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Gerry Duggan (writer), Ryan Stegman (artist) Richard Isanove (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Ryan Stegman & Richard Isanove (cover artists), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Tom Breevort & Daniel Ketchum (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
In Tokyo, a mysterious figure makes a deal with the Hand, offering them the body of Bruce Banner in exchange for something. In Manhattan, Deadpool arrives at a hospital where he meets Synapse, waiting to collect Quicksilver, who is speaking on his mobile phone – with the Red Skull, who has found a way to control Quicksilver. The trio then depart for the funeral of Bruce Banner, which is attended by other members of the Unity Squad. Deadpool is scolded by Captain America for being inappropriate at the funeral, while Doctor Voodoo refuses to engage with Tony Stark in a discussion about resurrecting Bruce Banner. The ghost of Doctor Voodoo's brother, Daniel Drumm, taunts him and accuses Voodoo of being happy that they are both dead. Captain America asks Deadpool where the other mutants are, but Deadpool claims he doesn't know, which doesn't impress Captain America, who is worried about the looming superhuman war. Cable and Rogue, meanwhile, are with Toad and Sebastian Shaw, and they have just stolen information from a US military facility, which they believe has been experimenting with the Terrigen Mist. They race to their plane to escape, when Deadpool appears, and informs them he had to lie to Captain America for them. Rogue informs Deadpool that with this research, Cable can look for a cure to the illness that the Terrigen Mist causes to mutants. However, Captain America arrives, having tracked Deadpool. A fight ensues, with Rogue and Captain America debating the ethics of what they, and the US military, are doing. Cable and Captain America fight one-on-one, until Rogue ends the battle. Captain America warns Deadpool not to let the mutants leave with the stolen information, but Deadpool gives it to them, and Cable, Shaw and Toad leave in the plane. Captain America argues with Deadpool, then fires him from the team. Rogue tries to reason with Captain America, who then disbands the Unity Squad. Rogue tries to remind Cap how important the team is, and of the disaster that the Terrigen Mists are causing for mutant. She reminds him about their secret mission with the Red Skull, to which Captain America assures her he will handle it. Deadpool tries to talk to Captain America, who knocks him out and leaves. At the Bar With No Doors, Doctor Voodoo is surprised to learn that his brother, Daniel, has been resurrected. Voodoo senses the Hand at work, and Daniel reveals that he told the Hand where to find the body of Bruce Banner.
Tokyo, the city is bright with lights from high rises under the night sky. On the top floor of one high rise, a mysterious figure stands in an empty room as a flame rises from a bowl that sits on a stand. The flame is greenish-yellow, and an image of someone can be seen in the flame – the image announces that Bruce Banner is dead. 'It is known' responds the man standing over the flame. 'The Hulk was the one monster that never attacked over here, huh?' the image in the flame asks. The figure in the flames remarks 'I know it's not exactly a secret worth your network of whispers, but I got one for you – I know what they're doing with the body'. The figure standing over the flame responds by saying that the Hand is listening. 'Yeah, I figured, but – there's a little something I need from you first' the figure in the flame declares.
'The winds of change are blowing. Or maybe it was just the burrito I had for lunch?' Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool remarks as he walks through the rain in the dead of the night. He wears a trenchcoat over his costume and decides that it is actually winds of change. He remembers how Ultron showed up and did a number on Steve Rogers' Unity Squad. They kind of knew it was coming, but hoped Pym was back for real, and they all paid a price for it – everyone has a thousand-yard stare, and Quicksilver's leg was broken. Deadpool enters the Metropolitan Hospital General, and finds the Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse standing out the room where Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver is sitting in a wheelchair, his broken leg in a cast, as he speaks on the phone. Deadpool greets Synapse and asks her if Quicksilver is ready to roll. Arms folded, Synapse reports that Pietro is a fast healer, and that she has been amping up his ability to heal himself.
