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Gerry Duggan (writer), Pepe Larraz (artist) David Curiel (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Meghan Hetrick (cover artists), Mike Deodato & Frank Martin; Whilce Portacio & Chris Sotomayor; Khoi Pham & Chris Sotomayor (variant 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
At Deadpool's theater, which is in the process of being rebuilt, Deadpool and Rogue discuss how Captain America disbanded the Unity Squad, and the matter of the Red Skull still having Xavier's brain. Their discussion is interrupted when Doctor Voodoo teleports to them, in need of the Avengers, he reveals that the Hand have Bruce Banner's body and intend to resurrect the Hulk as a weapon of mass destruction. Deadpool begins to tell Voodoo that the Unity Squad has been disbanded, but Rogue interrupts him, deciding this is more important. They assemble the Wasp, Quicksilver, Synapse and the Human Torch. The Torch reveals he received an email from Captain America asking him joining the other Avengers team of he wanted, but Rogue and Deadpool don't mention anything about the team being disbanded, while Voodoo opens a portal to Japan. The Avengers arrive in Japan, where they are joined by Elektra, who Deadpool asked to assist them. Elektra motions to a building that the Hand occupies and instructs the Human Torch to burn it, but he is reluctant to do so – however Deadpool has no problem throwing a bomb into the building, which explodes. Hand ninjas swarm the streets below, and a battle ensues, as the Avengers try to find out from the Hand ninjas where Banner's body is. Eventually, Doctor Voodoo is able to find that information out from one of the ninjas, and the heroes teleport to a temple, where they battle more agents of the Hand, several of whom are casting an incantation over a body which the Avengers believe belongs to Banner – but Synapse soon discovers that it isn't Banner. They wonder where he is, but too late, as the monstrous resurrected Hulk smashes his way towards them.
The partially destroyed theater where the Avengers Unity Squad once called home. Construction is underway outside the theater, while inside, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool lies back on a desk, and Rogue hovers nearby. Deadpool mutters that Captain America may have fired them, but that it is Cap who is the one evicted. 'This is my bombed-out theater. Maybe I'll stage a bawdy hip-hopera about Ben Franklin' Deadpool mumbles. Rogue suggests they table the discussion about Rogers and talk about the Red Skull. 'We need to...' Rogue begins, before she laughs. Deadpool asks her what is so funny, to which Rogue tells him that he shouldn't have cracked that joke to Cap. 'I was right. You shouldn't have defended me!' Deadpool replies. 'Ah was right, too' Rogue smiles. Deadpool covers his masked face with one hand: 'Don't tell me that' he mumbles. 'Don't tell anyone that. I have to go back to being a $#%&bird now'. He adds that probably next time they get to hang out, people will be calling it “Deadpool versus Rogue” or something.
Deadpool sits up and rubs his head: '$#%&. we just got fired by Captain America' he tells Rogue, adding that he is glad his parents are too dead to see him now. 'Even though it's the worst thing ever...we gotta just – ya gotta lean into it...pretend it's the best thing ever' Rogue replies. Deadpool sits up and leans against the desk as Rogue continues to hover nearby. They fall silent, before Deadpool asks if they go punk. 'What's the worst that could happen?' Rogue replies. Deadpool suggests that “The Freelance Avengers” has a nice ring to it. He adds that he doesn't know how they are going to get cases. 'It'll be tough at first, but -' Deadpool starts to say, before Rogue leans into him and points out that now they don't have to play by the boy scout's rules. 'It's dangerous to tell me to ignore rules I'm already ignoring' Deadpool replies.
Suddenly, 'AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!' Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo cries out as he emmerges through a portal and collapses to the floor. 'Doctor Voodoo!' Rogue calls out, while Deadpool checks Voodoo over and remarks 'Not telling you how to do your job, but maybe you should leave getting stabbed to me?' Deadpool seals the wound in Voodoo's stomach with some combat epoxy, but suggests they get him to an emergency room. 'No' Voodoo responds, before revealing that the Hand has stolen Bruce Banner's body – and they intend to resurrect him as a weapon of mass destruction! 'Oh. Wow. That's way worse than meeting a ghost with a knife or something' Deadpool remarks, before he tells Voodoo that he has some news for him, too: 'We're not -' he begins, before Rogue adjusts her gloves and interrupts Deadpool: 'Our news can wait' she declares, before asking where they are going.
