Mighty Avengers (1st series) #34

Issue Date: 
April 2010
Story Title: 
Pre-Siege Mentality

Dan Slott (writer), Neil Edwards (penciler), Andrew Currie with Andrew Hennessy (inkers), John Rauch (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Khoi Pham, Craig Young & John Rauch (cover),Taylor Esposito & Damien Lucchese (production), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Jarvis collects various breakfast foods from around the world for the Mighty Avengers, who are sitting around a table, discussing recent events, until Quicksilver declares that they should be locating the Scarlet Witch. Pym ignores him, talking more about the roster of the team, until he finally reveals to Quicksilver that the Scarlet Witch was never here - that it was Loki pretending to be her. Pym, Quicksilver, Hercules, Stature and the Vision make their way to the Isle of Silence in Asgard, and after battling trolls, manage to capture Loki. Quicksilver demands to know what Loki has done with his sister, and Pym effectively tortures Loki, who is as cryptic as ever with his responses. Loki calls out to his brother, Thor, for aid, and after finishing with a patient, Thor arrives, to find his apparent friends torturing Loki. They debate the situation for a time, and Loki claims that it was he in disguise as Eternity who dubbed Pym the Scientist Supreme. Thor and Quicksilver battle, until Pym agrees to shut down his contraption which holds Loki. Pym then asks Loki if he will join the Mighty Avengers, angering the others, who all abandon Pym. Back at the Infinite Avengers Mansion, Amadeus leaves after hearing what Pym asked Loki, while Jarvis notices something wrong with Jocasta - who has Ultron inside of her, waiting for his father - Pym - to return.

Full Summary: 

Broxton, Oklahoma, current home to the mystic realm of Asgard. In his exam room, Doctor Donald Blake asks a young patient how her foot injury happened, while he bandages her foot up. ‘I’d rather not. It’s embarrassing’ the girl replies. ‘You can trust me. I’m a Doctor’ Donald assures her. The girl replies that it was a project for her geology class, that she was collecting rock samples from the underside of Asgard, and she fell off her ladder. ‘I wasn’t even ten feet off the ground!’ she exclaims. Dr Blake calls her Annie and tells her that is nothing to be ashamed of. ‘Look at it this way…you fell from Asgard. That’s mythic!’

Dr Blake tells Annie that anyone who can survive falling from Asgard is all right in his book. Suddenly, a projection of Loki appears above Dr Blake: ‘Brother! Help me!’ Loki shouts, while Annie tells Dr Blake that is sweet of him to say. ‘They’re tearing me asunder! They’re - yahh!’ screams Loki. Dr Blake looks back at Annie, who asks him if he is okay. ‘You look ed out of it for a second’ she remarks. Dr Blake apologizes, and remarks that every now and then he experiences a recurring pain in his neck. Annie gets up to leave Dr Blake’s office, and Dr Blake tells her to come back if her foot acts up. ‘Thanks, Dr Blake. I hope you feel better’ Annie replies.

Dr Blake leaves his office, ‘I doubt it’ he tells himself. ‘This particular pain’s been plaguing me since…well, before “Donald Blake” was born’. Dr Blake slams his cane into the ground, and energy crackles around him as he tells himself that it is a good a sign as any that plea wasn’t intended for him, but for his better half - the Mighty Thor! With the transformation into Thor complete, Thor declares that his half-brother Loki entreats him to come to his aid. ‘I am a God and even I find that miraculous. Surely this is another of his deceptions’ Thor declares. ‘No matter. As kin and countryman, I am bound to answer his call’. With that, Thor uses his powerful hammer, Mjolnir, to rip wide the boundaries of space and time, and a portal opens, taking Thor to wherever his brother, the Lord of Lies and Mischief, may be.

