Avengers West Coast #61

Issue Date: 
August 1990
Story Title: 
The Immortus Imperative

Roy & Dann Thomas (Writers), Paul Ryan (Penciler), Danny Bulanadi (Inker), Bill Oakley (Letterer), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Howard Mackie (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief) Special thanks to R.J.M. Lofficier

Brief Description: 

Immortus teleports the Avengers West and Quicksilver to Limbo, where they are forced to face off against the Legion of the Unliving. Wonder Man fights his brother the Grim Reaper, while Hank Pym deals with the Black Knight, who is uncle of Dane Whitman the current Black Knight. USAgent is reunited with the murderers of his parents, Left-Winger and Right-Winger, while Iron Man battles his nephew from a possible future, Iron Man 2020. Hawkeye is reunited with his former mentor, the Swordsman, while Wasp battles Toro, whom she believes is the Human Torch, when in fact he is the Torch’s former sidekick. Quicksilver, battles Oort the Living Comet, but is taken out quickly. Agatha Harkness reveals her presence at Avengers Compound, where she has trapped a sort-of shadow of Immortus, and using her powers, she forces him to confess what his plans are. Immortus reveals much, such as where he comes from, who he is related to, his links to Kang and Rama-Tut, and that he was appointed custodian of the time stream for the period 3000 BC to 4000 AD by the beings known as the Time Keepers. Immortus then reveals how he has been manipulating the Scarlet Witch for quite some time now, and finally Agatha puts everything together, realizing just what Immortus’ plan is….

Full Summary: 

‘Then - the one responsible for the trance my sister is in - is Immortus! The ruler of the dimension called Limbo?’ exclaims Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver as he stands gape-jawed alongside the Avengers West Coast after Immortus has just made his appearance. The handsome USAgent has his trusty shield ready, while the Scarlet Witch’s dear friend, the arching Avenger known as Clint “Hawkeye” Barton readies his bow and arrows. Immortus declares that he is far more than the lord of a single cross-time realm, as the Avengers will soon learn. ‘Rather - I am the ultimate master of time itself!’

Quicksilver orders Immortus to stand away from his sister, until Hank interrupts him, suggesting they let Immortus have his say. Lockjaw growls while Immortus mockingly remarks that Pym obviously realizes he would not have bearded the West Coast Avengers in their lair were he not utterly immune to attack. ‘Yeah? Well Dr. Pym doesn’t speak for the USAgent, buddy!’ USAgent exclaims, while Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man, the Scarlet Witch’s brother-in-law tells Immortus that he can shove those “West Coast” cracks.

Hank calls out for everyone to stop, ‘For the sake of the Scarlet Witch, we’ve got to hear Immortus out!’ Janet Van Dyne a.k.a. the winsome Wasp, Hank’s lover, exclaims ‘Spoken like a true leader and founding father, Hank!’ ‘Founding father, yes, leader - no!’ Hawkeye remarks as he fires an arrow at Immortus, only to watch as it bounces off, as if there is some force field around Immortus. ‘You know force fields are standard issue with super villains, Hawk!’ Wonder Man jokes, for Immortus to remark ‘For a second time you refer to me as a “villain”’ and asking if the Avengers apply such negative labels to everything they cannot understand.

Clint replies ‘We understand you, all right! The Avengers have been on your case since day one!’ Simon calls to Iron Man, informing him that his predecessor was around when the original Avengers first tackled Immortus, adding that he himself came along a few weeks later, and suggesting that the two of them grab Immortus’ legs and make a wish. Iron Man replies that leader or no leader, he sides with Dr. Pym, as he is not so certain Immortus is here as an enemy, adding that they also have Wanda’s safety to worry about.

Quicksilver is annoyed at how the Avengers worry, talk and delay, so declaring that even though he has a sprained knee, he will act. With that he races towards Immortus, who remarks ‘You would use so pitiful a power as speed - against one who controls time without which speed is an inconceivable concept?’

