay and the comic books were just a diary of his so the world would not forget the Sentry. Emma then tells him that it is better off if the world doesn’t remember him and he starts fresh. Robert agrees and he is able to mentally stop the Void attacking the heroes. Robert returns to his body and apologizes to the heroes, though he learns that the Avengers want him as a member, partly to watch over him. Robert agrees and Emma unlocks his memories and powers. However, this causes his Watchtower to appear coincidentally over Avengers Tower. Astounded, Iron Man admits that perhaps Captain America was correct about this being fate. Sometime later, the Illuminati meet again and, before they end the meeting, Mr. Fantastic asks Tony about what happened in the Savage Land, as he heard rumblings. Iron Man lies and tells the group that everything is fine.
In an interrogation room aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Lindy Reynolds and comic book author Paul Jenkins wait and worry. Paul sits as Lindy stands and faces the wall. Paul simply stares at Lindy, which makes her uncomfortable, so she asks him to stop. Jenkins apologizes, but this is just the first time he has met one of his comic book creations. She really is Lindy Reynolds, the wife of the Sentry. Lindy begins to argue that she isn’t a comic book character, to which Jenkins replies that yes he knows that now. However, for the longest time she was a voice in his head. Now… now she is here.
Paul asks Lindy if she knows how her husband did that exactly. How did he put her life experiences as the Sentry’s wife into his head, so he could type them into a comic book for the world to see? Better yet, why was he chosen to keep the Sentry alive when obviously much effort was put into keeping him forgotten? Stressed, Lindy turns and tells Jenkins to please understand her dilemma at the moment. She doesn’t want to speak of this right now. Jenkins apologizes, but something profound is going on and he is just trying to figure out what is going on. Suddenly, Lindy passes out, her head hitting the table as she falls to the floor.
Lindy Reynolds wakes up, but finds that she is no longer on the Helicarrier. In fact, she is lying in a white void. She leans up and realizes that she is dead. Suddenly, the voice of Emma Frost is heard and Lindy sees the woman approach her. Emma explains to Lindy that she is not dead. To be blunt as possible, Emma has just taken Lindy’s subconscious and placed it her husband’s head. Her name is Emma Frost of the X-Men. She used her mutant powers to do this. Lindy is confused, but Emma hushes her and explains that she needed Lindy there as quick as possible, because the situation with her husband is not good.
Lindy gets up and asks Emma if she is in her husband’s body. Don’t be silly no, replies Emma. She is just inside his subconscious brain. Normally, it should be filled with activity, but sadly Robert has retreated in himself. The good news though is that she found out what has been causing her husband’s random psychotic episodes the last few years. They found out why the world doesn’t remember the Sentry or why he doesn’t remember, also they know why the Void keeps on attacking. However, Robert didn’t take the news well. Worried, Lindy asks Emma what Robert saw.
Emma explains that Robert’s arch-nemesis hired a mutant to mess with his mind. As Lindy calls out for her husband, Emma tells her that that won’t work. The good news, though, is that she can help. Emma can undo this, but Robert needs to come out and focus. This, what they are seeing here, is the opposite of that though.
Suddenly, Lindy pulls away from Emma and tells her that they shouldn’t be there in her husband’s brain. They could be causing brain damage! Robert should come out when he is ready. He has been through enough already. Emma tells Lindy that if things were simply that would be fine. However, outside this subconscious is her husband’s physical mind, and outside of that is his body.
Outside his body are the gathered forces of the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Inhumans, Dr. Strange, Namor and S.H.I.E.L.D. who are desperately trying to help her family. It is not going well. Robert is fighting Emma in every way he can and he is going to kill himself and everyone around him to do it. That isn’t true, says the weak Lindy. Suddenly, they hear a large booming sound.
“Oh, it be true,” says Emma.
Outside in the real world, the Void slams his clothes into the field created by the Invisible Woman, Iron Man and Dr. Strange, while the other heroes lay around the battlefield beaten. You had no right, screams the Void.
In Robert’s mind, Lindy does not know what to say, but Emma calms her down. She asks Lindy if she knows what a shared memory is. It is a memory Lindy and Robert shared that was emotional. Emma wants to borrow a few of those memories to lure Robert out. Lindy asks Emma if she means she wants to take a few memories out of her head and to show Robert. If that is ok, says Emma.
Confused, Lindy tells Emma that she yanked her brain out of her body… but she is asking for permission to borrow a memory?! I was trying to be polite, says Emma. Lindy agrees to let Emma do whatever to end this. Emma tells Lindy to hold still as she probes her mind. Lindy tells Emma to wait, and adds that she shouldn’t take anything embarrassing.
Memory: A long time ago at night, Robert and Lindy walk together along the shore and sit amongst some rocks. Robert tells Lindy to come, but the woman is worried of being caught. By who, asks the smiling Robert. Lindy follows him and sees a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as the moon. She admits that she never knew this place existed.
