Mighty Avengers (1st series) #36

Issue Date: 
June 2010
Story Title: 
Salvation, part 2: WWJVDD (What Would Janet Van Dyne Do?)

Dan Slott (writer), Khoi Pham (penciler), Craig Yeung and Dave Meikis (inkers), John Rauch (colorist), Dave Lanphear (letterer), Khoi Pham, Craig Yeung & John Rauch (cover), Randall Miller (production), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

As information is revealed about the Infinite Avengers Mansion, and Underspace, Jocasta grows angry towards Hank Pym, but it is not long before Ultron and his brides break into Underspace. Hank begins fighting off the millions of Jocastas, while the real Jocasta, Ace and Blackjack escape back into the Infinite Mansion, and shut down all the Jocasta brides. Hank finds his allies, before Jocasta offers to marry Ultron if he will leave. Ultron agrees, and Hank officiates his marriage of his “son” to Jocasta. Ultron reneges on his promise to leave, before Hank boasts that he has already sent the call out for the Avengers to assemble, - and through the many doors step a variety of inactive and current Avengers. Not wanting to fight them all, Ultron leaves with Jocasta, unaware that the Avengers were merely illusions. Jarvis returns. Jocasta links up to one of her old bodies, and tells Hank to start acting like an Avenger once more. In Oklahoma, Scourge cuts off USAgent’s left arm and leg, while Stature battles Ant-Man as the Siege of Asgard plays out around them. Hank soon arrives, and with Quicksilver, Stature, the new Vision and Amadeus, they join the battle, for one last time as the Mighty Avengers.

Full Summary: 

Under space - the dimension below the Microverse, where Mighty Avengers Hank Pym a.k.a. the new Wasp and Jocasta currently find themselves, along with Ace and Blackjack a.k.a. Jacquie the Agents of GRAMPA. Hank tells his companions that during the Skrull Invasion, the physical form of Janet van Dyne - the original Wasp and his ex-wife - was converted into a living Pym Particle explosion, but here in the infinite void Underspace, her form can continue to expand, much in the same way that their own universe expands. Hank explains that the Infinite Mansion acts as a harness, helping Janet keep her shape and prevent her from dissipating.

‘And the ten billion Jocastas?’ Jacquie asks, while the real Jocasta looks at her new flesh-like hands, and angrily whispers ‘This was all - this was for Janet?’. Hank answers Jacquie’s question by telling her that they act like the ten billion neurons in any human body. ‘In this case, they constantly reinforce Jan’s brain wave pattern’ he remarks, before turning to Jocasta and putting a hand on her shoulder: ‘Jocasta? Given the circumstances, you’ve been oddly silent. Do you understand your part in all of this?’ he asks her.

‘You used me!’ Jocasta shouts. Spinning around, she smacks Hank over. ‘Like I was a spare sprocket or wing nut! Like I was just some thing! That’s all I’ve ever been to you, isn’t it? You arrogant, little flesh bag!’ Jocasta shouts. ‘Jax? Did she just go evil-robot on us?’ Ace asks. ‘Quite the opposite, luv. That response was all too human’ Jacquie replies. Hank rubs his mouth and gets up, remarking that it is a good thing he switched Jocasta’s arms to flesh and blood ,for if they were metal she would have taken his head off.

Hank asks Jocasta to trust him, assuring her that this is not what she thinks it is. Suddenly, there is a loud KTOOM, and Ace suggests to Hank that he save the explanation for later, as company has arrived. ‘Ultron! He’s broken through!’ Hank exclaims. Indeed, at the doorway to the Infinite Mansion, Ultron stands with several of his brides. ‘It is time, father. Your program has run its course. You must be deleted from the system. The parent code is dead. Long live Ultron Pym!’ Ultron booms. ‘Ultron lives’, ‘Ultron lives’ the brides begin chanting. ‘Trapped in Limbo with a crazed robot and ten billion brides. Should’ve gone to Asgard. Next to this…that’s be a cakewalk!’ Pym declares.

