The first day of the end of the world. In the place where it all began: New York City. Where a rip in the fabric of reality appeared in the sky. And a man of another reality emerged… who has the terrible power that would lay waste to an entire planet.
A man, covered in shadows, falls out of the sky. He drops his gun and bag, and drops into a dumpster in an alley below. A woman has seen it happening and can only think of one thing “Fooood!”
The man that just fell down is known as Ashley J. Williams, known simply as “Ash.” He’s a world traveler, and traveler between worlds. He’s also an adventurer. A hero. A retail clerk. The woman walks over to Ash, still thinking of him as food. Ash notices and throws an empty can at the woman’s head, shouting at her to get away from him. He climbs out of the dumpster and tells the woman to leave him alone.
After she departs, Ash realizes he has to figure out exactly where he is. He thinks it’s funny, though, as he thought he was dead. The last thing he remembers is standing in a large, empty place that was filled with a blue color. A voice told Ash to walk into the light ahead of him. Ash saw it, and did as told. He guesses that means he isn’t dead after all, as he’s sure Heaven would have less garbage. The place rather smells like Hell, but he doesn’t see any devil.
Suddenly, Ash hears fighting nearby, and goes to check it out. It’s Daredevil fighting Thunderball. Ash corrects himself that he’s seeing a devil he doesn’t know. Daredevil dodges a punch from Thunderball and tells him to give it up, which Thunderball declines. Taking this in, Ash decides he’d better put a stop between the two combatants before somebody gets hurt. Only he doesn’t know which of the two is the good guy. Is the good guy using a construction tool of mass destruction as an artificial appendage? Or the idiot in the Beezlebub bodysuit? He takes out his chainsaw, and knows which horse he’ll be betting on in this race.
Before Ash can walk over to the two, someone with a dark voice calls out his name. It’s the Necronomicon! Ash thought he was rid of that old fool. Necronomicon smiles that, no matter where Ash travels, and for as long as he lives, he’ll never be rid of him. Necronomicon warns Ash to heed his warning, as they have seen the future. This world will die, and an army of the dead will rise! Ash doesn’t believe him and punches Necronomicon in the face. He activates his chainsaw and wants to kill his old adversary.
Daredevil and Thunderball see it all happening and stop their fighting. Daredevil thinks Ash should be ashamed of himself, trying to kill a defenseless old lady like that. Daredevil throws his billy club into Thunderball’s face, believing Ash is the newest member of the Wrecking Crew, and that he’s more twisted than the rest of them. He quickly jumps at Ash, who defends himself, not even know what the super hero is talking about. Ash tells Daredevil he made a mistake and should have stayed out of his business.
Suddenly, Thunderball gets back up and swings his wrecking ball into Daredevil’s back. Daredevil’s senses tried to warn him, but were too late and he is thrown against a wall. Ash smiles that he’s impressed at Thunderball’s weapon. Thunderball shakes hands with Ash and thanks him for the help, and says he should better be going. Ash smiles that it’s all in a days work, not noticing that Necronomicon is using this time to escape in an alley.
Not much later…
Ash sits in a café and reads in a Daily Bugle newspaper that the Wrecking Crew have escaped from the Riker’s Prison, and that their crime wave continues. He understands the mistake he made before. He keeps reading further headlines, which says: “Spider-Man: Incompetent Hero or Dangerous Menace?”, “Fantastic Four’s Founder’s Interdimensional Breakthrough” and “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Save Eastern Seaboard.”
He thinks it looks like he landed in a dimension full of these costumed clowns. He calls them all a bunch of amateurs. Still, if the Deadite threat is as bad as he thinks it could be, he might need some backup, so he might as well go to the top.
Ash arrives in the front gate of Avengers Mansion and someone over the intercom asks Ash to state his name and business. Rather than doing so, Ash just shoots the intercom, which brings the Avengers outside in quick order. Leading the group, Colonel America asks Ash if they can help him. Luke Cage, however, grabs Ash by his cloths and lifts him up, believing if they should instead skip ahead to the part where they pound Ash’s skinny butt into next week. Nearby, Thor uses his great strength to break Ash’s gun in half.
Luke releases Ash, who says they’ve got some serious business to discuss. Dire, end-of-the-world stuff. He’s got information about Deadites. He quotes what Necronomicon said earlier “This world will die, and an army of the dead will rise.” To this, Hawkeye replies he doesn’t even know what Deadites are. Iron Man, however, believes this sounds like a prank and asks Ms. Marvel what she thinks of it. Carol doesn’t know, as she certainly heard crazier. She suggests they listen to what Ash has to say. Colonel America agrees and ask Ash the exact nature of this threat, and how he came by this information.
Ash explains a bag lady told him about it, but that’s not the point. When Colonel America already doesn’t believe Ash anymore upon hearing that, Ash then adds that the woman was possessed by an evil spirit; the evil spirit from the Book of the Dead. Carol jokes to Janet that she’s convinced now they’ve got to upgrade security around there, while Vision and Thor have to do their best not to laugh. Ash says he knows how this sounds, but he’s not some kind of fruit loop. He has fought the Deadites. He even traveled through time to fight them. He even fought them when they locked him away in the loony bin that time. And now he’s here, in this dimension, and they’ll be coming here soon enough. They can mark his words on that.
