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Al Ewing (writer), Gerardo Sandoval (artist), Dono Sanchez Almara (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Gerardo Sandoval (cover), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort with Wil Smith (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)Avengers created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
The Knights of the Infinite – Kree-Skrull-hybrids – discuss whether the time has come to fetch their future king. Their current leader M’ryn forbids it, announcing he is not ready. When M’ryn is alone, he is murdered and replaced by Moridun. On Avengers Island, Power Man criticizes Wiccan’s codename, as he thinks Billy is appropriating elements of a religion not his own. Dr. Toni Ho worries about Pod’s isolation and Songbird informs Sunspot that they are bugged. When they discuss this with Hawkeye, it turns out SHIELD is not behind it. That moment, the Knights of the Infinite show up. Wiccan cannot keep them from abducting Hulkling but he can make sure he gets teleported along. They boys are surprised to learn that the Knights consider Teddy their king. Sunspot, in the meantime, gives orders to make sure their spacecraft is ready so they can give chase.
Castle Tarnala, the far edge of the Andromeda Galaxy:Three beings stand there, admiring a warrior’s statue. Is it time? one of the two men asks. Not yet, the young female alien replies. Since Throneworld perished at the Devourer’s hands, the Skrull Empire has slowly disintegrated. Their botched Invasion of Earth only hastened that downfall. Nothing remains now but a cluster of squabbling warlords. And now Hala is dust as well. Now it’s time for the Kree to slide into chaos.
Not immediately, the older man, M’ryn, protests. But soon, the woman announces. Lan-Zarr is right. M’ryn’s own prophecies foretold these days. And when the change comes, when the great star empires must evolve or perish, they’ll need those who are both Kree and Skrull - the hybrids - to lead and protect them. They’ll need the Knights of the Infinite. And they’ll need the best of them – their once and future king!
Lan-Zarr agrees. He’s come of age. The empire already tried to recruit him. M’ryn believes he needs more time. Lan-Zarr retorts he is already a hero on his own world. M’ryn angrily repeats he needs more time and he gives the orders. He tells them to attend to their duties.
Lan-Zarr warns him that this will not wait forever. No, it will not, another voice tells M’ryn when he is alone. It was easy to bear the prophecy when it was far in the future. The creature manifests as Moridun, the ghost wizard from a previous iteration of the cosmos the evil Reed Richard freed. He reminds M’ryn that he never told his Knights the rest of the prophecy - that he would die when the king found his throne. As he kills the magus, he tells him to be happy. His king is coming. And all the dark is coming with him…
Avengers Island:The New Avengers are busy with different things.The new Power Man reveals he hates Wiccan’s codename. What’s wrong with it? Wiccan asks. Power Man asks if he is actually practices Wicca…
In her lab, Dr. Toni Ho tells Pod her diagnostics are in the green but she would like to talk to the woman inside, Aikku Jokinen. We are we, Pod replies helplessly.
Field leader Songbird wants to see leader Roberto da Costa. Is it good news or bad news? Roberto asks. She tells him to see for himself and shows him her finger. On its tip lies a tiny listening device she only found because it resonated with her powers.
He is lapsed Jewish, Wiccan muses. He’s looked into it, done research. He doesn’t mean magical self-help books, Power Man replies. He means on the most basic level: is this his faith? ‘cause he doesn’t know if he gets to wear someone else’s belief system like it’s a cape. Hulkling joins them, proud of the giant sandwich he’s made.
Toni reminds Pod she is two beings. The Pod armor which Earth grew as a self-defense system and Aikku Jokinen, the woman who found it. But they only seem to talk to Pod. She just wants to make sure Aikku is okay in there. User status? They are not ok, Pod admits. Toni asks why. Pod admits they are alone and plays back a recording about Darja Vollun.