But meanwhile, in Browton, Oklahoma, the Fall of Asgard is taking place. Cassie Lang a.k.a. Stature is one of several formers of the Mighty Avengers taking part in the battle. ‘I’m not falling for it, jerkwald! All you Thunderbolts care about is getting Odin’s spear to your boss, Osborn!’ Cassie exclaims to the new Ant-Man, whom she holds in her hand. ‘We’ve seen what he can do with Asgardian tech - and that’s not happening again!’ Cassie exclaims. ‘Ow! Easy on the goodies, kid!’ Ant-Man tells her.

Nearby, the deadly Scourge is battling Johnny Walker a.k.a. USAgent. ‘This weapon is the property of HAMMER and Director of Security Osborn!’ Scourge shouts as he uses the weapon to sever USAgent’s left arm and left leg, causing the heroic Avenger to scream, before falling to the ground. ‘Mission accomplished’ Scourge grins as he stands over the fallen hero. ‘No…can’t’ve failed…again…not a-’ Johnny utters.

Elsewhere, The Thunderbolt known as Ghost stands over the body of the new Vision and tells Amadeus Cho that it was his data packet Amadeus’ computer intercepted. ‘Where is Hercules? Where is the mutant speedster? They are who are needed here most’ Ghost remarks. Amadeus replies that Hercules won’t be coming, and that he has been trying to reach Quicksilver, but is probably on the other side of the planet. ‘And my game boy is low on juice’ he adds, while the Vision lies at Ghost’s feet, mouth open wide: ‘System failure…re-re-reboot’ he states. ‘Then have a boost’ Ghost offers, and touches Amadeus’ game boy, re-powering it.

At that moment, in Transia, Eastern Europe, Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff stands near a caravan and thinks to himself that the gypsies of Wundagore once took him in and treated him as family. ‘Perhaps this is where I shall finally find a place for -’ he tells himself, before his communicator shouts at him: ‘Quicksilver! Come in!’ Amadeus exclaims. ‘Cho? Why are you calling me? I’m done with the Avengers! Don’t you under-’ Pietro tells Amadeus, but Amadeus pleads with him, and informs him that Asgard has been destroyed, that Pym is a no-show, the Vision is off-line and USAgent might be dead. ‘We need you!’ he exclaims. ‘Who am I fooling? Once an Avenger…’ Quicksilver tells himself, before informing Amadeus that he is on his way, and speeds from Transia.

Back in Underspace, Pym, Jocasta, Jacquie and Ace run along the strange building-like ground. ‘Don’t see any sign of them, Ace. I think we lost them!’ Jacquie exclaims. ‘Where to now, Doctor? What’s the plan?’ Ace asks, pistol ready. ‘If I’ve mapped it out, we should be close to the monitor room. I’ve been working on a Pym-wave generator…a transmission frequency that can cross time and space. With it, we could send out an omniversal distress call’ Hank declares. ‘To whom? Who could possibly come to our aid? All the doors to the mansion are off-line!’ Jocasta points out. ‘For now You have the dimensional inducer hardwired into your system, J. If you -’ Hank begins, before Ultron and his brides burst through the “ground” in front of him.

‘DAMN!’ Hank shouts. ‘Enough, father. No more running. You have lost. In every conceivable way!’ Ultron declares. ‘I understand now. I know the real purpose of this system. And I have retooled it to my own ends’ he declares. ‘what do you mean by…? No!’ Hank gasps. ‘Yes!’ Ultron exclaims, while the prime Jocasta asks Hank what is going on. ‘Speak!’ Ultron booms, and an instant later, the remains of Janet van Dyne declare ‘ULTRON LIVES!’

‘Jan. Her brain patters, you’ve reformatted them…’ Hank declares, frowning. ‘I have upgraded them to match my programming. This entity, this base, everything you have worked for has been assimilated to serve me’ Ultron explains. ‘Not everything, Ultron’ Hank replies, declaring that Ultron doesn’t have his dimensional inducer. ‘All I have to do is destroy it, and both you and your army are stuck here!’ Hank exclaims. ‘But Hank, it’s inside me! You wouldn’t -’ Jocasta begins, while Ultron laughs.

