New York City, where Hercules stands on a busy street. Everyone has stories to tell – stories of heroism, and of heartbreak. And right now, Hercules remembers battling alongside other Gods of Olympus against the Amphisbaena. 'Now there was a threat like no other...' he recalls. The creature was titanic in stature, the two-headed serpent born of Medusa's brow could swallow swarms of mortal villagers whole – and it did – until the Gods of Olympus descended to vanquish the beast in hard-fought battle. Hercules remembers Hermes, the most fleet of foot and always the first to strike, and Artemis, whose arrows were unerring and deadly, and Poseidon, whose trident crashed like a tidal wave. There was Athena, a warrior woman like no other, and, of course, Zeus, Lord of the Sky and Thunder, and King of the Gods. None could stand against them – not even the mighty Amphisbaena.
Hercules' memories continue, recalling how their revelry was as epic as their victory, nestled in the bosom of the courtyard of Olympus, their chalices kept brimmed by Dionysus himself as they celebrated for days. In fact, they could scarcely tear themselves away – and why would they? The majesty of Olympus, the grandeur, the beauty, there is no place else so marvelous, so wondrous and resplendent in all of existence than the cradle of the immortals. 'It simply beggars the imagination' Hercules remarks. 'That's great, Mr Hercules. I can't wait to tell my kids. But, see, here's the thing... we're kinda in the middle of a situation here' a surly police officer tells the handsome Hercules as they and a SWAT team stand outside a Hardware Tool & Toys store. 'Yes, yes, of course. Allow me to assist you' Hercules responds.
'Ho, good man. You must be the ranking leader of this garrison!' Hercules calls out as he approaches an officer who carries a large gun, positioned near the entrance to the store. Hercules asks the officer what he can tell him about the foe in yonder tool fortress. 'There's some kinda freaky monster in there. Probably one of those alien types' the officer scowls. 'Is there anything you can tell me of the creature?' Hercules enquires. The officer informs him that no one got a good look at it, all they heard was creepy laughter, and then a bunch of lasers shot the store up. 'Hey! What're you doing?' the officer shouts as Hercules passes the police cordon and approaches the store. 'Vanquishing evil. Where I stride, legends are born!' Hercules smiles.
Hercules leaps through a window and examines his surroundings, 'Hmmm -' he begins, before a blue light shines at him, 'Organic threat detected -' a computerized voice states, before an explosion knocks Hercules backwards, along with some hardware supplies. 'Trickery shall not save you, beast!' Herc calls out as he reaches for his axe, then rushes forward, 'You face a warrior of skill so great the bards have run dry their quills while recording my d-' Hercules begins, dodging energy blasts, he cuts his sentence short when he discovers the alien trouble maker up ahead. 'Back off, beard-o! Come any closer and I'll pop plasma in your piehole!' Rocket Raccoon exclaims, blasting more energy beams towards Hercules while also using a flame thrower. 'Are you some kind of militarized dog?' Hercules asks. “Dog?” Rocket quotes. 'I'll show you a dog, you mo-' Rocket begins, before Hercules knocks him back as Rocket opens fire, 'Careful now!' Hercules tells him as the energy strikes the ceiling. There is a loud creaking noise, 'Look what you did...' Rocket utters, 'Uh-oh' Herc utters, as the hardware store collapses inwards on top of them, sending a dust cloud racing towards the police officer outside.
Suddenly, Hercules bursts from the rubble, 'Fear not, the Lion of Olympus remains unharmed!' he boasts, while holding up Rocket by the scruff of his neck. 'Lemme go, muscle-brain. I wasn't doing nuthin' ta no one!' Rocket snaps. 'You attacked the citizens of this fair city' Hercules points out. Rocket explains that he tried to shop at that store and they refused to serve him, they just started screaming and freaking out. 'So 'twas a misunderstanding?' Herc enquires. 'One hundred percent!' Rocket claims. 'Who are you?' Hercules enquires, and Rocket introduces himself. 'And what is that?' Hercules asks, referring to a small ball that Rocket is holding. 'This? This is nuthin' Rocket responds. The officer in charge of this operation tells Hercules that he did a nice job, and asks him to put the dog down so they can take it from here. 'I am not a dog!' Rocket protests. Hercules tells the constabulary to hold, as he believes there has been a mistake. 'Take that dog $#%& back of I'll shove this gravi-nade up your stinkin' -' Rocket begins, interrupted when they are plunged into darkness. 'Eh?' Hercules utters, looking up. 'Who turned out the lights?' Rocket asks.
