Avengers Headquarters, New York City, 'ORDER!' shouts Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers as he slams a hammer down on a table in one of the meeting rooms. Standing at his side are Thor and the android Vision. 'I realize this special meeting of the General Membership has dragged on a bit long -' he begins, to which Hercules mutters 'two days is more than a “bit long”'. Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff tells Hercules that these are important matters and should not be resolved conclusively without imprudent haste.
Sitting at the table, Namor the Sub-Mariner remarks that he does not see how a conclusive resolution can be arrived at while they exist in a state of legal limbo. 'What good does it do to argue revisions to our bylaws when the United States government has seen fit to revoke our charter?' Namor asks.
'Prince Namor has a point, and not just on his ears!' the Eternal called Sersi jokes, to which Captain America explains that ironing out the kinks and patching the holes in their operating rules could make the difference in whether or not they get another charter.
'Ho-huh' Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man mutters as he sits up on a wall, away from the others, surrounded by webbing, and Sam Wilson the Falcon asks if the Feds changed their mind, and if this what all those urgent secret phone calls were about.
Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. The Black Widow sits at the table and replies 'The federal government vacillating? Read my lips! No, I believe the good Captain has been offered a better deal!' Wendell “Quasar Vaughan, who is making some coffee alongside John Walker the USAgent asks how Natasha knows those things.
Also gathered around the room are Jennifer Walters the She-Hulk, Tony “Iron Man” Stark, Greer Grant Nelson a.k.a. Tigra, Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and his estranged wife Bobbi Morse-Barton a.k.a. Mockingbird, Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch who stands with Simon “Wonder Man” Williams, Jan van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp, Dr Henry Pym, Dane Whitman the Black Knight and Monica “Captain Marvel” Rambeau. Captain America turns to allow a woman to approach the table, and he introduces her to the Avengers as Ms Devi Bannerjee of the United Nations.
'The hour is late, so I shall be brief...' Devi begins, announcing that if the Avengers will agree to amend their charter to allow for a truly international membership, she is empowered to offer the Avengers a new charter, as a special unit of their peace-keeping force, assignable only to cosmic, extraterrestrial, extra-dimensional, occult, subterranean, sub-oceanic, limited incursions, infestations and enchantments not instigated, abetted or sanctioned by a current member nation. Blank faces stare back, either unimpressed or unsure of what was just said. Cap breaks the silence by telling the Avengers that they are back in the game if they want it, and calls for a vote of the General Membership. 'All those in favor?' he asks, and the response he receives is a resounding 'YEA!'
Meanwhile, in Hell's Kitchen, a tour guide has stopped outside the Chapel of St Jude the Lesser. As tourists look up at the remarkable structure, the guide states that it is an example of late Hodge-Podge Revival, with a mix of gothic, byzantine and Romanesque styles, odly punctuated by fake Chimaerae. 'You mean those gargoyles?' someone asks from the crowd. The guide explains that “gargoyles” refers only to sculptured water drains, and that grotesque decorative statuary are Chimaerae. 'Grotesque? Those are downright ugly! That big one looks almost alive!' an elderly woman calls out. The guide smiles and asks her to get back on the bus, telling her that they have a lot more sights to see before it gets too dark. The elderly woman turns her binoculars away from the statue, and doesn't see a smaller female winged creature drop down on the large creature's shouder. 'It comes, Ngh! Now comes the dark, oh, unspeakable one!' she declares. Ngh addresses the female as Xa and tells herthat their time is now, and that now comes the safe time when they can roam this strange new world and seek out others like them – others with dire powers, others who hunger!
Other Chimaerae on the chapel look up towards Ngh who stands up, 'Show us the way, Ngh – that we may feed!' one of them exclaims. Ngh instructs the others to be patience and declares that first they must observe, they must study the manner and nature of evil in this world and bend it to their aims. Ngh stands tall, with Xa hovering at his side, and exclaims that they must daw strength from the evil of this world and add it to their own powers. 'And finally, we must be careful to avoid that group of super-powered beings who call themselves the Avengers, at least until we are powerful enough to destroy them utterly!' he boasts, before instructing the others that they must be off into the night. Ngh takes flight off the side of the chapel, and the others follow. The elderly female tourist looks shocked: 'Thosev gargoyles – they – they' she exclaims, while the bus driver goes over to her. 'Chimaerae. They're called Chimaerae' the guide reminds her. 'They flew away!' the old woman screams. 'Sure, lady. Just get back on the bus' the driver mutters.