Stepping through the portal, Thor finds himself in a gray, barren land. ‘I know this place. This is the Isle of Silence’ Thor declares. ‘Where all-father Odin once exiled Loki for one of his more treacherous acts’. Making his way across the depressing land, Thor finds several Trolls, lying motionless. He realizes that the blue trolls have not been struck down by Loki’s doing, nor by fell sorcery, but in fierce battle. ‘This does not bode well’ Thor decides. Loki’s projection appears once more: ‘Noble Thor! Dear brother! You are here! I beg of you! They hold me captive - just ahead -’ he exclaims. Thor spins his hammer once more: ‘Loki Laufeyson, be warned! If this be one of your tricks -’ Thor declares. ‘No trick! I swear! But hurry - their cruelty knows no bounds!’ Loki cries.

Moments later, Thor arrives in a citadel, only to find his brother strung up the wall with magic bonds. ‘At last…save me, brother!’ Loki cries. ‘Save me from the mighty Avengers!’ Loki shouts, as Thor sees who has captured his brother: Hercules! Dr Pym! Quicksilver! Stature and the new Vision!

Two hours ago, inside the Infinite Avengers Mansion. Edwin Jarvis walks down a long corridor, carrying a trolley on wheels behind him, singing “I’ve got the world on a string, sitting on a rainbow. Got the string around my finger. What a world, what a life…”. Every morning, the Avengers’ manservant prepares a special breakfast for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Using doorways in and out of Pymspace, the world is his marketplace. Coffee beans from Sao Paulo. Tea from Darjeeling. Eggs from Devonshire. Croissants from Paris.

Jarvis is keenly aware that as Avengers these men and women have far weightier things on their plates. Most often, their meals are barely touched, as attentions are turned to would-be world conquerors and alien invasions. It doesn’t bother Jarvis at all. He lives to serve, and right now, approaches a dining room table where the Avengers and their ally Amadeus Cho are seated. A very silent Jocasta listens as Dr Hank Pym a.k.a. the new Wasp tells his companions that he shrunk down Doctor Strange, and together they removed the bomb from Luke Cage’s heart. ‘Awesome!’ Amadeus declares. ‘That’s not all. You want to tell ‘em, Vizh?’ Hank adds.

The new Vision a.k.a. Jonas declares that not long after Doctor Pym and he were instrumental in returning Steve Rogers to this time period. ‘Can you believe it? Cap’s back!’ Cassie “Stature” Lang exclaims. ‘Aye, truly a day for rejoicing. But young Amadeus and myself have some most pressing news to impart. It appears my stepmother, Hera, is marshalling her Olympus Group for a purpose most sinister in its -’ Hercules declares, before being interrupted by Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff who shouts ‘ENOUGH!’

The mutant speedster tells his teammates that their first and only order of business should be locating his sister, the Scarlet Witch. ‘Well…’ Hank begins, while Amadeus announces that they have drawn up some plans that might help on that front. ‘It’s a device that should contain…”her”’ the Vision explains. ‘What we should do is bolster our ranks! With the USAgent taken from them, they are already a man down. ‘I wouldn’t worry about that, Herc. We’ll do fine with who we’ve got here’

Hercules asks Pym if he is mad, exclaiming that the Scarlet Witch is a powerful foe. ‘When she last struck in earnest…she destroyed the Mighty Avengers of old!’. Pym reminds Hercules that they have talked about this. ‘This isn’t the Scarlet Witch that you - we’ll talk about it later’. Suddenly, Quicksilver asks Pym what he is hiding. ‘Henry, I enjoy overwhelming odds as much as the next man or god. But there is something to be said about strength in numbers’ Hercules exclaims. ‘Look…I’ve already gone to everyone, hat in hand, to fill out our ranks. They’re all tied up elsewhere. You’re the best I can get’ Hank declares.

‘So that’s how you see us? We’re d-list or something? The remainders at the bottom of the bin?’ Stature asks. ‘Sorry, Cassie. I - I didn’t mean it like that’ Hank assures his “niece”. ‘Excuse me, if I may? I have seen Avengers come and go. I’ve seen rosters that have been full-to-bursting…and times when the ranks have been only three members strong’ Jarvis declares, motioning first to a photograph of a large assemblage of post-Heroes Return Avengers, and to a photograph of when the team consisted of Hawkeye, the original Wasp and Hank Pym as Goliath.