Immortus boasts that he could take a single step backwards, or walk to Earth’s moon and return while Quicksilver merely careens into the other fool who thought to sneak up on his superior. ‘What? Can’t stop!’ Pietro exclaims as he crashes into USAgent. Immortus turns to the other Avengers and asks if they will vow not to follow him while he completes his business with the Scarlet Witch. Iron Man asks what business he is referring to, adding that Immortus talks as if he has been up to something for a long time. ‘You have no idea how long!’ Immortus replies.

Immortus exclaims that as far as his business goes, he can only say that it is vital to the timelines of many realties - including most especially this one. ‘Sorry, fella, but that’s not good enough!’ Iron Man declares. Immortus simply states that it will have to be. The pint-sized Wasp flies over to Lockjaw and begins whispering something to him, while Immortus tells the Avengers that they really have no say in the matter, and that even if he withdrew his force field, they have already seen that he placed an extra-temporal shield around Wanda which prevents anyone from so much as touching her.

Turning to the Wasp, Immortus declares that neither will the doglike Lockjaw be able to whisk the Scarlet Witch out of his clutches as he snatched her from Magneto, for his teleportation power will not affect the timeless space in which she stands. Immortus waves his hands and sends Lockjaw into a deep sleep, while one of the Avengers points out that Wanda is beginning to fade away. Immortus asks the Avengers if they surely do not expect him to conduct his delicate experiments here. With that, all of the Avengers rush towards Immortus, who mumbles that he should have realized that they are incorrigible.

Immortus knows that no matter how much he reasons with them, they will not rest so long as he has one of their own. ‘You got it!’ Wonder Man exclaims, before Immortus decides not to cast the six heroes into a sleep, since one of them might somehow awaken and seek to pursue him, so instead he transports all of them with him, and in an instant, all that remain are Lockjaw and a shadow of Immortus, until someone else enters the room, ‘As indeed you have, my dear Immortus. Still, you’ve left some slight vestige of yourself behind, haven’t you…even if it’s only a gossamer-thin doppelganger, while the rest of you have returned…’

…’To Limbo!’ The Avengers all look around, seeing that they are in some sort of throne room, Iron Man begins to say that it looks so much different from the way he first saw it, only to quickly say ‘From the way I’ve heard it looked to the first Iron Man!’ Immortus explains that it is because this trans-temporal dimension exists outside of the Time Stream itself, and is ever a reflection of his wishes and moods. Quicksilver exclaims that Lockjaw will never be able to locate them here, even if he does wake, while Wonder Man remarks that back in Hollywood, a set like this would eat up the budget for his last three films.

Hawkeye draws an arrow as he remarks that right now, Simon’s career is the last thing he is worried about. ‘I didn’t mean it that way I‘m as concerned about Wanda as any of you!’ Simon claims, before USAgent declares ‘Let’s get that creep - wherever we are!’ For once, Hank Pym agrees with Agent. However, Immortus, who has the Scarlet Witch, still motionless, standing beside him, remarks that the Avengers are becoming a tiresome lot, and admits that here in timeless Limbo, his time-altering mechanical devices give him less of an advantage than he wielded on Earth, however, he is still disappointed that the Avengers think him stupid enough to face all of them - most being muscular specimens - alone.

The Avengers all turn swiftly, as the USAgent exclaims that someone just came in behind them. Iron Man declares that his predecessor has told him about this group of people…the Legion of the Unliving! Iron Man explains that while the membership may change, the concept remains the same: Immortus conjures up the shades of those thought by the Avengers to be along the ranks of the unliving, then commands them to do his bidding. Only a fiery man resembling the Human Torch hovers in the air remaining silent, while the other members of the Legion begin to introduce themselves.

‘No on needs to force the Black Knight to fight the Avengers!’ declares the uncle of the current Black Knight as he sits on his black Pegasus, ready for battle. ‘Ditto for the Grim Reaper!’ Wonder Man’s diabolical brother exclaims. ‘Also the Swordsman!’ the former Avenger snarls. ‘That goes double for Left-Winger…’ ‘…and Right-Winger!’ the patriotic villains exclaim. ‘Surely you remember Oort the Living Comet!’ declares the ridiculous villain. Finally, a more advanced-looking Iron Man introduces himself as the Iron Man of 2020A.D. - Arno Stark - revealing that he has always wanted to see if he could wipe the floor with his illustrious ancestor.

