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Saladin Ahmed (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Rico Renzi (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Martin Simmonds (cover artist), Carlos Lao (graphic designer), Alanna Smith (editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Quicksilver created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Happy that his rescue turtle, Mister Dibbles, has been restored to life, Quicksilver speeds across the world, showing the turtle places that are important to him. Quicksilver wonders how long he has been stuck in this frozen reality, and whether the Avengers are really trying to rescue him. He wonders if he should just let the people the energy creatures are trying to kill just die, before three energy creatures race towards him – they want Mister Dibbles. Quicksilver isn't going to let that happen and fights the creatures, destroying them, before uncovering something shocking – an entire gully with thousands, possibly millions, of energy creatures, darting about. Quicksilver vows that he won't let anyone die, and races down into the gully, where he begins to fight the energy beings. Miraculously, the Scarlet Witch appears once more, and is able to fight alongside him, destroying some of the creatures while assuring her brother that the Avengers are doing everything they can to save him, but that something is keeping him here, and they think it is these creatures. Wanda vanishes again, and Quicksilver is left to fight the countless energy creatures – but he realizes there are too many, and after collecting Mister Dibbles, he speeds away. He eventually stops at a sports store, where Wanda returns, this time with Doctor Voodoo. He is annoyed with them and tells them to try harder at rescuing him, until Wanda explains that it won't matter, as it is the creatures – they are tied to Quicksilver somehow. Quicksilver is frustrated, and doesn't have it in him to save anyone else, so speeds past two energy creatures, and tries to keep himself occupied by looking at art, playing basketball or reading on a beach. Some of the words in the book he reads strike a note with him, and he realizes he doesn't remember how it feels to be calm. Wanda returns, and is surprised that Quicksilver is not helping people that the creatures are threatening. She reminds him that he always blames other people, and Quicksilver tells her that is because it usually is other people's fault. He gets angry, and Wanda tells him he needs to learn to calm down, before she vanishes. Several creatures race towards Quicksilver, too many to fight, so he remembers the calming words in the book, and as the creatures are about to overwhelm him, they simply vanish. Quicksilver realizes he destroyed those creatures simply by breathing, and returns to Avengers Mansion, where he changes into an old costume, and places Mister Dibbles in the pond, assuring the turtle that Jarvis inspects it every day. Quicksilver then races back to the gully where the countless energy creatures buzz about, and he realizes that it sounds like they are saying something – they are calling out his name. He throws a rock into the gully to get their attention, then sits down on the ledge, and waits as the brightly colored energy beings race towards him, and he suddenly stops breathing.
'This, Mister Dibbles, is Tahiti!' Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver exclaims as he speeds onto the Pacific Island with his turtle, Mister Dibbles, who hisses in response. Onwards to the North Pole, where Pietro tells Mister Dibbles they won't stay long, seeing as since the temperature could kill him. Mister Dibbles hisses again, before they arrivev in Cappadocia, Turkey. 'Mister Dibbles, are you paying attention?' Quicksilver asks, but the turtle simply hisses in response. 'Oh, who am I kidding?' Pietro mutters as he places Mister Dibbles on the ground. Pietro looks around while wondering how long ago it was that he spoke to his sister for those brief moments – a day? A week? A month? That was the last time he spoke to anyone. Pietro is starting to believe he will never speak to anyone else ever again. He saves the world, and this is the thanks he gets – left behind and forgotten in between moments. 'What's the point of any of it?' Pietro asks himself, realizing that the Avengers have not found a way to save him – he wonders how hard they are even trying.
Pietro frowns as he asks himself why he should grind himself into dust saving them – why shouldn't he let them all die. 'Why shouldn't I just -' Quicksilver starts to think, before he sees three brightly colored energy creatures rush towards him. 'Hey!' Quicksilver calls out as he jumps between the energy creatures and Mister Dibbles. The creatures are attacking the only other living thing in this world – and that, Pietro cannot allow. 'Leave! My! Turtle! ALONE!' Pietro shouts as he takes out two of the energy monsters. The third one runs, so Pietro gives chase, over ridges and valleys. 'Where the hell are you leading me, you stupid...' Quicksilver calls out, before coming to a ledge, where he looks down into a large gully, 'Oh $#%&!' Pietro gasps as he sees hundreds – thousands – of blurs of colored energy below. There are more than he can count – but he knows that if he doesn't stop them, they will kill people. He speeds down the edge of the cliff into the gully below, and for a moment, he tells himself that he has a chance. But he can't possibly beat them – not all by himself.
The blurs of energy dart around Quicksilver, 'This is it, then. I'm going to die alone' Pietro utters, when suddenly, 'You're not alone, Pietro. And we're not going to let you die!' Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch exclaims as she materializes over her brother, who looks up, surprised to see her, as she casts a hex, causing the energy beings to become frozen in place. Wanda assures her brother that the Avengers are doing everything they can to free him. Pietro tells Wanda that he believes she is, but he isn't sure about the others. 'Are they really doing everything?' Pietro asks. 'Or are things easier for them with me here? Everyone's least favorite member conveniently out of the way he mutters. Wanda tells her brother to stop his self-pitying and listen to her – something in this half-world has latched onto him, something is keeping him here. 'We think it's these creatures. That they're somehow -' Wanda begins, before she vanishes. Pietro calls out for Wanda to come back, but it's too late, she's gone, and the the energy creatures revert to life. 'Just great' Pietro mutters as the energy creatures lunge forward.
