Faced with a horde of rampaging demons, Spider-Man is more than a little concerned. As his fellow Avengers and Victoria Hand (sporting a very large gun) defend themselves with force, Spidey cries out that he doesn’t think this is working. The city looks like a battle zone beneath them.
(Doctor Voodoo’s Sanctum Sanctorum, New Orleans)
Jericho Drumm, Daimon Hellstrom and Dr. Strange are gathered around a table with several tomes laid out before them. Hellstrom doesn’t think this should be too hard, considering there are three of them working on the problem. They’ve been studying the mystic arts their entire adult lives, so they have a lot of know-how. So, why can’t they figure out who is doing this and what they want? Strange replies that it’s hard to read with him yelling in his face. Hellstrom bangs his fist on the table and replies that all he’s saying is that the time for reading was every other time but this time. He feels that Strange should already know what this is. He was master of the mystic arts and Drumm is master of the damn arts. Their educated guesses should be fantastic!
Brother Voodoo continues to ignore him and asks Strange about past concerns like Baron Mordo or Dr. Doom; maybe any of the rulers of the dark dimension. Strange replies that he thought of this, but here is his thinking. He explains that they can rule out any of the normal antagonists they have to deal with on Earth. How would ripping this dimension open and letting another dimension pour into it and invade logically benefit anyone who is trying to create something themselves here? Hellstrom wonders if maybe it’s just a crazy person who wants everything in this dimension to go away. Like, if I can’t have it no one will. Like, my girlfriend dumped me and now I’m going to get back at everyone. He adds that he warned Strange that they were being invaded because they weakened this dimension to breaking point.
Strange reckons that it’s someone or something from somewhere else. It’s someone who wants this dimension to be part of their own, or someone who wants this dimension to collapse. But, he wonders, who would benefit from such a catastrophe? And, who are they that they need the Eye of Agamotto to succeed at their quest? Hellstrom snarls that they took the Eye of Agamotto and they are succeeding. Strange wonders who could do that. It’s someone who is skilled and powerful; someone who knows how to take possession of them even though they’re trained not to let that happen. It’s someone so powerful that they were able to come into this dimension and they couldn’t feel their presence until they wanted them to.
Brother Voodoo says that they took his brother’s spirit and they took Danny Rand, the Iron Fist. One would hope that, wherever they are, either one of them or both of them are making it very difficult for whoever is behind this to go further. Strange thinks that at this juncture they shouldn’t be getting their hopes up about anything. Strange asks Jericho to show him what’s happening in New York. He opens his arms out wide and uses the Houdon-Lou visualization spell of the real to reveal its image. They see New York City with a massive interdimensional tear spreading out overhead. It’s worse than they thought.
(New York City)
Luke Cage batters another demon and admits that the fact that they’re not talking to them is getting on his nerves. He sees Ben Grimm, Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel struggling to hold their own against the opposition. As more demons leap on him, he wonders whether they should call the other Avengers or the Fantastic Four perhaps. As he gets swamped, he looks over and sees demons being blasted sky high. The blast distracts Wolverine and Ms. Marvel. “Sweet Christmas girl,” gasps Luke. Jessica emerges from the pile of downed demons and Luke tells her that she gets major wife points for that one. As she is grabbed from behind, Luke reminds her that, although he knows that she’s relearning the super hero stuff, she’s got to watch her back.
When he asks if the baby’s okay, she informs him that she is in New Jersey with her mom. He asks if Jersey is okay. “Jersey is Jersey,” she replies. Luke explains that he means… is it like this! Jessica looks around and sees demons everywhere and replies that nothing is like this! She grabs him by his armpits and takes to the air, informing him that her mom is mad at him. Luke asks what he did, but Jessica says she didn’t say her mom was sane. Ms. Marvel flies past and asks Jessica to fly Luke over the Guggenheim and drop him in the middle. That is the biggest gathering of these things. She is going in to the dimensional tear to see if she can stop this at its source.