After a moment, Robert sees Lindy smiling to herself and questions her. Lindy smiles and asks Robert how many women has he brought here. What, asks Robert pretending like he doesn’t know what she is saying. Still smiling, Lindy dismisses his innocence. Robert leans over and tells Lindy that it wasn’t even three days ago when he discovered this place. The first person he wanted to show this to was her. Lindy looks at Robert adoringly as the man looks away. Robert looks back after a moment and asks Lindy why she is staring at him. Lindy grabs Robert and kisses him.
Robert’s Mind: Robert sits and watches the memory of his kiss with Lindy. Emma Frost approaches him and he tells her that it was a great day. They fell in love that day, only after the third date. It is embarrassing to think of what he has done to that girl’s life. Emma sits next to Robert and tells him that it is not her fault. He did not do this. A bad man did this bad thing to him. Robert tells Emma that he can’t help how he feels, but Emma tells him that he can help it. He can stop this.
Outside, Namor, Thing and Gorgon all attack the Void and Gorgon wonders what it will take to stop the creature. Suddenly, Captain America tells the group to stop firing on it. Everyone stops, and Captain America notices that the Void isn’t even moving anymore. Well, that’s creepy, says the Invisible Woman, as she, Iron Man and Dr. Strange look up at the towering motionless monster.
Back in Robert’s mind, Emma asks Robert if he is okay. Robert simply repeats the question. Emma looks at a comic book of the original X-Men teaming up with the Sentry to take on the crazed General. She asks Sentry if he knows who this General is. Does he know where he is? Robert tells her that he isn’t the guy to ask it would seem. However, he will find him. However, what about this other mutant guy?
Mastermind, says Emma. He is a mutant she used to know. He is dead now. He would do anything if someone paid him to do it; all that power, and yet no imagination. Good news, though, is that she has history with Jason back in her days in the Hellfire Club. She knows how to help him, but it won’t be pleasant. She knows how Mastermind’s powers worked, probably better than he did. His powers were more of a psychic virus. Sentry does have strong psychic powers holding his physical powers together. His mind wasn’t trained for this kind of attack. When most people get powers they are so excited to put on the costume that they do not train. That is what they teach at Xavier’s to the children. That is what happened to Sentry.
Robert is annoyed by this revelation, but Emma tells him not to kick himself about it. He was trying hard to fight it. Not hard enough, says Robert. Emma explains to Robert that this cycle he was going through was him fighting the mental blocks. He was fighting the traps Wyngarde set up. These comic books are like a diary here. It is like a bonfire on a deserted island. It is pretty fascinating, or at least to her. Robert asks Emma if she can heal him. Yes, but he has to want it, replies Frost.
Robert tells her that he wants to stop this. However, how does he make the world remember him? Emma thinks about it, and then tells Robert to imagine if he didn’t. He didn’t originally screw with the world’s minds on purpose and that is forgivable, as he didn’t realize he was doing it. Robert understands Emma’s train of thought and realizes that, if he were to mess with minds on purpose, that is not right. So no one will remember him this way. He can start from scratch.
Emma tells him that this time, though, he will have superpowers and a wife who will remember all of this. Reed Richards will also remember. Emma then confesses to Robert that there are at least three times in her life she wished she could enter the world fresh. It is smarter for him to have the experiences he has, but to enter the world with a clean slate. Also, he will be an Avenger. I will, says the shocked Robert. Let them tell you, replies Emma.
Suddenly, Emma and Robert snap back to the normal world, where Robert looks at the devastation around him. Uh… hi, says Spider-Man. Iron Man asks Robert how he is feeling. Robert looks embarrassed and apologizes for all of this. Iron Man tells Robert not to worry. Everyone is still in one piece. As Cyclops comes to Emma’s side, Robert tells Captain America that Ms. Frost mentioned him becoming an Avenger. If you will have us, replies Captain America. To keep an eye on me, replies Robert. Well, yes, confesses Iron Man. And to help you, adds Cap.
Captain America continues and explains that this will give him a chance to figure out who he is and who he wants to be. It is not unlike what he went through after the Avengers found him after the war. Robert, confused, asks Captain America why he would do this for him when he doesn’t even remember him. Iron Man explains that Robert isn’t the only one who needs a second chance, or help from peers. They have had other members in their family who couldn’t control their powers or find out who they were. The Avengers failed them, because they didn’t reach out when they should have. Does this make sense to Robert?
Robert admits that he doesn’t know what the right thing to do is, but Mr. Fantastic tells him that he will figure things out. What does he do next, wonders Robert. Emma tells him to look at her. She will unlock him now, but when she does a lot of conflicted emotions and thoughts will come crashing through. A lot of bad and good repressed memories will come through. This will be the most intense déjà vu ever. He will also unlock his powers, which will feel like he took the biggest dump in his life when it’s over. You ready, asks the smiling Emma. Right now, asks the shocked Robert.