Pietro knows that if he doesn't stop these things, they will kill,so he fights – he fights and fights, but he can't make a dent, and the creatures force him to the ground. Pietro is not afraid of death – but dying like this, alone and nowhere? That scares him. So he makes a decision – he isn't proud of it, but he climbs to his feet and runs away. 'You horrible things have fun without me!' Pietro exclaims as he quickly retrieves Mister Dibbles, 'We're outta here!' he tells the turtle, while feeling bad for abandoning the others, he has made a coward's choice. Guilt tries to chase him, shame tries to catch him – so he runs faster, and comes to a stop at a sports store. Inside, Pietro keeps his body and mind busy, playing cards, or table tennis against himself, pretending that this place won't drag him into madness and death.
Suddenly: 'Pietro! At last!' a voice calls out, and Quicksilver looks up to see Wanda and Jericho Drum a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo materialize above him. 'I thought you guys were going to get me out of here!' Pietro exclaims. Jericho assures Quicksilver that they are trying, to which Pietro asks him 'How hard?' As hard as if it was Cap, or Wasp? He wonders where Stark and Strange are – why the others aren't helping. Wanda starts to tell her brother that it won't matter who helps if he keeps driving them away. 'Those creatures, this place, they're tied to you' Wanda explains, before she and Jericho vanish. 'My what? Argh! Damn it!' Pietro mutters.
He has no answers, and no one is coming to save him – and he doesn't have it left in him to save anyone else. He leaves the sports store with Mister Dibbles, and speeds past more energy creatures. He distracts himself again – attending an art exhibition. Playing basketball, trying to stave off the inevitable. TV doesn't work here, so he finds some books, and settles down in a park and begins to read them. And read on a beach, and near a volcano, when suddnely, out of nowhere, the words hit him like a fist - “Breathe in, calming body and mind. Breathe out, calming body and mind. Feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Dwell in the present moment”. Pietro looks up from the book, wide-eyed, he doesn't even remember how it feels to be calm.
Wanda materializes once more. 'I've found you!' Wanda exclaims, before asking Pietro why he is wasting time here, when those things are threatening to kill people. 'Wasting time? That's a good one' Pietro replies. 'Brother, I -' Wanda begins, before Pietro asks her what exactly he is supposed to be doing, and why he is responsible for all of this. 'I'm not saying you are, it's just...it's always someone else, Pietro. Magneto. Normal humans. The Americans. With you, it's always someone else's fault' Wanda points out. Pietro throws his hands above his head and declares that it is always someone else's fault. Wanda tells Pietro that he defines himself by being angry at other people, which isn't healthy. 'I don't want it to kill you' she adds. 'You've got to learn to calm down before -' Wanda begins, before she vanishes.
Quicksilver looks back, and sees several energy creatures speeding towards him. There are too many of them. He can't fight them – then he realizes that maybe he doesn't need to. He recalls that Wanda said these things are somehow connected to him, to his rage. 'If I could calm myself...' Pietro thinks, before remembering the quote from the book: “ Breathe in, calming body and mind. Breathe out, calming body and mind. Feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Dwell in the present moment”. As the creatures loom over him, Quicksilver raises a hand, and forces them back without touching them. 'did I just kill those things by breathing?' Pietro wonders, wide-eyed.
Quicksilver picks up Mister Dibbles and wonders if that might work on the horde of creatures they saw back on the ridge. He knows he can't fight them all, but perhaps he could zen them to death. Mister Dibbles makes a gurgling noise, and Pietro tells the turtle that he knows it is a crazy idea, and he is misusing the term “zen”. 'There's no need to be rude' he tells Mister Dibbles, who hisses as Quicksilver picks him up and speeds back into Avengers Mansion. 'You're right, it's probably suicide. But I've got to try' Pietro remarks. He places Mister Dibbles on a table and realizes that he is probably going to die today, so he will be damned if he is going to die in a shredded costume. He goes into his closet, 'Let's see...maybe this...and this here...oh God, I used to wear that?' he asks, finding an old costume, before coming to a stop, 'Oh, this one's perfect' Pietro smiles, and a moment later, appears in a classic blue and white costume. 'That's more like it! What do you think? Felt like time for a change anyway' Pietro declares, but Mister Dibbles just hisses.
Pietro thanks Mister Dibbles, and tells the turtle that he can't come with him, as he probably isn't going to make it back – and he doesn't want Mister Dibbles to die. Pietro puts Mister Dibbles next to the pond behind Avengers Mansion and tells the turtle that he will find others like him in this pond, and that Jarvis inspects it every day. Mister Dibbles hisses in response.
A short time later, Pietro returns to the gully, the blurs of color darting about below him. The creatures haven't rampaged across the planet – they are in the same place he has left them. He stands there, trying to figure out why, but he can't think with all the chanting. 'Wait a minute – chanting?' Pietro utters as he covers his ears to block the noise. He wonders what they are saying, before realizing that it is not words, but more like twisted, angry imitations. It doesn't matter though, he is hear to stop them, not to listen to them. 'Hey! Up here!' Pietro calls out as he throws a rock from the ledge, down into the gully – he has got their attention.
Then, Quicksilver sits down. He waits. It is only seconds, but it feels like a lifetime. “ Breathe in, calming body and mind. Breathe out, calming body and mind. Feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Dwell in the present moment” he repeats, as the chanting becomes clearer – it is his name they are calling out. Pietro opens his eyes and looks up – too late though, as he realizes his “zen” state is not working – the angry energy creatures are inches from him, reaching out for him – so, one final time, he breathes in and breathes out. Then his lungs are filled with lightning and he stops breathing all together as a blur of color overwhelms him....
Captain America, Doctor Voodoo, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Synapse (all Avengers)
Unidentified energy beings