Onslaught Reborn #3

Issue Date: 
March 2007
Story Title: 
Might Makes Right

Jeph Loeb (writer), Rob Liefeld (pencils), Matt Yackey (colors), Comicraft (letters), Kate Levin (production), John Barber (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Still possessing Thor’s body, Onslaught battles the Hulk. However, realizing that Thor isn’t strong enough to take the green goliath down, Onslaught transfers his consciousness to the Hulk’s, and then slams Thor into the sky. Onslaught/Hulk tries to pick up Mjolnir but fails, as Onslaught isn’t “worthy.” Onslaught is further thwarted as he is suddenly attacked by the remaining Avengers. While Hellcat and Swordsman fight Onslaught first, Cap sends Iron Man and Johnny on a mission to find Thor, as they could use his further help. Next, Cap Hawkeye on a mission to locate the real Onslaught. Hawkeye is reluctant to obey, until Cap presses that he knows Hawkeye’s true identity. Though agreeing to follow orders as a result, Hawkeye promises to have a serious talk to Cap when this is over, calling him “bub” in the process. Meanwhile, Onslaught has noticed that, somehow, Thor’s hammer has now transformed into a wooden stick and, in frustration, throws it into the ocean, where it is recovered by Namor. At the same time, Iron Man and Johnny fly high into the upper atmosphere, trying to locate Thor. Iron Man finds him in hanging in orbit, but Thor is in his human form of Donald Blake… and isn’t breathing! Tony gives Blake to Johnny and sends him back to the Baxter Building, where Reed can do a check-up on him. In the meantime, Iron Man races back into battle and gives Onslaught/Hulk a powerful blow, managing to knock him out. Their victory is short-lived, however, as Onslaught has now taken over Iron Man’s body and uses his repulsor rays on Cap. Elsewhere, at Avengers Mansion, Bucky and Franklin receive some unexpected and most unwelcome guests: Executioner, Scarlet Witch, Enchantress, Ultron V and their master, Loki. The god of mischief explains that they are going to take down Onslaught and proclaims that nobody will stop them. However, unseen by all involved, the group is being watched by an invisible Sue and Ant-Man, who vow they won’t allow Loki to harm an innocent child like Franklin.

Full Summary: 

Still possessed by Onslaught, Thor shouts that, if Hulk really is the strongest there is, then his death shall seal his reign… as the one who cannot be stopped. He whams his hammer brutally into the Hulk’s face, drawing blood in the process. Still standing, however, the Hulk sarcastically asks Thor if that’s all he’s got and spits on Thor’s helmet, which only increases the Asgardian’s rage.


“That’s not Thor. I know. I know. It looks like Thor, and might even sound like Thor. It’s not an evil twin, although there’s evil by the pants load. It’s not a sucky clone. Don’t all clones suck? I’m just sayin’ that the Thunder God we know and love is now possessed… by the most dangerous being in the world… two worlds actually… the being known as ONSLAUGHT! Onslaught lived on another world. One just like ours… maybe even was ours, if I’m to take the kid seriously. But he’s here now. The kid… for those of you playing the game at home… is Franklin Richards. As in the son of Reed and Susan Richards, except the Reed and Sue where I came from? They aren’t married. They have no kids.

“Confused? Then, how about this? My name is Rikki Barnes. I just became Captain America’s partner. Kinda. They call me “Bucky” after his World War II sidekick. Greatest. Job. Ever. Except… I don’t even exist where Franklin comes from. Comforting, I know… but, trust me, it’s going to be important. In fact, it has a LOT to do with how I die.”

Thor and the Hulk continue their combat. His rage growing from being spat upon, Thor shouts out that killing Hulk just became his pleasure! As the Hulk yells in rage, Onslaught-in-Thor rejoins with a “Die beast.” Hulk backhands Thor out of his way, not liking the fact that Thor keeps calling him “beast.” “Hulk is Hulk,” the green goliath proclaims, and the madder Hulk gets… the stronger Hulk gets! He tries to rip Mjolnir out of Thor’s hands, but Onslaught/Thor bravely holds onto it. Again calling the Hulk a beast, Thor makes it clear that this is not about raw power. He concedes that the Hulk rules in that nest, but… he can bring down the heavens themselves!


“Back to Onslaught. You see, what’s worse is that he has this… ability… I don’t know how it works… but he can take over your mind. He becomes large and in charge. Like that movie with Denzel where the evil could jump from body to body. And while we all thought Onslaught had the Hulk under control… Onslaught now has Thor and he is gonna kill the Hulk!”

With furious red eyes, “Thor” grins and, suddenly, the sky turns dark and a lightning bolt strikes through the Hulk’s body! The Hulk screams from the immense pain he now feels.