Watching from afar, Hellstrom asks the other two to tell him she’s not that stupid. Strange then notices what she’s doing and cannot believe it. He immediately projects his astral self out of his body and shoots over to join Carol. Back in New York, even Jessica wonders whether Carol should be doing that. As Carol flies into the breach, she is surprised that it isn’t hot. As she gets further in, she begins to scream in agony. Jessica is so shocked at her reaction that she drops Luke who tells her to go. “I’m not going to make it,” she cries. Carol continues to scream as Jessica flies as fast as she can towards her.
Down below, Victoria Hand and the Avengers are worried for her and Victoria asks why she doesn’t fly out of it. At that moment, Dr. Strange’s astral form flies at Carol and grabs her own astral form, leaving her physical body to fall. Jessica catches her body and Ben Grimm manages to grab Luke before he lands.
Strange asks her to listen to him, though she appears to be very frightened. He explains that he just saved her life but he had to pull her astral form out of her physical self or she would have been sucked into the dimensional rift. Her body would have disintegrated - even someone as powerful as her. He assures her that both her body and her essence are okay but she mentions that she finds it all very weird… and she gave birth to an alien once. He heads to the ground and asks Jessica to bring her body to him. He then asks Carol to focus, settle down and try to go mentally limp for just one second. She tells him that shouldn’t be a problem. “Good,” replies Dr. Strange. “I was being sarcastic,” quips Carol. He asks her to hold still and then successfully transfers her astral self back into her body.
Spider-Man then looks up and sees the dimensional tear become more agitated. Bright white beams then shoot to Earth all around them and the Avengers can only look on, not knowing what is happening. Each of the demons they were fighting is then somehow taken back into the dimensional tear. Ben reckons the show must be over and Carol asks if they can go home now. Wolverine tells them that they ain’t done yet. Out of the tear they see a figure fall to Earth. Carol quickly heads after them. Also watching events are Daimon Hellstrom and Brother Voodoo. They’ve seen who it is that is falling and Jericho states that Dr. Strange is going to need his body back in New York. Hellstrom grabs it and asks Jericho to take him there.
Meanwhile, Carol catches the falling figure and Luke recognizes him as they descend. “Is… is it you?” he asks. “It’s him,” replies Wolverine. Once on the ground, Iron Fist, somehow sporting a new white and cold costume, tells Luke that it’s him. He made it back. They let him go. In his hand he holds the Eye of Agamotto.
Hellstrom asks how the hell he’s still alive. Strange is surprised they let him keep the Eye. Does he know what they were? Did anything communicate with him? Shockingly, Danny smashes him in the face. Luke and Carol immediately grab him and hold him back, but Danny snarls at Dr. Strange. “You arrogant son of a bitch!” he snaps. He points at Strange and explains that this is all his fault. Luke asks what happened to him. Danny replies that he found out the truth about their little magic friend. He holds up the Eye and asks them if they know what it is. It’s the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto. Do they know what he did to get it? Do they know who he took it from?
Strange recovers and informs Danny that it was given to him by his master. “I know,” replies Iron Fist. “I just talked to him!” Strange replies that he’s been dead for years. Danny screams that he looked pretty okay to him. And, he adds, he made it pretty clear that all the trouble they’ve been having is because the Eye doesn’t belong to him. And, he made it pretty clear that Dr. Strange knows this. Strange asks Danny to listen to him. “The Ancient One lived to be over 500 years old. It was then that…” Danny interrupts him and asks him straight up, as a friend, who the Eye belongs to.
Strange pauses. “The Ancient One came to you?” he asks. Danny again asks who the Eye belongs to. “In what form?” asks Dr. Strange, ignoring the question. Danny is relentless, once again asking who it belongs to. Strange begins to walk towards Danny and asks him to give him the Eye. Danny holds up the Eye which begins to glow. He replies that he would, but his old mentor gave Strange a clear ultimatum. The mess that they’re in today was created by Strange because he stole the Eye from its rightful owner… The Ancient One said, and Danny believes him, that the fight they had today was just a taste, a sampler. So, he’s going to asks Dr. Strange again. “Whose is this really?”