Roberto figures they probably shouldn’t tell Hawkeye about this. That moment, Hawkeye enters, announcing he is just here to do some SHIELD spying. Don’t mind him. What a coincidence, Songbird remarks tartly. She just found one of his bugs. Hawkeye doesn’t know what she’s talking about. If it isn’t his bug, she continues, then there is another traitor, one SHIELD doesn’t know about.
Hulkling jokes about duty to food science when they hear the noise from outside.
Pod plays the rest of the memory, how Aikku’s lover left her because she was not human any longer, and they hear the noise.
Hawkeye muses maybe SHIELD didn’t tell him and they hear the noise.
Outside, they see a decloaking spaceship in the sky. How did that thing get past Alpha Flight? Hulkling wonders. If cloaking tech was that good, they’d get invaded every other week. Wiccan explains they are using magic… some low form of reality warping. Power Man agrees. He senses it with his chi vision. Think Doom.
The ship announces they seek Dorrek III, son of Princess Anelle and Mar-vell. His destiny waits.
It’s worse than Doom, Hulkling sighs. It’s the Skrulls. Hawkeye points out it looks more like the Kree and recalls uncomfortably that he flew into a Kree engine once.
Songbird suggests a mix of both and Roberto reminds everyone the last time the Kree and Skrulls fought about Hulkling, they killed his foster mom and nearly caused a new Kree-Skrull war. He calls for Pod. Pod ignores Toni’s concerns and attacks the ship.
The aliens intended to come peacefully but now their comms are taken out, so they decide on a kidnapping. Murr-gnn cast a teleportation spell.
On the ground, the others see Hulkling vanishing. Wiccan tries his reality warping to stop the spell. When he finds he can’t, he modifies it instead, allowing the teleportation spell to take him along.
He so picked the wrong day to call him out on the name, Power Man sighs.
Please tell him space aliens didn’t just kidnap Teddy, Roberto orders. Um, space aliens didn’t kidnap just Teddy, an AIM member offers. Almost the same, he deadpans, but it’s not.
Hawkeye joins Roberto, announcing they need SHIELD or Alpha Flight or-- Roberto tells him to call whomever he wants but AIM takes care of its own. He calls Toni Ho and asks if Avenger Three is ready to fly. Ready when he is, she replies.
Avenger Three is a deep space vessel flying with Brashear warp, faster than light speed (and still not the coolest vessel on the island).
It breaks out of the mountain. Songbird points out Roberto is kind of into the super-villain thing. She has no idea, he replies.
Aboard the alien ship, the aliens warn Teddy (or Dorek VIII as they call him) that he has to get used to the thin air and apologize. If they are wrong about him, they will return him home. He corrects them that his name is Teddy. And what if they are right? Then he is already home, he is told.
Billy tries to manifest a fireball but the magician is stopping him. Lan-Zarr shows Teddy a column of light. If he is worthy, he will find his destiny waiting, but if he proves unworthy, nothing waits for him but searing agony. He continues his speech till Teddy interrupts that he is done. He found the sword. Can they go home now?
The hybrids go to their knees and address him as their liege. What just happened? Teddy asks. Billy tells him not to freak out, but he thinks he is the king of space.
Hulkling, Pod, Power Man III, Songbird, Squirrel Girl, Sunspot, White Tiger V (all New Avengers)Tippy ToeDr. Toni Ho, (supporting staff)Unnamed AIM members
K’kyy, Lan-Zarr, M’ryn, Mur-Gnn (Knights of the Infinite)
The title is taken from the first part of Susan Cooper’s Arthurian fantasy “The Dark is Rising.”
Galactus destroyed the Skrull throneworld in Fantastic Four (1st series) #257.
“Invasion” refers to the Secret Invasion limited series.
Hala was destroyed during the Black Vortex crossover.
Hawkeye flew into a Kree engine and died in Avengers (1st series) #502.
The Skrulls and Kree previously fought over Hulkling in Young Avengers (1st series) #9-12.
Power Man’s noting that he “picked the wrong day” is most likely a reference a reoccurring gag from the 1980 film “Airplane!”