Both teams begin to rush towards each other, with Iron Man claiming that he is only the third Iron Man, but that he hopes he will do. Hawkeye motions to who looks like the Human Torch, and assuming it is the Torch, he asks what he is doing fighting the Avengers. USAgent suggests Hawkeye wash his ears out, reminding him that Iron Man said Immortus controls these deadheads. The Wasp tells her male companions not to hold back, as they are not really alive, they are merely some sort of simulacra that Immortus has pulled out of time. ‘But if we don’t stop them, we will be the dead ones - for real!’ Jan adds.

Appropriately, Wonder Man takes on his brother, Eric a.k.a. the Grim Reaper and thinks that this is crazy, remembering that the first time the Legion of the Unliving appeared he was a member, except he wasn’t really dead, only in some weird coma, while this time around, he is in danger of getting sliced and diced by his own late brother.

Iron Man 2020 attacks whom he assumes to be his great-uncle, boasting that he has made some improvements in the weaponry. Iron Man begins to remind his possible relative that he is not his uncle, when a device that Iron Man 2020 shot at him strikes, and goes through his armor like a ninja blade through margarine. ‘Then you can surely imagine what my fist is going to do to your mask - and to the face behind it!’ Iron Man 2020 exclaims. Iron Man replies that he is actually rather unimaginative, and suggests to 2020 that he show him. But as Iron Man 2020 pushes the current Iron Man through a wall, he fears that he just might.

Hawkeye finds himself fighting the Swordsman, and reminds him that although he started out as a crook, wound up as one of the good guys before he died. Clint urges his former mentor and teammate to fight back, not to let that slime Immortus take away all that he has worked for. Jacques Duquesne tells Hawkeye to save his breath, reminding him that as his mentor, ‘I taught you everything you know - but not everything I know!’ Firing a blast of energy from his sword, the Swordsman exclaims that is the edge he has which will in turn make Hawkeye the next candidate for the Legion of the Unliving.

The Black Knight fires a beam from his lance as he notes how Pym has given up his Giant Man identity since their last encounter, and boasting that no matter how large or small a target Pym presents, he will not elude Nathan Garrett! USAgent smashes one of his patriotic foes, asking them what they are doing in the Legion of the Unliving. ‘I wasn’t lucky enough to waste you the last time we met!’ he exclaims. ‘The coma you left us in was as good as being dead!’

The Wasp flies towards who she assumes to be the Human Torch, and assuming it isn’t Johnny Storm, she decides it has to be the original, so she asks him if he isn’t supposed to be deactivated or something. The Wasp’s foe doesn’t reply, only shoots intense beams of heat at her. The Wasp thinks that her former teammate may be an android, but that he is acting more like a robot - set to kill on command!

Quicksilver speeds around Oort the Living Comet, who tries to blast him, while pointing out that they never did find out which of them is faster. ‘What are you talking about, Oort - or whatever your name is? I never even heard of you before!’ Pietro exclaims, before realizing that Oort’s blasts are heading towards Wanda, so he races towards his sister, and is shot in the back, as Oort remarks that Quicksilver hasn’t changed since they met in the 50th Century. Oort reveals that even there, Quicksilver was overly protective of his sister, and motioning to Wanda, who doesn’t even flinch as her brother falls wounded at her feet, Oort remarks that she obviously couldn’t care less whether her brother lives or dies.

Meanwhile, back at Avengers Compound, Agatha Harkness reveals herself, and holding onto her familiar, the car Ebony, she looks at the shadow of Immortus, declaring that he has gone back to Limbo where he truly belongs, nevertheless though, everything is beginning to come out into the open. Agatha reveals that she half-sensed his lurking presence behind poor Wanda’s misfortune - her increased powers, her growing alienation from humanity - even her objectively non-existent children. The old woman reveals that is the reason she stayed out of sight when Immortus appeared, as she did not wish to risk being put to sleep like the four-footed Inhuman, especially as she has so many important things to do.