“What you gotta understand is that while the Hulk can be this big unstoppable monster thing… he’s kinda like a big wild animal. You attack him and he reacts back. So when Onslaught-Thor made the skies open up on Hulk, you could hear the Hulk scream out in agony halfway across the city.”

While the remnants of the lightning sparks across his body, a still-reeling in pain Hulk does his best to get back up again. Thor promises that first the Hulk will die at his hand, and then… the boy! He holds his hammer up high, ready to deliver the killing stroke, but then something odd happens. His strength… it vanishes? What madness is this?! He even has to drop the hammer. Why can’t he lift the hammer?!? He desperately tries to lift it, but fails at each attempt. He refuses to waste his power on the weak any longer and, if this body hasn’t the strength he needs, Onslaught will just move on, and… floats into the Hulk’s body!

Thor has only a moment to appreciate that his mind is clear at least, as he gazes up to see Onslaught-as-Hulk’s fist raised high, ready to finish him!


“Yeah… just when you didn’t think things could go from bad to worse. Onslaught did that body-jumping thing again… and took over the Hulk!”

Onslaught-Hulk slams his fists onto Thor, slamming his head into the concrete. Onslaught/Hulk then lifts Thor triumphantly up, and ponders something. This world… this insignificant place where they consider Thor a god… will soon bow down to him. And say their prayers to Onslaught. With that, he punches Thor high into the air.

The immediate threat ended, Onslaught focuses his attention to Mjolnir again. He decides it will be with Thor’s weapon that he murders Franklin Richards. However, he reads an inscription on the hammer: “Whosever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Onslaught mocks the “if he be worthy” part. He believes that, since he is Onslaught, his worthiness is based upon his desires.

Suddenly, four arrows are fired into the Hulk’s back! He reels in pain and wonders who dares… Turning his head, Onlaught/Hulk’s red eyes behold the answer: Hawkeye and the Avengers have arrived! Hawkeye jokes he had a feeling that the adamantium tips Pym outfitted him with would pop the Hulk’s green hide. Ignoring this, Captain America leads his teammates into battle, ordering the Human Torch, who is helping them out for this battle, and Iron Man to head North. They’ve got to find Thor. Cap thinks that, if he’s to understand it correctly, Thor’s got less than sixty seconds! The rest of the Avengers have to take out the Hulk… now! “Avengers Assemble,” Cap proudly speaks out.


“I have to admit… as lame as it may sounds… I still get the chills every time I hear that rallying call…”

Swordsman confronts Onslaught first, declaring that his Ebony Blade wants blood. Green or red, it doesn’t matter. Onslaught isn’t impressed at seeing more so-called “heroes.” Hellcat jumps on Onslaught/Hulk’s back, explaining that she may go to hell for making the deal to get her cat scratches but, if it takes her enemy out of the picture, it will be worth it! While fighting Hellcat, Onslaught notices that Franklin Richard’s power and wild imagination again seeks to defeat him, but he shall slay them all!

As they watch Hellcat claw at the hulk’s face, Captain America and Hawkeye strategize their next move. Cap points out to Hawkeye that this “Onslaught” can possess each and every one of them. Hawkeye has to go find this “Onslaught,” or else Avengers are going to die out there. Hawkeye doesn’t understand; what makes Cap think he can find the guy? To this, Cap shouts at Hawkeye that he knows who he is under that mask. He orders the soldier to go find Onslaught… now! Hesitant, Hawkeye agrees, but with a stern voice wants to make it clear to Cap that, when this is over, they are going to have a serious sit-down… and calls him “bub.”

Nearby, Onslaught finally grabs Hellcat and shouts at her to get off of him. He grabs her in his massive grip and throws her at Swordsman, knocking them both out. Moving into battle in her place, Captain America faces Onslaught with nothing but his shield. He admits he doesn’t know what Onslaught is hoping to accomplish there but he is certain that, on this world, every man, woman and child will fight him to their last breath! Onslaught smirks that, in that case, as soon as the body count rises, the Avengers can only blame themselves.

Suddenly, a lightning bolt appears from the sky and strikes Onslaught. Cap fears that they’re running out of time, and hopes that Iron Man is ready to do his part of the job.


Johnny and Iron Man are already high above Manhattan, reaching the limits of the atmosphere. Johnny doesn’t get it and wonders why Cap would say they only have sixty seconds. Iron Man asks Johnny to wait, as he’s receiving an emergency transmission. It’s from Cap, to whom Tony tells to go ahead. Cap shouts that they’ve “gone to walking stick!” Iron Man panics at this news. He tells Johnny that he’s got to go higher than he can. Johnny claims he can do that as well, but Tony makes Johnny understand that this isn’t about bravery. It’s science. He explains the air is going to get too thin and Johnny will flame out when that happens. And Tony needs Johnny here, hot and bright!

