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Allan Heinberg (writer), Jim Cheung (pencils), Livesay with Jim Cheung, Dave Meikis & Mark Morales (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Brad Johansen (production), Jim Cheung, John Dell & Justin Ponsor (cover), Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Andy Schmidt (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Both the Young and new Avengers are in full battle against the Skrull and Kree armies. Holding Eli badly injured in his arms, Cap hands the boy over to the Sentry, who flies him over to the nearest hospital. After contacting Jessica Jones to keep an eye on Eli, Cap rejoins the battle. Along the way, Ted and the Super-Skrull make an excellent battle strategy to end the war. Once Ted seemingly surrenders, he agrees to spend half an Earth-year at each empire, and will every now and then visit his home on Earth. Once the aliens are all gone, Wolverine smells the truth: the Super-Skrull transformed into Ted and he is now with the Skrulls and Kree, operating as a super-spy! Shocked by this amazing strategy, Cap compliments the young heroes on their thinking. They all rush to the hospital, where they see that Eli’s grandfather is donating blood to his grandson in order to save his life. After Eli’s operation, Cap has little choice but to let the Young Avengers continue to operate as a team. They leave the kids be, so they can give their dead friends and family a proper memorial. At the remains of Avengers Mansion, Wiccan uses his powers to repair the broken statues of earlier deceased Avenger members, and also creates as statue in honor of Scott Lang. Tommy rejoins the others, having adopted a uniform and calls himself “Speed” now. Kate adopts the codename of Hawkeye and receives from Cap Clint Barton’s old arrows. After releasing the ashes from Ted’s mother, the Young Avengers decide to search the Scarlet Witch, as she is Speed and Wiccan’s mother. However, before they can do that, they’ll have to take care of one other thing. An explosion takes place nearby the East River, and the Zodiac hold the remains of the UN building hostage. Ready to save some people, the Young Avengers waste no time and rush into action!
While the other Young and New Avengers are all busy fighting both the Skrull and Kree armies, Captain America holds a badly-injured Patriot in his arms. Almost breathless, Eli tries to talk to Cap, who promises the boy that they’ll get him out of there. Eli apologizes for this, but Cap tells him it’s okay. Eli is surprised that Cap isn’t even going to yell at him. Cap jokes that he won’t – this time. Eli smirks that means he must be in a really bad shape.
Sentry tells Cap he’ll take Eli. With Kate looking on, Cap informs Eli that the Sentry will get him fixed up, while he’ll radio Jessica Jones and ask her to meet him at the hospital, promising they’ll follow as soon as they can. Eli tells Cap not to let them take Teddy. Cap promises Eli that he doesn’t need to worry: nobody’s going anywhere.
As the Sentry flies up in the sky to take Eli to the hospital, Hulking warns Cap about incoming danger. Cap joins Hulkling against attacking Kree and Skrull warriors, believing it’s best that they bring Ted into safety. Ted doesn’t think that’s possible because, once their enemies know he’s gone, they’ll come looking for him and tear the whole city apart along the way. If he stays, the fight’s at least contained. Actually, between two teams, it looks like the heroes have got everything under control, Ted smiles as he watches Luke hold some defeated Skrulls over his shoulder and Spider-Man webs some up.
Telling the youth to look again, Cap looks up in the air, and spots a gigantic spaceship right next to Avengers Tower! He uses the radio in his helmet in an attempt to warn the Sentry about this. Cap orders the Young Avengers to clear the area. Ted disagrees, but Cap is headstrong in his order and tells the kids to move!
Hulkling apologizes for disobeying, but explains that the only reason the Kree and Skrulls are even here is because of him, so he’s staying. Kate declares that they all are. Cap realizes he doesn’t have time to fight both the aliens and the Young Avengers, so he has no choice but to let them. Hulkling says that, in that case, they’ll fight the aliens together. As the big ship opens a hatch and smaller ships emerge from within, both the Young and New Avengers stand ready to fight, and proudly shout out “Avengers Assemble!”
As a new battle begins, Spider-Man becomes overwhelmed by a group of soldiers. However, Cassie grows larger and pulls Spidey into safety. Spidey thanks Cassie for the help, but wonders if they roof they’re standing on can handle her big size. Replying that she didn’t think of that, Cassie quickly shrinks down and sits on Peter’s shoulder as they rejoin the battle.