Jarvis continues, telling the Avengers that he can say to them, with certainty, that this is a superlative team. ‘One of the finest’. ‘Thanks, Jarvis’ Cassie exclaims. ‘Yes, Edwin. Very touching. Now…will someone answer me? What’s going on? Where’s Wanda?’ Pietro shouts. ‘You’re right, Pietro. I’ve been selfish…and kept something from you. I didn’t want to lose you. You’re one of the best men I have. But I should have told you sooner. The Scarlet Witch we’ve been encountering…it’s not Wanda. It’s not even a she -’ Hank begins. ‘WHAT?’ a furious Pietro exclaims, standing up so quickly that he knocks his chair over.

Hank stands up, and the Vision urges caution, announcing that his sensors are detecting that his heart rate is elevated, even for Pietro. ‘How long have you known, Pym?’ Quicksilver demands. ‘For some time. I had my suspicions initially, but…this isn’t good, Quicksilver, you need to calm down’ Hank declares. Quicksilver begins shaking furiously, ‘Calm down? I’ve never been more furious in my life! All the time I’ve wasted here - with you and your team of rejects! I could have been searching for her!’ Quicksilver shouts.

‘Pietro, please!’ Hank shouts, while telling himself that Quicksilver is shaking uncontrollably with rage. ‘And with his speed powers - he’s creating a wind shear!’. ‘Tell me if it’s not Wanda, who is it? Who would dare impersonate my sister?’ Quicksilver demands. ‘Loki!’ Hank reveals. ‘He’s the one! I’ve confirmed it! And we’ve figured out a way - to bring him down! To contain him! Then he’ll have to answer to us!’ Hank assures Pietro. ‘Fine. Let’s do this!’ Quicksilver snaps.

Soon, the Avengers arrive at the Isle of Silence. ‘An Asgardian penitentiary? We actually have a doorway in the mansion that leads here?’ Stature asks. ‘Please. Nothing Pym does surprises me anymore’ Quicksilver mutters. Hank explains that it was left behind by a number of villains during what they called their “Acts of Vengeance”. They used this place as a hub with portals to multiple locations on Earth. It’s what gave me the idea for Pymspace’. Hands on hips, Quicksilver exclaims ‘My God, Pym. Some “Scientists Supreme” you are. Have you ever had one original thought?’

Suddenly, ‘Why, what have were here?’ a voice booms, as four giant blue trolls appear. ‘We have trespassers, cousin!’ another troll exclaims. ‘What trespassers? All I see is lunch!’ another declares. ‘What a glorious day! We are set upon by trolls! Come friends, follow me. You are in for a treat…because trolls always make for the best smiting!’ Hercules exclaims as he, Stature and the new Vision begin to battle the trolls. ‘Quicksilver! This way!’ Hank exclaims. ‘But the others -’ Pietro replies as he picks Pym up and begins to run. ‘Can take care of themselves. We have to finish that device - and fast. Did I fail to mention we’re on the clock?’ Pym exclaims. ‘That and other things’ Pietro mutters, while telling Hank to hang on.

Racing towards a citadel, Hank tells Pietro that is where they are going and where they need to set their trap. Inside the citadel, Quicksilver speeds around a large chamber, asking Pym what this place is. ‘Thinks of it as Loki’s “summer palace”. I found it while looking for a place to anchor my first attempt at Pymspace’ Hank explains. He adds that he deduced from trace readings of Asgardian magic that Loki makes an annual pilgrimage here. ‘It’s one of the few times you can predict where he’s going to be’.

Moments later, Quicksilver darts about under the trolls’ feet. ‘What are you doing back here?’ Stature asks him. ‘Getting the rest of the supplies. Aren’t you done yet?’ Pietro asks. ‘Fighting trolls is an art, Maximoff. And one doesn’t rush greatness!’ Hercules booms as he punches one of the blue-skinned trolls in the face. Suddenly, Amadeus makes radio contact with Quicksilver. ‘What now? All of you are sorely trying what little patience I have left!’ Pietro declares.