When then, questions Emma. Still nervous, Robert agrees, but Emma tells him not to be scared. He admits he doesn’t know what will happen, but Emma tells him that she does. He needs to look at her. Robert does. Emma closes her eyes and begins to concentrate as she puts her hands on Robert’s face. After a moment, Robert explodes in radiating energy! Before the heroes is no longer Robert Reynolds, but the Sentry, cleanshaven and clad in his costume. Welcome back to the world, says Reed.
Suddenly, Lindy Reynolds bursts through the crowd demanding to see her husband. Sentry sees his wife and relieved the two embrace. Sentry apologizes, but Lindy tells him that he isn’t mad. He tells her that he will make it up to her, but she tells him to save it for when she is mad.
Nearby, the Human Torch asks Spider-Man if they are getting a happy ending. Yeah, it’s weird, replies Spider-Man. He isn’t sure if he likes it. Hold me, replies the Torch.
Suddenly, Iron Man receives a call from Jarvis at the Tower. Iron Man asks him if everything is all right. Jarvis tells him that he thinks they should come home and then explains why. Iron Man looks at the Sentry, who asks him what is wrong.
The Avengers board the Quinjet and go home to Avengers Tower, the secret headquarters of the group. However, on the roof of the massive Tower owned by Tony Stark is a massive black fortress with a giant golden orb on top, spewing out energy particles. The Avengers are all shocked, but Sentry explains that it is his watchtower from his old life. He supposes he hid it as part of his crazy. Confused and perplexed, Luke Cage states that it just so happens to be atop their headquarters. Now I know why I got the property so cheap, states the bewildered Iron Man. He then turns to the smiling Captain America and tells him that he believes the soldier now about what he meant about this being fate.
The Quinjet lands on the roof and everyone gets off. Spider-Man asks what is in there, to which Sentry replies that it is his entire life. The doors then open and the Sentry approaches them. He looks back at the heroes and his wife, and Iron Man tells him that they will be here when Sentry comes back. The Sentry then enters.
Sometime later, Iron Man meets with Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, Namor and the astral form of Dr. Strange. The Illuminati are gathered, sans Xavier, in the same spot they last met to discuss the Sentry. Strange asks if the Avengers will take responsibility for this. Reed tells Strange that he will be helping too. Robert is a good guy and he will get through this. Namor tells Iron Man that if Sentry starts to slip then Tony shouldn’t be too arrogant to tell them.
I know, says Iron Man. I mean it, replies Namor. Iron Man reiterates that he knows. Reed speaks up again and tells Tony that before he leaves, he wants to know what is going on with S.H.I.E.L.D. Why, asks Tony. Reed rubs his neck and admits he has heard rumblings. What happened in the Savage Land?
Everyone looks at Iron Man. Nothing, replies Tony. Just usual stuff.
“Nothing we need to discuss?” asks Namor.
There is a brief pause as the Illuminate look at Iron Man.
“No,” lies Tony.
Luke Cage, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (Avengers)Wolverine (Avengers and X-Men)
Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Shadowcat (X-Men)Black Bolt, Gorgon I, Karnack, Lockjaw, Medusa (Inhumans)Dr. StrangeHuman Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)Namor, the Submariner
Lindy ReynoldsPaul Jenkins
Past: Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, (the Illuminati)
Six months after Avengers (1st Series) #503, Electro is hired by a mysterious employer to break Karl Lykos out of the Raft, a prison near New York for super-powered criminals. Already on the island were Matt Murdock and his hired bodyguard, Luke Cage, who were there to meet with the mysterious super-hero, the Sentry, who was in jail by his own decision and for also apparently murdering his wife. Spider-Woman, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., also worked at the Raft when Electro attacked. Soon, Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man found themselves at the Raft to help out, and won the impossible battle. Captain America, inspired, asked Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, and Daredevil to join him as the new Avengers, though Daredevil rejected the offer. The team discovered that the break was to cover the escape of Sauron, whom the team tracked to the Savage Land and captured with the aid of Wolverine, who was asked to join the team. However, the team secretly discovered that several of the inmates on the Raft were listed as dead and that a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. operation squad was mining for vibranium.
Someone, or some group, is harboring illegal material and super villains as weapons, and there are strong indications that S.H.I.E.L.D. and its new director cannot be trusted. Thus, the Avengers were reborn. Worse yet, though, is that Spider-Woman seems to have a triple allegiance, as not only does she still work for S.H.I.E.L.D., but she also works for a secret employer whom she is reporting back on about the activities of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Though not named in the story arc, writer Brian Michael Bendis later revealed that the group Iron Man met with is known as the Illuminati and have been secretly around for a while. Details about them can be seen in New Avengers: The Illuminati special, a precursor to the Marvel Civil War event.
The member Iron Man mentions that the Avengers failed in helping is of course, the Scarlet Witch.
This arc takes place before the House of M event. In fact, continuity wise, the story of the New Avengers continues next into House of M #1-8, before the story of the team returns back here in New Avengers #11.