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Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton (artists), Matthew Wilson (colors), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer / production), Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Jake Thomas & Jon Moisan (assistant editors), Lauren Sankovitch(editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)
The Young Avengers spend weeks chasing the fake Patriot though different dimensions, in which they run into many warped alternate versions of themselves. Ina a nicer world at a Korean barbecue, Loki regales them with tales about his first meeting with Miss America in this place. They move on, landing in another world which an alternate Noh-Varr conquered, haunted by warped versions of his ex-lover Oubliette. In the next world, they are greeted by cute critters chanting “Demiurge.” Loki and Miss America are in a hurry to move on and Wiccan learns something is seriously off when he sees that his face is the only constellation in the sky. They move on, landing in the Mother Parasite’s dimension. They manage to flee but Mother captures Hukling and Prodigy. The others land in another dimension where they come across a young girl named Leah, who scares the hell out of Loki. In Mother’s dimension, Prodigy manages to fake her out by making her believe he can work magic. As the two hide, Prodigy Prodigy surprises Hulkling by suddenly kissing him.
The Young Avengers have been dimension-hopping for five weeks now and seen astounding sights, many of them to do with themselves. Mayfly dimensions full of horrors, cracking to be more than a tiny fragment of time. Desperate dimensions full of fear, all time running out. The inter-dimensions, hungering after what the Young Avengers were lucky enough to be born into.
One dimension is full of Kate Bishop harpies. In another, Noh-Varr is a kind of Supreme Intelligence. In another they find the Asgardians dead with Loki’s corpse on the throne. Gaze not into the rabbit hole, in case you become a rabbit, as Loki said.
Some things are nice though, like Earth 212 where they are having Korean barbecue. Fun fact, Loki regales them. This is where he had his first business lunch with Miss America. Even fine meats weren’t sufficient to prevent her from punching him though yonder wall. He does have a very punchable face, Kate teases him.
Billy asks Noh-Varr how long he’s going to grow that beard. As long as it feels right, is the reply. He has discovered the joy of Country. Gram Parsons is his hero. He has one hope for this mission: That they come to a dimension where he still lives.
And that they catch up with this Patriot monster and rescue Tommy, right? Billy reminds him. He also has hopes of meeting Johnny Cash, Noh-Varr mutters.
When Miss America comes in, the waitress tries to throw her out, remembering how she started a fight last time. America informs the others that she has found the Patriot’s trail.
Outside, Loki muses the Patriot can’t keep running forever. And why is he so confident with that particular prediction? Prodigy asks. He really is the sworn enemy of all that is fun, isn’t he? Loki sighs.
One teleportation later, they find themselves in another apocalyptic world. He looks at this place and he’s not thinking Korean Barbecue, NY style, Loki observes. He’s thinking barbecuing of Koreans, cannibal style. They should move, he decides after a brief spell. Patri-not’s trail is this-a-way.
Noh-varr remarks the architecture is Kree-derived. Loki continues they are getting closer. It was in a hurry. This place scared it. That bodes ill. Let’s get out before something horrible inevitably turns up. Behind him several women in Dominatrix outfits gather. He hates them, inevitable horrible, Loki shouts.
Horrible? they ask. Not horrible. Pretty! He said they were pretty. They take off their leather masks, revealing singularities beneath. A fanged tongue comes out of one and welcomes Noh-Varr to the new capital of the Kree Empire.
The Young Avengers make a run for it. Angrily, Kate asks Noh-Varr how many Earths did other versions of him make the capital of a new Kree Empire. He guesses it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Are they beautiful? the dominatrixes ask. He said she was beautiful. Noh-Varr trains his gun at them. She’s changed!
Prodigy warns America not to cross their event horizon. She hits one of them without suffering any consequences. The laws of physics can kiss her ass, she announces.
Loki finds them a wall and America kicks them another dimensional doorway. They jump through, leaving behind the creatures.
The kids rest in a rural landscape. Who was she? Kate asks. Apart from the singularity for a head… they looked like Oubliette the Exterminatrix, Noh-Varr replies. She was trained to hunt and kill aliens from birth. Who was she to him? Kate clarifies. The first reason he loved Earth, he replies.
Kate notices something underfoot. It’s a bunch of cute little critters which surround them and chant demiurge. Billy muses the fake Patriot has shown them so many dimensions where they go bad. It’s almost like he’s trying to tell them something. What? Loki scoffs. It’s easy to be bad? He could have told them that. He’s an all-time expert in badness. #7 on many all-time villain lists. #7? So he’s saying he’s an also-ran? Prodigy remarks. It was a very long list, Loki shouts. #7 is a respectable position!
Teddy remarks this place is an exception. What does it say? “There is also cuteness?” Loki suggests they go on. America whispers at him to look up. He does and suggests they move on swiftly. Here they go, America: Kick, kick kickety-kick, eh?
Demiurge, the little creatures chant. Prodigy tells Billy to look at the sky. Panicked, Loki tries to distract him with a dance. He puts Billy and Teddy’s heads together, suggesting they stare hopelessly into each other’s eyes like normal!
Annoyed, Billy looks up to see there is only one huge star constellation – his face. He probably shouldn’t have seen that, Loki sighs. They land in the next world which seems to consist only of whiteness. What was that about? Billy asks.
Pay attention! New dimension, Loki scolds him. Talk about old dimension at a later date. He finds the place familiar. Soon it becomes only too clear why. “Patriot” led them to Mother’s dimension. The lovely boy said they’d be popping by, the Mother parasite announces. So where were they… Loki screams at America to go.
Miss America tries to find somewhere to kick while tentacles reach up and grab Hulkling and Prodigy. The rest falls through America’s doorway
They end up in another dimension. They have to get back and save Teddy, Billy shouts. Loki points out they have to work out first where they are. He gets a good look and screams and falls down. The others look to see what has him so frightened. They see a young girl in a green dress sitting primly on a rock. Hello, she greets them. They are Loki’s new friends, she presumes. Leah? Loki asks. She’s sorry, Leah smirks, that doesn’t turn out well for anyone.
In Mother’s dimension, Hulkling is captured by many tendrils. Prodigy gestures and speaks some magic words. Mother screams and focuses on him, letting Teddy go. David tells him to move quickly before she realizes.
He can do magic? Teddy asks. David explains that he can’t but he was in a room with Dr. Strange once. He knows magic words. Even with no powers, hearing them can scare extra-dimensional creatures. Teddy asks if he can fake her out more. Magic is mainly irrationality. He’s never been good at that, David admits. They run, hide, wait until they get rescued. This is way out of his zone of expertise. And his zone of expertise is pretty much everything. So the plan is basically ‘don’t die,’ Teddy summarizes.
He tells David the others will come. And if worst comes to worst? David asks. They don’t let her have them, Teddy decides. No regrets? David asks. No regrets, Teddy agrees. He wishes he could say the same, David muses and kisses a surprised Teddy.
Hawkeye II, Hulkling, Loki, Miss America II, Noh-Varr, Prodigy, Wiccan (Young Avengers)
“Gaze not into the rabbit hole” is the Nietzsche quote “When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you” with a healthy portion of Lewis Carroll mixed in.
Loki and America’s first meeting at the Korean barbecue occurred in Marvel Now! Point One.
Gram Parsons was an influential country / alternative musician who died young.
Oubliette was Noh-Varr’s enemy / lover when he first came to Earth in the Marvel Boy limited series.
In Platonic and Gnostic schools of thought, the demiurge is a concept for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe.