The Royal City of Attilan, Hala, where numerous Inhumans watch a ceremony unfolding, as do members of the Avengers - Johnny “USAgent” Walker, Dr Henry “the Wasp” Pym, Hercules, Cassie “Stature” Lang and the new Vision - as their teammate Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff is presented with a medal by his ex-wife Crystalia Amaquelin, while their daughter Luna, Queen Medusa, Gorgon and Karnak preside over the ceremony. ‘We are gathered here in the center of the Kree Empire, in the heart of Attilan, to pay tribute to a true hero!’ Crystal exclaims. ‘Pietro Maximoff, Mighty Avenger, father of my child…for your services in helping us repel Devos the Devastator, we welcome you back into our royal family!’
‘I am -’ Quicksilver begins, while thinking ‘A fraud. A liar. I am -’, ‘Honored, Crystal. And grateful. Thank you for restoring my good name. It’s all I have left’. Crystal tells her ex-husband that it is the least they can do. ‘To think, all these years you’d been replaced by a Skrull. That it was he who’d betrayed us. But now we know. Now every Inhuman knows the truth!’ Crystal proclaims, while Luna stares at her father crossly. ‘No. Only the one who matters most, our daughter, Luna. Thanks to her powers, she knows I’m lying - that there was no Skrull’ Pietro thinks to himself.
Pietro tells himself that he is the fastest man alive, and yet, even he cannot keep up with all this deception. ‘I’ve lost my daughter’s respect. You’re remarried. And the only reason I’m with Pym’s rejects…is in the hope of reuniting with my sister’ Quicksilver tells himself, before motioning to his teammates and remarking that it is time that they headed home. Dr Pym declares that he is sure the Princess understands, as she knows the demands of being an Avenger. ‘And maybe some day in the future, I will again’ Crystal replies, bidding the Avengers farewell and safe journey.
Pym exclaims that there is no need for all the concern, pointing out that thanks to their Infinite Mansion, they are pretty much a door-to-door service, before Karnak approaches him, asking for a word, as there is something he has noticed. ‘As you know it is my ability to detect the weaknesses of all things. This extends beyond the physical, to the spiritual and the abstract’ Karnak explains. He remarks that in their past encounters he found Pym riddled with weaknesses, but today, far, far less. ‘I’ve been working on that, Karnak. Thanks for noticing’ Hank smiles as he and the other Avengers depart.
Infinite Avengers Mansion, where Amadeus Cho, Jocasta and Jarvis have been waiting for their friends. ‘Home sweet home’ Hank remarks, while USAgent exclaims, ‘Can you believe this guy? A few days ago, his “magic doorways” left us in the middle of nowhere. We had to bum a ride to Tibet. Now? We hop down the gall and we’re in the Kree Galaxy!’. Jarvis tells USAgent that there have been some changes since he was last here. The new Vision remarks to Cassie that the other Avengers did not wait for them. ‘I would have thought at least our fellow Young Avengers…’ he begins, ‘Guess this is the downside of pulling double duty’ Stature tells her partner, adding that it is not like they haven’t done their fair share of bailing on the Young Avengers.
‘It’s a pity, ma’am. I’m sure their help would have been most welcome’ Jarvis remarks, to which Hank exclaims ‘Jarvis, are you saying…?’, while Jocasta announces that they have been monitoring a number of developing situations around the globe. ‘You’re all needed, Dr Pym. Urgently’ she exclaims. ‘No rest for the wicked, huh?’ Johnny remarks as he readies his pistol. ‘Not when you’re with this team’ Amadeus remarks. ‘Aye. Isn’t it glorious? Now let’s go smite the hell out of something!’ Hercules exclaims.
Soon, the Mighty Avengers have split into three groups to deal with a strange trio of villains, attacking various parts of the globe, all reported by GNN’s “Avengers Watch” for January 2010. In New Delhi, USAgent, Quicksilver and Amadeus Cho deal to the electrical menace Zzzax. The new Vision and Jocasta foil a plot by Dansen Macabre to put all of Paris in a city-wide trance. And Hercules, Dr Pym and Stature take down the would-be world conqueror Terminus in Pisa. ‘We’re coming to you live, one-to-one with team member Hercules, for his opinion on today’s events!’ a reporter announces.
This report is watched by a furious Norman Osborn a.k.a. Iron Patriot, from his office in Avengers Tower, New York. ‘According to our most recent polls, outside of the United States, most of the world is viewing your team as the “real” Avengers…as opposed to the official American-sanction team. What’s your take on that?’ the reporter asks. Hercules replies that it is his belief that in task, the proof is in the doing, but Osborn doesn’t want to listen, and shouts ‘ENOUGH!’ as he smashes the television screen.