Outside Avengers Headquarters, police stand at a barricade that blocks the entrance from the crowd of reporters that has gathered out front. One female reporter is being filmed live by her camera crew and announces that she is standing by live from Avengers Headquarters for an imminent official announcement. She adds that the unofficial rumor mill has let it leak that the Avengers have been offered a charter by the United Nations and that a vote is now being taken for a new line-up.
Back inside, Cap slams the hammer on the table once more, 'The vote is unanimous. We have arrived at an agreement for a new lineup!' he declares. 'Let the recording secretary enter the names of the new primary team into the official minutes... Thor, Sersi, Vision, Quasar, Black Widow and She-Hulk!'
The official team steps forward and Quasar remarks 'Don't forget about yourself, Cap – being Chairman and all', to which Cap replies that according to the new bylaws, he is the Chair-Being, there being members who are technically not quite human'. 'Exactly' the Vision agrees. 'No offense there, Vision' Cap remarks, and the android replies that none has been taken. The new line-up stand together as Cap continues to look through the charter and addresses the others, many of whom are looking bored. Quicksilver lets out a yawn, while Spider-Man plays with some webbing. The Sub-Mariner is nearly slumped over in his chair, which Tigra leans against the back of hers, and Hercules leans against the wall, sleeping. Cap states that in addition to the primary team, there shall be seven reserve substitutes, and all remaining Avengers not in the primary team or reserve substitutes shall be the inactive Avengers.
Cap explains that the primary team Avengers must answer all calls to assemble, and if unable to respond, the Avenger must notify that specific member's reserve substitute, which is why each reserve substitute must be carefully chosen to be a fitting replacement. 'Please bear that in mind for the next round of voting...' Cap adds. 'More voting? We have to multiple nominations for each replacement?' Tigra asks, annoyed. 'It's the democratic process...' the Vision points out. 'Heads up, Herc! Caught you napping, dude!' Spider-Man tells Hercules, tossing some webbing towards him. 'What? Why, you impudent -' Hercules begins, grabbing the webbing, he reaches out for Spider-Man, who darts up a wall, 'Hey! Lighten up!' Spider-Man exclaims, while Sersi tells Captain America that everybody is restless. 'Can we please get the vote over with?' she asks. The Vision tells everyone that he reiterates the importance of selecting appropriate reservist substitutes, adding that the reservist should be capable of replacing the powers or talents of the replacee and that reservist should be one who is actually available and willing. He is about to continue, when the Sub-Mariner slams his fist on the table and shouts 'Enough of this pettifoggery! Let us vote!'
Outside the meeting room, in one of the corridors, several of the Avengers Support Crew – Peggy Carter, John Jameson and Michael O'Brien are standing near where Rage and a mystery man in a trenchcoat with a mask over his face are also waiting. Edwin Jarvis wheels a trolley down the corridor and Jameson asks 'More coffee and donuts, Jarvis? Are they still voting in there?' to which Jarvis replies 'If I could tell you that, they wouldn't need to have a closed meeting now, would they?' as he carries on down the corridor, while Michael O'Brien asks Peggy if she has ever seen Jarvis and the Vision together at the same time. 'No.. .you don't think -? You're pulling my leg, aren't you, O'Brien' Peggy replies, to which O'Brien remarks that the Vision has got too much of a sense of humor to get away with impersonating Jarvis. O'Brien then asks John what his take is on the guy with the bag over his head. 'Something vaguely familiar about him. Notice that gritty sound he makes when he walks on the tile floor?' Jameson replies quietly.
Rage paces back and forth and remarks that he does not know what to make of all of this. He sits down next to the masked figure and adds 'I don't know who you are, but apparently the Avengers invited both of us to this affair and so far, all we got to do is hang out in the hall for close to two days!' He wonders what they want from them. 'Could be, Rage...that what they want from us is something we might be lucky enough to provide' the mystery man responds.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn: 'I'm LD50 and nobody pushes me around!' LD50 exclaims inside a hideout, where he and several of his hang members are currently watching a news report that is live at Avengers Headquarters. '...especially not an egregious Brobdingnagian like Rage!' LD50 declares, asking what right Rage has to interfere with their business. 'We are but dispensers of happiness! Is it our fault if people abuse the pharmaceutical palliatives we provide?' he remarks. 'Yeah! We don't make 'em take drugs!' a gang member exclaims, while the reporter outside Avengers Headquarters announces that, apparently, the Avengers' meeting is over and Captain America is about to read a prepared statement. She adds that a large crowd has gathered, including some protesters. LD50 declares that super heroes are supposed to battle super villains, and now this Rage is fomenting change. 'As the social order disintegrates, more of these super-Pollyannas will start meddling in our business on the street level!' LD50 tells the others, slamming his fist on a table, he exclaims that they, as dealers, have to act for their survival.