Nearby, Spider-Woman is hit by a blast, and Kate manages to throw an arrow against a Kree Warrior, causing him to drop his gun. She tries to grab it so she can use it, but Spider-Woman spies a Skrull trying to attack her and covers her back. Elsewhere, Kate uses the Kree rifle to shoot blast some Skrulls, while Spider-Woman thanks Hawkeye for the save. Kate thanks Spider-Woman in return, but corrects that she isn’t Hawkeye. Jessica smirks that Kate could have fooled her.
Nearby, Tommy sees how Wolverine uses his claws to kill a Skrull, and tells the diminutive hero that he thought Avengers weren’t supposed to kill. Logan tells the kid to relax, as Skrulls can grow back… eventually. In that case, Tommy smiles, he uses his awesome speed to smack some Skrulls apart, causing even their blood to spat out! Logan jokingly tells the kid that he’s sick, but that he likes that.
Cap notices “Billy” and Logan killing their enemies and asks what they are doing. Wiccan corrects Cap that it’s actually Tommy fighting alongside Wolverine. Cap finds that funny, as Tommy and Billy look exactly alike. Wiccan wants to tell Cap about that but, as Tommy clears the way by beating up more Skrulls and Kree, he believes this might not be the best time.
Ignoring Tommy, Wiccan asks Cap if he remembers when the Scarlet Witch gave birth to twins, who turned out to be Mephisto’s lost souls. Cap wonders how Wiccan knows about that, but Billy continues, stating that it’s because he and Tommy are those lost souls!
Meanwhile, Iron Man fights alongside Vision, telling him that he thought they agreed Vision would stay at the lab. Vision reminds Stark that the current situation dictated a more aggressive course of action. Stark claims that, even so, until they get an accurate assessment of Vision’s powers, he can’t join the Avengers in the field. Vision understands that, smiling that’s the reason why he’s joining the Young Avengers. Stark reminds the Vision that the Young Avengers are unauthorized and don’t even officially exist. Vision states that hasn’t stopped the Young Avengers before. And, he believes, if he’s as powerful as Tony says, it won’t stop him either.
While fighting their share of aliens, Luke asks Ted if this whole war is because of him. Hulkling jokes that he’s just this year’s excuse. Both sides think he’s going to win their war for him, but in reality, he’s going to end it… or get killed trying. Some Kree warriors overwhelm Ted and fly him up in the air, with Luke worrying about him.
The Skrulls angrily notice that the Kree have their “hatchling.” They open fire on the Kree, but the Super-Skrull jumps in front of the bullets, not wanting to risk hurting the boy. The other Skrulls believe it’s best Ted dies at their hands than at those of the Kree. They also remind Kl’rt that he’s in no position to give orders. Holding his flame powers ready, the Super-Skrull tells Zr’x that Hulkling is his emperor. Zr’x rather believes that Hulkling is a liability right now, as is the Super-Skrull. In that case, the Super-Skrull adds, he’ll go retrieve Ted himself – and flies up in the sky, ready to save the boy. Zr’x gives his soldiers the order to shoot, and to save the hatchling if they can. But the Super-Skrull has to be left to him.
Meanwhile, Hulkling and the Super-Skrull team-up to fight the Kree. With the Kree quickly dispatched, he wants to end this. Kl’rt believes that only Ted can end this war by embracing his destiny and to reclaim the Skrull Empire. Ted wants to know if he does that, will the Kree just accept it? Of course not, the Super-Skrull says, the war will continue, but not on Earth. Ted’s friends and adopted family will be spared, but only if Ted goes with the Skrulls. He doesn’t see another way. Ted smiles that there is one. Hulkling flies back into the battle and tells Kl’rt to follow his lead. Kl’rt asks Ted what he’s doing. Ted believes it’s the only thing he can do: he’s surrendering.
A few moments later…The Avengers, Young Avengers, Kree and Skrull have all stopped fighting. The matter is settled: the son of Mar-Vell will spend half an Earth-year with the Kree and half with the Skrulls. At which time, Ted will declare his ultimate alliance. Until than, Captain America adds, Hulkling will make regular, scheduled visits home – to Earth. But, Stark promises, if Teddy is harmed in any way, or if he even misses one visit, the Avengers will see to it that the Kree-Skrull war is ended once and for all.
Cap asks Ted if he’s sure he wants to go through with this. Ted doesn’t believe there’s another way. He thanks all of the Young Avengers for everything. He hopes that, one day, they’ll understand why he had to do this and will forgive him. Especially Wiccan.