Meanwhile, in Asgard, over Broxton, Oklahoma, Loki watches Osborn, who shouts ‘How long must this farce play out?’ Loki smiles, ‘How long indeed?’ he remarks, before declaring that it looks as though Osborn has reached the tipping point. ‘All that is needed is one more piece to send you over the edge and into my waiting arms. Hmmm, yes, this should do nicely’ Loki decides as he gazes down over Project Pegasus.
Inside the high-security complex, several guards are taking a man strapped to a trolley down a corridor. ‘…just saying, this is probably illegal. We could face charges’ one of the guards tells his colleagues. ‘What are you on about?’ one of them replies. ‘Jensen’s worried ‘cause he saw that video online of Osborn doing experiments on people. Cutting ‘em up and stuff. Look, this is different. This guy’s a super villain. You think anybody’s gonna care about his civil rights?’ another exclaims. Another Project Pegasus staff member approaches the guards, telling them to knock it off, as the chamber is on-line, so they need to be very careful. ‘That neural scrambler is the only thing giving us control over his powers. We can’t afford any mistakes while we’re hooking him up!’ he exclaims, while the mysterious prisoner moans from under the neural scrambler, and drool drips from his mouth.
‘Perish the thought’ Loki smirks as he casts a spell over Project Pegasus. ‘What the hell? We can’t be losing power!’ the Project Pegasus officer exclaims, boasting that they have got eight redundancy systems. ‘This can’t be happening!’ he exclaims, while the prisoner smiles as the neural scrambler stops working. ‘Heh…’ he exclaims, before bursting through his restraints, ‘What can I tell you, doc? Looks like somebody up there…really likes old Crusher Creel!’ exclaims the Absorbing Man. ‘Somebody take him out!’ the doctor exclaims, but the Absorbing Man knocks out all of the Project Pegasus guards.
‘Turning into solid steel. Does the trick every time!’ the Absorbing Man exclaims, deciding that before someone like Thor or Iron Man sticks their @#% in this, he better hightail it out of here. But, suddenly, Loki appears before Creel Crusher: ‘Not so fast, Creel’ he exclaims, reminding him that it was his magic which first transformed him into the Absorbing Man. ‘And that gives me more than enough influence to guide you. Whether you know it or not’ Loki exclaims. ‘…or on second thought…this is Project Pegasus we’re talking about. Who knows what kinda top secret stuff I could get my hands on here?’ Creel remarks as he walks out of the chamber, while the Project Pegasus doctor manages to contact security, informing them that Creel has broken free and that he is heading towards section three. ‘Someone better send in the big guns! We need the best HAMMER’s got!’ he exclaims.
Back in Avengers Tower, ‘Damn it!’ Osborn shouts as he opens the door to a meeting room. The room is empty save for the table and chairs. ‘I called this inner circle to order! Where is everyone?’ Osborn shouts. ‘The mutants defect! Doom refuses to answer! But my own men?’. He orders the computer screen on and the call to be placed: ‘Hood? Where are you?’ Norman shouts. ‘Osborn? What is this crap? I don’t have time for this now’ the Hood replies on screen. ‘Listen, Parker. I’m in charge here, and when I give the call -’ Norman exclaims, but the Hood interrupts, ‘We’ll do this later, okay?’ he remarks as he ends the call.
Norman raises his hands and exclaims ‘What’s going on here? How dare they disrespect me! This is my empire! I put this together! And I can damn well tear it apart!’. Suddenly, Loki appears, apologizing to Osborn for his tardiness. ‘You have summoned me, and as ever, faithful Loki is here to serve’ the God of Mischief announces. ‘Finally! It’s good to see someone here is honouring their commitments!’ Osborn declares. ‘Of course. What would you have of me?’ Loki asks. ‘Pym’s Avengers. The also-rans. I want them crushed!’ Osborn exclaims. ‘I want to bring the full force of our alliance against them - till not even one Pym Particle remains!’ Osborn boasts. ‘As you wish. But all our forces? Against, and let me put tis bluntly…that man who calls himself the Wasp?’