Outside the hideout, Ngh and the other Chimaera watch the gang, and Ngh remarks that this is truly a mind to his liking, that there is such clarity to his intentions. Xa asks Ngh if he has found a prospective one already, and as the others gather around, Ngh announces that he has found a gem, unpolished, of course, but flawlessly evil. 'Come, my merry minions! We are among our own kind! I'm so pleased, I shall lower myself to speak in their vernacular!' Ngh adds, while, inside, LD50 begins: 'And furthermore -' when suddenly, the outside wall crashes open, and Ngh and the others enter. 'What's popping, home? Hey, you and me, we have to talk mega-deal here, comprende?' the demon-like being exclaims. The gang members group together, confused as to what is happening, Ngh declares that he has the powers, and points out that LD50 knows the turf. 'I'm new in town and you got the moves. Together we can make boogie. Are we down? Can we get bad with each other, or what?' Ngh asks. 'Uh...I know my gothie... you aren't Lucifer or any of the thousand other names of ultimate evil, are you? My soul isn't in jeopardy?' LD50 asks as Ngh moves closer to him.
'If you had one, why would I want the funky ol' thing? This is bidness! Used souls are a drug on the market' Ngh replies. 'Could you really help rid me of Rage?' LD50 enquires. Ngh sits down on the sofa, and Xa rests on his shoulders, while the others gather behind him. 'He's a mensch, right? Ge's got honor, feelings and a sense of obligation – a regular stand-up guy! All you gotta do is find what he loves, and trash it!' Ngh explains. 'You clockin' this or do you always look this stupid?' Ngh asks, to which LD50 asks 'If you're so powerful, why do you need us?' Ngh tells him that he and his paisanos have to maintain a low profile in the light of prior improprieties. 'You're on the lam-!' LD50 exclaims. ''Just for the time being...when we get our act together, we're gonna take the show on the road and knock 'ema all dead in the aisles!' Ngh boasts.
Outside Avengers Headquarters, a large crowd has gathered – media, protesters and police alike. Captain America stands on the front steps, with the new roster at his side. 'And so the new line-up for the Avengers shall be Thor, Sersi, Quasar, She-Hulk, Vision, Black Widow and myself, Captain America' he announces, adding that he is sure he speaks for the others when he pledges to all that the Avengers shall continue to serve as they have always served and that they shall never forget what the words “Avengers Assemble” stand for. 'It stands for fascist vigilantes! When do we, the people, get a chance to see this new Charter? What kind of deal did you make with the politicians and the plutocrats?' someone in the crowd shouts. Camera lights flash and protest signs are waved about as Captain America announces that the Avengers Support Crew will pass out copies of the new Charter to all who wish one, even to their detractors, whose very right to voice their opinions are also held sacred by the Avengers. 'That's telling them, Cap' She-Huk utters, but Quasar points out that it went right over their heads.
Standing away from the podium, Rage and the mystery man stand near the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man, and Rage wonders what he is doing here, as he is not needed, and not wanted. 'And i'm not even noticed. We warmed that bench in the hall for two days and they forgot all about us' he tells his mysterious companion, who tells Rage to stop selling himself short. 'And now, may I introduce to you the new Avengers reserve substitutes!' Captain America calls out, as Spider-Man, the Black Knight, Hercules, Captain Marvel and the Falcon approach the podium. 'Bravo!' someone in the crowd shouts. 'Speech!' another yells, while a third person asks for a comment from Spidey. 'Hey, what can I say? I just hope we can live up to these awesome dudes and ladies!' Spider-Man replies. Captain America smiles and assures Spider-Man that he will. Amongst the crowd, J Jonah Jameson grumbles and mutters that he knew that moron was going to use the word “awesome”, while Robbie Robertson smiles and tells Jonah that at least Spider-Man didn't use the adverb “totally”.