The uber-witch speaks directly to the facsimile of Immortus and tells him that his almost unmeasurable power made him careless, otherwise he surely would have noticed when she cast her furtive spell to keep his three-dimensional doppelganger here on Earth when he spirited the Avengers away. Agatha prays that Immortus can detect no echoes of it in his far-flung realm while she does what she must. ‘For as you know full well, Earth’s very timelines are in danger of unraveling, like threads in a fallen skein…but I for one am far from certain that you are the one to knit them up again!’

Back in Limbo, ‘Still using the Mandarin’s hand-me-down gadgets, huh Swordsman - even in the beyond?’ Hawkeye asks as he dodges the blast, although the Swordsman replies with an equally effective comment - ‘Says the man who’d still be shooting apples off people’s heads - if not for a technological care package from Tony Stark!’ The Swordsman asks Hawkeye if he would like a free demonstration of what he will do to Clint’s Avenger friends without any of his gadgetry. With that, the Swordsman uses his blade to block Clint’s arrows, sending them crashing into some rocks, and causing a landslide.

The Swordsman boasts that he will always be the teacher, and Hawkeye always the pupil. ‘Oh, yeah? Well, “teach” - here’s one of those apples you were talking about before!’ Clint declares as he fires an arrow at the Swordsman, who remarks ‘You haven’t learned a thing in the years since my death, Hawkeye - if you think a second rocket arrow will -’ The Swordsman is cut off mid-sentence, and screams as Clint’s arrow strikes his sword, and as Jacques falls to the ground, Clint reveals that it wasn’t another rocket arrow, but an electro-arrow, all 21,000 volts of it. Clint stands over his former mentor tells him that he shouldn’t have made that crack about what he was going to do to the others. Clint realizes that as he knew the Swordsman the best, it was up to him to stop him - at any cost. ‘Do me a favor okay? Don’t let Immortus being you back to life again. I really don’t think I could take that!’

Back at Avengers West Compound, Agatha and the shadow of Immortus stand in a pentagram, and Agatha declares that she now, at last, must know the full story at which she has only dimly guessed. Ebony sits on the outside of the mystic circle as Agatha casts her spell: ‘O Hecate and Demeter and Rhiannon, ye who ruled when the Earth was so young - this image which shares mind with Immortus - make speak with the Time-Lord’s own tongue!’ Ethereal energies swirl around the old witch as she tells “Immortus” to tell her freely, beyond the chance of untruth and sin - what he has schemed all these years in dark Limbo, and the past of fair Wanda therein. A trance-like “Immortus” replies ‘Yes…I will tell you!’

Back in the timeless Limbo, Hank Pym and the Black Knight are having a fight in flight, and the Black Knight compliments Hank on how clever it was of him to carry a shrunken airship in his pocket. However the Knight asks Hank what he is going to do now, as he fires a beam of energy from his lance at Hank’s flight craft. As the rover is struck, Hank leaps from it with a flight pack on his back, asking the Black Knight if his sources in the hereafter didn’t warn him about his personal hover pack. The Black Knight is worried at how close Hank is getting, and tries to maneuver himself so that he can blast Hank out of the air, while the good Dr. Pym remarks that today’s Black Knight told the Avengers that this Black Knight had repented before he died, ‘But it seems that was just wishful thinking on your nephew’s part!’

Hank hovers right next to the Black Knight, who tells him to get away, only to fall from his Pegasus. Hank is knocked off balance too, and begins to plummet to the ground along with the Black Knight, and Hank supposes that the Knight suddenly remembered falling to his death years ago while fighting Iron Man and panicked. Hank manages to stabilize his descent before he smacks the ground, but it is too late for the Black Knight. Hank drops to the ground by the Black Knight, whose Pegasus stands by him now, and thinks that Nathan Garrett has died a second time, the same way he did the first. Hank looks around and realizes that the Avengers seem to be winning their share of these little fights, but wonders why he still feels lousy about it.

