A ground floor appartment on West End Avenue and 102nd Street, Manhattan, where in amongst moving boxes and furniture, Wendell “Quasar” Vaughn and the Eternal known as Makkari unpack and make adjustments to the apartment. Makkari asks Quasar if using his quantum-bands for home improvements is a legitimate use for the official weapons of the Protector of the Universe. While using his quantum-bands as a saw to slice a plank of wood in half, the handsome Wendell smiles and replies that with his mentor gone, he is his own boss. ‘Who’s going to tell me what I can or can not use the q-bands for?’ Wendell asks.
Wendell adds that the more he uses his powers, the better he gets a manipulating the energy. ‘Can’t be a good Protector of the U if I can’t handle the tools well’ he jokes. Makkari asks his friend why he is even bothering to fix himself a home while he has got a whole universe to go out and protect. ‘Boy, you really like riding me about my job title, don’t you?’ Wendell replies. ‘Aha! Evading the question!’ Makkari exclaims. Quasar uses his quantum-bands to levitate some things up to the mezzanine, while telling his roommate that the truth is, he hasn’t quite scoped out how best to go about his job yet. ‘In the meantime, there’s nothing like a little manual labor to clear out the mental cobwebs…’.
Wendell looks at a small statute that Makkari pulls from a box. ‘What’s that?’ he asks, changing the subject. Makkari explains that it is a terracotta statute that Plato gave him. ‘Plato? The Plato?’ Quasar asks. Makkari reveals that Plato was his philosophy professor. ‘I know you’re an Eternal and all, Mak. But just how old are you anyway?’ Wendell asks. ‘Four and a half’ Makkari replies. ‘Huh?’ Wendell asks, to which Makkari explain that Eternals only celebrate their birthdays once a millennium. Wendell flies up to the mezzanine as he asks who is the oldest of the Eternals. Makkari replies that his running guru, Master Elo, was almost a thousand.
‘A thousand millennia - that’s a million years old!’ Wendell exclaims. ’Yup’ Makkari replies, to which Quasar remarks that it must be odd to have such a long view of time. ’Must be odd not to’ Makkari replies, adding that although he has hung out with all sorts of humans, he usually makes it a rule not to get too close to them. ‘Seems like as soon as you get a good friendship going, they grow old on you and die’. ‘Glad you made an exception in my case’ Wendell smiles, with a mouthful of nails as he bangs them into one of the planks of wood with a quantum hammer.
Makkari searches through another box as he asks Wendell ‘How do you know you’re gonna age like other humies, Q-Ball? Maybe those funky hand-bands of yours will keep you young’ he exclaims. ‘Huh! I never thought of that! Sure wish Eon were still alive. He’d probably be able to tell me’ Quasar exclaims, to which Makkari suggests ‘How about Eon’s little sprout - what’s his name?’. ‘Epoch? Nah - he’s just a newborn cosmic entity. It’s gonna take him a while to get cosmically aware’ Quasar explains while building the bookshelf.
Makkari picks up a guitar case and asks Quasar if it is his. ‘I didn’t know you played the geet-box’ Makkari remarks. Wendell tells his friend that he used to, but hasn’t done so much as touched it since he became the Protector of the Universe. Makkari asks Quasar if he minds him strumming it, as he used to play. ‘Jammed with Elvis once…back before he hit big, of course’ Makkari boasts. ‘You’re kidding! Plato and Elvis!’ Quasar exclaims. Wendell begins to ask Makkari who else he hung with, but his quantum bands suddenly light up. ‘There’s something unusually energetic in the immediate vicinity!’ Wendell exclaims, flying down to the ground floor, he stops Makkari who exclaims ‘I’ll check it out in half a jif’.
‘No, I’ll go. If I identify the energy signature correctly, it’s someone I’ve run into before’ Wendell explains, telling Makkari to finish unpacking. ‘Nothing up my sleeves - except my uniform stored in my quantum bands!’ Wendell exclaims as his bands light up once more, and he suddenly appears in his costume. ‘Yo, Quaze! Wait!’ Makkari exclaims. ‘What?’ Wendell asks. ‘You got the wrong costume on!’ ‘Huh? You’re right - I do!’ Wendell exclaims, looking at his old costume with the mask and red pants. He thanks Makkari, before using his quantum bands to shift into his current, sleek costume. Wendell remarks that he is going top have to take that suit out of storage and dispose of it. ‘Last week I wore the thing for a whole day before I realized my mistake!’ Wendell admits, before bidding his friend farewell.