As the aliens are gone, Cap places his hand on Billy’s shoulder, asking if he’s alright. Wolverine wonders why Cap is asking Billy that question, as it’s the Super-Skrull they have to be worried about. The Super-Skrull, standing next to Logan, feigns that he doesn’t know what he means by that, but Logan tells the “kid” he can cut the crap. “The Super-Skrull” transforms back into Hulkling! Ted wonders how Logan knew about this. Logan smiles that his nose always knows the truth. Cap admits he didn’t see this coming. Spider-Woman smiles, asking Steve if he’s serious about that.
Iron Man asks what that means for the Super-Skrull. Kate explains that Kl’rk is now a Super-spy. Tommy is surprised the Young Avengers knew about this all along, and asks how that’s possible. Kate states that’s because they know Teddy and, when the Super-Skrull talks, he does not use contractions. Wiccan prepares a teleportation spell for his team, and Cap asks the kids where they think they’re going. The kids mention they’re going to the hospital to see Eli, and ask Cap if he’s coming.
Lenox Hill hospital…The Young Avengers, Cap and Jessica Jones rush into the hospital. Jessica explains that Eli has lost a lot of blood, so the doctor’s can’t operate until they’ve found a donor. Cap knows that and volunteers. Jessica tells Cap that he doesn’t have to do it, but Cap reminds Jessica of how hard he’s been on Eli, and the boy still took the hit for him. Giving blood is the least he can do. Jessica is certain that Eli would appreciate it, but there’s another super-soldier who beat Cap to it.
They make it to Eli’s room, where Cap sees Isaiah giving his grandson the needed blood. Faith doesn’t look too happy at Cap, but Isaiah smiles at his grandson.
Later, at the remains of Avengers Mansion…Cap explains to the Young Avengers that the doctors assured him they’re doing everything they can. If the surgery is successful, Eli will be able to lead a completely normal life. And, Cap admits, he’s hoping that, in light of what happened to Eli, the Young Avengers will choose to lead a normal life as well. Kate responds, with all due respect for Cap, that the minute Eli is back on his feet, he’ll be chasing down bad guys, powers or no powers. That’s just who he is. It’s who they all are. The same as Cap is.
Steve and Jessica smiles at that. Kate knows that Cap and Iron Man don’t approve of the Young Avengers, but she can’t help thinking, if the adult Avengers had supported them, if Cap had taken the time to train them, maybe Eli wouldn’t be in surgery right now. Maybe Billy’s parents would still have a place to live, and Teddy’s mother would still be alive. That’s how it feels, anyway. So, she concludes, if Cap really wants to protect them, he’ll accept them.
Some time later, still at Avengers Mansion…Teddy asks Wiccan how the repairs are coming. Wiccan, using his magical powers to repair the memorial statue of Captain Marvel, says he’s almost done. Cassie wonders if Cap and Iron Man would let them use the mansion as their headquarters. Teddy feels lucky they letting them use if for the memorial service. Cassie says the Avengers let them keep the Vision. To this, Vision jokes he’s afraid he didn’t gave Cap and Iron Man a choice.
With Captain Marvel’s statue fully repaired, Billy asks Teddy what he thinks about it. Teddy still can’t believe Captain Marvel was his father, but Cassie is surprised Ted doesn’t see the resemblance. Teddy doesn’t as much. Cassie recalls that people used to say she looked like her dad too, but he never got a statue. Wiccan thinks it’s about time Scott got one. He uses his powers to create a statue for Ant-Man, and Cassie thinks it’s perfect. Billy adds that Cassie really does look her father. He then looks around at the statues of Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Dr. Druid and Swordsman. He wonders who they are missing.
Eli, in full costume, meets up with his friends, having found the remains of Mockingbird’s statue. Jessica thinks Eli should be home, recovering from his major surgery. Kate agrees with that, but jokingly whispers to Jessica that, unfortunately, common sense is not one of Eli’s newly acquired super-powers. Eli admits that, joking back that super-hearing is part of his powers.
Jessica asks if they got any word about Tommy. Kate denies that. They offered Tommy a costume and a code-name and everything, but she guesses Tommy isn’t the code-name type. Speaking of which, Cap asked Jessica to give Kate some arrows that belonged to Clint Barton, as did the code-name Cap picked out for her. Kate is shocked. Jessica smiles at that. Even without the bow and arrows, the only Avenger who ever stood up against Captain America the way Kate did… was Hawkeye.
Again a few moments later…Teddy holds the urn holding the ashes of his mother in his arms, crying that he doesn’t know what to say. If it weren’t for him, his mom would still be alive. Billy starts to cry as well, explaining to his boyfriend that his mom died protecting the one person she loved more than anyone else in the universe. She was a hero… just like her son. Ted apologizes to his mother, saying that he loves her. He opens the jar, and releases her ashes into the open air.