‘If you think he merits such attention…’ Loki smirks. ‘Well…of course not, but…’ Osborn begins. ‘But he’s upstaging you, isn’t he? Basking in the praise you so rightly deserve. Your image has been tarnished of late’ Loki adds, trying to get Osborn worked up. ‘The glory fading from your moment of triumph - when you, Norman Osborn, saved the world!’ Loki adds that it sounds like what he needs is an opportunity, a chance to outshine Pym’s petty achievements. ‘The world needs to be reminded of its greatest hero - its knight in red, white and blue armor!’
Suddenly, Victoria Hand, Osborn’s assistant, enters. ‘Mr Osborn?’ she calls out. ‘What is it, Victoria? Can’t you see I’m busy?’ Osborn retorts. Victoria apologizes, before informing him that HAMMER has just received a call from upstate - that there has been an accident at Project Pegasus. ‘They’re reporting an omega level threat. What should we do?’. Osborn grins wickedly, ‘Do, Ms Hand? Alert the media. And summon my Avengers!’
Back in the Infinite Avengers Mansion, ‘How does she feel?’ Hank asks. ‘The heft seems right. So, you just whipped this up in an hour?’ Walker asks as he tests his new shield. ‘Well, I am Earth’s Scientist Supreme’ Pym replies. ‘You’re never going to drop that, are ya?’ Johnny asks him. ‘Are you kidding? I just had new business cards made’ Hank declares. ‘Geez. You sure this is as indestructible as my last shield?’ Johnny asks, holding it over his head. ‘Considering your last shield was destroyed, I was hoping for better’ Hank replies. Nearby, Amadeus is playing chess with the new Vision, and tells the Young Avenger that he is in check, and that it is his turn. ‘Check? But…? I have 31st century programming. How are you doing this, Amadeus?’ the new Vision replies, astonished.
Stature, in an increased size, is engaged in an arm-wrestle with Hercules, while Jarvis and Jocasta watch them. ‘I can do this! And then you’re gonna have to pay up!’ Stature exclaims. ‘Madame Cassie, you’re far too young to be gambling’ Jarvis tells her. ‘Not to fear, Edwin. It is a forgone conclusion. There is no Earthly way I am losing this wager’ Hercules boasts. ‘If - I win - he has to put a dang shirt on!’ Cassie exclaims. ‘All right, let’s give this baby a spin’ Johnny exclaims as he tosses his shield. ‘Blast it, she’s going wild. Heads up!’ he calls out. ‘Thank you for the warning, Agent’ the new Vision remarks, as he turns intangible while examining the chess board. The shield passes through him, rebounding off the chair, it hit’s the robotic Jocasta in the head, but she is not fazed.
‘Got it!’ Hercules calls out as he catches the shield with his free hand. ‘Not even distracted one bit, are ya?’ Stature exclaims. ‘Nay’ Hercules replies. ‘All right. I give’ Cassie mutters, while USAgent asks Pym if he cares to explain what happened there. Pym replies that the shield is balanced perfectly, and suggests that Walker’s previous one was flawed, and he just got too used to it. ‘The last one was fine. Maybe you’re unbalanced’ Walker replies. ’John, I know what I’m doing. I’m the Scientist -’ Pym begins, before an exasperated Walker rolls his eyes, ’I swear, say “Scientist Supreme” one more time and I’m gonna punch you in the face!’ Walker declares. ’Madame Jocasta?’ Jarvis calls out as he rubs her head where she was hit with the shield. ’She’s not inhabiting this body. I wonder where she could be’ Jarvis remarks, to which Cassie replies that she thought Jocasta was joining Quicksilver on a run.
Indeed, ’Quicksilver, if you could slow down, please’ Jocasta calls out as her consciousness moves from one body to the next, while Quicksilver speeds around the Infinite Avengers Mansion. ’I did not ask for your company, automation’ Pietro retorts. ’And I am not giving it. I am providing a service…projecting my consciousness into these mile-markers…so that you do not get lost. This is called the Infinite Mansion for a reason’ Jocasta replies. ’So I see’ Pietro replies, while Jocasta asks him if he is running a search pattern. Pietro doesn’t answer, before admitting that he is. ’For the Scarlet Witch?’ Jocasta asks. ’WHY?’ Quicksilver shouts. Jocasta explains that her sensors detect that the Scarlet Witch is in the Mansion. ’WHERE? Where is she?’ Pietro exclaims, coming to a sudden halt. Jocasta reveals that the Scarlet Witch has just teleported into the main lobby where the rest of their teammates are currently. Quicksilver speeds up and races away, ’Of all the - that’s half a continent away!’ he exclaims.