A moment later, Quasar soars towards the source of the energy signature, where he finds Jack Hart a.k.a. Jack of Hearts waiting for him. ‘Yep, just who I thought it was!’ Wendell exclaims, while Jack of Hearts thinks to himself ‘Ah…quasar. My mistress was right in thinking he’d be here’. Wendell tells Jack that he meant to try and find him after he exploded, but things for really busy for him after that. ‘Looks like you didn’t need my help’ he points out. Jack tells Quasar that he is not here to hassle him about that. ‘Good. I was half expecting a meaningless slugfest, to tell you the truth’ Wendell replies, to which Jack of Hearts announces that he has come to ask Quasar to renounce whatever romantic inclinations he has towards Moondragon. ‘What? I have no - where did you get -?’ Wendell exclaims, surprised.
Creating a quantum platform which he uses to life himself and Jack into the air, Wendell tells his companion that he has no idea where he gets his information, but can assure him he has no romantic ideas whatsoever about Moondragon. ‘She’s an acquaintance of mine and that’s it’ Wendell explains, adding that the last time they spoke, Moondragon had some funny ideas about him, but he promises Jack that he does not share those ideas. ‘If you’re interested in her. She’s all yours. I won’t go near her. Okay?’ Quasar exclaims, to which Jack remarks that he would have thought Wendell would have gone for the most celestial woman alive. ‘Qualifications have nothing to do with feelings’ Wendell replies. ‘You say you will stay away from her. I have no reason not to accept your word’ Jack replies, before taking flight.
Quasar drops the quantum platform and descends back to the ground, wondering what that was all about, and whether Moondragon put Jack up to it. ‘Was that supposed to make me think of her as more desirable? Knowing she’s got some serious suitors?’ he wonders.
Above, Jack flies in another direction. ‘Mission accomplished. The mistress will - eh?’ he thinks to himself, before getting startled as someone flies alongside him. ‘You’re not completely human, are you?’ a mysterious golden-skinned woman asks. ‘Huh? Who are you?’ Jack asks, to which the woman declares that she senses something alien about him ‘You’ll never do’ she tells him. ‘What?’ Jack asks, before the woman flies away at lightning speed. ‘Who was she?’ Jack wonders.
Soon, Jack arrives at the space station where Moondragon resides, and hopes that his mistress will know. ‘Her knowledge is only surpassed by her beauty’ he thinks to himself, referring to Moondragon. ‘Mistress, I delivered the -’ Jack announces as he enters the room where Heather Douglas a.k.a. Moondragon sits at a console. ‘I know’ the haughty woman replies. ‘What do you know of the woman I met who -’ Jack begins to ask, to which Moondragon announces that this woman calls herself Her, and that she was grown in a laboratory and is bestowed with vast personal energy.
‘What did she want of me? It felt like she was -’ Jack of Hearts asks, to which Moondragon replies that she is uncertain, before explaining that when she and Her met several years ago, Her was searching for her ideal mate. ‘Even as I am now…’ Moondragon remarks, before grumbling that she fears they will soon be working at cross-purposes.
As he opens the door to his apartment, Wendell’s quantum braces flare up once more. ‘What -? Another powerful life form…?’ he thinks to himself, before detecting that whoever it was just flew out of the vicinity. He supposes he could check it out, but wants to touch base with Makkari first. ‘Whoa! It’s all done? I’ve barely been gone five minutes! You must’ve been holding back before!’ Quasar exclaims as he looks around the apartment, seeing that Makkari has unpacked and arranged everything. ‘Well…I wanted to save some of the fun for you, but I kinda got carried away’ Makkari smiles. ‘Looks…great. Can’t complain’ Wendell smiles back. ‘Say, I’ve got to - now what?’ Wendell exclaims, interrupted, as he reaches into his back-pocket and pulls out his Avengers ID card.
‘Ho, young Quasar!’ exclaims Hercules over the communications-device. ‘Hercules?’ Wendell exclaims. ‘I crave a boon of you, Avenger!’ the god announces. And, after a brief explanation, Quasar tells Makkari that he has to run. ‘Avengers business. Be back as soon as I can!’ he exclaims.
Meanwhile, Her soars across the sky, thinking to himself ‘To think, I’ve waited all this time to understand the fulfilment of my destiny! What a fool I’ve been!’ Her reminds herself that, for years, she believed that her predecessor, the man once known as Him, was her perfect mate, the one whom she was born to breed with in order to create a glorious new race of human being. ‘But when at long last I met him, he rejected me!’ Her recalls, while reminding herself that her first impulse was to force him to help realize her destiny, and it wasn’t until she meditated upon her situation for some time before realizing the dreadful delusion she was labouring under all along. ‘His genetic material is identical to mine…with the exception of the sex-determining chromosome! To combine our genes would be redundant - of no genetic advantage whatsoever!’