Jessica asks what’s going to happen now. Ted explains that, now, they’re going to start looking for Billy’s mom. Jessica doesn’t think they want to start looking for the Scarlet Witch. Billy knows that’s what Cap and Iron Man said as well. Cassie believes they were right. The Scarlet Witch murdered her dad, Hawkeye and the Vision, who was her very own husband. Billy defends that Wanda only did that because she thought he and Tommy were dead. Eli hears something in the back, and asks his friends if they hear it as well. Billy doesn’t know what Eli is talking about.
An explosion is heard, not far away from Avengers Mansion. Vision’s hearing detects that it came from the East River. Eli asks if the explosion was chemical, but Vision corrects it was hyper-kinetic. Eli panics. Billy asks his friends if they don’t think it’s… Kate doesn’t see who else it could be.
Suddenly, Tommy, wearing a green uniform, appears in front of his friends, defending that the explosion wasn’t his fault… okay, it wasn’t entirely his fault. The Young Avengers are surprised to see Tommy again. Tommy corrects that his new code-name is “Speed” and asks Hawkeye if he’s right about that. Kate notices that Tommy is wearing the uniform. He’s glad it fits so good. Eli wonders about the “Speed” code-name. Kate doesn’t understand why: it tells you everything you need to know in one syllable.
Billy asks Tommy what he just blew up. Tommy, reminding the Young Avengers he wants to be called “Speed” all the time, smiles that he blew up the United Nations Building. “What?!” Billy cries out. Speed adds that’s why he’s going to need Billy to magically put back together for him after they take down the Zodiac. At least, if Billy can do that. Jessica asks who the Zodiac is. Tommy explains there’s a guy with crab hands, a giant bull and these ridiculously female twins who are holding the UN hostage (or, what’s left of it).
Eli states this is why he doesn’t want Tommy on the team, to which Tommy says he thought that was because Eli was jealous of him and Hawkeye. Kate is stunned to hear this, but Eli ignores her and begins to defend himself. However, Tommy interrupts, asking if they are going to stand here and bicker all day or if they are going to fight the bad guys. Cassie jokes they usually manage to do both at the same time. They’re that good.
Eli rushes into battle and Tommy says they’ll try to keep up. Billy smilingly asks Ted if this is going to end well. Ted honestly doesn’t believe so, but tells Billy he’ll have to admit: he can’t wait to see what will happen next!
And so, the Young Avengers rush into battle, ready for yet another thrilling adventure.
Hulkling, Kate Bishop/Hawkeye II, Patriot, Stature, Thomas Sheperd/Speed, Vision II, Wiccan (all Young Avengers)
Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman I, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Isaiah & Faith Bradley (grandparents to Patriot)
Edwin Jarvis (butler to the Avengers)
various Skrull warriors (all unnamed)various Kree warriors (all unnamed)Lenox Hill hospital employees (all unnamed)
Memorial statues of: Ant-Man II, Captain Marvel I, Dr. Druid, Marrina, Mockingbird, Swordsman I (deceased Avengers)
With this issue, the title takes a brief moment of hiatus until the “Civil War” storyline is over. Until then, the Young Avengers can be found in the Civil War related stories and the Young Avengers/Runaways 4-part miniseries.
Included in this comic is a backup story about a new superhero called “the Masked Marvel,” also containing beloved characters such as Willy Lumpkin and Electro.
In this issue, Kate Bishop adopts the codename of “Hawkeye.” The first Hawkeye was Clint Barton, the legendary archer who gave his during the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline. However, it is largely believed that Clint is still out there somewhere, as he was temporarily revived during the “House of M” miniseries.
Chronologically, the Super-Skrull appears next in the Annihilation Prologue one-shot and his own Annihilation miniseries.
Ant-Man died in Avengers (1st series) #500. Captain Marvel died in the Life and Death of Captain Marvel one-shot. Dr. Druid died in Dr. Druid #4. Marrina is falsely believed to have died in Avengers (1st series) #293, as her body was seen unconscious in a holding tank from the Master in Avengers (3rd series) #47. Mockingbird died in West Coast Avengers #100. The first Swordsman died in Giant-Size Avengers #2.
The Zodiac is a group of villains representing the actual zodiac signs. The first group appeared in Avengers (1st series) #70 though several incarnations of the team have existed since, including a version composed of LMDs. The villains Speed describes possibly represent the members Cancer (the crab-handed guy), Taurus (the bull) and Gemini (the twins).