‘Avengers! You are needed! To fight a foe no single hero could -‘ begins the “Scarlet Witch” as she materializes in the main lobby of the Infinite Avengers Mansion, but Stature interrupts: ‘Shut up! Uncle Hank! Don’t listen to her! She is pure frickin’ evil!’ Cassie exclaims, but Hank tells her to be at ease. The new Vision states that Cassie is correct, announcing that she has blocked their distress calls and tried to kill them. ‘She’s a known threat’ he adds. ‘I can vouch for that!’ Amadeus exclaims. ‘Good enough for me’ Hercules exclaims, while Walker taps him on the shoulder: ‘Shield?’ he asks. ‘You’ll get it back when you can control it’ Hercules replies.
‘Fine. If you’d rather sit here and squabble while innocent lives are in jeopardy…be my guest. Perhaps you’re not the heroes I believed you to be?’ the “Scarlet Witch” exclaims. Pym stares at Amadeus, trying to gain his attention, while Amadeus looks back, wondering why Pym is looking at him like that, before he sees Pym eyeing something up. ‘What? What do you want me to see?’ Amadeus wonders, before noticing the Ant-Man helmet nearby. Amadeus puts it on, ‘Cho, this is Pym. You reading me? I’m synching our brainwaves on the same frequency that I talk to ants’ Pym tells Hercules’ side-kick. ‘Like to think I’m a little smarter than an ant, thank you very much’ Cho replies.
‘Please. I want you to analyze these readings from my goggles’ Hank tells Cho, as he lowers his goggles. ‘Who! What is that?’ Amadeus exclaims. ‘Her mystical signature’ Hank explains. ‘Wait. You can detect magic now?’ Amadeus asks, confused. ‘It’s just energy, Cho. And energy follows rules. That’s science’ Hank explains. ‘Right. And you’re Earth’s Scientist Supreme’ Amadeus jokes. ‘Damn straight’ Hank replies, before telling the “Scarlet Witch” that whoever she is, she is right about one thing. ‘The Mighty Avengers will always go wherever we can do the most good. We have to keep our eye on the big picture, don’t we’ he exclaims. ‘A wise choice, Hank Pym. Prepare yourself the “Scarlet Witch” replies, while the new Vision tells Pym that he hopes he knows what he is doing. ‘That goes for me too, Uncle Hank’ Cassie adds. ‘Stow it, you two. This ain’t a democracy’ USAgent tells the Young Avengers. ‘Enough talk! To battle!’ Hercules smiles.
Suddenly, Quicksilver arrives on scene, ‘Ah! Our speedster! You are just in time, Pietro!’ Hercules exclaims. ‘Wanda! At last! I would have words with you -’ Quicksilver begins, but the “Scarlet Witch” smirks wickedly, ‘Sorry ,dear brother. Another time, perhaps. For now…there is work to be done!’ she exclaims as she vanishes, along with Pym, Walker, Hercules, Quicksilver and the two Young Avengers. ‘My word!’ Jarvis exclaims as the blinding teleportation light ripples around him. ‘Did you hear what Master Pietro said? He’s still calling our Scarlet Witch “Wanda”…has no one told him that Master Pym believes her to be an impostor?’ Jarvis asks. Jocasta remarks that it would appear that Henry has chosen not to inform Quicksilver of that fact at this point and time, while Amadeus suggests that they get to the command center. ‘I’ve got a lotta data in here to break down like the “lady” said…we got work to do!’ the youngster remarks, tapping on the Ant-Man helmet.
Meanwhile, in Upstate New York, at the Project Pegasus Compound, Iron Patriot and his “Avengers” have arrived, greeted by a frantic media. Hawkeye (actually, Bullseye), Sentry, Wolverine (actually, Daken), Spider-Man (actually, Venom) and Ms Marvel (actually, Moonstone) stand alongside Osborn while the media ask question after question: ‘…is it true the Absorbing Man has broken free inside the complex?’, ‘How can that be? Wasn’t he incarcerated elsewhere?’. Iron Patriot tells everyone to remain calm, that the Avengers are here and about to enter the facility and detain the Absorbing Man. ‘Trust me, there is no need for alarm’.