Quicksilver looks up at Deadpool and raises a finger, 'One moment. I'm just wrapping up a call with an old friend' he remarks, while a voice can be heard through the phone, 'I'll let you run, Pietro. Heh. Sorry. Talk to you soon...' That voice belongs to the diabolical Red Skull, who holds a hand to his head as he speaks over the phone, and tells Quicksilver to do him the kindness of paying him a visit under Avengers Mansion when he is out of his cast. Behind the Red Skull, old costumes of belonging to Captain America and the Scarlet Witch can be seen on display. 'Of course. I look forward to it' Pietro replies. When Quicksilver wheels himself into the corridor, Synapse hands him a tissue and tells him that his nose is bleeding. 'Aw. Did Ultron come back and punch that, too?' Deadpool jokes. 'Not helping' Quicksilver mutters. Deadpool starts to wheel Quicksilver down the corridor as Quicksilver suggests they get this over with.
'Deadpool. It's a funeral' Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America mutters as he turns to look at Deadpool, who is standing next to him among a group of mourners at the burial of Bruce Banner, in Cleveland, Ohio. Among the mourners can be seen the Thing, Betty Ross, the Silver Surfer, Quicksilver and Synapse, Tony Stark, Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo and Johnny Storm the Human Torch. 'What? All I did was ask the Surfer a simple question about his shiny anatomy and he throws his board up between us -' Deadpool responds, but Cap interrupts him: 'Wade. It's. A. Funeral'. Tony Stark turns to Doctor Voodoo and tells him that he needs a mmiracle, like the ones he has seen him perform. Doctor Voodoo tells Stark that he is sorry his friend is gone, but his cord is cut, and he cannot make it otherwise. 'If it's a question of what we need to do -' Tony begins, but Doctor Voodoo remarks that it is not something that can be fought, or bought – for any price.
Suddenly, the ghost of Doctor Voodoo's brother, Daniel Drumm, manifests nearby. 'At least Stark is trying to help his friend' Daniel declares. Voodoo glances at his brother's ghost and tells him that he would help if he could – and would help him, too – but he cannot. 'The cost of cheating death is too high, Daniel. There are rules'. Voodoo announces. Daniel smiles as he tells his brother that he sees him break rules all the time – just not for him, or for Bruce Banner, apparently. 'Could it be you're happy that we're both dead?' he asks. Captain America looks at Deadpool and asks him where the rest of the team are. 'Where are the mutants?' he enquires. 'I dunno' Deadpool responds. 'They should be here' Cap mutters. 'Cable is off the reservation. I can feel it. If you -' Cap begins, but Deadpool swears that he doesn't know anything. Cap warns Deadpool that Stark is ready to go to war with the Inhumans, and tells him that if the mutants on the Unity Squad are about to start another fire, then he promises that there is going to be hell to pay.
Under the cover of night, Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable rushes through a US military facility, while Rogue flies overhead, and Sebastian Shaw and the Toad follow him. Cable tells Shaw that it looks like his info was right on the money. They pass several motionless soldiers as Shaw remarks 'I told you the US Army was experimenting with Terrigen gas'. Rogue frowns as she points out that the military could have been looking for a cure for mutants – one they may have just set back. 'You don't really believe that' Cable tells Rogue, while the Toad reminds everyone that humans have always wanted a magic bullet against mutants – and points out that the Inhumans have had one the entire time. Cable declares that he doesn't trust the motivations of the US Army any more than he trusts the Inhumans. He announces that the only people he trusts with this research are mutants, before asking his AI, Belle, to get copies of everything from the last few days to Hank McCoy. Belle, who appears as a tattoo of a woman on Cable's bionic arm, suggests that they do it anonymously, as Beast may not accept the help if he knows where it came from. 'Good thinking' Cable replies, before blasting a fence open as he tells everyone that the airfield is back this way.
The mutants race towards a plane that is waiting for them nearby, while Rogue tells Cable that she agrees not enough is being done to find a cure for the M-Pox, but she is worried about what happens if they get caught. Cable tells her that she should worry more about what happens if they fail. Suddenly, 'You guys owe me one... 'cause I had to lie to Steve Rogers for you' Deadpool remarks as he emerges from the plane. He admits that this is going to be the zenith of hypocrisy coming from him, but he thinks it is time for them to chill out. 'By my reckoning, “Cable's 13” have broken sovereign Inhuman domains, and now a US Army base that specializes in cootie weapons. Rogers isn't stupid, and I'm pretty sure the Inhuman precog gave him some info that made him salty' Deadpool remarks, adding that he won't lie to Rogers anymore, and asks how long the secret mutant heist ring is going to go on.