A female reporter calls out to Captain America and remarks that she notice there is only five reserve substitutes for seven primary Avengers. 'Are there two slots left open, and if so, why?' she enquires. 'A very astute observation' Cap replies, explaining that this brings them to the next topic, as those two specific slots are left open because, hopefully, they will be filled by two new probationary Avengers, once they graduate to full Avenger status. 'Bring them out, ladies!' Cap exclaims. 'He's talking about you two!' Sersi exclaims as she, the Black Widow and She-Hulk lead Rage and the mystery man forward. 'What?' Rage asks, surprised. 'Time to meet the press' She-Hulk remarks. Captain America declares that it is his privilege to introduce a hero who made a stand with them in an alien dimension and isn't afraid to speak out for what he believes in this dimension. The mask is pulled off the mystery man, revealing the Sandman, as Cap points out that, in a way, the Sandman needs no real introduction, as he has been known to many people for years. 'Sandman? That man is a criminal!' someone calls out from the crowd. 'Not anymore!' Captain America announces, revealing that the Sandman is completely rehabilitated, and has a Presidential Pardon. 'If that's good enough for Nixon, it's good enoug for Sandman!' Cap calls out, holding the Presidential Pardon up.
'Okay, but what about the other guy? What's his name, rage? Where did he come from? What can he do?' someone asks. 'Yeah! Who's stronger, him or the Hulk?' someone else calls out. 'If he's so hot, how come we never heard of him?' another enquires. Captain America declares that, as far as he is concerned, Rage has already proven himself and he is sure the press will hear a lot more about him in the future. 'You knew that I wouldn't have shown up this if I had known you were going to spring this on me! This was an ambush!' Rage tells Captain America, who replies 'Granted, but just think, wouldn't your grandmother have been so proud if she had been alive to see -' Cap begins, before stepping away from the podium and asks Rage if he has put his foot in his mouth. 'I assumed that she was getting on in years when you were twelve, she couldn't possibly still be -' Cap begins, but Rage tells Cap that it is nothing. 'You're right, she was pretty old when I was twelve. But she's still hale and -' Rage begins, interrupted when an egg is thrown at his face, and it cracks open. 'You're nothing but a running-dog lackey, you boot-licking Uncle Tom!' a woman cries from the protesters. A reporter sees this and exclaims 'Longtime activist and former debutante Aurelia Lumpen-Parvenu has just beaned Rage with a rotten egg!'
In Brooklyn, one of the gang is still watching the report on the television, and calls out to LD50, informing him that Rage is on the TV. One of the Chimaerae alerts Ngh to the fact that these are transmitted images of the creatures they battled in the dimension of exile. 'You threw down with the Avengers and you're still standing?' one of the gang members asks. 'His lips are moving, but there's no sound' someone points out. 'Nothing's wrong with the GTV, he's just muttering to himself' someone explains, as they watch Rage wipe the egg from his face. Ngh tells the gang that he squatted on the church roof and learned this language by listening and watching, so he can read lips like a champ. 'And that ugly piece of work is reciting a name over and over, like a mantra – Granny Staples!' Ngh announces, telling LD50 that he now knows what Rage loves. LD50 boasts that if Granny Staples is in Brooklyn, his associates can locate her within a minimal timeframe, and Ngh suggests he do that, and then he can lean on the old biddy himself.
'Don't do anything rash -' She-Hulk tells Rage as she and Cap hold him back. 'Let me go. I'm in control. Jjust had to think good thoughts, put myself in the right perspective. I'm all right' Rage assures She-Hulk and Cap. 'Are you sure?' Cap asks him, while someone shouts 'Better be a nice serville Tom and do what they say, you stooge of the slave-mongers!' That is more than Rage can take, and he pushes past Cap and She-Hulk and exclaims 'Lady, you just stepped over the line!' 'Eeee! He's running amok!' someone shouts. 'Keep the tape running!' another remarks. 'That's right! Come on ddown and beat me up! That's all you super-hero types know about, ignorance and violence!' Aurelia shouts, asking 'Are you happy to be among your elitist pig friends, so you can be bullies together?' she asks. Rage grabs a protesters' sign and breaks it, asking 'Who's the bully here? Who threw the egg? Who is the arrested development adolescent who thinks her own narrow views are the center of the universe?' Rage asks. 'See He's attacking me! He's a brutal fascist just like his friends! Aurelia cries. Rage looms over the woman and points at her, informing her that these are not his friends, that he doesn't particularly like them and for the most part, they aren't really crazy about him, either. He adds that it has to do with cultural differences and generations of hate and misunderstanding.