Inside a control room at the Infinite Mansion, Amadeus reminds Quicksilver that the containment pod has to be built exactly as specified. ‘You can’t cut any corners or -’, ‘Shut up, boy. I know what I’m doing. I want this damn thing to work more than any of you!’ Quicksilver shouts. Jarvis notices Jocasta clutching her head, and asks her if something is wrong, as she looked unsteady for a moment. Jocasta thanks Jarvis and tells him that there must be a bug in her system. ‘I’ll look into it when we have more time. But for now I’m fine’.

Back on the Isle of Silence, the Vision drops down beside Stature and Hercules, informing them that they are needed. While Hercules pummels one of the trolls, the Vision announces that he is picking up energy emissions that match what the Wasp has classified as an “Asgardian magical signature”. ‘It appears…our guest has arrived’.

Inside the citadel, Hank announces that his readings confirm wave particles in the configuration of a “teleportation spell”, and tells Quicksilver that he is activating the Asgardian containment pod. Loki manifests, and finds himself stuck to the large panel which the Avengers erected. ‘What transpires here? Why can’t I move? What force stays my hand?’ Loki demands. ‘That would be me’ Hank declares. ‘Pym! This is impossible! No mere mortal - no man of Migard can ensnare me so!’ Loki boasts. ‘Think again’ Pym tells him. ‘I have a PhD in impossible. And while I may not understand the source of your power…in the end, it’s just a form of energy. Just a matter of finding its counter frequency. And you handed that to me when you gave Osborn that power-dampening sword’.

‘You’re in over your head, insect!’ Loki exclaims. ‘Nah. This’s just like old times. Remember our first meeting? I found a scientific way to trap you then, too’ Hank reminds Loki. ‘Now if you don’t mind, there’s a question I’ve been waiting to ask you -’ Hank begins, but Pietro interrupts: ‘Yes! Where is my sister! What have you done with the Scarlet Witch?’ Pietro asks.

At that moment, Hercules, Cassie and the Vision arrive. ‘Dr Pym, did it work? Is he -?’ the Vision asks. ‘Whoa!’ Cassie exclaims. ‘By the Gods, Henry! You did it!’ Hercules declares. ‘”Gods”? That word is meaningless now, Olympian. Behold! This man of “science” has put us all in our place!’ Loki exclaims. ‘With a wave of his clever machines and gadgets, he has obliterated the line between mortal and immortal. You can see it in his eyes. The arrogance. You’re no longer a God to him…you’re a hairy mongrel he has yet to put on a leash!’. Hank tells Hercules not to let Loki get to him, to which Hercules exclaims ‘Let him down! And I will show him what godly might is at my command!’

The Vision tells Hercules that the Wasp is right, they need to be careful, for Loki is a master manipulator. ‘Think of how much he’s already played with our hearts and minds by pretending to be Wanda Maximoff’. Cassie is surprised by this comment: ‘Hearts and -? Jonas, what are you saying? Is there a part of you that - do you still love the Scarlet Witch?’. ‘Says the girl who was fawning over Iron Lad a few short days ago!’ Loki booms. Hank tells everyone to take a step back, while Hercules exclaims that Loki is trying to set them at each other’s throats. ‘Classic textbook Loki. Won’t work this time’ Hank declares. ‘How much would you care to wager?’ Loki asks.

‘One last time, Loki. If you could please stay on topic’ Hank declares, thumb pressed against a remote. Hank presses the remote, and energy sears through Loki, who screams in pain. ‘Heh. I almost pity you. The retribution I will have on you…it will be the stuff of legends, Pym. Legends’ Loki exclaims wearily. ‘Of course. But first there’s that question I’ve been wanting to -’ Pym begins, but Quicksilver interrupts once more: ‘This is taking forever! Here - allow me!’ Pietro exclaims, taking the remote from Hank’s hand, and approaches Loki, who is calling out to his brother for help. ‘When you replaced her, what did you do with my sister? Where is the real Scarlet Witch?’ Quicksilver demands.