'As long as necessary!' the Toad exclaims. 'Great. Anyone not named “Toad” want to elaborate for me?' Deadpool mutters. Cable reports that it is over – for now, while Rogue drops to the ground and reveals that they have the research from the US government, so now Cable can look for a cure. 'I warned you' a voice calls out, and the mutants turn to see Captain America emerging from the shadows. Cap frowns as he reminds everyone that they are in the middle of a war, and his own team of Avengers, dedicated to projecting unity, is sneaking around breaking into secure labs all over the world. 'You know what we're up against, Rogers. The T-Mists are killing mutants!' Cable exclaims, adding that they thought the less he knew about this the better, as they wanted to protect his deniability. 'Deadpool betrayed us!' Toad shouts as he leaps across and punches Deadpool in the face. 'As it happens, he did not, though I gave him every chance to come clean' Captain America remarks, before revealing that he put a tracker on Deadpool at Banner's funeral. He than apologizes for not trusting them.
Cable tells Cap to step aside, and delcares that they are leaving with this data. Cable hands a briefcase he was carrying to the Toad and tells him that he will cover his exit – but as the Toad heads towards the plane, he is knocked to the ground when Cap hurls his shield at him. 'You were saying?' Cap asks as he steps in front of the plane. 'Wait! We don't need to do this' Rogue calls out, before informing Cap that the army was experimenting with Terrigen. 'Now you want to talk? The only way this ends is with you facing justice' Cap replies. Sebastian Shaw speaks up, telling Captain America that mutantkind does not have the years it would take him to convince the military to share its resources. 'So we took what we needed' he snaps, before warning Captain America that this is his last chance to step aside, or he will bring the full force of his mutant gift down upon that thick skull of his.
'Let's speed this along' Cap suggests as he suddenly spins around and fires a large gun, close range at Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is fine, and energy glows around him, he sighs, and remarks that it is always a shame to ruin the custom tailoring. He thanks Cable and repors that his kinetic power is all charged up – but that he would rather step onto that plane than step into the ring with Captain America. Shaw asks Captain America if he will think about all Americans right now – including the mutants threatened by the T-Mists. 'What do you think, Captain?' he asks. 'I think you just slowed down a cure. Give me the case and come with me' Cap replies. Shaw cracks his knuckles and replies that he can't do that. 'Then I guess we all know what happens now' Cap replies, before he punches Shaw in the face and slams his shield into Cable. Rogue watches the fight while thinking that she hasn't got many friends, that she has said goodbye to so many over the year. And now, she watches as her teammates tear each other apart. She is trying to figure out how it all went bad, how they got here.
Shaw punches Captain America in the face, but Cap punches him back, spraying blood everywhere. 'When did it start to go wrong?' Rogue wonders. She thinks it might have been when Charles died, or Logan. She doesn't know now if she is an X-Man, or an Avenger – she just knows everything is wrong. Cap lunges at Cable, pushing him to the ground. But Cable responds by kicking Captain America into the air, then leaping down at him and punching him in the face. Cable holds Cap to the ground, one hand around his throat, the other raised back, fist ready to strike. Suddenly: 'No more!' Rogue calls out as she grabs Cable's fist, and crushes part of his bionic arm. 'Rogue?' Cable utters, looking up at her, confused. Rogue holds Cap to the ground, a foot on his chest, as she instructs Cable to take Shaw, Toad and the research and to go and find a damn cure. 'DEADPOOL, DO NOT GIVE THEM THAT CASE!' Captain America shouts, but Rogue increases the pressure on Cap's chest.
Deadpool looks at the case, 'Cap... I...' he begins, before throwing the case to the Toad, who has just stood up. 'Go' Deadpool declares. Toad and Shaw follow Cable onto the plane, 'Cable, should we -' Shaw begins, but Cable interrupts him and suggests they go before Rogue gets angrier. Rogue steps back from Captain America and tells him that she is sorry. 'So am I' Cap replies. Deadpool steps forward and tells Captain America that there is something he doesn't know about his daughter. 'I learned that she's -' Deadpool begins, but Cap tells him to stow it. 'You're a disgrace. If you had come to me, I would have found another way to get you what you needed' Cap remarks, blood trickling down his face. Cap gets to his feet and points a finger at Deadpool: 'But what did you do? You lied to my face at my friend's funeral'. 'Well, uh – I guess I did? I sorta knew where the mutants were, but -' Deadpool starts to reply, before Cap grits his teeth and declares that it isn't just the mutants who are off the team – but Deadpool is finished, too. 'FIRED' Cap snarls.