He hears the Avengers almost laughing and shouts at them this isn’t a joke. Scarlet Witch goes to stand behind Ash, and uses a “Bamf” spell to teleport him away! Jarvis comes out of the mansion, telling the Avengers they chose the perfect time to get rid of Ash. They’ve just received word that something odd is transpiring midtown. Colonel America thanks Jarvis for the tip and says they’ll be heading there to investigate immediately. Hawkeye compliments Wanda on the Bamf spell, as he liked it. He wonders what she did to Ash, though. She smiles it looked like Ash was getting kind of hot under the collar, so she thought he could cool off a little.
Ash finds himself dropped in a lake. He splashes some ducks away in frustration and is angry at the Avengers, believing they probably wouldn’t be much help anyway… when it all begins. He looks up and sees lightning with that have a pink color on them. Ash panics, as he remembers now!
Ash is told by a voice to walk into the light, along with many other people besides him. An angel stepped forward and told Ash that chainsaws weren’t allowed in there. Ash felt down and asks what about his boomstick. On that instant, a scream is heard behind them. Ash jokes, on second thought, he’ll hold on to both weapons a little while longer.
The sky is turning dark, and more lightning bolts appear. Ash shouts that it’s happening here, too! He shouts out to everyone to listen to him: this world is going to end and that they’re all in terrible danger! He shouts at everyone to run back to their homes and get into safety.
Above Ash, the Quinjet already arrived. Carol notices Ash and informs Hawkeye it’s Ash again. Clint is beginning to think Ash is not a nut after all, but a dangerous nut. The craft lands, and the heroes all step out. Ash asks them if they are willing to listen to him now. “Not exactly,” Ms. Marvel responds.
Spider-Man joins the group and asks Colonel America what’s happening and if they need any help from him. Colonel America asks Spidey if he knows anything about the weird lightning, but he doesn’t. Colonel America hears Ash bragging to both the Black Widow and Wanda they couldn’t get enough of him, to which they both sigh. He then proposes to Spider-Man that, if he really wants to help, there might be something he can do.
A short while later, Spider-Man has trapped Ash in lots of webbing and webslings him away. An angry Ash shouts that the newspapers were right and that he really is a menace. Spidey jokes he heard that too, but thinks that picture of him in today’s morning edition is a beaut. Ash warns Spidey he doesn’t get it: the Deadites are coming! They’re going to overrun the entire world. He got the message right after he came here. Spider-Man asks Ash where he came from, exactly. A bit unsure how to respond, Ash says he came from the afterlife. Spidey doesn’t really believe that, but asks what it was like. Ash remembers the blood bath both he and the angel saw in Heaven, saying that it didn’t end well, that’s for sure.
Ash and the angel look at the person responsible for the massacre. Someone dressed in a golden uniform and a blue cape… a zombified Sentry! The Sentry immediately looked at Ash after his killings, and in return, Ash took a shot at him. Unfortunately, the Sentry survived and punched Ash into the light.
Spidey is not sure what to think of the story, but asks about the description of the attacker again. Ash looks down and panics a bit. He points out to Spider-Man that the Sentry has arrived as well, and defeated the Avengers! Plus he made zombies out of all of them, as well!
Colonel America is in pain when he “turns.” He vomits, but eventually completely gives in to his new form. A formerly killed Black Widow gets up, and screws her head back on her neck. “There… much better,” she says. She asks if anybody knows what’s going on. While Luke attacks an innocent bystander, Hawkeye says he is in no hurry to find out and fires his arrows at some other guy, trapping him against a wall. Hawkeye says he needs food, and by food, he means… flesh! He starts eating the poor guy.
Spider-Man is shocked and asks Ash if these are the Deadites he has been talking about. However, they don’t look like any Deadites Ash has seen. Then again, he has never been in a universe full of spandex-wearing super-chumps, either. He figures Deadites come in a few different flavors. Spider-Man swings back to the battle, but Ash wonders if they shouldn’t be going away from it instead. He’s not sure they’ll stand a chance against Earth’s Mightiest Cannibals.
Spidey says that may be so, but he won’t let any more innocents die when he’s got a chance to do something about it. He swings in front of Colonel America and rescues a girl, and swings her away together with Ash. As he webslings away again, Spidey tells Ash his friends will have a hard enough time dealing with what they’ve done so far when they are turned back to normal. He’s not going to let any more blood get on their hands. Ash doesn’t think they’ll be able to revert the Avengers back to normal, and calls Spidey insane if he believes otherwise.
Spider-Man lands the girl somewhere and warns her to get into safety. Still trapped in the webs, Ash asks what Spidey’s going to do with him. Spidey explains he’ll keep Ash this way until he gets a few answers. He asks Ash if it’s true when he said there’s nothing that has an effect on these Deadites. Ash thinks that they might have a shot with the Necronomicon. Maybe. He reveals there’s an ancient Sumerian Book of the Dead that seems to have a lot of power over the Deadites. If it even exists on this world.
Spidey wants to assume it does. He suggests they’ll both track down this Book so all this will be over. However, before they can move into action, Colonel America jumps right behind Spider-Man, and bites him in his neck! Spidey drops Ash, who falls down again. He lands in front of the same dumpster he did when he first arrived. Hawkeye, Luke and Ms. Marvel appear before him. Hawkeye jokes and asks his friends if anyone wants to have dibs on Ash’s brains, but nobody wants to.
It was the beginning of the end of the world. The displaced man returned to an Earth not his own. And Ash J. Williams fought Death’s army in both the present and the past… and found himself suddenly and decisively… out of time.