Back on Earth and in real-time, the shadow of Immortus remarks trance-like that he must reveal what Agatha Harkness commands him, for he has not the fierce will of the real Immortus, as he is only a shadow.

(Shown with various Flashback / Flash-forward Images)
‘I was born in the 30th Century upon an Earth parallel to your own…’ To Immortus, it was a repugnant world, for in its smothering embrace of luxury, there were few surprises and fewer challenges. Only in ancient images of such long-dead heroes as the Fantastic Four did he find even fleeting excitement. Not to mention, both he and Mr. Fantastic had the same ancestor - Nathaniel Richards. A pre-Immortus knew that Nathaniel Richards had journeyed from his Earth to this one, a millennium earlier, and there, by a woman named Cassandra, he sired a son, Immortus’ ancestor.

So, the pre-Immortus was inspired to seek out the isolated shrine Nathaniel had left behind, and there made a startling discovery - Nathaniel Richards had invented the first time machine, and had left part of it, and plans for its operation, hidden in the shrine. The pre-Immortus rebuilt the machine, re-shaped it into a sphinx to take advantage of the religious beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians, and set the controls for 6000 years in the past. Ironically, it was the Fantastic Four who defeated him in that era, where he ruled for a time as the pharaoh Rama-Tut, and so he fled. In days to come, he also became Kang the Conqueror - actually, via divergences not important here, there was a virtual legion of Kangs - and in time, he took a separate identity from them all…Immortus!

USAgent is kicked in the face by one of the Wingers, and while he gathers himself, both his patriotic enemies grab some very large jagged spikes from the rock-like wall. Left-Winger tells Right-Winger that it is bad enough Agent hassled their mothers simply because he blames the two of them for his parents death. ‘Right! Then he went and blew us up real good on top of it!’ Right-Winger reminds his partner. Both men rush towards USAgent with the fierce spikes pointed at him, and Left-Winger declares that they are going to fix it so that the next time somebody whips up a Legion of the Unliving, USAgent is right there to answer the role call. Agent thanks Left-Winger for offering to sponsor him for membership, ‘But I think I’ll pass!’ he exclaims as he tosses his trusty shield along the ground, tripping Left Winger up, and leaping out of the way as both Left and Right Winger plunge their spikes into each other. ‘Welcome back to the dead zone, boys’ Agent remarks as he collects his shield and stands over the bodies of his fallen foes.

(Shown with various Flashback / Flash-forward Images)
As Immortus, the uber-being was more contemplative than his Kang counterparts, who were dedicated to the conquest of historical eras. So he sequested himself in the ageless dimension known as Limbo and dedicated himself to the study of that ultimate enigma - time itself. To the strange realm came a trio of beings spawned at the end of this time-cycle. They called themselves the Time Keepers and had selected Immortus to be taught the secrets of time - and he learned much under their tutelage. With their vast powers, the Time Keepers appointed Immortus as Custodian of the Time Stream, for the period in which he had lived as Kang - from 3000 BC to 4000 AD.

Immortus’ task was to monitor all time travel within those seven millennia and untangle the realities brought about by the various Kangs, and even, on one occasion, a divergent Rama-Tut. It is apparently fortunate that Immortus was more than a match for any and all of them, and over the years he has developed a facility for giving facile explanations - some might call them falsehoods - when pressed to reveal his motivations by the likes of Thor or the Avengers. Yet, all the while, Immortus has remained true to the visions he has seen in his Chrono-Crystal - and to the ultimate purpose of the Time Keepers. A purpose he has vowed to fulfil in exchange for total mastery over seventy centuries.

‘What is the Keepers’ purpose, Immortus? WHAT?’ Agatha demands.