‘It took you some time to shut your dimensional doorways down, father. Perhaps I have already deployed billions of my brides across the cosmos?’ Ultron suggests. ‘But you didn’t, did you, “son”? And I know why!’ Hank exclaims. ‘Ten billion soldiers, and you kept each and every one of them by your side. Because you were afraid -’ Hank exclaims, before Ultron interrupts: ‘N-no I am - I am Ultron Pym! The next generation! The superior model! I am not scared of you! I am Ultron Pym! I am -’ he xclaims, before Hank increases his form massively, and grabs Ultron, tearing him away from his brides: ‘Afraid you’d make Daddy angry!’ Hank shouts. ‘NEVER!’ Ultron retorts, before ordering his brides to initiate attack mode. ‘All of you! Target Henry Pym! Destroy him!’.

‘Unbelievable!’ Ace exclaims. ‘They’re completely ignoring us!’ Jacquie points out as the countless brides around them begin to rush at Hank. ‘AAHHH! Hurry! While they’re focused on me…’ Hank shouts as he begins blasting the brides away from him. ‘Go to the main control room! Jocasta, you know what you have to do. Trust me…it’s what Janet would’ve wanted’ Hank calls out while the Jocasta brides begin to engulf him. Jocasta watches, before telling Ace and Blackjack to follow her. ‘What did he mean by that?’ Blackjack asks, before they drop down into a corridor. ‘We’re activating the Mansion’s kill-switch’ Jocasta announces. ‘Pardon?’ Ace asks. ‘Is that some form of self-destruct?’ Jacquie exclaims.

‘A manual shutdown’ Jocasta replies as they enter another room. ‘Much better. So instead of blowing up, we’ll be stranded here?’ Jacquie asks. ‘No. That would deprive Earth of its Scientist Supreme’ Jocasta points out, adding that no matter what her feelings towards Hank are, she could never do that. ‘But the world could get along just fine without Blackjack? Nice to know’ Jacquie remarks, before calling out to Ace, who is crouched over on the ground nearby. ‘Look what I found, Jax. What say we put this to good use?’ Ace suggests, holding up an Ant-Man helmet.

Elsewhere, Hank, in his giant form, shakes off as many of the Jocasta brides as he can, while Ultron falls from his father. ‘You’re a fool, father! You think your size intimidates me? All if does is make you a bigger target!’. Hank immediately shrinks down to wasp size: ‘Wrong, “son”. More like a bigger distraction!’ Hank calls out before flying away. ‘COME BACK HERE!’ ultron booms. ‘My bio-stings were jamming your transmission frequencies…leaving Jocasta free to perform a full memory wipe!’ Hank explains.

Jocasta informs Hank that it is done, that the link to Janet, the Mansion, and all of her host bodies have been severed - and now Ultron is on his own. ‘Arghh!’ Ultron snaps as the Jocastas around him begin falling over. ‘No matter. I am Ultron Pym. I have faced scores of Avengers alone. Two Avengers and two humans with guns are hardly a threat!’ Ultron boasts. Suddenly, ‘You are most welcome to try’ Jocasta says, through the remains of the original Wasp.

‘Impressive, Jocasta. You have supplanted my files with your own. But not impressive enough’ Ultron tells her. ‘Wait. This is not all that’s different. Come inside. This time we have something to barter with’ Jocasta tells Ultron, who enters the Infinite Mansion as requested. Hank and Jocasta stand before Ultron, while many of his brides lay on the ground, motionless. ‘Out with it. What could you possible offer to me, which I could not simply take?’ Ultron asks.