This is a story of darkness... and how to hold it back.
Moments earlier, in Los Angeles, California, inside Smith's Diner, two longtime friends, Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye and Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch are catching up. 'And how's your man Jericho?' Hawkeye asks, referring to Wanda's partner, Doctor Voodoo. 'Who told you about us?' Wanda responds. 'Jarvis! My Avengers gossip mole!' Clint tells her. 'He is not' Wanda replies. 'Lemme tell ya, Wanda. Two cups of PG Tips and his mouth can't stop...' Clint jokes. Wanda smiles and informs Clint that she and Jericho are fine, which is why she is on the West Coast – they are looking for a condo. 'Living together?' Hawkeye asks. 'So, it's getting serious...'he begins, to which Wanda informs him that it is nice, and that she wants to see how it feels to share living space, see whether it unbalances the equilibrium between them. “Seeking equilibrium in a shared living space. Voodoo powers a big plus” Hawkeye jokes. 'Such a mocking tone, Clint...' Wanda frowns, folding her arms.
Clint tells his friend that he is happy for her, seriously, and that he wants to see more of her and the good doctor. Clint informs Wanda that he is helping Kate Bishop and her crew run a new West Coast Avengers team, 'I'm sure you've seen our social media blitz' he adds. Wanda informs Clint that Quicksilver is trying to become an Instagram star, so she is avoiding social media these days. 'Point is, you and Jericho should join us. I need a couple of veterans in the mix to show these kids how it's done' Clint remarks. Wanda thanks Clint, but declines the offer, explaining that she has had her fair share of team drama for now. As a concession, she hands him a present – a box. 'Oh?' Clint asks. Wanda informs him that when they were boxing up supplies from Avengers Mansion, she came across some of his things. Clint goes through the box, 'Smoke arrow, putty arrow... classic!' he smiles, before coming across a book called “Stars and stripes, an unathorized Captain America biography”. 'Oh yeah! That was from when Cap and I hated each other's guts and I was looking for dirt to use against him...' Clint explains, before discovering in the box, a vial of Pym Particles from his time as Goliath. 'That sure takes me back' Clint smiles.
'Super-soldiers, geniuses, gods and mutants...I felt like the low man on Earth's mightiest totem pole' Clint recalls. 'We all have our moments of doubt' Wanda agrees. 'Yeah...' Clint replies, before a waitress asks them if there is anything else or whether they want the bill. Wanda doesn't want anything, but Clint asks for more coffee – no milk, no sugar. 'Dark as dark can be' he tells the waitress, when suddenly, the sunlight vanishes. 'Uh... that wasn't me...' Hawkeye utters, as he and Wanda look concerned.
'I want to hide from the darkness... to watch from afar...to let the story play itself out... but the Avengers taught me better than that' someone, somewhere, thinks to themselves.
In Washington DC, the sun shines down over the Washington Monument as the Vision and Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum hover over some water. 'A perfect day' the Vision states as a camera hovers in front of him, monitoring his actions. 'We got lucky, all right. No clouds means one less thing to correct for in these tests...' Monica replies. 'Not quite what I mean, Spectrum' the Vision remarks. Monica tells the Vision to call her Monica, reminding him that they have known each other long enough. The camera displays a holo-monitor which depicts Adam Brashear the Blue Marvel. 'How are the readings on your end, hon?' Monica asks. 'Good news and bad news, I'm afraid' Adam replies.
The Blue Marvel is at Kadesh Base, in the Mariana Trench, along with Dr Toni Ho. Adam tells Monica and the Vision that he will let Dr Ho take them through it, as she is the robotics specialist. Toni thanks Blue Marvel as she explains that whatever is happening with the Vision, the reason his systems are degrading like they are – is because he is dying. Toni adds that they were hoping it was a problem with his energy intake, and if it was, they would have a diagnosis – but according to the readings, he is absorbing the sun's rays as well as he ever did, so it is not his diet. She admits that they aren't sure what it is – except that it started after the Hulk's attack. 'Damn. Not such a perfect day after all -' Monica begins, but the Vision interrupts her, telling her that, on the contrary, he does not think of this ongoing process of deterioration as his death, but as the end of his life. He flies upwards as he remarks that to live, to truly be human, he must accept that life has an end. He adds that his systems are failing, and he will soon pass away – and yet he has this moment.