While back in Limbo, Iron Man 2020 tells his uncle to face it, ‘You’re like some primitive stealth bomber up against a star raker from my day!’, before revealing that he got hold of his armor the old fashioned way - ‘I bought it!’ The real Iron Man mutters that he supposes there is nothing new under the sun 30 years from now - including Iron Man. ‘Maybe not new, but definitely improved!’ 2020 boasts, before declaring ‘Whoever you are in there, you’re last century’s model!’, and punching Iron Man across the chamber.

Iron Man knows that his opponent is right, the armor he wears is obsolete compared to the newcomers. ‘But what about the man inside this armor? Am I obsolete too? Well so what if I am - at least in his era? I’m still the original Iron Man - and this clown - moving in for the kill - is just a copy!’ Tony reminds himself that he is the original and the enemy is the copy. That he is the real McCoy - ‘He’s a cheap fake!’ Iron Man shouts before leaping up off the ground and giving Iron Man 2020 a good old fashioned punch in the face, causing him to fall to the ground. ‘What’s the matter, Arno? They don’t have certificates of authenticity where you come from?’ Tony jokes.

(Shown with illustrative imagines depicting various historical figures)
Agatha asks Immortus what it is he is holding back from her, reminding him that he has told her of many of the divergent timelines he has obliterated - wherein sovereigns and presidents have met fates different from those they knew in this world’s history - where Napoleon once stood victorious in conquered Moscow. Where three Avengers were killed by an alternate Hydro-Man’s bomb, and where the mere existence of a harmless little man named Leonard Tippit caused World War Three to occur in 1985.

Agatha fears that she suspects what Immortus’ transformation and capture of poor Wanda has to do with all of this - but she still must know for certain. ‘Tell me, essence of Immortus! I command you to tell me!’ Agatha screams. The Immortus-shadow replies by telling Agatha that she already knows - that the Scarlet Witch is a nexus being - one who belong equally to all possible time lines - all realities and divergences… ‘So that, through her, all futures can be totally safeguarded - inexorably controlled - by Immortus, Master of Time!’

(Present / reality)
‘Just like when we were kids, isn’t it, Simon?’ The Grim Reaper asks as he slashes away at his brother, before asking him if he remembers when he stole that pocket knife and Simon was afraid Eric was going to cut him with it. Simon exclaims that Eric is dead, and even though he knows Eric is responsible for him being resurrected, it was different, for he wasn’t really dead, just in some weird coma, whereas the Grim Reaper, Eric Williams, is stone cold dead! ‘So? Come on in! The water’s fine!’ Eric laughs as he extends his scythe once more, this time slicing him.

Backing his brother up a flight of stairs, the Grim Reaper asks Wonder Man is startled that his scythe hurts him in Limbo, since it didn’t hurt when he was alive. Suddenly, Wonder Man grabs the Grim Reaper by the throat and remarks that while Eric is here, he is alive, which means ‘I can choke the life out of you if I have to!’ although Simon adds ‘Don’t make me!’, when suddenly Wonder Man is caught up in an electric blast, as the Grim Reaper tries to electrocute him. Simon hangs on for dear life, when suddenly, there is a snap - and the electricity stops. ‘NO!’ shouts Simon, as he realizes his grip was so strong that he broke his brothers neck. Simon assumes that Immortus’ control over Eric was so strong that Eric wouldn’t quit fighting until he was dead again. Standing over his brother’s lifeless body, Simon exclaims ‘You’re going to pay for this, Immortus! So help me - you’re going to pay!’

(Shown with Flashback images from throughout the Avengers history)
Immortus claims that his plans were laid long before he or any Kang first faced the original Avengers - even before he sent his minion the Space Phantom to test their strength. Immortus regrets that if he had succeeded in breaking up the Avengers way back then, then the Scarlet Witch would never have joined them, meaning it would have been so much easier to manipulate her over the years. Agatha asks Immortus if what he is saying is that every time he has opposed any super heroes, it has always been a part of some master plan. The Immortus-shadow replies that is the truth, despite what he may have led others to believe at the time. ‘You see, I have no purpose in life but my plan!’