'Japan? What the hell is in Japan?' Jan van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp asks as she stands with Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver, Emily Guerrero a.k.a. Synapse and Johnny Storm the Human Torch, while Rogue, Deadpool and Doctor Voodoo stand before them. 'Bruce Banner's dead body' Deadpool announces, before Doctor Voodoo informs the others that an ancient order of ninjas is attempting to turn Banner's body into a weapon. The Wasp, Quicksilver, Synapse and the Torch all fall silent, and stare back at the others, before the Wasp exclaims 'Okay, we're going to Japan!' while Quicksilver asks where Cable is. 'Where's Captain America' Synapse enquires, while the Torch frowns and reports that he just got a strange email from Cap – something about being absorbed by the other Avengers squad if he wanted. 'Well, now that you're all here, Ah think you should know -' Rogue begins, before Deadpool interrupts her this time: 'How crappy the elderly are at email, amirite!?' before he suggests that whatever other human resources stuff might be going on, that can wait until they are in the air on the way to Japan.
Doctor Voodoo reports that there is no time to fly – they need to be there now. He holds up a small potion bottle and tells Rogue that he understands Rogers isn't coming, before asking where Cable is. Rogue explains that Cable is at a delicate stage in the search for a Terrigen Mist cure for mutants. Voodoo rubs something from the potion bottle along a nearby door frame, and tells Rogue that he hates facing down such a forcible foe while they are shorthanded. 'Yeah, about that – I made a phone call' Deadpool remarks. 'Excellent' Voodoo replies as he writes something on the door itself. Voodoo opens the door, and a glowing blue portal appears. 'Deadpool first. In case this doesn't work' Voodoo declares. 'Really? Seriously?' Deadpool asks. 'I'm only half-kidding' Voodoo remarks. As he steps towards the portal, Deadpool turns back to Voodoo and tells him that he isn't upset about his stupid door hurting him – he is more angry that he has been bogarting some magic warp blood, while he has been paying for intercontinental flights for everyone for months.
'This spell only works with this blood – and it's the last jar of that demon's blood on Earth' Voodoo replies as they all step through the portal into the bright lights of the city of Tokyo. 'Welcome to Tokyo' Voodoo tells the others, while civilians go about their business, some sheltering from the rain under umbrellas. Rogue asks Voodoo to tell her that they haven't come all the way to Japan to fight a giant monster that they could have fought back in America. Voodoo tells Rogue that if they stop the Hand from resurrecting Banner, they won't have to fight any monsters. The Torch comments that he fought a lot of crazy stuff when he was in the Fantastic Four – but never ninjas. 'Where do we even start?' he asks. Voodoo explains that his wandering door spell places them right where they need to be – but that this seems wrong. 'Nah. We're all good. There's the old friend I called' Deadpool announces. The deadly assassin called Elektra approaches the group, and remarks that “friend” is a strong word. 'We spilled blood together. Nothing more' she states.
Deadpool introduces the others to Elektra, and jokes that she likes long walks on corpse-covered beaches and that she is here to help them kill ninjas and splash in the sunshine. Elektra looks over to a nearby building and remarks that the Hand has many rats' nests, and this building is but one front – so they must draw out their ranks. Elektra glances at the Torch and instructs him to set fire to the building. 'WHAT? No way!' the Torch replies, before telling Elektra that they are not setting fire to a building because she thinks ninjas might be inside. 'Avengers aren't arsonists, and besides -' the Torch begins, before Deadpool shouts 'FIRE IN THE HOLE!' and hurls a grenade at the high rise building across the road – which is suddenly set ablaze. 'Technically, we're not Avengers anymore' Rogue remarks. 'What'd you say?' the Torch asks, before Doctor Voodoo tells everyone to look alive – as dozens of Hand ninjas drop down from above. 'THE HAND IS HERE!' Doctor Voodoo calls out.