Her descends upon a sprawling mansion in Westchester, while thinking ‘consequently, I have embarked upon my quest for beings of power whose genetic material would complement my own!’. As she flies around the outside of the mansion, she detects a great concentration of such power in this dwelling, and wonders who lives here - as if in answer, three of the residents - the X-Men known as Wolverine, Cyclops and Colossus - charge out of the mansion. ‘Careful, X-Men - security sensors indicate a being of near-Phoenix level power!’ Cyclops declares.
‘It’s a woman!’ Colossus exclaims as Her descends down next to them. ‘Identify yourself, toots!’ Wolverine orders. ‘I am Her. And you are mutants’ she declares, before remarking that their genetic material is too unstable, and immediately flying back up into the sky. ‘You are not what I’m looking for’ she tells them. ‘What was that about?’ Cyclops asks his friends as they watch Her fly away.
In Earth’s atmosphere, back inside Moondragon’s room, Jack thinks that he wishes he could help his mistress, but they her mind goes where none can follow. Suddenly, Moondragon breaks her mediation as she announces ‘I’ve found Her. She is on a quest for a new mate’. Moondragon clenches her fist and declares that Her had better stay away from Quasar. ‘He is my conquest! I shall not be denied him! She may be my physical superior, but if she dares to come between my intended and me - I’ll make her pay!’ Moondragon threatens.
The next day, Her flies across the Hollywood Hills and detects another potential mate nearby. ‘In here!’ she tells herself as she flies down to an high-rise building, and uses her power “cut” a hole in the wall, where inside Simon “Wonder Man” Williams asks Neal Saroyan whether he has the part or not. ‘Simon baby…didn’t I tell you it was all but in the bag? Why do you think I make the big bucks?’ the agent boasts, before Simon asks ’You feel a draft in here?’. Simon turns and sees the gaping hole in the wall, and Her hovering outside. ‘Wheeoo! Friend of yours?’ Neal asks. ‘Never saw her before in my life’ Simon replies. ‘If this is another of your publicity stunts, Neal - I just hope your Blue Cross is all paid up!’ Simon exclaims, before flying over to Her.
‘Mind replacing that window, lady?’ he asks, motioning to the hole. ‘If you wish’ Her replies, using her power to replace the window, while she strokes Simon’s neck. ‘It served its purpose. To bring you close enough - to do this’ Her exclaims as she suddenly kisses Simon on the lips. Wonder Man pulls away: ‘What was that for?’ he asks. Her smiles as she congratulates Wonder Man, telling him that his genetic phenotype is acceptable to her. ‘I’ve chosen you to be one of my mates’ she exclaims, before taking off skyward. ‘Wait!’ Simon calls out after her. ‘So, what’s the scam? What did she want?’ Neal asks as Simon flies back to the office. ‘I don’t know! Just to kiss me, I guess!’ Simon replies, unaware that Her has left some strange cocoon-like object on his back, where she touched him. ‘Super hero groupie. It was inevitable’ Neal remarks.
Soaring across some snow-covered hills, Her thinks that she has spent almost twenty-four hours seeking out and screening potential mates, and is almost finished. As she recalls the many men she encountered, she tells herself that some were disqualified because their extra-terrestrial genes would not combine well with her own - like Jack of Hearts, while some were incompatible with her because their power lay outside the electromagnetic spectrum. ‘Magic, I believe one of them called it’ she reminds herself while recalling encounters with Doctor Strange, Captain Britain and Dr Druid.
Her continues, recalling that scores were rejected because they were mutants, while other simply proved to be too physically imperfect to seriously consider - like the Hulk and the Thing, and some had incompatible metabolisms, or insufficient power - like Makkari, USAgent, Whizzer, Rage and Battlestar, and still others were bizarre hybrids or suffered some form of chromosome damage - like Cable, Vanguard, the Sub-Mariner, Nova, Doctor Spectrum and the Aquarian. ‘Still, I have identified and tagged three promising candidates so far…and I’ve saved several significant possibilities to screen for last’ Her tells herself. ‘Surely among them, my prime mate will reveal himself‘.