'I am alive. I live and am alive' the Vision declares, clenching his fists, asking if that is not perfect, even though it ends? Some birds fly around him as Monica flies upwards to join him, she pauses, before asking 'Iambic pentameter?' The Vision reveals that he dabbles, as his son enjoyed Shakespeare. “Of all the wonders that I have yet heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear... seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come” the Vision quotes Julius Caesar. Monica reminds the Vision that her body is made of energy, in whatever form she wants that to be – and therefore she isn't sure how to take that quote. Monica adds that energy can't be destroyed, so she doesn't think she can die. 'Am I less alive? Less human?' Monica asks as she switches to an energy form and touches the Vision's face. The Vision tells Monica that he couldn't say, and that he can only answer for himself.
'Ahem. Speaking of Monica's abilities...' Blue Marvel smiles, while Monica begins radiating around the Vision, touching his chest, she explains that by changing into electricity, she should be able to work through the Vision's systems, check for any faults that aren't obvious from the outside. Dr Ho announces that like the Blue Marvel said, there is good news here, and now they know Vision can take in all the energy he needs to fight this thing and it won't make it worse – so as long as the sun doesn't suddenly vanish. As if on cue, Toni and Adam look horrified as the screen displaying back to them goes black, as Monica's energy form enters the Vision, and darkness suddenly appears around him. 'Me and my big mouth' Toni mutters.
Elsewhere: 'They taught me to face evil head-on, to fight together... against what cannot be fought alone...' the mysterious being thinks to themselves.
Somewhere in New Mexico, Bruce Banner lumbers down a deserted road as the sun appears in a haze behind him. He hums a tune, then starts singing: “I'd like to pretend that my father was wrong...but you don't want to lie... not to the...” he suddenly, stops singing, and looks up as he realizes that he has been plunged into darkness. 'I'm still there' he utters. 'I never left! God – merciful God. Help me – I'm in Hell! I'm still in Hell! I'm still in-' Bruce exclaims as he suddenly begins to transform, his skin turns green, his muscles bulge, as he transforms into the Immortal Hulk. The Hulk roars, before asking 'So what else is new, Banner?'
'I assembled them once before...' someone thinks to themselves, before a voice calls out: 'Hulk?' and the Hulk turns to see the blue-skinned alien Va Nee Gast, better known as Voyager, moving through a portal towards him. '...now I must do it again. Starting with the strongest' Voyager tells herself, before remarking to the Hulk that he may not remember her, but she is the daughter of the Grandmaster. 'And you...you are needed' Voyager announces. The Hulk tells Voyager that he remembers her, and asks her if she made the night fall, or if the elders did it. Voyager reports that she didn't, but that she saw what did – and knew they would need heroes. 'What did this... it's the most frightening creature I've ever seen' Voyager exclaims. 'Almost' she adds quietly as she looks at the Hulk. 'You silver-tongued devil' the Hulk smirks, while Voyager thinks to herself that strength alone cannot win – nor will numbers, as the enemy will see an army coming – against what she saw, they need strategy and power. Thankfully, Voyager knows Avengers who embody both.
The Vision gazes around the darkness, before turning to Toni who appears on the holo-monitor before him. The Vision reviews his visual memory of the last few moments, and reports that the sun did not set – night simply fell. He adds that any sudden rotation of the Earth would have led to severe structural damage. Toni declares that this isn't a standard day/night cycle, informing him that it is still night here in the Pacific Ocean, and in Moscow, Berlin, London, Beijing, New York – everywhere on the planet at once. 'How is that possible?' Toni utters. Examining some readings on a screen, the Blue Marvel reports that it gets worse, explaining that this facility has near-instant communication with various alien words, and whatever it is, it is not limited to Earth.
Indeed, the Skrull homeworld is plunged into darkness, and one Skrull suspects that this is a Kree trick, while a blue-skinned alien race are fearful that all five suns have gone. 'It's the end!' someone utters, while the Chitauri, too, find themselves plunged into darkness, and hiss at the nothingness around them.