Immortus reveals that, to that end, he showed the Vision a complex visual lie wherein his synthozoid body was created from that of the original Human Torch. So once the Vision was satisfied - wrongly - that he finally knew the secret of his origins, he felt free to ask a beautiful mutant to become his bride - the Scarlet Witch. Immortus remarks that, ironically, the wedding of the Swordsman’s ghost with that of Mantis the Celestial Madonna, was the least important of the two marriages he performed on that fateful day. Immortus reminds Agatha that Wanda, now married, wanted children so badly that her hex power caused her to actually bear them. Immortus adds that he always knew that one day the children would cease to exist - with devastating effects upon their doting mother.

(Present / reality)
Agatha exclaims that she knows Immortus is telling the truth, ‘You manipulated that poor girl’s life for years - so she would one day learn she had been living a lie!’ Immortus adds that the resulting trauma would make the Scarlet Witch at last a powerful and indispensable puppet, before asking what higher purpose could she possible have served.

Back in Limbo, the Wasp uses her sting against her opponent, still believing him to be the Human Torch, she urges him to fight back, telling him to break free of Immortus’ control, thinking to herself that he has to break free soon, because her stings are not going to keep him off balance for much longer. Suddenly, Janet’s orange opponent asks her why she keeps calling him “Torch”, and shoots a fireball at her. Jan dodges it, knowing she cannot fly a predictable path as he is likely to get her more easy.

Suddenly, her foe reveals himself, announcing that he is not the Human Torch, but Toro! ‘What? Wait - don’t!’ the Wasp exclaims, confused, while Toro lets loose a rapid blast of several fire balls, knocked to the ground, Jan thinks that the Torch couldn’t die because he is an android. Toro looms over the Wasp, informing her that Kang the Conqueror once believed he was the Torch too when he was gathering the first Legion of the Unliving. ‘I was a man - so I could - and the Mad-Thinker murdered me! Just like Immortus is going to make me kill you - right now!’

(Shown with Flashback images from recent events in the Scarlet Witch’s life)
Immortus reveals to Agatha Harkness that, over time, he slowly seduced the Vision into attempting to dominate the Earth by taking over its computers, and after he tried that, it was easy to subliminally influence a multi-national security alliance to take him apart in such a way that although his android body could later be more or less reassembled, the Vision’s particular mind and memory, and thus his love for the Scarlet Witch, became part of a dead and unrecapturable past. Immortus reveals that soon afterward, even while he was subtly increasing Wanda’s hex power, he made certain she was one of Seven Brides-to-be of Set, thus furthering undermining her confidence by making her fear she was doomed, always to be a victim of circumstances beyond her control.

‘Perhaps she was, at that’ Immortus remarks, reminding Agatha of Wanda’s rather coincidental capture later by the human servants of the micro-organism known as “That Which Endures”, before explaining that Master Pandemonium, who kidnapped Wanda’s “children”, causing her pain and terror, was unknowingly obeying Immortus’ secret suggestions. ‘And when her offspring vanished forever…you, dear lady, did me the service of explaining to her how they never truly existed!’ Immortus reveals that this was the final straw which turned Wanda into a hard-hearted human-hater - and thus perfect for his own purposes. Immortus adds that Magneto’s blundering along at that time was an annoying, but temporary nuisance, one which scarcely delayed the implementation of his plan.

(Present / reality)
Suddenly, Agatha has a vision of Limbo, and seeing all of the Legion of the Unliving glow, they vanish back into oblivion, while Agatha screams ‘I realize, at last, just what that plan is!’