Meanwhile, at Avengers headquarters, later that day, ‘Why so dour, young Quasar?’ Hercules asks, pointing out that it is Captain America they have been summoned to see, not the Lord of Death. ‘I’d rather be yelled at by the Lord of -’ Wendell begins, when suddenly, the new Thor walks out of Captain America’s office. ‘How’d it go, Thor?’ Wendell asks. ‘Well…I wasn’t kicked off the team’ Thor replies, before Hercules and Quasar enter the office of Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain Americas. ‘Have a seat’ Cap tells his friends. Cap tells them that he hates having to play disciplinarian, before asking what all this is about the two of them getting into a brawl with Thor. ‘Ahem. Well you see…’ Quasar begins, before Hercules interrupts, assuring Cap that the blame is totally his, revealing that he tricked young Quasar into helping him train the new Thor in the ways of combat.
‘If there be need to censure anyone, I insist that -’ Hercules begins, before the intruder alarm sounds. ‘This talk can wait!’ Cap declares. ‘Allow me to get us there pronto!’ Wendell offers, as he uses his quantum bands to pull Cap and Hercules behind him, and less than a minute later. ‘Tis a woman!’ Hercules points out. ‘She’s dressed differently, but isn’t that the cosmic lady, Her, we met up in Toronto?’ Quasar asks. ‘Looks like it to me’ Captain America agrees, before noticing Michael O’Brien rushing forward with a weapon. He tells O’Brien to get back, assuring him that the Avengers can handle this. ‘If you wanted to see us you could have made an appointment, lady. You didn’t have to damage property’ Cap tells her, referring to the mechanical defense tentacles destroyed behind her.
‘What I destroy my cosmic power can easily re-create!’ Her exclaims as she demonstrates her abilities. Cap points out that the question still remains - why is she here. ‘Obviously she is here to see the Lion of Olympus!’ Hercules boasts. Her replies that Hercules is right, and embraces him, touching his back as she did to Wonder Man. ‘You have the right attributes to become one of my mates’ Her tells Hercules. ‘You say you wish to what?’ Hercules replies. ‘Mate with you’ Her replies. ‘Thou hast talked me into it!’ Hercules declares, embracing Her. Her looks at Captain America and tells him that he is the pinnacle of human perfection, but, regrettably, is still merely human.
Turning to Quasar, Her tells him that he has no true power at all, it is all in his weapons, and adds that Thor, whom she met moments before they all arrived, has an irksome enchantment about him, which only leaves Hercules. ‘Milady?’ Hercules asks as Her walks away from them, telling him that she will be in touch. ‘Why wait? The son of Zeus stands e’er ready!’ he declares. Her flies away, so Hercules turns to his friends and suggests ‘Perhaps she wishes to contemplate the pleasures that await her rather than -’, before Wendell interrupts, asking him wha Her stuck on his back.
‘Eh? I fear I am unable to reach’ Hercules remarks as he tries to spin around and touch the part of his back where Her left the strange object. Quasar lights it up with his quantum beam, and Captain America points out that it looks like some sort of cocoon. ‘Art thou jesting?’ Hercules asks. ‘Whatever it is, it’s alive!’ Wendell exclaims, before telling Cap that if he doesn’t mind postponing their reprimand until later, he will catch up with Her and find out what she is trying to pull. And with that Quasar speeds out into open air.
As he speeds towards Her, Wendell almost collides with Hyperion. ‘No time to talk, pal! I’m trying to catch a lady!’ Wendell tells his friend. ‘She got you, too?’ Hyperion asks. ‘What -? You mean -?’ Quasar begins, before telling Hyperion to go to the Avengers, and that when he catches her, he will bring her there. ‘Hey, wait -’ Hyperion calls out, thinking that Quasar must have known what he was talking about. ‘The golden woman who accosted me and attached some sort of organism to my back’ Hyperion tells himself. ‘It is bad enough to sit about Project Pegasus with precious little to occupy my time’ Hyperion decides, before taking flight after Quasar.
‘If he thinks I am going to sit back and let him handle this “sticky” situation alone - he’s got another think coming!’ Hyperion boasts. ‘Great Argon, that kid can move! Got to really pour on the speed’ Hyperion tells himself as he soars after Quasar. Hyperion speeds towards Quasar, closing the gap, or so he thinks, before Quasar speeds off even faster. Hyperion supposes that Wendell was waiting to get into the upper atmosphere before really opening up.
‘My fix on her energy signature is getting stronger’ Wendell thinks to himself, before suddenly he can see her up ahead. ‘There she is!’ he tells himself. ‘Lady, I’m slowing you down’ he decides. ‘How do parachute boots grab you?’ he wonders as quantum energy attaches itself around Her’s feet, connected to a large quantum parachute behind her. ‘My feet!’ Her exclaims as she spins around and blasts the quantum parachute with her power.