Blue Marvel reports that there is a Shi'ar plasma-harvesting station in the heart of their local sun – and night just fell there as well. 'Madness' he remarks as the Vision flies through the city, while civilians below him run in panic. The Vision tells Monica, whose electrical form is still coursing through him, that she, of all of them, perhaps has the most experience with the inexplicable, to which Monica admits that she has seen a lot, but this, it feels different – darker somehow. 'Maybe it's time – to assemble -' Monica starts, when suddenly, a portal opens before the Vision, and Voyager and the Hulk emerge from it. 'Vision – Spectrum – you are needed' Voyager announces, while Blue Marvel tries to contact Monica, asking her if she is still there. He then asks the Vision to respond, before realizing that the communication stream is out. Toni looks at a monitor and point out that the Vision and Spectrum can take care of themselves and right now, she is worried about those who can't. The Blue Marvel agrees and points out that universal nightfull means universal panic, and that lives are in danger everywhere – literally. 'We're going to be busy...'
Back in Los Angeles, Clint holds up a flare and tells everyone in the diner not to panic, that he is pretty sure this is a routine sun outage. 'And your friendly neighborhood Avengers are on the case' Clint starts to tell the diner patrons that there is no reason to be scared, 'Yeh? What about that, dude?' one of them asks, pointing to the portal that suddenly appears. 'Oh. That' the Vision mutters. Voyager, the Hulk and Vision appear, and Voyager looks the Scarlet Witch, telling her that she is needed. 'You can defy reality itself with your magic – if we're to fight this endless night, we'll need your abilities' Voyager explains. Wanda casts a simple spell and her costume materializes, 'There's really no choice, is there?' Wanda asks. 'Guess not. Avengers assemble, right?' Hawkeye smiles, adding 'Soeaking of West Coast Avengers, I can make some calls -' but the Hulk interrupts him, and tells him to get lost, as this is serious. 'We don't need the arrow guy' the Hulk declares. 'What?' Hawkeye exclaims.
'Hulk, if this is about me shooting you – me and Bruce settled that -' Hawkeye begins, to which the Hulk replies 'Did you. Banner comes to you to help kill me – kill us – and instead of sending him to a shrink...you go along with it. 'You put an arrow in our head. And now you think it's settled' the Hulk frowns, he puts a large hand around Hawkeye's shoulders, grinning, he suggests to Clint that he tag along and make himself...useful. 'Just don't find yourself alone with me. Ever' the Hulk warns him. 'Y-yeah? Or what?' Hawkeye asks nervously. 'Or I'll settle it' the Hulk announces. As Voyager extends her portal around the other Avengers, she wonders if contacting the Hulk was a mistake, for if he turns on them, she isn't sure anyone here has the strength to stop him – however, there is one who might – perhaps. She was hoping to build their forces further before she spoke to him, but decides that now is as good a time as any.
'Portal at 8 o'clock!' Rocket exclaims. 'Voyager!' Hercules gasps as he sees Voyager and the others. 'Hercules, you are needed!' Voyager announces. The police officers see the Hulk and order everyone to step away with their hands up. Hercules turns back to the officers and instructs the officer in charge to stand down. 'Do you not see that this is an assembly of heroes?' he asks. 'Only thing these goons understand is a superior firepower' Rocket mutters, before saying hello to the Hulk. Voyager walks over to Hercules and explains to him that they don't have time to negotiate with the local law enforcement. Hercules tells Voyager that he understands, and asks for a moment. 'Rocket' the Hulk replies. 'Long time, huh?' Rocket points out. 'The Hulk blew up a whole town in Iowa -' the officer begins. 'That's how they're selling that?' the Hulk frowns, while Hercules suggests that this posturing serves no one, and announces that he and his friends are about to embark on a quest.
'You can't just up and leave after the destruction you've caused!' the officer protests, while Rocket whistles as he looks at the gravi-nade he is still holding. Hercules tells the officer that amends will be made, but not right now, and suggests he contact Tony Staark who will make sure that this is properly dealt with. Rocket looks up at the Vision, 'Well, hello there, metal man' he remarks. 'Can I help you?' the Vision frowns. 'Stand still for a sec, okay? I just wanna get a small piece of -' Rocket begins as he leaps towards the Vision, who becomes intangible, stating that he has not components that he can spare. 'Excuse my lack of density, but I am monitoring a significant potential threat' the Vision explains as the surprised Rocket passes through the android Avenger.