‘I don’t know. I…’ Loki begins, but Pietro tells him that is not good enough, and presses the remote again. Loki cries out once more, as he calls to his brother: ‘I beg of you! They hold me captive - just ahead - no trick! I swear! But hurry!’. Loki informs Quicksilver that he merely took the Scarlet Witch’s form, that he has no knowledge of where she truly is. ‘Why do I not believe you again?’ Quicksilver asks, pressing the remote once more. ‘This - this is wrong. We shouldn’t be doing this’ Cassie exclaims. ‘The girl is right, Pym. Your machine is an abomination to both gods and men’. Suddenly, ‘At last…save me, brother…save me from the mighty Avengers!’ Loki booms as his brother, the Mighty Thor arrives.

‘Thor! Please understand, this is not what it looks like -’ Hank exclaims. ‘Tell me, “friends”, is this how Avengers treat their prisoners nowadays? Where have you misplaced your honor?’ Thor asks. Quicksilver approaches Thor and tells him that he does not get to sit in judgment. ‘That monster is keeping me from my family. Whatever I heap upon him - I am in the right!’ Pietro exclaims. ‘You see, brother, how quick these mortals are to mete out their “justice” upon us? Ask them about this mechanism! What it is doing now, it can do to any of our people! They would become god killers, Thor! Think not of me, that is what is at stake here! Nothing less!’ Loki exclaims.

Hercules approaches Thor, and remarks that Loki is clouding the issue. ‘That trickster has deceived us for months on end’ Hercules exclaims. ‘But tell me, Hercules, does he speak the truth now?’ Thor asks. ‘A version of it. Aye’ Hercules confirms. Thor reminds Hank that they have stood shoulder to shoulder as Avengers. ‘Tell me, why? What gives you the right to judge the gods - my people?’ Hank smiles and asks Thor to understand. ‘I answer to a higher authority. Eternity himself appointed me Scientist Supreme!’ Hank declares.

Loki laughs: ‘You actually fell for that! You dolt! That was me cloaked in an enchantment! Filling you with hubris and false hope! Or did you really think the universe would pick you over Richards, or Doom, or even that brat, Cho?’. Hank rubs his head and declares that Loki is trying to throw him off his game. ‘I recorded the entire exchange through my goggle sensors. I took readings. I -’ he exclaims, while Loki calls him a gullible fool. ‘I actually did it. I actually got one of you to believe that “science” could trump magic. Ha ha!’. Quicksilver tells Loki that is a nice bluff, if that is the case, ‘You won’t mind if I turn this all the way up and leave it there’ he exclaims as he adjusts the remote.

‘HOLD’ booms Thor, declaring that he can not allow this to go any further. ‘Release my brother, Maximoff!’. Cassie asks Hercules to remind her which side they are on. Hercules suggests that they sit this one out. ‘If Hank and Pietro are ready to go to war with the gods, so be it. Let’s see how they fare’. The Vision exclaims that every line of code in his programming tells him to engage here. ‘But I will bow to your wisdom, Avenger’ he tells the much more experienced Hercules.

‘You’ll have to do better than that, “Goldilocks”!’ Quicksilver exclaims, darting out of Thor’s attack. ‘I’ve been outracing lightning bolts since puberty!’ Pietro boasts. ‘And I have vanquished fleeter foes than you, before your kind was blessed with the divine spark!’ Thor booms, slamming his hammer on the ground, which creates a seismic shock that knocks Pietro off his feet. Thor moves over to the fallen Quicksilver, remarking ‘In your brief span, I have heard you and your kin extol the superiority of mutant kind…but think you on this, Maximoff! For all your powers, you are mortal. My people are gods! Know thy place!’ Thor booms, grabbing a wide-eyed Quicksilver by the neck.