Characters Involved: 

Hawkeye, Iron Man, Dr. Hank Pym, Scarlet Witch, USAgent, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Avengers West Coast)

Agatha Harkness
Ebony (Agatha Harkness’ cat)


Black Knight IV, Grim Reaper, Iron Man 2020, Left-Winger & Right-Winger, Oort the Living Comet, Swordsman, Toro (all Legion of the Unliving)

In Immortus’ Flashback / Flash-forward:
Immortus / Kang / Rama-Tut
Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)

The Time Keepers

In Illustrative Timeline Image:
Scarlet Witch
Hawkeye, Dr. Hank Pym, Wonder Man

Queen Elizabeth I & other royal figure
President Abraham Lincoln & Lincoln’s Wife

President John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Leonard Tippet

In Flashbacks throughout the Avengers’ history:
Captain America, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp (all Avengers)
Reanimated Swordsman
Thomas & William Maximoff

Professor Phinneas Horton

In Flashback Images of recent Avengers West Coast adventures:
Scarlet Witch


Master Pandemonium
Thomas & William Maximoff

Andromeda, Dagger, Jean Grey, Invisible Woman, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Storm (The Seven Brides of Set)

Story Notes: 

The Limbo that Immortus rules should not be confused with the Limbo ruled by Belasco, Magik and later Amanda Sefton.

The Scarlet Witch went into a trance in Avengers West Coast #60.

The Lethal Legion:
The Grim Reaper a.k.a. Eric Williams is the diabolical brother of Wonder Man and the Vision, and was believed to have been killed in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #2, then returned to plague his family as a zombie in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #12. He later returns to life in Avengers West Coast #65.

The Swordsman a.k.a. Jacques Duquesne was the mentor of Hawkeye, and although he was often on the wrong side of the law, was made an Avenger for a time, but killed in battle by Kang, while protecting his lover Mantis. His body was later reanimated by an alien Cotati, and after marrying Mantis, together they had a son, the future Celestial Messiah. [Giant Sized Avengers #4] He has been a member of other Legion’s of the Unliving as well.

Left-Winger (Hector Lennox) & Right-Winger (Jerome Johnson) are responsible for the deaths of USAgent’s parents. USAgent got revenge on them by tying them to a oil tanker at Roxxon Oil, which blew up, but thanks to their advanced abilities, they did not die and are apparently still both in a coma to this day. [USAgent (1st series) #3]

Actually, no-one is likely to remember Oort the Living Comet because he died in the (possible) future. This marks his first appearance, though he does appear in the Avengers Forever mini series.

The Black Knight IV a.k.a. Professor Nathan Garrett is the uncle of the current and most well-known Black Knight, Dane Whitman. He died after battling Iron Man way back in Avengers (1st series) #47.

Iron Man 2020 A.D. (a.k.a. Arno Stark) is the alternate / possible reality nephew of Tony Stark from Earth-8410. He first appeared in Machine Man (second series) #2.

Toro, the side-kick of the original Human Torch, was murdered in Sub-Mariner #14.

Iron Man’s comment about being the third Iron Man is an obvious remark to try and convince the others that he is not Tony Stark, which of course he is. Tony is the first Iron Man, and the second is James “Rhodey” Rhoades, later known as War Machine.

Johnny Storm is the second, and most well-known Human Torch, of the Fantastic Four.

The Scarlet Witch used her powers to deactivate the original Human Torch in Avengers West Coast #57, only several issues after his “resurrection” in Avengers West Coast #50.

Indeed, the Swordsman does return in at least one other Legion of the Unliving, this time along with several other deceased Avengers, all reanimated with by the Grim Reaper. At the time though, Hawkeye was absent from the team. [Avengers (3rd series) #10-11]

The Avengers fought the first Space Phantom way back in Avengers (1st series) #2. Oddly, the flashback panel in which Kang mentions this depicts Captain America, who of course didn’t show up until #4.

Immortus married the Scarlet Witch & the Vision and Mantis & the reanimated corpse of the Swordsman in Giant Sized Avengers #4, however no one knew at the time that it was Immortus who married them.

Wanda became pregnant in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #3, and gave birth in #12, only for the revelation that her children are actually the lost souls of Mephisto that her powers latched onto and shaped into children in Avengers West Coast #52.

The Vision was captured, taken a part and rebuilt a new in “The Vision Quest” [West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #42-45]

Agatha Harkness erased Wanda’s memory of her “children” in Avengers West Coast #52.

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