As Iron Man continues to fly higher, Johnny stays where he is, but still doesn’t see what the big deal is. Iron Man continues ascending until he is almost in space. Inside the armor, Tony is trying to indicate on his computers where his target is. He found it… it’s Donald Blake, Thor’s human form! Tony flies towards him and reports to Cap that he found Thor, telling him he’s going to have to see to believe it. He grabs Blake, and reads there’s a pulse, but he stopped breathing… Tony reports that he’s going to hand him over to the Torch.

Miles below, Onslaught tries to punch Cap, who deflects it with his shield. Onslaught has a solution to that and slams Cap through a store window. His foe dealt with, Onslaught refocuses his attention on Thor’s hammer again, which has now transformed into an “ordinary stick of wood.” Onslaught doesn’t understand and sees it as yet another mystery on this journey. However, he doesn’t have the patience to solve it, so he picks up the stick and throws it into the ocean below.

A few seconds later, as it descends to the depth below, the stick is grabbed by none other than… Namor?!

Tony, who has already given Blake to Johnny, flies into battle. Though he cannot hear him from that distance, Iron Man speaks to the Hulk’s human half… Bruce Banner. He tells Bruce that, even if he’s not in control of what’s going on with the Hulk, he can’t let this continue any longer. Tony has to run hotter than ever before. As Onslaught prepares to give Cap another punch with the Hulk’s immense strength, Iron Man rockets behind him. Just before impact, he apologizes to Bruce for having to do this and then punches the Hulk in his face! He hopes Bruce will someday forgive him for this.

The punch is hard enough to knock the Hulk out, and he falls unconscious on the ground. Cap thanks Tony for the help. He knows that Bruce is his friend and how hard this must have been. However, though they may have stopped the immediate problem now… they still have to find Onslaught. Unfortunately, unnoticed by Cap, Onslaught has taken over Iron Man’s body and sarcastically tells Cap finding him won’t be a problem. “Iron Man” points his glove at Cap and prepares to fire a blast at him.


“Yeah, well, while that nightmare was only getting worse, over at the Baxter Building, the home of the Fantastic Four…”

Ben admits to Reed he doesn’t understand why he sent Torch off with the Avengers while he left him behind – and where is Sue? As he tends to a huge machine, Reed explains to his old friend that Susan is where she needs to be. They have a much more immediate problem now. He took a DNA sample from Franklin, the boy who claims to be his and Sue’s son. Ben jokes that the kid’s a fibber, and wants to know what the diff is. Reed thinks that’s just it: he doesn’t think Franklin’s lying. And, if what Franklin says is true, for them to live, that boy must…

Reed’s words trail as they are interrupted by the arrival of Johnny, asking for some help. Spying the inert body of Donald Blake in his arms, Reed asks who he has there. Johnny says he knows it sounds goofy, but Iron Man told him that the skinny guy he holds… is actually the mighty Thor! And… he isn’t breathing! “Oh, boy,” panics Ben.


“Yeah, well, while all that was playing out, Cap had me babysitting the kid at the Avengers Mansion. I wish I could’ve been right on the front line. I was missing all the action!”

It took Bucky some doing, but she found some milk and Cheerios for her and Franklin. She notices the boy looks shocked for some reason and promises him that nothing can get past the security in this compound. Franklin warns Bucky they’ve got to find his mom and dad. Finally spying what he has, Bucky drops her milk and food on the floor. She demands through gritted teeth to know what “he” is doing there.


“You know when ‘they’ say, ‘Be careful what you wish for?’ I hate it when ‘they’ are right..!”

Sitting in a chair and sporting a huge smile on his face, Loki is accompanied by his subordinates. Before answering Bucky’s question, the god of mischief suggests that he and his friends introduce themselves. The Executioner! The Scarlet Witch! The Enchantress! And… Ultron V! And Himself? He’s the half-brother to Thor, and rightful heir to the kingdom of Asgard. And, why they are there? He wants to offer their considerable aid: they are going to take down this Onslaught, and nobody is going to stop them.

Unaware that they’re being watched, an invisible Sue and Ant-Man stand on a balcony above and overhear what Loki tells Bucky. Sue whispers to Ant-Man they’ll stop Loki. Franklin may or may not be her son, but she’s not going to let anyone hurt a child. Miniaturized and standing on Sue’s shoulder, Ant-Man proclaims he’s right there with Susan, and Loki and his goons will never know what hit them…!

Characters Involved: 


Ant-Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hellcat, Iron Man, Swordsman, Thor (all Avengers)


Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Enchantress, Executioner, Loki, Scarlet Witch, Ultron V


Franklin Richards


Story Notes: 

Hawkeye calling Captain America “bub” would indicate that he’s secretly Wolverine under the mask, as that is something Logan often calls someone. However, in Avengers (2nd series) #11, which was part of the original “Heroes Reborn” titles, it was indicated that Hawkeye was Clint Barton under the mask, but this issue makes it once again unclear.

Issue Information: 
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