Johnny powers up and takes flight, up into the air and remarks that when you're killing undead ninjas in Japan with Elektra, you know your Avengers career is really in the toilet. The battle becomes live-screened on several large electronic billboards around the city as several civilians down below look on. Quicksilver speeds past several ninjas, knocking them over, while the insect-sized Wasp takes three down with her wasp stings. Doctor Voodoo stands on a billboard and unleashes a spell that washes over several of the ninjas, while Deadpool leaps into the air and shoots one of the ninjas through the head, telling the Torch 'That makes me so happy to hear. I used to be the guy that you said you were slumming with. This is so great. It's like our relationship is leveling up'. Synapse is on top of one of the nearby buildings, fighting another ninja, as Rogue flies through the air and slams a ninja into a glass sign, 'Where's Banner's body?' she demands. 'They will die before they tell us anything' Elektra remarks as she slashes several ninjas with her deadly blades.
'Then why're we fighting?' Rogue calls out. 'Cause they're ninjas, ma cher – YOW!' Deadpool cries out as a sharp throwing disc is lodged into his butt. 'Sorry, Wade. Trying to catch them all Qiuicksilver smiles as he darts about, collecting blades and bows that the ninjas are throwing and firing at the heroes. The Torch flies over to Voodoo and tells him that this might be stupid, but why don't they let the Hand resurrect Banner, and then they can rehabilitate him. 'You're right. That is stupid' Voodoo replies. Kicking a ninja in the head, Elektra announces that what the Hand touches, it forever taints. 'Hey! Weren't you resurrected by the Hand?' Deadpool asks. 'Yes' Elektra replies as she slices two ninjas through their necks. The Wasp fires another sting and tells her companions that she is so pissed – first Hank and now Bruce 'Why can't our enemies let us rest in peace?' she asks. 'Ah'm gonna ask them – with my fists' Rogue replies as she slams a fist into one of the ninjas.
Up on the rooftop, 'Why can't I stand?' a ninja asks as he struggles to get to his feet. 'You won't be able to stand until I return your central nervous system to you' Synapse tells the ninja, before asking him where Banner is. Suddenly, several other ninjas looking at Synapse open fire – and several arrows streak towards her. 'Heads up, Synapse!' Deadpool calls out as he leaps in front of the arrows, which strike him in the chest. 'Thanks!' Synapse exclaims, covering her face. The ninjas drop down and surround Deadpool and Synapse, raising several swords towards them. 'Tonight will be your end' one of the ninjas warns them. 'You know. Sometimes people think I'm a ninja. Mostly old people' Deadpool replies, while one of the ninjas wonders why the poison is not affecting him. 'Oh. It is. Luckily, I'm wearing brown underwear' Deadpool jokes.
Doctor Voodoo appears on the rooftop, a surge of energy knocks the ninjas back, as Voodoo announces that this will get them the answers they seek. He casts an incantation, and the ninjas gasp and cry out, while one screams 'Nooooo!' Deadpool looks at Voodoo and asks him if he is emotionally waterboarding these guys. Voodoo explains that it is a karmic bomb, that he isn't doing anything to them that they have not done to others. 'Make it stop' one of the ninjas pleads. 'Where's Banner?' Voodoo demands, grabbing the ninja by their collar. The ninja then reveals that Banner is at the Kai Estate in Hiroshima Prefecture. 'Let's go' Rogue calls out. Voodoo surrounds everyone in a teleportation field, while Deadpool tells the Hand ninjas to clean this joint up, and that if they are still lying around having a pajama party when they get back, then they are really gonna be grounded. 'Stand close' Voodoo tells the others.