Quasar flies towards her, and is surprised that she has managed to chip off pieces from it. Wendell decides that Her’s cosmic energy is nothing to sneeze at, as the construct was as solid as any he has ever formed. ‘Yo, Her! I want to talk to you!’ Wendell shouts. ‘When we met fighting those aliens alongside Alpha Flight, I figured you to be one of the good guys. So what’s the deal sticking living parasites on Hercules’ and Hyperion’s backs?’ Wendell asks.
Still blasting at the quantum bonds, Her replies ‘Those are not parasites! Those are pods of my genetic material which will soon combine with theirs in order to produce offspring - the ultimate offspring of which the human species is capable!’ Her exclaims, before ordering Quasar to remove the impediments at once. ‘Lady, you can’t just force a person to combine his genetic material with yours. There’s a word for that -’ Wendell begins, while Her continues to blast at the quantum energy, before shouting ‘No one tells Her what she can or cannot do!’ and lashes out at Quasar.
Lucky for Wendell, his quantum bands detected the power coming, and set up a funnel to disperse the power away from him. ‘Now that wasn’t very nice. Here we are having a pleasant discussion…and you haul off and blast me one!’ Wendell exclaims. Wendell decides that he best power Her down before this goes any further, and uses his quantum bands to siphon Her’s cosmic energy. ‘I must get away!’ Her tells herself as she strains to free herself from the quantum bonds. ‘Perhaps - yes!’ she thinks to herself going motionless. Quasar sees this and thinks to himself ‘Clever. She’s the first person I ever fought who figured out that I can only drain their energy from them if they’re expending it - so she’s totally shut down all energy expenditures - including keeping herself afloat!’
Quasar tells himself that he better catch Her, so converts the quantum parachute into a oft trampoline, where she lands a moment later. Quasar watches as Her just lies there, unmoving. ‘Wow. When she shuts down, she shuts down everything’ Wendell thinks to himself, while wrapping Her up with quantum bonds in case she is bluffing, and thinks to himself ‘Did she even switch off her autonomic life functions? I barely get a reading!’. Quasar wonders what happens if Her is not bluffing though: ‘What if her life force is so inextricably attached to her energy output that I upset the balance and put her in a coma?’ he asks himself, remembering that Jack of Hearts’ energy was like that the time they fought. ‘Her? Are you there?’ he calls out.
‘Let me out of this, Quasar, or I will consider you one of my enemies!’ Her quickly replies. ‘Huh? Whew. Not till we talk’ Wendell replies. ‘Those cocoons you stuck on Hype and Herc -’ Wendell begins, to which Her interrupts: ‘ - and four others’ she reveals. ‘What? Who? Never mind that for now. Just tell me how the things come off’ Quasar exclaims. Her replies that they don’t, explaining that they are bonded to her mates with cosmic energy. ‘You mean there’s no way under the sun to -’ Wendell begins, while Her announces ‘Not without killing them’. ‘Who? The cocoons or the mates?’ Wendell asks.
Her replies that she doesn’t know, as she has never done this before. Quasar asks her how long the cocoons remain attached, to which Her replies ‘Several months, I would imagine. Till they come to term’. Quasar holds onto Her, still wrapped in the quantum bands, and heads back down to earth, telling Her that he doesn’t like those answers, which is why she is coming back to Avengers headquarters, to find some way to undo the damage she has done. ‘It is not damage, you fool - it is creation -’ Her claims.
At that moment, Hyperion soars towards Quasar. ‘There you are! You got Her, I see!’ Hyperion calls out. Quasar tells his friend that the scoop on those pods is not a very good one. ‘They’re definitely alive, they’re attached by cosmic energy, and they’re sicking genetic material from you’ Wendell explains. Her tells herself that Quasar is distracted, so she must focus all the power at her command into a single thrust - and she does so, breaking through the quantum bonds with her hand, she grabs Wendell around his neck. ‘I have reconsidered, Quasar. For the great resourcefulness you have demonstrated in our interactions, you have earned yourself the privilege - of being one of my mates!’ Her announces as she places a cocoon on his back.
Wide-eyed, Wendell gasps ‘What? You - you didn’t - she did!’. Suddenly, Moondragon’s spaceship appears overhead. ‘All right, Her - for what you’ve just done to Quasar, my mistress says - you must pay!’ Jack of Hearts shouts as he flies towards the very confused trio….