The Hulk asks what the Vision is staring at, while Voyager reports that every moment they wait the situation worsens. 'Come with us now' she asks Hercues. 'Of course! A hero summoned always answers the call!' Hercules responds, before asking where they are going. Hanging her head, Voyager reveals that they are going to Hercules' home – to Mount Olympus, as there has been an attack. 'Olympus!?' Hercules shouts, surprised. 'Take me there, woman! Do it now!' Hercules declares. Voyager tells him that she will, but that they need more allies. 'Nay! You said every moment brings more calamity. Open the damned portal!' Hercules booms. 'Very well' Voyager concedes, as she extends her portal around Hercules, Wanda, Hawkeye, the Hulk and the Vision. 'You crazy kids have fun, 'cause I'm out!' Rocket calls back to the heroes as he starts to leap away – only for the Hulk to reach out and grab him by the scruff of his neck, pulling him into the portal. 'Hey! No fair -' Rocket begins.
Voyager then warns Hercules to brace himself, as her portal re-opens on Mount Olympus. The horrified Hercules looks around at his home which stands in ruins, fires blaze and skeletons cover the ground. Hawkeye and the Hulk stand ready for an attack, while Vision and Wanda examine the surroundings. Voyager hangs her head, even Rocket is left speechless. Hawkeye comes across the body of Dionysus, while Wanda and Voyager discover the body of Zeus himself, and Rocket looks up at Hermes, whose body has been shoved through a tall spike. 'My gods...' the wide-eyed Hercules utters, before dropping to his knees. Voyager saw darkness. The air smells of burning flesh and smoldering metal – it tastes of impossibility – someone has slain the immortals. Voyager knows that in ages past, they were worshipped, and now, they will be mourned. Before anyone could stop it, the gods of Olympus were slain.
Hercules picks up an arrow and clenches it within his fist. He hangs his head and closes his eyes, while the Vision puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him that he has his condolences. 'We will find whoever did this to your people -' the Vision begins, before Hercules spins around and stares at Voyager: 'You. What happened here? You must have seen! How did you know to bring us?' Hercules asks. 'I -' Voyager begins, before a weak voice calls out to Hercules, calling him brother. As Hercules turns to a body that lays crushed beneath a column. Voyager recalls how she had grown accustomed to watching the drama unfold from her place upon the far shore – but now, she is seeing this first hand. 'Sister Athena!' Hercules calls out as he rushes over to the goddess, while urging Wanda and the Vision to bring aid.
Hercules crouches at Athena's side and tells her that it will be all right, that they will save her. 'You are too late... the light... she took the light from us...' Athena utters. 'WHO? WHO DID THIS?' Hercules asks with a raised voice. 'The Queen...the Queen of Night...' Athena gasps. 'You mean -' Hercules starts, but Athena interrupts him, telling him not to say her name – that you can never say her name. Taking Athena's hand, Hercules declares that this is his fault, that he should have been here, defending his home. 'There you are, always trying to claim both Olympus and Earth...brother born of a god and mortal... you were never truly one of us' Athena utters. 'That's not true!' Hercules exclaims. 'Some called us being of myth...but true myths have... a final chapter. The day that your legend reaches its end as well... only then will you finally be...be home' Athena tells Hercules with her dying breath.
'And then she is gone' Voyager realizes, and her heart breaks with Hercules, as he holds the body of his sister. Hulk, Vision, Hawkeye, Wanda, Rocket and Voyager watch Hercules, before Hawkeye asks about this “Queen of Night”. 'In the ancient Greek myths, the Goddess of Night was a woman named Nyx, yes?' Wanda remarks. Then, before Voyager can raise the alarm, something stirs in the night air, while Hercules announces that if his father's stories of her are true, then she may well possess enough power to have done this. Hercules wonders if that is the case, then where is she now. He starts to ask Voyager what knowledge she possesses that she can pass on, when suddenly, a look of horror falls across Voyager's face, as she realizes that the darkness has come to claim them. Hercules looks in the direction of Voyager's gaze, 'NO!' he gasps, as Voyager realizes there is no escape, and Hawkeye, the Vision and Rocket look up in shock Nyx has arrived – and her hand has phased through the Scarlet Witch's head as the Queen of Night utters 'Your sister was right, Son of Zeus. She should not have said my name'.