‘Trust you? Patriot, can you explain the disturbing videos online?’ a reporter asks. ‘More reports coming in of your team behaving in monstrous ways’. ‘In some cases, eating people!’ another declares. ‘Eating people? Y’know what, lday? Eat me!’ the fake Spider-Man exclaims. ‘Gargan! Button it or else!’ Moonstone whispers to Mac Gargan. ‘Director Osborn…isn’t this symptomatic of your previous failures?’ a blonde reporter asks. ‘Failures? I assure you, my team has a spotless record of -’ Osborn begins, before a reporter interrupts, ‘Back when you were running the Thunderbolts, your team supposedly contained Swarm…but weeks later, the real Avengers had to subdue that super villain again and -’ ‘”Real Avengers?” Ma’am, you are looking at the real -’ Norman retorts, when, there is a blinding flash of pink energy - and Pym, Walker, Hercules, Quicksilver and the two Young Avengers appear!
‘This is intolerable! Damn it, Pym, I don’t know how much more of this I can -’ Quicksilver complains, but Hank interrupts, telling ‘Not now, Pietro. It looks like we just landed in the thick of things’. Suddenly, ‘It’s them - the Mighty Avengers!’ one of the media gasps. ‘Dr Pym! Over here!’ one of them calls out. Hank waves and announces that they are here to help in any capacity. ‘Oh, I can smell the ratings on this already!’ the blonde reporter smiles. ’Director Osborn, it’s an honor, Sir!’ USAgent exclaims, saluting the villain. ’Zounds, man! Must thou be such a tool?’ Hercules asks. ’What the hell…?’ Osborn mutters, before thinking to himself ’Loki?’
The reporter addresses Hank as Wasp and asks him what his first step in containing this situation is. ’I’d say stopping this press conference and taking some action’ Hank replies. ’That’d probably be a good -’ he begins, before Osborn interrupts, ’One moment, please!’ he tells Dr Pym, quietly reminding hi that he has no authority here on American soil. ’I should arrest each and every one of you!’ Osborn warns him. ’Go for it, that’d play great on the nightly news’ Hank replies, before smiling at the cameras and remarking that they were just comparing notes. ’So, still slapping women around?’ Osborn asks. ’You still throwing ’em off bridges?’ Pym retorts.
Hercules steps between Pym and Osborn and tells them to cease the petty bickering. ‘And away with these reporters!’ the Olympian adds, pointing out that there will be time enough to sing their praises once the battle is done. ‘Now tells us, what is the nature of the threat we are about to face?’ he asks. ‘For you that’s classified’ Moonstone snaps, while Hercules contacts Amadeus, who, in the command center, exclaims ‘I’m way ahead of you, Herc’ Amadeus replies, announcing that he has hacked into HAMMER’s security footage of Project Pegasus, and reveals that it looks like their intruder is none other than Crusher Creel a.k.a. the Absorbing Man.
‘You hacked into…? Amadeus, I wanted you using all of our computers to analyze that data we were talking about’ Hank exclaims. ‘Doc, who are you talking to? I’m Amadeus Cho. I hacked in using the wi-fi on my kindle’. Hercules smiles, ‘I taught him everything he knows’ he exclaims. Suddenly, Amadeus utters ‘U-oh’ and announces that he has some bad news. ‘I was running a check on the most dangerous thing they’ve got in there…looking for the worst thing he could absorb and…’ his voice trails off.
While, inside Project Pegasus, the Absorbing Man busts down door after door, until he comes across something: ‘Holy *#$%! That - that’s the mother lode right there!’ he grins.
‘Cho? What is it? We lost you for a second’ Hank calls out as he radios Amadeus. ‘The very Earth itself doth tremble’ Hercules exclaims as the Mighty Avengers and Dark Avengers all steady themselves. ‘Not good’ Walker declares, while Cho continues his communication: ‘They were storing its fragments there! From the one Steve Rogers destroyed in West Virginia!’. ‘Fragments? What fragments?’ Hank asks. ‘The fragments…of a Cosmic Cube!’ Amadeus replies, as, suddenly, the Absorbing Man bursts through the roof of Project Pegasus, glowing, he shouts ‘YEAH! This’s what I’m talking about! You seeing this, world? Oh you are royally @#$% now!’
An explosion follows the Absorbing Man’s dramatic entrance. Moonstone, the new Vision and Sentry take to the air, while Stature increases her size. ‘He’s absorbed the power of a Cosmic Cube! He can be anything!’ the Sentry exclaims. ‘Sentry, we’re the Mighty Avengers. We excel at fighting the ones who can do anything’ the new Vision boasts. ‘AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!’ Iron Patriot and Dr Pym shout at once. ‘Jinx. You owe him a coke’ Stature leans down and tells Iron Patriot. ‘During the fight, when no one’s looking…I call dibs on killing the girl’ Bullseye tells Daken.