A moment later, the heroes reappear on the slope of a snow-covered mountain, where a large temple stands before them. 'Where are we now? What is this? The Poconos for ninjas?' Quicksilver asks. 'You jest, but unlike the Avengers “publicity squad”, there are cabals in this world that operate away from prying eyes. They're capable of extreme destruction with but a small force' Elektra announces, recommending stealth. A moment later, Voodoo and Elektra slide a door open, and Voodoo comments that the stench of the Hand is thick in the air. Rogue intructs Wasp and Quicksilver to give them some recon of this place – but at that moment, Deadpool kicks his way through part of the wall nearby. 'Wade' Rogue snaps. 'What? You get to walk through walls all the time like they're paper I only get to do it in Japan' Deadpool replies, adding that they all know they are gonna trash this place – so he is just starting the party early.
Deep within the temple, several Hand agents surround a platform where the body of Bruce Banner lies, while mystical energies rise above them. 'Live again' one of the Hand operatives utters. 'Live for the Hand' another declares. Suddenly, they hear something. 'They have already found us' one of the Hand remarks – and a moment later, Elektra and Deadpool burst into the chamber. Elektra tells Deadpool to beware, as these are the Hand's unholy agents – no ordinary soldiers. 'Got it! This is a no-respawn boss fight!' Deadpool replies, while one of the ninjas runs towards Deadpool and Elektra, 'We will face them! Complete the resurrection!' he calls out. A moment later, Rogue, the Torch, Voodoo, the Wasp and Synapse rush into the chamber, and as he leaps at one of the Hand agents, Deadpool remarks 'This reminds me – you ever seen Hands on a Hard Body?' he asks. 'Wade' Rogue snaps. 'What? Quality documentary!' Deadpool replies.
'My eyes – what have you done!' one of the Hand agents exclaim, to which Synapse reveals that she has scrambled the signal from their optic nerve, and now they have vertigo. The Hand agent falls over, while another one leaps onto Voodoo's back. 'Don't let them slow us down!' Voodoo calls out. 'No sweat' Rogue tells him as she punches one of them through the wall and into a snow-covered tree outside. 'By my hands, I resurrect you in service to the Hand!' the ninaj exclaims as continues the spell to resurrect Banner. 'Riddle me this, grasshopper. When is the Hand not the Hand?' Deapdool asks as he suddenly slices off the agent's hands. 'Spare me your -' the Hand agent begins, before Deadpool cuts his body in half: 'Boring conversation, anyway' Deadpool mutters.
With all of the Hand operatives defeated, Deadpool tells Elektra 'Well, Red, that's one we owe you'. Elektra tells everyone that she is grateful to nip this in the bud before their friend could be deployed by these vermin. The Torch then asks what is going on with Cap disbanding the Unity Squad. 'Guys!' Synapse calls out as she looks at Banner's body. 'Excuse me, did you say Rogers shut us down? Why would -' Voodoo begins, before Synapse calls out to everyone again, pulling the cloth back from the corpse's face, she announces that this isn't Bruce Banner. 'Excuse me?' the Wasp replies. The Hand agent whose arms were cut off by Deadpool laughs, and everyone looks down at him as he asks if they think the Hand are stupid. 'We knew you would come...we just thought we had more time' he utters.
Suddenly, Quicksilver speeds into the room, and reports that there is a subterranean area behind a giant stone gate. 'Yeesh' he mutters, looking down at the Hand agent, he raises an eyebrow and announces that he will look for another way in. The Hand agent tells the heroes that that will not be necessary. 'You want your friend back? We'll send him right up' he announces. 'Oh, God!' Rogue utters, while Deadpool asks 'Did we say “Bruce Banner”? We meant David Banner. Totally different guy'. 'WADE!' Voodoo exclaims, before everyone is knocked off their feet by a mighty rumbling noise. 'Maybe this is just another devastating earthquake' Deadpool suggests. 'Nah – we ain't that lucky!' Rogue calls out as a massive giant wearing traditional Japanese warrior armor, with gamma energy radiating around him bursts into the chamber!
Deadpool, Doctor Voodoo, Human Torch II, Quicksilver, Rogue, Synapse (all former members of the Avengers Unity Squad)
This issue ties into the Civil War II event.
Captain America disbanded the Unity Squad last issue.
Cable and Captain America appear on the cover to this issue, but not in the issue itself.