Cap turns from Deadpool and Rogue and starts to walk away, while Cable, Shaw and Toad depart in the plane. 'Once again...you were just another failed experiment'Cap declares. Rogue follow Cap and reminds him that after Thor disappeared, and they lost Logan, she told him thay hiring Deadpool was a huge mistake, and that it was he who convinced her to give Deadpool a try. Cap glances at Rogue and asks 'What do you want me to tell you? You were right?' Rogue tells Cap that she was wrong, and that she knows this is the end for her, but that Deadpool has been every bit the good soldier thathe vouched for. 'You vouching for Deadpool doesn't hold the weight it once did' Cap replies. His voice increases as he exclaims that Rogue and Cable consorted with known criminals who were caught breaking into a heavily fortified army lab. He reminds Rogue that they started this team after the Avengers and X-Men went to war – and that was a long time ago. 'I can't afford to promote “unity” with a bunch of misfits that stab me in the back' Cap declares.
Frowning, Captain America announces that the Unity Squad is disbanded – effective immediately – and permanently. 'What?' Rogue utters. She tells Cap that she knows she and Cable need to leave – and that they will go, but he should keep Deadpool and keep the team – it is important. 'Then you should have acted like it. You should have put the team first' Cap replies as he carries on walking away from Rogue. Rogue flies after him, telling Cap that she doesn't understand. 'Are you saying we should have protected this team's reputation instead of the lives of mutants everywhere?' Rogue asks, but gets no response. She clenches her fists when she reaches Cap and shouts 'There's a poison gas in the air – AND NO ONE CARES!' Cap turns his blood-stained face back to Rogue and replies 'Of course I care. But I'm not willing to destroy an Avengers squad for a wild goose chase. There are rules. Consequences'.
'What about our secret mission? What about the Red Skull?' Rogue asks. Cap reports that he will handle him, to which Deadpool taps him on the shoulder and remarks that that is funny, because he is officially in his second century of not handling Herr Schmidt. 'You don't want to turn this into a punch-out, Wilson' Cap replies. 'Why not? You couldn't take me anyway' Deadpool boasts. 'Really?' Cap asks. 'Yeah. Hit me with your best shot' Deadpool offers – only to have Cap slam his shield right into his face, knocking him backwards. Rogue drops to the ground next to Deadpool, while Cap carries on walking away.
Meanwhile, in the Bar With No Doors, Doctor Voodoo sits at the counter, 'Daniel? You here? I'm not in the mood' Voodoo calls out. The Daniel Drumm appears, and asks his brother if he is drinking away his sorrows. 'Something's wrong' Voodoo replies. 'Yes. Something's terribly wrong – but not for me' Daniel states. 'Daniel – you – you're alive! How!' Voodoo calls out, wide-eyed. 'Don't matter. Boot's 'bout to be on the other foot, Jericho' Daniel declares as he shoves a knife into Voodoo's stomach, causing Voodoo to groan, and blood begins to spill from his stomach. Rain falls down around them, and Voodoo collapses to the ground, asking his brother what he has become. 'I man. Once more. Flesh and blood' Daniel replies. 'The stench on you – the Hand!' Voodoo realizes, as he puts a hand to his stomach. Smugly, Daniel points out that Voodoo whined and moaned about what it would take to restore him to life – and the Hand did it in an hour.
'You fool. You have no idea what you have brought upon yourselves. But why? Why would the Hand resurrect you?' Voodoo asks. He glances up at his brother, and goes wide-eyed. 'Oh, no. Daniel!' he utters, while Daniel announces that the Hand is always looking for a few good undead men – and he has helped them find their gamma-powered super-soldier.
Indeed, elsewhere, lightning crackles and rain pours as several Hand assassins are digging up the a certain grave, and have pulled the coffin to the surface....
Cable, Captain America, Deadpool, Doctor Voodoo, Human Torch II, Quicksilver, Rogue, Synapse (all former members of the Avengers Unity Squad)
Sentry, Silver Surfer, Thing
This issue ties into the Civil War II event.