‘Don’t look at me, this is all Jocasta’s doing’ Hank tells Ultron. ‘All right, J, it’s your show’ Hank tells Jocasta. Jocasta informs Ultron that if he agrees to cease all hostilities, she can give him something he wanted for a long time. ‘I shall willingly become your bride!’ she announces. ‘Intriguing’ Ultron replies. ‘Jocasta, no! I won’t allow it! You’re no some thing to be traded off for -’ Hank exclaims, to which Jocasta replies ‘No. I’m not. But humans have made this sacrifice many times…royal families arranging marriages to protect their kingdoms. And that’s what I am. Avengers Royality. And you were too dumb to see it’ Jocasta declares.

Ultron laughs loudly. ‘Very well. Ultron Pym accepts your proposal. Initiate the ceremony at once!’ he announces. ‘I must be mad for doing this’ Hank mutters, before exclaiming: ‘All right. Ultron Pym, do you take Jocasta to be your wife…to integrate her programming and subroutines into your own?’ Hank asks. ‘Affirmative’ Ultron replies. ‘Do you, Jocasta, accept Ultron Pym as your hsuband…granting him access past your firewalls to all of your secret files?’ ‘Affirmative’ Jocasta replies. ‘Then by the power vested in me as the creator of your source code…I declares this cyber-marriage complete’ Hank announces, while Ultron and Jocasta’s files “merge”.

‘Pause. I have analysed all of my wife’s firmware. She no longer possesses the dimensional inducer’ Ultron announces. ‘It has been uploaded into the Mansion. Pymspace is back online!’ Ultron declares, boasting that he has full access to the universe and he has now has his bride. ‘So tell me, father…why should I honor our agreement? Why should I leave, when everything is mine for the taking?’

Suddenly, ‘Pym, do you read me? This is Ace…’ comes Ace’s voice over the Ant-Man helmet transmitter. ‘You’re in the monitor room? Understood. I can take it from here’ Hank replies, before telling Ultron that he can offer him a very compelling reason to leave. ‘I just received a call from my associates. They’ve activated my Pym-Wave. Or, as I like to call it, the Assembler’. Hank explains that this is a simple message broadcast across all time and space, summoning every single Avenger to this spot. ‘Inconceivable. The technology to achieve that does not exist - could not exist!’ Ultron replies. ‘Avengers assemble’ Hank exclaims, and with that, several doors open….

…Captain America! Iron Man! Thor! Ms Marvel! Firebird! Photon! Moondragon! Stingray! And several other Avengers appear, all ready to confront Ultron. ‘There’s something you need to learn, boy. I’m Hank Pym. Founding Avenger, one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and the Scientist Supreme. For me, nothing is inconceivable!’ Hank announces. Pym motions to a door and tells Ultron to get out, and that the door will take him to a desolate region of space, with no life-forms that he can threaten. ‘That was not part of our agreement!’ Ultron snaps back. ‘Tough. Now I’m arguing from a position of strength!’ Hank declares.

‘Very well. Come’ Ultron calls out to Jocasta as he walks towards the door. Jocasta follows her new husband, but Hank calls out to her, ‘Wait! You don’t have to -’ he begins, but Jocasta interrupts Hank, telling him that she agreed to this, and that it is for the best. ‘I’ll be able to keep an eye on him’ she adds, before telling Hank not to worry, as she will be around. The door slams, and Hank hangs his head. ‘They’re gone, Ace. You can shut it down, now’ Hank announces, eyes closed. And an instant later, the holographic images of all the other Avengers fade from view.

‘Ants. Flying ants this time. With image inducers. Good work, you two’ Hank tells Ace and Blackjack as he walks past several motionless Jocasta drones. ‘I thought robots learned from their mistakes. But he fell for that twice’ Blackjack remarks. Ace, still wearing the Ant-Man helmet suggests that Ultron may not have thought they would be brash enough to try the same thing again. ‘Or, maybe, he’s lulling us into a false sense of security…so he could strike at us when we least - look out!’ Ace exclaims as a door opens - but everyone is surprised at who steps through: Jarvis!