‘Thor, enough!’ Hank, who has shifted to a larger form, exclaims, pulling Thor away from Quicksilver. ’This was for your benefit too, Pym. What of that infernal machine?’ Thor asks. Hank replies that he has shut it down, and that no more will be built, so long as Loki doesn’t give him a reason to. ’Very well. I’ll be keeping watch on you, “Wasp”’ Thor replies, pointing out that he was his hand that cast fair Janet, the original Wasp, into oblivion. ‘Her legacy is dear to me too. Should you dishonor her name, you‘ll answer to me‘. ‘Understood. And who will Loki answer to?’ Hank asks. ‘To Lord Balder. I shall take him to Asgard where he will be judged by his peers’ Thor announces. ‘No. He knows nothing…’ Pietro exclaims.

Hank tells Pietro that it is over, and remarks that of all of them, Cassie had it right. ‘We’re Avengers, we’re better than this. He’s all yours, Thor, but there’s something you should be aware of’ Hank declares, informing Thor that this is twice he has trapped Loki. ‘Even if he figures a way out of this device…I can always build something better’. Loki falls from the contraption, while Thor tells the Avengers that, before they depart, he grants them this boon: ‘For the mischief he caused, my lowly brother will answer your question’. Thor picks his brother up: ‘And if he is not forthcoming with a truthful reply…’ Thor adds.

‘Very well! What would you know of me?’ Loki asks. ‘Just this…would you like to join my Mighty Avengers?’ Hank asks. Shock and horror spreads across the faces of Thor, Hercules, Quicksilver, Stature, the Vision and Loki himself. ‘It sounds radical, I know, but if you view the Avengers as a scientific experiment, you are its most powerful catalyst’ Hank declares. ‘From the formation of the original team to this one, you’re the random element that makes it all work’ Hank explains, adding that they have taken on former villains before, giving them a second change. ‘This could be your turn. What do you say?’

Everyone begins to walk away from Hank, ‘What?’ he asks innocently. ‘Oh my God, Jonas!’ Cassie exclaims, wrapping her arms around the Vision, who embraces her. ‘You don’t have to say it, Cassie. We’ll go back to the Young Avengers’. ‘The man’s a lunatic!’ Loki exclaims. ‘So it would seem’ Thor agrees. ‘I’m done. With all of this. You stay away from me, understood?’ Quicksilver warns Hank, while Hercules radios Amadeus. ’Did you hear that? Amadeus?’ Hercules calls out.

But Amadeus is currently running through one of the many halls of the Infinite Avengers Mansion. ’Master Cho, wait!’ Jarvis exclaims. ’He’s gone too far, this time, Jarvis. Trust me. Herc and me…we’re out! Don’t try looking us up!’. Jarvis notices Jocasta looking like she is in agony, ‘Oh dear. Madame Jocasta? Are you…?’ he asks. ‘Something’s wrong, Edwin…’ Jocasta utters. ‘Perhaps if you downloaded yourself into one of your other bodies?’ Jarvis suggests. ‘I’ve - I’ve tried. They’re not responding’ Jocasta replies. ‘All of them? But there are billions of them!’ Jarvis exclaims. ‘Well, no mind. I’m sure when Dr Pym returns…he’ll fix everything. Up on a balcony, a long row of Jocasta bodies have been watching Jocasta and Jarvis. ‘”Pym”…did you hear that? Father is coming home’ exclaims a voice from within the possessed Jocasta…Ultron!

Characters Involved: 

Hercules, Jocasta, Quicksilver, Stature, Vision III, Wasp II (all Mighty Avengers)
Edwin Jarvis
Amadeus Cho




Civilians throughout the world

In Thor’s Memory:
Thor & Wasp I

Story Notes: 

Loki has been posing as the Scarlet Witch since Mighty Avengers (1st series) #21. Some of this team learned that in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #30.

USAgent was stripped of his rank in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #33 by Norman Osborn.

Hercules refers to the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline in which the Scarlet Witch went insane and destroyed the Avengers. [Avengers (1st series) #500-503]

Stature was briefly reunited with Iron Lad in Mighty Avengers (1st series) #33.

Loki was instrumental in the formation of the original Avengers [Avengers (1st series) #1] and Pym’s “Mighty Avengers” [Mighty Avengers #21-23].

The original Wasp died by Thor’s hand in Secret Invasion #8.

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