Rage looks back at the Avengers and remarks 'Understanding doesn't come from outside agitation. Change has to come from within. If the Avengers want to give me the chance to change them, then I don't care what their motivations are'. Cap tells Rage that his methods scare the gee-wilikers out of him, but that he can't disagree with what is in Rage's heart. Suddenly, a large, intense light glows above Avengers Headquarters and the city, and a strange voice cries 'Tremble before us, pathetic inhabitants of this pitiful plane of existence – the Tetrarchs of Entropy are come among ye!' 'What the -' Rage asks as he and Cap stare up at the strange beings hovering in the air. A large serpent, a humanoid figure holding two large faces above its shoulders, a pyramid with an eye and a large flame are gazed at by the Avengers and the large crowd. 'We be Yod of the All-Seeing Eye, Hafga of the Coils of Infinity, Vug the Burning and Heml of the Myriad Visages!' Yod declares, introducing the strange beings, before announcing that they seek those known as the Avengers.
We are the Avengers, but we tremble before no one!' Captain America declares, with Sersi, the Vision, Thor, She-Hulk and Quasar at his side.
'Then thou art mad. The Tetrarchs of Entropy find these miscreants known as the Avengers guilty of abetting the escape of the criminal Ngh from the Dimension of Exile!' Yod of the All-Seeing Eye declares, before sentencing the Avengers to eternity in the Dimension of Exile – with the sentence to commence imediately! Withb that, a beam of energy is emitted from Yod, drenching Cap, Sersi, Thor, Quasar, the Black Widow, the Vision and She-Hulk, while the other Avengers divert their eyes. 'They zapped the whole primary team!' Spider-Man exclaims, before he, Quicksilver, Sandman, the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Hercules and the Falcon move forward, ready for battle, 'Reserve substitutes Assmeble!' they cry. 'Fools! Thou wouldst attack the Tetrarchs, who art forces of the universe?' Hafga asks, and all of the other Avengers are knocked backwards. 'Force field!' Iron Man exclaims. 'Stronger than anything I've ever encountered!' Wonder Man declares. Hafga has had enough of this and announces gthat Ngh and his minions are loose upon the universes, upsetting the inexorable tendency towards Entropy. 'Let the Tetrarchs of Entropy tarry no longer with these insignificant mites!' Hafga adds, and the four cosmic beings vanish as quick as they came. 'Looks like we might be getting thrown into the front lines sooner than we thought!' Sandman remarks to Rage.
In the Dimension of Exile, the heroes rise, on the alien landscape, with the Vision announcing that he senses a different reality at work here, a muting of vital energies. 'This world lessons us in many ways, Vision' Thor remarks, while Cap informs everyone that the Tetrarchs of Entropy aren't omniscient, or they would not be searching for Ngh, whoever he is. Cap wonders if perhaps the Tetrarchs don't know that Thor transported them back and forth from this dimension with Mjolnir. 'Aye! Aided by a modulating field from Sersi, my mighty Uru mallet -' Thor begins, before looking up, and seeing Mjolnir encased in a strange force field. Thor punches it, but discovers that it is encased in immutable crystal, and does not yield to his hardest blow. 'Wait! Maybe Sersi can -' Cap begins, only to discover Sersi has been encased in a similar field. 'She's conscious, but utterly helpless!' the Black Widow announces, while Cap deduces that it is no crystal, but that whatever it is, it can neutralize the powers of both Sersi and Mjolnir. The Vision states that he will have to ponder this predicament at great length to come to a feasible solution.
And, back on Earth, in Brooklyn, the dead of night, Granny Staples is woken by the doorbell ringing at two o'clock in the morning. The elderly woman gets out of bed and approaches the front door, 'Whoever that is, you had better have a good reason to drag me out of bed at this hour!' she calls out. 'Open up, Granny Staples. It's me, your grandson, Elvin!' a voice calls from outside. 'Elvin? Did you lose your keys or – you're not Elvin!' Granny Staples exclaims as she opens the door and sees Ngh and several other demons standing before her. 'Very perceptive, lady. Allow me to introduce myself -' Ngh begins, before Granny Staples cuts him off, 'No need to tell me who you are' she exclaims, and picking up a broom, she declares that she knows the Devil when she sees him, before warning him that he best get off her stoop before she kicks him off!