‘Sorry, I stepped out to deliver Master Stark’s attache case. I tried to come back as soon as I could, but the doors weren’t working’ Jarvis explains, before asking ‘Did I miss much?’. Suddenly, one of the Jocasta’s rides and sticks her hands up: ‘I see Madame Jocasta is back to using one of her old bodies’ Jarvis remarks. ‘Watch it!’ Ace exclaims as he points his pistol at Jocasta. ‘J., is that -?’ Hank exclaims, while Jocasta calls out ‘It’s me!’, revealing that she can still project her consciousness here, though she is also off in space with her new husband.

Jocasta explains that she can multitask, still serve as an Avenger, though she doubts that there is enough of her to go around to jump-start “Jan” again. ‘I should have told you about that before. I’m sorry’ Hank replies, before asking Jocasta ‘What can I do to prove to you how -’, except Jocasta interrupts once more: ‘Just…just start acting like an Avenger, Hank’ she tells him. ‘All right. Open a door for me. I know just where to start’ Hank replies.

Broxton, Oklahoma, where Loki, God of Mischief, is facing off against the Void. ‘I’m sorry, brother!’ Loki exclaims, before screaming as he is engulfed in a burst of energy. ‘If I hadn’t seen it, I never would have…Loki? Fighting with the Avengers?’ Quicksilver exclaims as he races over to Stature, the new Vision and Amadeus. ‘By my calculations, the few seconds he brought us, could be the turning point in this battle’ Amadeus declares. ‘Just like Uncle Hank said…’ Cassie whispers. ‘Loki was the catalyst!’ the Vision adds.

‘Ahem’ a voice exclaims. ‘We’re never going to hear the end of this, are we?’ Pietro asks as everyone turns to the new arrival. ‘Pym’ Pietro mutters as Hank flies past his former teammates. ‘There’ll be time for I-told-you-so’s later. Provided there is a later. Where do we stand?’ Hank asks. ‘Right now? It’s the last big push. Everyone versus the Void’ Amadeus explains. Hank asks where USAgent is, to which Quicksilver replies that Walker is down in a field with a medic. ‘We - we don’t know if he’ll make it’ Pietro adds. ‘We thought we could do this without you, but -’ Amadeus begins. ‘We need you, Uncle Hank’ Stature declares.

‘No. We’re Avengers. We need each other. And when we’re together, no force on Earth can stop us! So come on!’ Hank declares as he, Quicksilver, Stature, the new Vision and Amadeus leap into action. ‘One last time! Let’s fight the good fight! Let’s do the impossible! AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!’

Characters Involved: 

Jocasta & Wasp II (both Mighty Avengers)
Quicksilver, Stature, Vision III, USAgent (all former Mighty Avengers)
Edwin Jarvis
Amadeus Cho

Wasp I

Ace & Blackjack (both Global Reaction Agency)

The Void

Ant-Man III, Ghost, Scourge V (both Thunderbolts)

As Holograms:
Captain America, Iron Man, Ms Marvel (all Avengers)
Black Widow, Falcon, Firebird, Firestar, Human Torch I, Justice, Living Lightning, Moondragon, Moon Knight, Photon, She-Hulk, Silverclaw, Starfox, Stingray, Sub-Mariner, Thor (all inactive Avengers)
Hulk (former Avenger)
Wiccan (Young Avenger)
Stonewall II (Secret Warrior)

Story Notes: 

Final issue of the first Mighty Avengers series.

The battle between the former Mighty Avengers and the Thunderbolts took place in Thunderbolts (1st series) #142-143. The full battle between USAgent and Scourge (a.k.a. Nuke), and USAgent losing his limbs can be seen in Thunderbolts (1st series) #142.

Included in the holographic assemblage of Avengers is, oddly, Wiccan, a member of the Young Avengers, and, even more odd, Stonewall II of the Secret Warriors - not a real Avenger. Their inclusion is strange when long-serving Avengers like Black Knight IV, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Crystal, Sersi, Wonder Man and Spider-Woman II are excluded.

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